Dear parents and carers,
Welcome back to Stanmore Public School in 2021! I hope that you and your family have enjoyed a wonderful summer break filled with relaxation and quality time with your loved ones, notwithstanding the ongoing disruptions caused by the pandemic.
Our teaching and support staff are ready and raring to go on another year of successful teaching and learning with our students. On Wednesday, teachers engaged in professional development on making adjustments for students with additional needs and creating inclusive learning environments, programming and planning strategies, the new Strategic Improvement Plan, the school’s amazing new mathematics programming and resource website, and a Code of Conduct refresher.
Thursday has been dedicated to collaborative planning in stage teams, so that consistent, differentiated teaching programs are in place for the students’ first day on Friday, and we all hit the ground running. We can’t wait to see the kids back again and form our new classes!
Regarding class formation, we have put a great deal of time and effort into planning balanced classes which have a diverse mix of ability levels and personalities. We have endeavoured to place students with one of their nominated friends, and considered input from teachers and parents about ideal pairings and separations of children.
Please understand that we are not able to change any child’s class placement after classes have been formed. While some children may be disappointed with their class placement, due to not being with their preferred peers or teacher, we ask that you support your child and the school by maintaining a positive, optimistic approach about their class placement, and encouraging them to do the same. In most cases, after a few weeks children will have formed new friendships (or revived old ones) and developed a strong bond with their new teacher.
As always, if you do have concerns about your child’s wellbeing or learning, please contact your child’s teacher and we will work with you to attempt to resolve the issues.
COVID guidelines for families
In January, the Department of Education released revised COVID guidelines for schools. The advice to schools is largely the same as in Term 4 2020, with some changes:
- From Term 1 2021, all NSW Public Schools will be using the Service NSW COVID-Safe Check-in QR codes. These are currently being distributed to schools. The External Visitors Form will also need to be signed by any visitors to the school site.
- Parents and carers are permitted to enter the school site in certain circumstances:
- To purchase or pick up uniforms from the uniform shop
- To meet with school staff with an appointment
- To drop off students in Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2.
- P&C Meetings can take place on the school site after hours, with a COVID Safety Plan in place and a maximum of 30 people.
- Volunteers supporting educational programs may attend classrooms at an appointed time, after checking in and signing the external visitors form.
- Large gatherings of adults are still not permitted on the school site.
While the guidelines do permit parents of younger children to come on site to drop them off, we respectfully request that parents continue to drop their children at the gate in the morning where possible. We have a relatively small site for the number of students and staff at the school, and it is difficult to ensure social distancing with high numbers of parents on site in the morning.
We have also found that having clear and direct access to classrooms from morning lines has enabled children to start their learning in a more prompt and settled way each day. We understand that the first day of Kindergarten is a special event where parents will want to come into the playground, and we will have a plan in place for this to proceed safely.
Form more information about the Department’s guidelines for families, visit NSW Education – Advice for Families.
Communication with the school
We are currently developing parent communication guidelines, to clarify to our school community who they should contact in different situations and with different issues, and how they should make contact. We expect these to be ready for community consultation and release later this term.
In the meantime, the first port of call for any enquiry about your child’s learning or wellbeing should be the class teacher. If you have an issue which you feel requires escalation, your next point of contact should be the Assistant Principal who supervises your child’s stage.
You will be informed of your child’s class teacher and their supervisor in writing when classes are formed tomorrow. You can contact your child’s teacher or the Assistant Principal at any time by emailing the school office, attention to the relevant staff member. Many teachers in Years K-4 use Seesaw, which is also a quick and easy way to get in touch. Please try to keep communications concise and only get in touch when necessary, as our teachers’ primary focus needs to remain on classroom practice and student learning.
Meet the Teacher Evenings
Meet the Teacher evenings will be held in Week 3 via Zoom (this is necessary due to restrictions on large gatherings on school sites). Class teachers will distribute Zoom links to families via Operoo once classes are formed. We encourage at least one parent from every family to log on to the Meet the Teacher Zoom meeting, as teachers will be sharing a wide range of important information about their programs and schedules.
Meet the Teacher Evening Times:
- Kindergarten classes: 5:30pm, Tuesday 9th February
- Year 1 and 2 classes: 6:00pm, Tuesday 9th February
- Stage 2 classes: 5:30pm, Wednesday 10th February
- Stage 3 classes and 4/5H: 6:00pm, Wednesday 10th February
This year we welcome new and returning staff members to Stanmore PS.
- Christina Thanogianis will teach class KTK Monday – Wednesday, and provide executive and ICT release Thursday and Friday.
- Sue Pigott joins our Learning Support Team this semester as a Learning and Support Teacher on Monday and Tuesday.
- Tina Grimm joins our administrative team in a Business Manager role every Tuesday.
- Rachael Kozicki returns to Stanmore PS after her maternity leave, teaching KTK on Thursdays and Fridays.
2020 Swimming Champions
Belated congratulations to our 2020 Swimming Champions, whose names I mistakenly omitted from the final SNIP last year:
- Boys Swimming Champion: Archie Galvin
- Girls Swimming Champion: Madison Chantler
- Winning House – Swimming: Freeman
Once again, welcome back to Stanmore Public School in 2021. We look forward to another year of strong partnerships with our parent community, supporting our students’ learning and development.