Bethany Christian School

Medical Alerts COVID-19

01 APRIL 2020 - COVID-19 - PRINCIPAL MEMO

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

Thank you for the way that you are already supporting your children to learn through this ever-changing time. This Friday 3rd April, is our last day for Term 1. Teachers will be working on preparing online learning for Term 2 next week and so we recommend that you keep your children home. If you are an essential worker, OSHC is available.

We are preparing for Term 2 and at this stage the Government advice continues to be that schools should be open for essential workers only for next term. If you are able to keep your children at home, please do so to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. At this time, some of you are required to keep working and so Bethany Christian School is preparing a number of contingencies to support essential worker families. This means that as of Monday 27th April, there will be no Pupil Free day and we will move to all students working from home with the full version of the Flexible Online Learning platform. 

Those few essential workers who require all adults in the home to be at work and do not have other options for supervision of young children, will need to notify us which days they require their child to attend school for Term 2. The social distancing advice includes keeping as many people home as possible during this time and so we ask you to consider how you can keep your children learning at home in Term 2.

Please click on the short survey below if you will be required to continue working and have no other means of caring for your children, indicating their year level, and, which days of the week this would include. We thank you for your help with this matter. Staff from our school will begin making phone calls in the coming weeks to check up on how learning at home is going and so do not be surprised if you receive a phone call. We really care about you and your family and we want to be connected with each other. 

The Flexible Online Learning platform has a year level support email button and this is the best place for you to ask questions and receive guidance for learning. From Term 2 we will have this help desk supervised to make sure that questions are answered in a timely manner. We will continue to explore how we can work together even when we are not in the same physical place and will refine and develop our learning platform using your feedback. Our students have been learning how to give feedback using the statements “I like… I wish… and, Even better if….”  You may find this language helpful in talking with your child about their learning too.

I really do want to say that you are doing an amazing job. We were all unprepared for the massive changes happening in our world and yet we are showing great resilience as we continue to adjust to these daily changes. Our world will be a better place as we keep flexible, adaptable and keep learning together.   We pray that your household will experience a peace that surpasses understanding and I also pray that you will know God’s provision and blessing on your family situation at this time.

Kind regards,

Wendy Matear

Essential Workers Student Care Survey


Flexible Online Learning Memo

Dear Parents and Care givers,

As you are aware the changes to our world poses new challenges to solve. At Bethany Christian School we have been working hard on a platform that will help our students to continue their learning journey, whilst supporting families to navigate these times.

If your family chooses to keep your children home in Week 9 we ask that you use the online platform. Links will be sent to you upon its completion via your Bethany app and email. Week 9 is a trial of this platform and we would appreciate any feedback about the platform so we can make future changes. It will not be fully populated until Term 2. During this week educators will provide you with a simplified school day which will include literacy, numeracy and a time slot we are calling brilliance (which includes an opportunity for students to operate in their interests, gifts and talents independently). We will begin with a Monday and Tuesday timetable followed by a check in point. This will help us to know that everything is operating well and also how your child is feeling about their learning.

At this stage schools have not been given information regarding closures in Term 2, however, given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are preparing to use our Flexible Learning Online platform. During the Pupil Free days in Week 10, teachers will be spending time putting lessons into this platform and so it will be fully available in Term 2.

Even though students are learning from home, the Government will expect that we will take an attendance roll daily. We are currently exploring options of how to do this effectively. From the results of the Flexible Learning Survey it is clear that the vast majority of families are able to participate in an online option for flexible learning. If you are unable to use an online platform printed provisions can be made on an individual basis.

Year level teams will be working together to provide the curriculum for your children. If you have any learning issues please communicate with them via year level learning support button inside the Flexible Online Learning platform and an educator will assist you as soon as they can. Please remember that at this time, we will continue to be open for students who need to attend school and so, we appreciate your patience in our transition to this new way of learning.

Here is a list of things that you may like to consider as you begin to explore flexible learning at home;

  • develop a daily routine for your children. 
  • Set up a space for children to use which is free from distractions.
  • Establish healthy eating, drinking water, hygiene and sleeping habits as well as scheduling regular exercise and movement.
  • Support your children to maintain contact with family and friends with adult supervision.
  • Be understanding and patient as we navigate this new way of doing the learning journey together.

Advice to support parents in establishing the above information can be found in the Learning at Home Parent pack which will be on the Flexible Online Learning Platform.

Kind Regards,

Melissa Taylor

Curriculum and Coaching Coordinator

Flexible Online Learning Week 9 Trial

Our Week 9 trial of the BCS Flexible Online Learning Website is now ready for testing. If you are keeping your children at home we ask that you work through this weeks learning with them and provide feedback. This is a very new concept for our students. Your child may be able to complete the online content themselves but we would ask you to check in with them regularly and see how they are going and encourge them in what is a new way to learn.

You will have access to lessons on Monday and Tuesday and then the rest of the week will be made available during the week. Please complete the check ins to share feedback with us.

Thank you for partnering with us to make online learning successful for your children. 

Click here to access the Week 9 Flexible Online Learning Trial


27 MARCH 2020 - COVID-19 - BURSAR'S VIDEO MESSAGE

HARDSHIP APPLICATION COVID-19 SUPPORT FORM

If you are experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic please fill out and return the attached form to Dean Huntley. dhuntley@bethany.sa.edu.au

Other support:

https://www.capaust.org

https://beyondblue.org.au

Access to our school counsellor can be arranged through our front office. 8283 0000

 


26 MARCH 2020 COVID-19 Memo

Dear Parents/caregivers,

First of all I want to thank you for your ongoing diligence in following our advice along with the social distancing measures that you are able to put in place with your family. As an essential service, we are very aware of those who need to keep working and we thank you for your service. We also want to acknowledge our awareness of the extreme difficulties many of our families are facing due to job loss or the significant cutting of shifts. We are very sorry that this is happening to you and will do our best to pull together as a community in these challenging times. Our Bursar, Dean Huntley will address these families in particular in the coming days.

We would also like to thank you for the excellent response to our IT survey sent home on Tuesday. If you have not replied, please check your Bethany app to complete it (Click to complete survey). We are already using this information to shape the flexible learning that we are preparing. We do understand that as parents choose to keep their children at home, that you are looking for continuing school work. There are some resources available for students to access from our teachers as well as a range of other sources that can be helpful temporarily. Next week we will be running a trial of our Flexible Online Learning platform with students already working from home. This will help us test and get feedback before staff complete training and prepare for a flexible learning program.

We continue to find ways to keep students distanced and reduce opportunities for interactions  across year levels.  We have increased our cleaning throughout the day of high touch areas like door handles. With this in mind, we have decided to postpone our Cross Country event this Friday.

Parents please do not come on site unless absolutely necessary.  We ask that you drop off your children rather than walking in to the school to their classrooms. 

The upcoming parent interviews will be cancelled. Our teachers are working very hard and are showing a huge amount of flexibility.  They are ensuring that our students are staying healthy and safe while learning.

Students will finish this term on Friday 3rdApril at 3:10pm. During the following week, school staff will continue to work in order to ensure that our new flexible learning system will be ready to go for Term 2. Camp Australia OSHC will be open for those children of parents in essential services, please book them in as you usually would for Pupil Free days.

Next week, we will have a trial week of our flexible learning program available for families to test and give feedback. It will be a portion of what we will run next term and will give us the opportunity to be fully prepared for students to engage in learning from home.

We reminded students this week that our choices are the little things that will make a difference. It is the washing of hands, the social distancing, limiting our days to home and school rather than being out and about, and staying home if anyone is sick. We are all looking after the health of everyone in the community when we look after ourselves. 

Thank you for your incredible support for us as we work with you and thank you for your patience as we work as quickly as we can to prepare for the changing times we find ourselves in. One of the books I am reading is titled, “An Education Crisis is a Terrible Thing to Waste”. It includes some of our work with Professor Yong Zhao and I think it is timely as we find ways to use this forced change to our lives to bring about genuine innovation and new ways to think about what really matters.

May you experience God’s peace that is beyond our understanding but is real and available wherever you find yourself.

Wendy Matear

23 MARCH 2020 COVID-19 Memo

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

Thank you for the calm way you have been working with us to ensure the wellbeing of our school community. We will continue to share information with you and attempt to keep you as up to date as possible. Please set up the Bethany Christian School App to receive the latest updates. We are following the government and health guidelines given to us and so we will continue to remain open for the time. Our teachers and support staff are working hard to provide excellent learning opportunities at school while maintaining distance, good hand washing and cleaning practices as well as keeping a calm and positive attitude.

This week the Prime Minister announced that families can choose to keep their own children home with the understanding that those parents must care for their children. This includes taking responsibility to ensure they are not going out into the community causing more risk for themselves and others. Please notify the school if you decide to take this option. 

While schools remain open, the core business of teaching at school is our primary focus. We will be planning with teachers how to provide some of the classwork that can be completed without a teacher’s support at home, this will be distributed via parent email. We are asking that parents not come in to school to collect work. This may require some patience as teachers continue to teach a full load at school as well as prepare for these absences. 

We are also asking that parents/caregivers are only coming into the classroom with students who are unable to settle themselves. Teachers will meet the children outside the room in order to minimise the number of people in each classroom. We understand that these changes are quite challenging and really appreciate your support.

As of Monday 23rd March we have cancelled or postponed all external providers attending Bethany Christian School. This includes assessments, speech therapy, occupational therapy, Autism SA, psychology, instrumental music lessons and others who would normal travel to other schools and visit our students. We have asked those providers to contact you to make arrangements individually if you are someone who will be impacted by these changes. 

We continue to work on how we will provide flexible learning options if there is a need to close our site in the future and we will keep you informed.

With these changing days I pray that you find peace and comfort knowing that God really is in control and that together we will weather this storm. We really do thank you for aiding us in creating a safer environment for all children, and thank you for your cooperation.

Kind regards

Wendy

18 MARCH 2020 - COVID-19 - PRINICPAL'S VIDEO MESSAGE

18 MARCH 2020  COVID-19 School Management

Dear Parents/caregivers,

In these changing times we are staying updated with the latest SA Health information and also assessing the risk for each school activity to ensure that student to student contact is kept to a minimum and also that school is a safe place to keep learning. I have included a list of the changes we are making at this time and will keep you updated as things change.

MMP and whole school gatherings are cancelled until further notice. 

  • Chapel will be held in year level groups or smaller in larger spaces, or even outside, and will be held for shorter times.
  • Swimming lessons, Year 4 excursion, Year 6 camp are cancelled or postponed.
  • Cross country will go ahead for students but we ask that no visitors attend the event.
  • Parent teacher interviews - we have begun trialling an alternative using a video conference app to reduce contact.
  • SACSA and SAPSASA have cancelled some events and we will continue to update you as these are rolled out.  We will cancel any additional sporting tryouts that require a large group of students to meet together that would not normally be in class together.
  • Choir will be cancelled at this time.

We will continue to bring updates as we move into Term 2 in accordance with the advice from SA Health. School closures are unlikely as it was found that in China there was very little contraction of the virus within schools.

We continue to remind the school community that good hygiene practices must be followed. Please ensure that you follow all government advice if you are returning from overseas or have been in contact with those who have the virus to self-isolate to reduce the possibility of its spread.

We will continue to teach children different safe ways to greet each other, remind them that touching is not helpful and that coughing needs to be covered with the crook of their elbow. 

Increased use of hand sanitizer and hand washing practices will continue to be followed.

We also have our Care Room staff following the medical advice, overseen by our Registered Nurse. We will contact parents if a child needs to be tested for COVID-19. We will isolate them from other students and provide a mask if they have a fever while they wait to be collected.  We will follow the advice of SA Health to ensure that students stay away from school if they are unwell.  We will continue to update you as more information comes to light and further changes need to occur.

Our greatest focus is on providing a safe learning environment for our community and ensuring that we are up to date and ready to act.

Thank you for your trust.

Wendy Matear

Phillipians 4: 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 


16 MARCH 2020 - COVID-19 UPDATE from the Principal

Dear Parents and Carers,

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – New Government Measures

The Prime Minister announced Sunday afternoon, following a meeting with all Premiers and Chief Ministers, that all those arriving from overseas from midnight on 15 March will be required to self-isolate for two weeks. These measures expand on those previously in place only in relation to certain countries advised to you previously.

Updated information on travel restrictions and isolation requirements are available on the Australian Government’s website here - https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert.

We continue to expect that all parents and carers within the School community will ensure that they are aware of and comply with these Government requirements including self-isolation after any overseas travel or contact with others who have travelled.

Isolation is also required for those who have had contact with somebody with COVID-19. A contact is spending more than 15 minutes face-to-face with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or sharing a closed space for more than 2 hours with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. This includes having this type of contact with the person 24 hours before they became ill. (See symptom checker tool at https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/coronavirus).

School closures were considered by the recent meeting but, at this stage, not considered to be prudent. The Government has advised, however, in the light of the development of the outbreak, that organised, non-essential gatherings should be limited to 500 people.

As a School leadership we have taken the view that it is appropriate, in the light of this revised guidance, to minimise larger gatherings within the School community. This includes cancelling Monday Morning Praise and any whole school gatherings. 

We have also decided to cancel the Autumn Fair due to the risk of bringing together large groups of people that we do not know.

We will continue to monitor events and follow advice to reduce the risk of infection through good hygiene practices and wisdom in managing activities.

We will continue to keep you updated if there are significant changes or new developments, but do encourage all parents and carers to remain personally informed themselves of the latest Government advice.

Yours sincerely,

Wendy Matear


13 Mar 2020 - Medical Alert - Covid-19

The following Letter has been issued to the Schools in South Australia by the Minister of Education on the Topic of COVID-19. Please read the content and follow the advice given to help keep our school and wider community safe.


3 FEBRUARY 2020 - MEDICAL ALERT

Dear parent/caregiver,

Public health officials have updated advice over the weekend regarding Novel Coronavirus.

We would like to underline the importance of following this advice and alert you to the new national information hotline 1800 020 080.

The updated advice from SA Health is effective from Saturday 1 February 2020:
· Children or staff who travelled to mainland China must isolate themselves in their home for 14 days after leaving mainland China if they left mainland China on or after 1 February 2020.
· Children or staff who have been in close contact with a confirmed case must isolate themselves in their homes for 14 days after last contact.
· Children or staff who have returned from Hubei Province, China must isolate themselves in their home for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province.
· Staff and students in these circumstances must not attend schools, preschools or early childhood centres and should not engage with other students.
Symptoms may include fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and sore throat. People with these symptoms who have travelled to China or have had close contact with a confirmed case should see a doctor or attend a hospital and call ahead so they can prepare.
We will keep you updated if new information becomes available.

Kind regards,
Bethany Christian School Administration

Please read the following PDF to ensure that Bethany Christian School's Students/Staff/parents and surrounding community are protected from the Corona Virus.