Wednesday 12th August 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians and Families,

We hope this finds you all safe and well. I would like to start by thanking the entire school community for your support of the Government’s efforts to minimize movement across the state and implementing Stage 4 restrictions, your patience and understanding as we have implemented the Department of Education and Training guidance in an endeavor to keep our community safe.

Despite the implementation of Learning at Home for Metropolitan Melbourne schools with limited numbers of students attending onsite at schools, this week two local schools, one special school and one secondary college were closed due to positive COVID cases.   The safest place for students, staff and families is home.

Yesterday we were commended by our Senior Education Improvement Leader, Charles Branciforte and highlighted as one of the few network schools who have managed to be COVID free so far. Again, this is not a time for complacency, and we must remain diligent in our protocols and practices we are still and will continue to be significantly concerned about the impact of COVID-19 should we have a positive case in our school.

We have transitioned seamlessly to teaching and learning using the Seesaw application with all staff building on the skills, knowledge, feedback and experiences from our last Learning at Home period to compliment this process. Staff have undertaken Seesaw professional learning particularly developing Seesaw activities and you may have noticed this as you support your children to engage in their learning on Seesaw. It has been so wonderful to see so many students engaged and uploading messages and photos/video of their work or participation.

We also completely understand that the current situation again creates many challenges and that Learning at Home for some is extremely difficult and we appreciate that many of you may be juggling working from home commitments, other children at home and limited access to outside opportunities given current restrictions. We want you to be kind to yourselves, do what you can when you can and if that is too difficult, it’s ok, health and safety is the priority.

Every Wednesday you will be receiving communication from the school, fortnightly this will be from myself, Tania (Assistant Principal) and Jo (Positive Climate for Learning Leader) and will have a focus on school news and health and wellbeing and the alternate week you will hear from Stacey and Holly (Learning Leaders) and Trish (Learning Specialist) with a focus on Learning at Home resources.

 

When Who Focus Where
Wednesday 12th August Nicole, Tania and Jo School News, Health and Wellbeing School Stream
Wednesday 9th August Holly, Stacey and Trish Learning at Home SeeSaw
Wednesday 26th August Nicole, Tania and Jo School News, Health and Wellbeing School Stream
Wednesday 2nd September Holly Stacey and Trish Learning at Home SeeSaw
Wednesday 9th September Nicole, Tania and Jo School News, Health and Wellbeing School Stream
Wednesday 16th September Holly Stacey and Trish Learning at Home SeeSaw

You can communicate daily with teachers through the SeeSaw application and we will be making phone calls to families starting next week.

A reminder that you can contact the school at any time via phone 9311 4804 or email [email protected]

National Disability and Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

We have had a number of discussions with families regarding the flexible use of NDIS core supports during COVID-19. Please read these key messages or follow this link for the full booklet https://www.ndis.gov.au/coronavirus/information-packs#victoria-information-for-families-and-carers-of-school-aged-ndis-participants

Support for families and carers

Families can use their NDIS plans flexibly to access support workers in their homes, particularly in instances where children with a disability can no longer attend education or other programs.

Participants and their families or carers are encouraged to purchase supports that best meet their disability related needs, using their existing NDIS budget.

NDIS funding can pay for services and supports including self-care, equipment and assistive technology and therapies, social participation and capacity building supports.

Example: while it is not the role of a support worker to provide education to a participant, your child may have funding for a support worker talk about:

  • providing in-home support
  • adjusting their hours to a more suitable time
  • supporting your child’s personal needs
  • provide support for daily tasks and capacity building activities
  • assisting with resources online.

Using NDIS funding during COVID-19

We encourage participants, their families and carers to talk to providers about the ways they can use the supports within their current plan. Participants who have support coordination in their plan can use their funding flexibly to purchase increased support coordination to find and access disability related services during this time.

Participants can now use their Core Supports budget across all four funding categories (with the exception of the periodic transport funding), without the need to have their plan reviewed.

Capacity Building Supports budget can help build your independence and skills to help you reach your long-term goals. Unlike your Core Supports budget, your Capacity Building Supports budget cannot be moved from one support category to another. Funding can only be used to purchase approved individual supports that fall within that Capacity Building Supports category.

Please let us know if we can support you in these discussions with your NDIS coordinators.

Our Condolences

Our school community has been impacted by the recent news of the untimely and unexpected passing of one of our parents. Our care, support and thoughts are with this family as they grieve the loss of a young vibrant life filled with light, smiles and such positivity. We are here for you always.

Principal’s Day

Despite students and staff learning and working from home, Tania and I were surprised and gifted with the most amazing video of students and staff sending messages of thanks and appreciation. This was a wonderful creative surprise, that we great appreciated and seeing our staff and students via video warmed our hearts, made us cry, laugh and smile!

Take care and stay safe.

Kind regards,

Nicole Edwardes

Principal