Dernancourt School R-7 Newsletter

27 November 2020

From the Leadership Team


Dear Families, 

Over the last month Skoolbag have been updating some of their features; you may have needed to update your app to accommodate these changes. While some of these updates were of benefit, some were in fact a hinderance to us that we were unaware of until we went into "lockdown". We have contacted Skoolbag and needed to return to the "old" system until they complete all of their updates to ensure that our communication with families is optimized. Unfortunately as part of this we have lost some of our notifications, we apologize in advance if we ask to update some information that you may have submitted during this time - this may include repeating attendance notifications. 

Once Skoolbag have completed all of their updates and the features we are used to are reinstated, we will return to the updates version.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding and cooperation. 

COVID-19 Update

Thank you for all of the support during the recent lockdown. I am very grateful to our staff  for their flexibility and resilience to adapting to such a quickly changing scene.

As many of you are now aware from the recent State wide restrictions, there have been some changes that impact on school life. We kindly ask families to drop off and collect the children from the gates. Remembering that it is your responsibility to maintain 1.5m distancing, and that you enable students to leave the grounds safely.

We are monitoring the situation with events and excursions. Currently the physical distancing requirements limit the number of people we can have in our gym. The gym is required for graduation as multi media equipment is needed for the ceremony. We are hoping that restrictions will ease back to 2sqm so that children can have 2 adults attending.

We are hopeful that the end of year excursion will go ahead and we can still receive payment for those wishing to attend if we are able to go. If the excursion is cancelled, money will be refunded.  

We are following the directions from SA Health, SAPOL and the Department for Education. Our school continues to have regular 'COVID Cleans' throughout the day and all classes are maintaining safe hand hygiene.

Year 5/6/7 families - 1:1 LAPTOP PROGRAM 2021

As we have previously communicated, in 2021 we are moving to a 1:1 laptop program. The following information is the latest update.

Our Governing Council – IT Committee have considered all factors and agree to support the 1:1 laptop requirements and believe purchasing from the laptop options offered to be the best choice for our school.

The selections offered are:

Option 1: ASUS P2451FA ExpertBook - 14" - Core i3 4GB 128GB

Option 2: ASUS P2451FA ExpertBook - 14" - Core i3 8GB 256GB

We have been liaising with “Learning with Technologies” as they are able to negotiate a very competitive price for the 2 preferred laptops.

Both of these options are available by clicking on the link provided. This link will also be available on our website. Purchases through this portal will have laptops delivered to school during Term 1, where our technician will prepare and configure the computer ensuring school WiFi accessibility. These devices will be built and shipped from overseas on order and will take 6 to 8 weeks to arrive. Orders MUST be placed by the 5th of February to ensure handout in Term 2.

Portal Link:

The options identified have been chosen as our technician is employed 1 day a week to actively trouble shoot and resolve issues. Therefore it is vital that the computers used in our school will be able to integrate within the schools current IT infrastructure. This includes the ability for multiple classes to use their laptops at the same time and ensure speed functions are not compromised, resulting in quicker downloads and efficiency of learning time.

As mentioned in previous correspondence, the purpose of introducing a 1:1 laptop program is to provide better learning experiences and the same opportunities offered to other students in primary schools in our partnership. These opportunities therefore will make our students better prepared for secondary school. The laptops recommended will meet the needs of your child for the remainder of primary school, and if cared for responsibly, into secondary school.

We are now working on an Acceptable User Agreement which will be discussed by and passed at Governing Council. It is hoped this will be ratified early in the new school year.

Thanks you for your continuing support in such an important decision for learning at our school.



Our providers sell machines at education prices and we are confident that they can offer the best deal. However, families can purchase from other providers. There are a few considerations;

  • Chromebooks and Apple laptops are not suitable choices.
  • Purchasing a Windows machine that is below our recommended specifications may disadvantage students in completing work requiring higher specifications.
  • The school will facilitate the repair of machines purchased through our providers.
  • We highly recommend purchasing accidental damage insurance and also recommend purchasing an external hard drive for backups.
  • We understand that not all parents will be immediately in a financial position to purchase a new laptop outright, so there are interest free payment plan options available.

We are excited about the extension of learning opportunities that can be offered to our students once they have 1:1 access to laptops next year.


WEEK 8  -  Tyler (P12), Shahanna & Phoebe (P14)

WEEK 9 - Lilley (P5), Paige & Tiana (P8)