Hello Hamlyn Views Families,

I have created this document with audio to answer some questions our families have had regarding the staggered start and finish times and processes we have put in place to ensure our community including students, families and staff are safe as we transition back to face to face learning.

Some important things for families to know:

  • Our number one priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and families as we transition back to onsite learning. It is important to remember that the advice that schools are safe places relies on schools following very specific guidance to keep the schools safe including significantly increased cleaning, distancing requirements for staff and parents and regular hygiene practices for our students throughout the day.
  • On 26th May all special schools are returning in full, we do not have a staged transition like mainstream primary and secondary schools. This means that all of our students will be back onsite from the very first day. It also means that there is no opportunity for us to trial processes with smaller cohorts of students and to adjust our transition for a larger group once we have seen how it works with a smaller group of students onsite. Our intention is to follow the process outlined in yesterday’s letter until 5th June and reassess during the first two weeks to determine how quickly we can move through the drop off and pick up processes and adjust the times if we can make the process move more efficiently.
  • Temperature checks are being conducted as a precautionary measure to protect our most medically vulnerable students and staff. All staff will check and record their temperature upon arrival to work each day and students will be checked upon arrival. Temperature checks will be conducted with a non contact thermometer and each reading generally takes less than 5 seconds to complete. The best way to keep our students safe and healthy is to ensure that no-one attends school if they are unwell. Recording temperatures in the morning allows us to identify if a student needs to go home immediately and helps us to create a baseline if a student appears to become unwell throughout the day. As a community we are all responsible for protecting the health of our most medically vulnerable students.
  • Our school context is different to a mainstream school. In our setting all of the children that are dropped off are accompanied by an adult and we are required to ensure all adults dropping off are socially distanced within the school grounds. By spacing out drop off times no group should need to spend lengthy amounts of time waiting in a queue. Site access is restricted and therefore parents cannot enter the school building unless there are exceptional circumstances. In a mainstream setting it is reasonable to assume that a vast majority of students are able to independently walk from the car to their classroom and this may make drop off organisation easier and quicker in those settings. We are required to have staff available to support these processes including managing students arriving off 3 buses and a number of families that currently no longer wish to access bus services in light of COVID-19. The current staggered arrangements will allow us to ensure we have adequate staff and supervision at each point during this first two weeks of transition.
  • A COVID-19 School policy is currently being developed and a visual graphic is being created to support families and the broader community to understand our new processes and how we aim to keep the community safe. Once this is completed it will be shared with the school community via seesaw.
  • If you feel there is an exceptional reason that you cannot drop off or collect your child at your allocated time, you will need to contact me to discuss this and alternate arrangements will be made on a case by case basis.

We are looking forward to having all of our student back in the classroom next week and thank you for your understanding and patience as we work to establish COVID safe processes for our school community.