Returning to School – Frequently Asked Questions
Term 3, 20th July 2020
We hope we can answer some of your questions about returning to school this term. We thank you for your patience, and know that it can be a difficult juggle at this time.
We encourage you to focus on your child’s wellbeing first and foremost, and will continue to keep you updated. Please be sure to read through all the questions and our responses.
How will school operate in Term 3?
By now all teachers have sent out emails to their classes, advising the process for this term. Online and remote learning will operate the same as remote learning in Term 2, so we will have:
Who is allowed to go to school?
Children of essential workers and those who meet certain criteria in vulnerable situations will be allowed to come to school and be supervised by teaching staff. However, they will do the same curriculum as all other students doing online remote learning.
What if I need to go to work?
All children of essential workers are able to come to school. There will be teachers on site and they will use the same curriculum as if the child was remote learning.
Please note: You MUST complete a Department of Education permission form , due the prior Thursday. So for example, if your child must attend school from the 27th July on site, you must complete a form and return to Gayle.Cope@education.vic.gov.au by Thursday 23rd July.
Does my child have to do every activity the teacher sets?
No. We know that it is not the same as classroom learning. Teachers will be encouraging children during their phone calls to have a go at the activities, however we know that it just may not be possible. Do what you can, encourage them to have a go, and focus on their wellbeing.
How should I structure the day?
Every child is different. While some children might thrive on the routine of school (starting at 9am, having breaks and lunch between school activities, and finishing at 3.30pm), others students thrive on more flexibility at home.
Some parents found last time that their child worked best by trying more challenging work in the morning, with the more ‘fun’ activities or videos in the afternoon.
Others found their child liked to complete all work for a certain subject on the one day. A number of people suggested their children enjoyed the reading just before bed each evening.
It’s about working with your child to set a routine that works for both of you. And remember, it can be flexible. What works some days, just might not work on others, and that’s ok.
The only thing we would suggest is ensuring you make time away from schoolwork and screens during the day. Encourage your children to play, exercise and have fun.
If I am an essential worker and my child needs to attend onsite, how do I drop them off?
All children of essential workers must be dropped off at the Banksia Gate entrance between 8.45am and 9am each day. They must make their own way to the flagpole near the entrance of the office. Members of staff will be waiting to take them to a designated classroom, where they will do remote learning for the day.
If I need to collect my child from school, where do I go?
You must collect your child from the Banksia St gate entrance at 3.30pm each day. If you need to collect them earlier you must ring the school office on 9808 2165 to arrange a pick up time.
Can I come on site?
No. Only staff members are allowed on site and permitted contractors. If you need to contact or collect your child, please call our office on 9808 2165 to arrange for us to bring them to you.
How can I contact my child’s teacher?
You will have had an email from your child’s teacher outlining the structure of this term. Feel free to email your child’s teacher, however please keep in mind that they may not be able to respond to you as quickly as they may be supervising other students, or making calls to students as part of the regular contact program.
How can my child interact with their classmates?
Physical interaction during COVID-19 is to be very limited even between students at this time. Although live interaction between students is not authorised, the video platform FlipGrid and the teacher videos are one way of seeing one another and keeping abreast of news as well as a forum for presenting their learning.
Parents are more than welcome to arrange live video conferences outside of school hours with other school families, a bit like an after school play date.
Can we have Zoom/Webex or other online class meetings with their teacher?
Unfortunately we are unable to have school-sanctioned Zoom/other online meetings as they don’t meet our child safety requirements. While we know the vast majority of parents and families may be able to safely conduct get-togethers, as a school it is difficult for us to monitor and control the home environment in all circumstances. While this may be disappointing for you, please rest assured that we only have your child’s safety at heart.
What do I do if my child isn’t participating in remote learning?
There are times when this is to be expected. Students have productive days and not so productive days even when attending school. Try to encourage them to choose one or two activities that appeal to them. . Encouragement is immensely important and even if the day has not gone well for whatever reason, remember at the end of the day to praise your child for something that they achieved, so that they end the day on a positive note, a small thing, but a vital one.
What happens if Flipgrid doesn’t work?
Email the teacher to see if there is another way you can present the work.
I am struggling with schooling, where can I get more support?
We appreciate this is a difficult time. The most important thing is you and your child/children’s wellbeing.
We have wellbeing resources for your child on our Online Hub. We’d encourage you to share these with your child regularly.
Please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher and we will do our best to support you with your child’s learning.
There is also a free parenting hotline you can call: Parentline Victoria – Ph: 13 22 89.
Or alternately you can search for them online: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/parents/services-for-parents/Pages/parentline.aspx?Redirect=1
Or please visit the Department of Education and Training (DET) website: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/parents/learning/Pages/home-learning.aspx
How long will we have remote learning this term?
We follow the advice of the Department of Education and Training (DET), and at this stage we expect to continue remote learning until at least 19th August. We will continue to keep you updated if the situation changes.
How will I find out what is happening with school?
Please keep an eye out for updates on Konnective, Compass or our school website (www.wattleparkps.vic.gov.au). Your child’s teacher will continue to send emails with updates as they occur.
I need assistance with translating, how can I find out what is happening?
All information will be listed on the school’s website (www.wattleparkps.vic.gov.au). Our website has a translation tool for a number of languages. Otherwise please contact the school on 9808 2165 and we will do our best to provide information for you.
Will Team Kids (after care) be operating?
Team Kids will be operating their before and after school care program as usual.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to email your classroom teacher in the first instance.