Principal Report

7th October Welcome to Term 4.

Dear Students, Parents & Carers,

On behalf of our school, I want to say a big thank you to all our students, parents and carers for your continued resilience and support during Term 3. I know flexible and remote learning has not always been easy, but through our collective efforts, our students have continued to make valuable progress in their learning. 

Term 4 is important for every Victorian student, and our teachers will strive to deliver high-quality learning for everyone. Whether we’re teaching remotely or face-to-face, our focus for Term 4 is on making sure that every student is supported in their wellbeing, learning and transition needs.

The Victorian Government has outlined the staged return to on-site schooling as part of its gradual roadmap towards reopening. 

Term 4 on site schooling arrangements for students

Subject to the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has released a staged approach for students to return to on-site schooling. 

The purpose of the plan is to get students back in the classroom as soon and as safely as possible without putting at risk all that has been achieved through the period of restrictions to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

At Wangaratta High School, this has seen students continuing to learn via flexible and remote learning during Week 1. Our senior students studying Unit 3/4 subjects have also been onsite on Wednesday 7th October to undertake the General Achievement Test (GAT). It has been great to see the familiar faces of our senior students on site and we look forward to seeing all students back with us in Week 2.

Week 2 Arrangements
12th – 16th October 2020

All students will resume on site learning at Wangaratta High School in Week 2 as follows:

  • Year 11 & 12 students resume on site from Monday 12th
  • Year 9 & 10 students resume on site from Tuesday 13th
  • Year 7 & 8 students resume on site from Wednesday 14th

As students resume their onsite learning they will be involved in a number of activities to re-connect them with their peers, their teachers and our school.  This will include breakfast being available for students on their first day of returning to school next week.  Breakfast will include eggs and bacon and be available from 8:30am onwards on students resumption days as listed above.

Health and safety measures

The Term 3 flexible and remote learning arrangements were put in place to significantly reduce the movement of more than one million students and their families across Victoria, to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Thanks to you and your family for contributing to this on behalf of our school community.

As on-site schooling resumes, we will continue to have in place strong measures to protect the health and safety of students, staff, families and the community. This includes identified entry and exit points for students, restricting parent/guardian access to school grounds and continued emphasis on hand hygiene and physical distancing where possible. 

Please note the following important pieces of information:

  • ALL students are required to bring a full water bottle to school each day. With the warmer weather now on the way, this will become increasing important. Our drink taps at school must remain closed in line with the Chief Health Officer recommendations.
  • ALL students will be required to wear a face mask.  Please note that in line with Chief Health Officer directives, scarves, bandanas and shields are no longer acceptable.
  • Parents and carers are asked to please drop off and pick up your child/ren from the same gates as in Term 3. Students are not to arrive at school before 8.45am each day. 
    • Year 11/12 students via the Senior School gates off Edwards St. 
    • Year 9/10 students via Swan St/OMeara St behind the Sports Centre.
    • Year 7/8 students via the Main Entrance off Edwards St.
    • Bus Travellers via the gates off Phillipson St, closest to your bus stop.
  • A reminder that at this time, parents and carers are not allowed to enter the school grounds at any time. As much as we wish this was different, these are part of our operational guidelines at this time. If there is any reason that a parent needs to enter the school grounds, please do so via the office where our friendly office staff will be able to assist you or preferably contact us via telephone or email in the first instance.
  • Students will be required to use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day. Please contact the office ASAP if you have any concerns about allergies etc, so we can discuss alternative arrangements for your child.
  • A reminder to all parents and carers to please keep any unwell children at home. If a child has a fever, cough, runny nose or is generally feeling unwell, please keep them at home as if they do come to school, we are required to send that child home.

It is expected that throughout Term 4, our COVID safe rules and regulations will still apply. We thank parents for their co-operation and understanding as we continue to work to keep our community safe.

Priorities for Term 4

As we support all students with a return to on site learning this Term, we will have three key priority areas.

  1. Mental health and wellbeing 

Our highest priority will be the wellbeing, particularly the mental health, of every student and member of staff. This means effectively mobilising all available resources to support our most vulnerable students and enabling staff to access the relevant support services.

  1. Learning and excellence

Some of our students have thrived in the remote and flexible learning environment, others have maintained their learning progress, and some have fallen behind, despite their best efforts and those of their families and teachers. Our priority will be supporting both those who need it to catch up and those who have progressed to continue to extend their learning.

  1. Transitions

We will make every effort to ensure successful transitions for children are supported. 

We know some families are worried that their child may have to repeat a year due to the disruptions of coronavirus (COVID-19). There is little evidence to support the benefits of repeating a year to catch up. Instead, we will use teaching strategies that draw on the best evidence available to help students meet their learning needs.  

Parents and guardians can be confident that the best option for almost every child is to stay with their peer group.

Our school, working with you, has shown it can be flexible and adaptable in responding to the challenges of coronavirus (COVID-19) and together we will continue to meet student needs as we look towards the end of the 2020 school year and ahead to 2021.

We look forward to seeing all of our students back at school next week and resuming their on site learning, face to face with their peers and teachers, as we work towards celebrating successes and building hope and optimism for the year ahead.

Brad Moyle

Executive Principal