Voluntary self-isolation of students
A number of people are wrestling with the issue of what does it mean to have the right to ‘choose’ to send students to school in the current climate?
Here at MBC we are chatting with lots of people who are trying to make a good decision. What we encourage you to consider is what is best for your particular context. Some families have really good reasons to self-isolate due to health issues within the family or contact with people who have travelled recently. For some people it is concerns about proximity with others and what is going on in the broader community.
For some it is the need to keep continuity of daily learning for their child as they are essential workers who cannot be at home, or they know their child needs to be around others in order to work, or to maintain good mental health.
Whichever category you may fall into, we support you in your decision. For every MBC family this is an individual decision that you are making in the interests of your family.
As the media release stated, school will be open until the end of term – you are welcome to choose to be on site or working from home, as fits your particular context.
Please note: In accordance with our Protective Behaviours policies, we cannot allow parents/siblings to have unaccompanied access to the College during the school day. If you or your child are planning on visiting the College to collect resources, please call ahead with sufficient notice so we can collect the items for you and have them ready for pick up at the Admin office. Students will not be allowed to visit classes or pick up items if they are remote learning and must follow the same attendance guidelines.
Statement on schools
All leaders agreed that children should go to school tomorrow. Leaders agreed that we cannot see children lose an entire year of their education as a result of school closures caused by COVID-19.
Leaders committed to the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) advice that says that it is safe to keep schools open.
Leaders also thanked all teachers and school staff for their support.
State Premiers and Chief Ministers agreed that schools will remain open through to the end of the current school terms to support students whose parents choose to send their children to school. Victoria’s school break will commence on Tuesday 24 March 2020.
All Leaders have committed to re-open schools at the end of the school break, subject to the advice of the Australian Health Principal Protection Committee.
If parents choose to keep their children home from school, parents must be responsible for the conduct of the children and to ensure they adhere to the social distancing arrangements in place. Parents must be aware that while the majority of adults who contract COVID-19 have mild forms of the virus, the elderly or those with co-morbidities can have more significant symptoms.
Schools will be encouraged to provide access to online and distance learning.
We understand that in many regards this is a time of great uncertainty for families. As a valued part of our College community we would like you to know that there are options available to financially support you during this time:
- Pause in fee payments: We know this is a time where many families may have their income affected. Should it be needed, MBC families can request a fee pause for Term 2. In that situation, finance staff will not contact nominating families during Term 2, effectively extending fee payments for 3 months until end of February 2021. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a fee pause or if you have any further queries regarding this option.
- Edstart: Edstart provides families at Mandurah Baptist College with two options to help you spread large up-front school fees into more manageable payments. https://feature-tr-540-mandurah-landing-page.edstart.com.au/mbc
Supporting Local Businesses
B2ME is a free online business directory affiliated with the College where you can find local businesses, owned by College families, to support. If you have a small business and you haven’t already done so, please sign up to B2ME as a way to promote your business within our College community. Please register as a member under the ‘MBC’ network as this will allow you to access other businesses linked to MBC.
Here are a few steps to get you started:
Step 1: Visit https://b2me.com.au
Step 2: Click on ‘Free sign Up’ located at the top right of the page
Step 3: Sign up using one of the social buttons or alternatively with your email
Step 4: Select either provider (provider of a service) or user (service seeker)
Step 5: Follow the prompts to complete your profile
Step 6: When asked to enter an affiliation, search for Mandurah Baptist College, go to the page and click on the blue button that says ‘Join this Community’. You will then be notified by the page administrator when you are accepted.
Step 7: Return to your personal page and build your network by inviting anyone you know to join B2Me via the options provided.
You can also find the link to our Mandurah Baptist College B2Me page via the ‘Parent Portal’ page on our website.
Primary School Continuity of Learning Plan – for At Home Learning
Mandurah Baptist College continues to remain open for all students, and staff are continuing to deliver our education programs as per usual. The College is also continuing to prepare for a move to remote learning, if the Federal or State government directs schools to do so. Whilst this is yet to occur, there are currently a number of families who have decided to keep their children at home, away from school.
At Home Learning
If your child is currently not attending school, or if the College is directed to move to remote learning, MBC Primary School teachers will provide information and resources to families for the continuation of their learning from home (At Home Learning).
This information will be communicated directly to parents/guardians via email or via Storypark (K-2). However, in order to allow time for teachers to prepare these At Home Learning activities and resources, please inform the College in advance if you are planning on keeping your child at home. Once the College is aware of your decision, an At Home Learning program will be provided for the following school day and thereafter.
For those choosing to use our At Home Learning program, parents/guardians will receive a daily email from your child’s teacher or a Storypark post (K-2 only) which will include:
- An outline of work for the day
- Any related resources (e.g. Links to videos, worksheets to be completed, spelling words to practice).
If parents have any questions about the learning plans and activities sent home, please email your child’s teacher, but be aware that a response may not be given immediately as teachers are still running their regular classroom teaching programs for those children who are still attending school.
Students’ School Books
If families would like to collect their child’s school books from the College, they are welcome to do so before or after school, but again, please let your child’s teacher know if you would like to do this so they can be prepared for you to pick up.
Rob Gratton and Tracy Holmes
Principals – Mandurah Baptist College