COVID IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL EVENTS
In South Australia we have been extremely lucky to have lived reasonably safely in our community during the pandemic. Our students have also been able to continue to enjoy schooling perhaps much more than others in different parts of Australia. The threat of a second wave is, however, ever present.
As you would already be aware, the SA Government currently has clear restrictions in place around events and gatherings to try to minimise COVID risk. While schools are allowed to hold some big events with parent attendance, there are very strict expectations that must be followed to ensure the risks are minimised. These include:
· School personnel on all entry points to sign all parents/families/friends in
· Parents required to socially distance at all times and school personnel to move around to ensure this happens throughout the event
· Hand sanitisation and hygiene stations at several places throughout the area of the event
· Comprehensive cleaning processes in place to manage toilets being used by the public
· No barbecue or extended food service mainly due to hygiene protocols and social distancing issues
· The school is expected to create a COVID plan for every event
As you can appreciate, the level of management of these expectations by school personnel throughout each of the events would be extremely challenging. Because the above expectations are required generally for all events where parents may usually be present, our staff with support of the Governing Council, has made the tough decision to cancel parent attendance at Sports Day, Concert and Book Week Assembly this year. Class led Assemblies and Disco have been cancelled outright. (These events are considered non-essential anyway.)
Graduation, Drama Club performance and KidzBiz presentation (see Andrea Hayden’s article below), only involve small numbers of students and we believe that we can readily manage the protocols around holding these events with parents attending, so at this stage, it is expected they will go ahead.
Wherever possible we will ensure events go ahead for our students because they are after all our focus. Of course things may change if our COVID status changes in the state and restrictions are increased. Staging events like a Concert for example can be an expensive process and take a lot of time to organise. So we also have to carefully weigh up the impact of time spent on organising an event against a possible second wave of COVID cancelling it.
We understand that parents/caregivers will be disappointed at not being able to attend some of our big community events this year, but hope you understand the responsibility the school has to ensure we do everything to keep students and staff safe.
It is really fantastic to see almost all students in full and appropriate school uniform while also remembering other expectations including simple stud or sleeper and watch as the only jewellery. Correct uniform shows a pride in and respect for our school. We have, however, started to noticing a number of students with brightly coloured hair, or hair colour that is very different to their natural hair colour. We respectfully remind families that hair colouring should be limited to only those colours that are close to the normal hair colour for school. We thank you all for your support.
UNSAFE DRIVING PRACTICES
I have been made aware that a number of drivers are not following speeding and parking restrictions around the school. Please ensure you consider the safety of all students and families and drive at the correct speed and park only in the areas that are available during school pickup/drop off times. Please also remember that the carpark on the school side of the red line is for staff only and that children are expected to walk through the drop zone gate when coming into school from the carpark. The staff carpark gates are not for general pedestrian use. I would also remind all drivers coming into the school drop zone or carpark to please consider students and all road and school carpark/drop zone users, and move on to find another appropriate place to park, if the traffic at the entrance is building. I thank you for your cooperation in keeping our students safe.