Update 19/5/20 – Returning to School


Dear Parent, Guardians and Families,

As stated by the Department of Education and Training (DET), students will return to school on Tuesday 26th May. We are very much looking forward to welcoming our students and staff back and all preparations are being made to ensure a smooth transition back to onsite learning and working. As you will appreciate, these are unprecedented times and the information below is based on guidance and advice from the DET, the Chief Health Officer and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). It is subject to change as the information around the pandemic changes.

At all times, Sunshine Special Developmental School will implement strategies aligned with guidance to ensure our practices comply with advice to support the health and safety of our school and broader community.

To support the students, transition back to school, we have uploaded social stories and a calendar.

There are some key changes to the operations of the school as we implement this advice, all changes are outlined below.

The key dates for Term 2 are as follows:

Monday 25th May – Curriculum Day – Student free for staff to return to school and make necessary preparations. NO school for students

Tuesday 26th May – All Students commence school

Friday 5th June – Curriculum Day (Report Writing) NO school for students

Monday 8th June – Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday – NO school for students or staff

Changes to Procedures and Practices

Whilst students are returning to school, the pandemic is not over. Changes have been made to the way things happen at school and they will remain for the rest of the term or until further advice is received. These changes are in line with the DET guidance on social/physical distancing for adults, Covid19 Management Plans and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) advice. The changes are outlined below;

Learning onsite

As we welcome students back to onsite learning there will be a focus on reestablishing routines new and old. To support the transition back to school, staff will be making connections between the Learning at Home and Seesaw activities to learning at school. In accordance with DET guidance, we will be maintaining where practical, physical distancing and minimizing the use of shared equipment. Outside spaces will be open and accessed by students. Learning at school will look different for us all as we work within the guidance ensuing safety, health and wellbeing.

Student Hygiene Practices

Please support your child/ren to attend to thorough hand hygiene when at home and prior to arriving at school or getting on the school bus. Hand sanitiser will be applied throughout the day and your child will be supported to wash their hands.

Visitor Free Zones (including Parents/Guardians)

Unless providing an essential service, visitors (including contractors, service providers, parents/guardians and families) are not to access the school site (grounds or buildings). The front entrance will be locked, and a sign displayed with the phone numbers to contact the school.

Parent/Guardian Drop off/Pick up times

To support the implementation of physical distancing, minimising adults congregating on school grounds and as we cannot alter the bus schedule, we will be altering the drop off and pick up times for parents/guardians who transport their child/ren. The school grounds will be available for parents to drop their child/ren off from 9:30am – 9:40am and pick them up from school between 2:30pm – 2:40pm.

If you are here earlier or later than these designated pick up times you will be required to wait outside the school gates for further instruction from staff.

Primary Parents/Guardians drop off/pick up – Please park in the usual parent parking bays. You will be required to walk your child to the Primary Yard gate where a staff member will greet them. Staff will be present to direct you.

Secondary Parents/Guardians drop off/pick up – Please park on the bus asphalt area closest to the Secondary yard. You will be required to walk your child to the Secondary Yard gate where a staff member will greet them. Staff will be present to direct you.

Parents/Guardians and families are asked to adhere to physical distancing guidance and then leave immediately and not to congregate on the school grounds.

Student Early pick up due to an appointment

If you need to pick your children up earlier than the school finishing time or designated pick up time due to an appointment, phone the school on 9311 4804 and someone will bring your child/ren to the front car park.

Students Remaining at Home

Parents/Guardians, who decide not to send students back on their return date, must contact the school and notify us the reason for absence. There will be no remote learning provided to students who are kept home due to parent choice.

Sick Students

Due to the nature of the current pandemic, sick students will not be permitted to remain onsite. Any child who presents with cold or flu like symptoms or a temperature, will be sent home. Parents are to ensure there is someone available to pick the child up within one hour. Staff will wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE – gloves, suits, masks) when dealing with sick children. Please advise the school of two emergency contacts who are available and willing to collect your child if you are unable to be contacted.

Meal Considerations

We are asking families to provide their child/ren with:

  • Morning snack
  • Lunch
  • Water bottle – clearly labelled
  • All food stored in packaging and containers that can be used to heat and eat from

The school will only provide eating utensils and equipment individually prescribed by the Allied Health Team.

There will be no shared food, this includes birthday cakes.

Please ensure your child brings their morning tea and lunch in each day, popping in to drop food off during the day will be difficult to accommodate.

School Bus

We have been advised by the DET Transport Branch that the bus service will run as usual with previous pick up/drop off times remaining the same unless your address or details have changed.

The bus arrival and departure process will be changed to ensure we are implementing physical distancing requirements between staff/students, staff/parents, staff/staff


There will be no swimming, excursions or incursions.

Actions: What we need you to do now

By calling the school on 9311 4804 or by emailing the school at [email protected], please provide the names of 2 emergency contacts (not including parents/guardians) who are willing and available to collect your child should they be sick. You need to provide their name, relationship to child and contact number. Our CASES21 system will be changed to reflect these emergency contacts, unless you tell us otherwise.

Ensure you have a labelled water bottle and appropriate packaging/containers for your child/ren’s drinks and food.

We understand that these changes to school operations may cause inconvenience and are not ideal and we greatly appreciate your support in implementing these guidelines and maintaining the health and safety of our community.

We look forward to a time (soon we hope) when restrictions can ease, and we can return to a sense of normality.

Kind regards,


Nicole Edwardes