Some easing of restrictions
With the slight easing of restrictions in Regional Victoria over recent weeks we are able to undertake some of the activities that have been impossible throughout the COVID lockdown.
- Mr Lee is currently organising day excursions to Kings Billabong for his Outdoor Education classes so that they get the opportunity to bike ride, canoe and complete some orienteering.
- Our Prep orientation program has started with small groups of children and their parents meeting their teachers. In the coming weeks, groups of 8 children will complete a two hour orientation session with the Prep teachers.
- Full scale Year 6/7 transition is still not possible at this point in time, however our teachers are able to visit primary schools to meet and provide information to our 2021 Year 7 students. Mr Morgan and Mrs Carmes will be undertaking these visits in the coming two weeks.
- Plans are currently being developed for our Grade 6 and Year 10 Graduation dinners and ceremonies. New advice has just been received which enables us to run whole year level functions for students and staff. However, at this stage of restrictions there is still no scope for parental involvement in these functions. As more concrete plans are developed (and hopefully restrictions continue to be eased) we will keep parents updated as to the arrangements for Merbein P-10 students.
- Our professional learning day on November 2nd has been organised in line with current COVID restrictions and will enable staff to take part in a variety of quality sessions in small groups across the college.
Term 4 will continue to be a challenging time for schools, with a staggered return to face-to-face learning and the potential for continued disruptions (hopefully not). However, term 4 is also a critical time for the re-engagement of students, the re-establishment of school routines, and undertaking the steps necessary to prepare for and complete successful transitions into 2021.
This means refocusing our efforts on a set of common and core priorities: the most important things our school system must deliver over the remainder of this year and into 2021.
In every school’s 2021 Annual Implementation Plan there will be a specific 2021 Priorities Goal with three Key Improvement Strategies, one for each priority area. All schools will be required to complete planning against the three KIS related to the 2021 Priorities.
The three priority areas for 2021 at Merbein P-10 College are:
- Learning catch-up and extension: Some of our students have thrived in the remote and flexible learning environment, others have maintained their learning progress, and some have fallen behind, despite their best efforts and those of their families and teachers. We will support both those who need to catch up and those who have thrived to continue to extend their learning. Additionally, we will support those cohorts who were most affected by the lack of usual transitions and establishment practices in 2020 e.g. 2021 preps and Year 1s, Year 7s and Year 8s to ensure successful transitions through their schooling and beyond.
- Happy, active and healthy kids: We will make sure we look after our students’ mental health and enable every student to get back outdoors, get active and get creative. This means effectively mobilising available resources to support our students, especially the most vulnerable.
- Connected schools: We will build on the stronger connections that we have established with our families, carers and communities through 2020 to embed and spread improved ways of working to support our students.
Reminder - Student Free Days in Term 4
This year Merbein P-10 College council had allocated two student free days but unfortunately due to COVID-19 we have had to cancel our presenters and not proceed with the days. As a result the following new dates have been allocated for our student free days in Term 4.
- Monday November 2nd (the day before Melbourne Cup Day) – Staff will be undertaking professional learning in rotating groups on this day, focussing on literacy intervention, instructional model & the integration of technology within our teaching & learning programs.
- Thursday December 17 & 18th (final two days of the school year) – the focus of these days will be data analysis & 2021 organisation and planning.
Reminder - Road works in Channel Rd & Park St
Due to road works in Channel Road/Park Street access to the college will be impacted for several weeks. Parking and student drop off in Park Street should be avoided and buses will not be able to drop off and pick up from the normal bus stop in Park Street. Mr Morgan has informed students of the changes via Compass, and families should be aware that buses will be stopping on Commercial Street in the morning and afternoon until the road works are completed. Unfortunately this work was planned for September but was delayed, so at this stage it will impact the college until around mid-November. Please remember that U Turns should not be carried out at the front of the school in Commercial Street, as this increases the chance of accidents and injury to students.
Public Holiday Reminder - Tuesday 3rd November
A reminder to families that next Tuesday 3rd November is a public holiday in Victoria for the Melbourne Cup. No students or staff will be onsite that day.
Reminder - Thunderstorm Asthma Season
Grass pollen season occurs between October and December. Parents are reminded of an increased risk of seasonal asthma, hay fever and epidemic thunderstorm asthma during this time.
Epidemic thunderstorm asthma events are triggered by an uncommon combination of high grass pollen levels and a certain type of thunderstorm, resulting in large numbers of people developing asthma symptoms over a short period of time.
People with a history of asthma, undiagnosed asthma or hay fever are at an increased risk of epidemic thunderstorm asthma during this time. Having both hay fever and asthma that are poorly managed increases the risk further.
More than ever before, this year it’s important for staff and students to manage any hay fever or asthma symptoms, as these conditions can produce symptoms that are similar to coronavirus (COVID-19) such as runny nose, cough or shortness of breath.
Don’t assume symptoms are due to hay fever or asthma.
If your child is experiencing symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, and loss or change of sense of smell or taste, that are different in any way to their usual hay fever or asthma symptoms, they should self-isolate immediately and test for coronavirus (COVID-19).
The best way to reduce and prevent symptoms of asthma or hay fever and reduce unnecessary absences from school is to follow an up-to-date asthma action plan or hay fever treatment plan. Please ensure your child’s plan is up to date and a copy supplied to the college.