As the first day of school nears, parents are asking: “What it look like with COVID?” HERE’S WHAT SCHOOLS ARE DOING
As the first day of school nears, parents are asking: “What it look like with COVID?” HERE’S WHAT SCHOOLS ARE DOING

Everything you need to know before school starts

As the bustle ahead of the first day of school picks up pace up, there is one question parents are most keen to ask - what will day one actually look like?

COVID-19 precautions across the state - which heavily impacted Queensland schools last year - have left parents wondering what special procedures they might need to follow as they drop their little ones off for the day, and if they can come onto school grounds at all.

A spokeswoman from the Department of Education said the under the new "COVID normal" rules parents and carers would be welcome on state school sites - but each school was able to put its own rules in place.

Nate Pizzoni is a new prep student for 2021. Thursday January 21, 2021. Picture: Renae Droop
Nate Pizzoni is a new prep student for 2021. Thursday January 21, 2021. Picture: Renae Droop

"The first days of the school year are significant and meaningful ones for students," the spokeswoman said.

"Giving parents and carers the opportunity to share this special time with their children sets the foundation for a long and positive engagement with their education and the school community.

"While all schools are different and each will have their own plans in place for the return to school this year, they will all be warmly welcoming parents."

Parents and carers are encouraged to check the school's social media platforms, websites and newsletters for the most up to date arrangements for the first day back at school.

"Visitors other than parents will need to adhere to COVID school visitor and sign-in arrangements and COVID-safe health practices, such as maintaining physical distance between adults, not exceeding occupant density limits for rooms, and staying home if sick, apply to all adults in schools," the spokeswoman said.

The advice was certainly varied from schools across Greater Brisbane, with some parents being ushered to classrooms by school staff and others asked to remain off site after week one.

 

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Isobel McLaughlin is a new prep student for 2021. Thursday January 21, 2021. Picture: Renae Droop
Isobel McLaughlin is a new prep student for 2021. Thursday January 21, 2021. Picture: Renae Droop

 

 

Wishart State School prep mum Carolyn McLaughlin said her daughter, five-year-old Isobel, was a confident child and she was ready to say goodbye to her at the gates without walking her in if need be.

"I'm excited for her and think she will love all the opportunities that school will offer her," she said.

Meanwhile, Tina Pizzoni, mum of five-year-old prep student Nate, who will be attending Rochedale's St Peters Catholic Primary School, said she'd prefer to be able to walk her little one to class.

"I would love to walk him into class but it is what it is and he is so ready for it and that is what is important."

Redlands College principal Andrew Johnson said his school's drop-off policy included designated locations for children to meet.

"All families have received a letter to advise them of the specific arrangements for the first day back," Mr Johnson said.

He said parents of junior school students could drop-off students at either the front of the College or at the Junior School covered area and could collect their children from the Junior School covered area.

"Middle School parents can accompany students to the Middle School covered area to drop-off, or drop-off and pick-up students from the front of the College," he said.

"Senior School parents can drop-off and pick-up students from the front of the College".

Ormiston State School said they would welcome parents back onto school grounds with their children from the first day however only parents of prep and Year 1 students were invited inside classrooms and only one, mask-wearing, parent per child was preferable.

 

 

 

Parents at Redlands College will be able to drop of junior school students at a designated area. Pic Jono Searle.
Parents at Redlands College will be able to drop of junior school students at a designated area. Pic Jono Searle.

 

 

In Brisbane's north, prep families at Wavell Heights State School were invited to bring their child into their classroom during week one and for parents to wear a mask while indoors.

"Use your personal judgment if the classroom is busy. Once your child is settled, please exit the room so other parents can enter with their prep students," the school requested.

However from week two on, no parents were allowed on site.

Kippa-Ring State School will allow parents inside the classroom today from 1.30-2.30pm for books and stationary drop-offs however the limit of parents inside the room at any one time was five, and all were asked to wear a mask.

"We will return to the restrictions of gate drop off and pick up day one," the school told parents.

However prep parents were asked to bring their children to an undercover area at the school on day one before they were accompanied by staff in groups of five to classrooms to deliver their children.

"On day two we will go back to gate drop off at 8:15am so please explain that this will happen every day and your teachers will be in Area B waiting."

 

Originally published as Everything you need to know before school starts


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