Dear Parents and Carers,
In my letter, written to all parents and carers last week, I indicated that we had received communication from the NSW Premier in relation to a proposed full-time return to school for all Government School children as of Monday, 25 May. After careful consideration, I also conveyed the news that Nowra Christian School planned to make all necessary arrangements for the return of all of our students on this same date. In many ways, this development could be seen as the final phase in a staged transition back to school that commenced during the first week of this term.
Since my last letter, a further week has passed and I am pleased to report that the transition back to full-time on-site learning for all NCS students has occurred in a very smooth manner. Today is the third day that we have had all students back on-site. As I am writing this letter, I can hear the excited voices of students enjoying the company of their friends during our lunch break. I am sure that we will all agree that this is how schools are meant to be and I trust that this is a further sign that our wider community is returning to how it used to be before COVID-19 entered our vocabulary.
The purpose of this letter is essentially to provide you with this encouraging update in relation to the successful return to school of all of our students and to also share a few important reminders with you regarding key health and safety aspects where we all have an important role to play.
In previous letters, I have included the following key dot-points that I will again share as they outline the essential health and safety guidelines that all schools are emphasising:
Wash hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water;
Hand sanitiser dispensers are available in all classrooms to be supervised by staff;
Keep children at home if they are unwell and do not return to school until fully recovered;
Unless expressly invited by a staff member, parents and carers are asked to refrain from entering the school grounds (apart from the office, car park and student drop-off and pick-up areas);
When driving your child to school, please aim to deliver them safely using the ‘Kiss and Drop’ area;
Avoid engaging in conversations with other parents and carers in the car park or other areas;
If you need to physically accompany your child beyond the car park, please obey all signage that indicates where you are able to go;
If you have any questions, or have items that you need to pick up or deliver, please go to the office but maintain appropriate physical distancing arrangements as indicated by the signage provided;
Unfortunately, there will be no capacity to utilise the services of parent/carer classroom helpers throughout Term 2.
Along with other members of staff, I have had the opportunity to meet and greet students, parents and carers on most mornings (and some afternoons) during the past few weeks. I have been greatly encouraged to catch up with you all again, even if briefly as you have delivered your children before punctually departing. Your cooperation with our health and safety requests during this transition time has been greatly appreciated. However, there are two specific areas that I would wish to again draw to your attention and to further reinforce their importance at this time.
The first relates to safety in the carpark area. Wherever possible, we continue to encourage you to use the ‘Kiss and Drop’ Zone when you are delivering your children to school in the morning. During the afternoon pick-up time, or in the morning, if the ‘Kiss and Drop’ Zone is fully utilised when you arrive, there are some key safety measures that must be adhered to. If you are parked in the carpark area, we request that you exit your car with your children and supervise them at all times as they prepare to leave the carpark area to access the school buildings. Please ensure that you cross the driveway with your children, when it is safe to do so, holding the hands of younger children if possible. Vehicular traffic can be quite busy at this time and we do not want the safety of your children to be compromised should they attempt to cross the driveway unaccompanied by an adult.
My second request relates to pick-up arrangements, especially for our Primary students at the conclusion of the school day. We are aware that this can be a particularly busy time for approximately 15 minutes as parents arrive and walk to the student pick-up area as you await the delivery of your children. Please ensure whilst waiting that you maintain recommended physical distancing arrangements from other parents and carers. Our staff will aim to deliver your children to you as promptly as possible and, once you have collected them, we would request that you immediately accompany them back to your vehicle before departing. It is also most important that you arrive on time to pick up your children (please, no later than 3pm).
We all look forward to the time, hopefully in the not-too-distant future, when, once again, we can spend extended time together, conversing with other members of our school ‘family’. As stated on previous occasions, we are a relational school and ‘community’ is one of our three key school values. However, at this particular time, the most valuable commitment that we can each make to our NCS community is to ensure that we adhere to the health and safety arrangements that have been put in place for the protection and wellbeing of each one of us.
Thanking you, in anticipation of your continuing support and understanding.
Mr Rob Bray