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Coronavirus Update – (COVID-19) Thur 26 March 2020

Dear Parent/carer

We hope you are all well and managing the unfolding situation as best as you can. Our thoughts are with all members of our school community right now, and we appreciate all parents who have taken the time to thank our teachers and acknowledge their hard work. You might have read or watched todays press conference recently outlining the next steps in the provision of education across Western Australia. Here is a script from this conference spoken by the Premier of our State, the Hon. Mark McGowan;

I know the situation around our public schools has been causing angst for parents, teachers, staff and students. I understand that it may be confusing, but we’ve kept them open, consistent with the best medical advice at hand through the National Cabinet process. Today, as the pandemic situation moves forward, we move to the next step. ..Firstly, from Monday, March 30, we will now encourage parents to keep children at home if they can, and access the online learning resources we have made available. However, all children who do attend public schools will continue to be taught. Where parents need children to attend school to enable them to maintain employment, and for those children in vulnerable families, like children living with grandparents, they are encouraged to continue to attend school. Public schools will remain open from Monday, March 30 to Friday, April 3. In addition, formal classes will now finish at the end of Friday, April 3, one week earlier than planned. Teachers and education assistants will now use this time to plan and prepare for a new way of teaching from the start of Term 2, with work continuing through the school holidays. However, arrangements will be in place in schools to supervise children who need to attend school on the last four days prior to Easter, where parents require it to maintain their employment, or due to a personal situation. It is crucial for us to strike the right balance between keeping the community safe, allowing essential services to continue and provide a quality education to our students in this difficult time. I want to reassure parents that our schools are well prepared to continue to provide education for their children. Thank you to the parents and carers of Western Australian children for their understanding and support for school staff as we navigate our way together through this unprecedented situation. And thank you to our teachers, education assistants and all school staff for the essential work they do across our State. This is an incredibly difficult situation, thank you for your patience, and we will let you know about plans for Term 2 as soon as possible.

We would like to summarise this and outline the following actions at Fremantle College:

Monday 30 March – Friday 3 April (Week 9):

Students will be collapsed into year group classes and facilitated learning will occur online and with the support of teachers. Students are allowed to bring in their own device if they wish to trial these but will also have access to use our computers. Computer labs and keyboards etc will be cleaned regularly throughout the day. Students who are at school will be encouraged to use the Department of Education resource, Learning At Home (https://www.education.wa.edu.au/learning-at-home) as well as to refer to the resources and content specified on their class Connect pages. Staff are continuing to build these pages over Week 9. Students who are at home in self-isolation are also encouraged to use the Learning at Home website and Connect activities.

Monday 6 April – Thursday 9 April (Week 10):

School will be closed for Pupil-free School Development Days. This allows staff to develop formal and comprehensive Distance Learning platforms for Term 2. If you require supervision for your child due to your personal situation or to maintain your employment, please indicate this through the survey link on our website. https://fremantlecollege.wa.edu.au/student-supervision-pupil-free-school-development-days/

As a staff we have committed that no formal assessment of all years will be undertaken in the next two weeks. However, we are encouraging submissions and discussions to take place on Connect as part of our tasks for week 9 and 10, so that we may observe the progress and check the understanding of our students. Formal assessments will be developed to commence in an online environment in Term 2 for all years.

Further Information:

• It is requested that parents are up to date with their contact details and have now notified reception if these have changed. Important information will be sent home regularly.

• A Parent guide to Distance Learning will be sent home by the end of next week, and students will also have access to a Student Guide to Distance Learning.

• Students will continue to be supported in their mental health and wellbeing, and monitored academically by Student Services staff. This may include regular parent conversations and/or Webex appointments. Please email your child’s Year Coordinator if you have queries and concerns.

• A preliminary audit of home access to device and internet will be conducted next week and we ask that you look out for this SMS and respond promptly. We are currently exploring how we might support students who do not have access to these resources and will communicate this in the Parent guide to Distance Learning.

• For the remainder of Term 2, please email Ian.daglish@education.wa.edu.au if you require technical support at home.

• Please be notified that as we have reduced student numbers the canteen will be open at recess only as of Monday 30 March. Thanks for your support at this time…stay well and stay in touch as a community. Regards


Emma Walker

Associate Principal