Principal’s Update – Week 3, Term 2, 2022

May 20, 2022 | principal's update, school info

Quick links to sections in this post:

Good News Story

Principal’s Update

COVID Update

Other Information

House mascots mural on the Canteen wall.


Good News Story

Canteen Week takes place from the 23rd to the 27th May. Our canteen is extremely well managed by Deonne and she is superbly assisted by Josie. They have been working hard to increase the profile of the canteen in the past 4 years and have been successful in greatly increasing the profitability of the service. This has been made possible through the introduction of Qkr! by Vicki when she took on the role of Business Manager in 2019. There have been a number of improvements and positives including:

  • The shift from being in debt at the end of 2018 to being able to afford a complete upgrade of the appliances, benchtops and cupboards in the canteen (with money left over).
  • The ability to employ Josie as a paid employee for one day a week.
  • The strategic planning and implementation of successful themed menu days.
  • Deonne and Josie’s passion for including the upper primary students in the canteen as helpers and monitors.
  • The mural that has made the canteen a more welcoming and connected environment.

Principal Update

Welcome to our Week 3 Term 2 Blog.

I thought that it was time to update you on some of the items raised in the Principal Q+A sessions held online in Term 1.

Road safety and the Dodd Avenue school crossing:

A big thank you goes to Christine Bennetts for contacting the Onkaparinga Council in regards to reinstating the school crossing on Dodd Avenue. Unfortunately, the response received was that as the school zone of 25km/h was retained they do not consider additional changes to the road environment warranted at this time.

Working Bee:

We had a working bee scheduled in Term 1 and, then due to restrictions, it was cancelled. It is certainly something that we would like to do to tidy up some areas, set up our composting etc. However, we will not be able to do this in Term 2.

We continue to wait for our massive plumbing job to happen which will make a mess of the yard. I think that we need to wait for this job to be completed so that our hard work is not undone.

Assemblies:

These have been hugely affected by the restrictions over the past 3 years. We had planned to have one in Week 3 (students and staff only) but with the high number of illness in the school, we have postponed until Week 6. It would be too risky to have all of the students in the one place at the moment. We are still holding Buddy Classes outside and that is only 2 class groups. We will hopefully be able to video our assemblies (when they happen) to share with families until they are able to join us in person.

School discos:

I am super hopeful that we will be able to hold one of these in 2022. However, we need to be guided by the restrictions placed upon us. The discos are a great opportunity for our students to socialise and show their best moves on the dance floor. Fingers crossed we can find a way for these to happen at Porties.

Community connections:

There was a concern raised that there had been an ‘us parents against you teachers and staff at the school’ feeling created. Now that families can come back onto the school grounds I am hopeful that this feeling has lessened. I have noted that there is still a positive ‘vibe’ to the school and have had some parent communication reinforcing that.

Unfortunately, the restrictions imposed upon us has meant that some people have been unable to be as involved in the school as they had been before.  This has not been out intent and our teachers and staff have followed the restrictions as directed. Our number 1 goal is to educate our students and we are not able to always meet the needs of the whole parent community. I hope that this information clarifies some of the concerns and thinking. We continue to find ways to work around the constant changes and updates that we are faced with.

Students from Room 10-1 reading to their peers

COVID Update

I noted the changes to the close contact rules in my last blog post. For me, they make it a little more challenging in the school environment particularly as we have had higher than usual numbers in the first two weeks of term. If a parent or sibling has COVID the other children can still attend school if they have no symptoms and return a negative RAT. Unfortunately, it takes a few days from contact to a positive result which means we have students  and/or staff members who are asymptomatic and/or contagious interacting with others.

This is just another complexity to work through and Amy and I are monitoring the daily cases and illness rates across the school, class by class, student by student. I never imagined that this would be a part of my job. I expect that most of you reading this feel the same about the changes to your lives and workplaces. It is still important that students who are unwell do not attend school. If they are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms they should have a PCR.

Other Information

NAPLAN assessments in Week 2 went well except for Wednesday when there was an internet outage across the schools that impacted on the Conventions of Language test. Our Year 3 students were most negatively impacted and the Year 5 students were able to complete their test on the Friday.

This week I am holding make up test sessions for those students who were absent last week. The students have been wonderful across the 2 weeks and have showed flexibility and we have had little anxiety and no refusals. This shows the willingness of our students to have a go.

Thanks for all you do to support the students and staff to make a difference.

Take care,
Marie


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