Dear Parents and Caregivers,
We have had a very busy start to the year with managing new Covid protocols, completing our school review and staff working on assessments and the setting of goals for your children.
On Tuesday February 8 the review team (director and another LDC Principal) spent the day talking with groups of staff and some parents about the impact that we have on our students’ learning through quality teaching, leadership and partnerships with parents. We submit online evidence around 6 areas with reflection, analysis and judgement about how we are progressing. The review team’s role is to validate our judgements.
As a specialist school, we have a strong focus on building and sharing expertise along with implementing the most effective evidence-based practices (this also includes doing our own research and development). As part of our community focus, we invest heavily in parent programs that support the development of your knowledge about Developmental Language Disorder and the impact(s) on life and school learning.
This big investment in staff and parents has resulted in a very capable staff with clear processes and structures linked to deep leadership. They clearly articulated to the reviewers what we do and why. Importantly they clearly explained the outcomes we achieve with the students. The parent focus group also talked about how we add value through building connections to and supporting them.
The reviewer’s consistent comment was that staff were knowledgeable, consistent across groups, committed and passionate. As the principal (and along with the deputies) it was good to hear the validation of what we know. I want to express my thanks to everyone, staff and community, for all that they do to make the school an effective, innovative early intervention centre. It is about all the cogs in the wheel working together to move forward.
There are no changes to recently announced guidelines linked to what is now termed ‘a high caseload’ environment. These will change when the daily infection rate increases (we don’t know when that will be). As you know, only close contacts are now being identified and required to be tested and isolate.
While we have had one positive case connected to the school, the student was not in-class while infectious. One other case has been deemed a close contact but has returned a negative test. So two lucky escapes, however, there will be a time when we will be managing a school positive case who is a close contact.
I have attached a poster from the Department that outlines the actions around possible and actual cases at school. Importantly, regardless of potential contact with a positive case, please keep your child home if they are sick. It is also recommended that you get a PCR test and isolate. If a PCR test is not available, your child needs to return 2 negative RAT tests. If positive, your child should not attend school until WA Health Department informs you that it is safe to do so.
You may download a copy of the poster; Poster+high+caseload+environment
Student attendance at school is a critical factor in long term student success. Our students also have the compounding factor of their language disorder. Obviously if your child is unwell, they should not be sent to school. You can minimise the absences by avoiding holidays in school term times or limiting the days that you might have your child away from school. If you do plan holidays in school time, the last 2 or 3 days of term would be less disruptive than the start of term. If planning holidays, you will need to complete the Student Non-attendance Request slip. The Deputy Principal for your site will review your reason for the requested student non-attendance and will let you know if approved or not. A specified reason of just ‘taking a vacation’ will not be authorised and will result in ‘not authorised” being recorded on the attendance register. In accordance with Department Policy, parents of students who are absent for an excessive number of days will be contacted and may be required to attend a case conference.
Ms Shelley Blakers