Dear Parents and Families
Naturally my first message this week is around the Coronovirus (COVID-19) pandemic that we are all dealing with across the world. As I said in my address last week to our school (and the link to a video recording of this can be found on our Facebook site) this is a serious situation that we are all facing; an extraordinary unprecedented situation that requires extraordinary measures. It is ALL our responsibility to ensure we are doing all we can to mitigate the risks of contracting the virus and/or passing it on to others.
As a school we acted swiftly last week to put in place several measures to support good hygiene practices and social distancing requirements. My senior team spent hours after work preparing rosters and allocating wash areas for EVERY class before break times. We also have implemented a system where students are staggered in their access to their lockers and the canteen, as these are areas of high congestion. Classroom seating arrangements have changed, and students are reminded about social distancing in the playground. Your child may have informed you about these new arrangements and whilst they may have seemed novel at first, I can sincerely say that everyone in our community is aware about the importance of adhering to these procedures. Other measures in place have included access to soap and hand sanitiser across the school in all areas, cleaning procedures around equipment, for example cooking aprons, protective eye wear, computer keyboards and hard surface areas. We have mobile cleaning kits in every classroom to access and visual reminders across the school about safe practices.
I would like to send a massive thank you to everyone in our school (staff and our amazing students) for the mature and sensible way they have adopted what will be “our new normal” around everything related to COVID-19 and what we have to do in our environment. The students have been amazing and certainly epitomising our values and ROCKS every day in their conduct and behaviour. All our staff have been equally amazing in ensuring we are as safe and as clean as we can be. Our EFAs (cleaning & grounds staff) have been working overtime as have the Admin Team in preparing communications, posters, fielding calls from families etc. Thank you for your professionalism and commitment.
There is certainly an avalanche of information that we all can access or are exposed to every day and I know we have and will continue to push out to families regular updates from the Department of Education as they come in. I apologise in advance for this overload but it is vital that we keep communication channels very open and inform our community as much as possible. You can access information on the DoE website, and we have also uploaded all the information we receive and send out to families on our school webpage. This is also accessible via Schoolzine.
Some very hot topics at present are around school attendance and school closures and there are some information sheets around both on these sites. We are informed daily by our Secretary of Education around any new information and they access their information from the State and Federal Public Health Authorities, with whom they are in daily contact with around all information. At this point in time we have not been informed about school closures. As a school and as a DoE we are preparing for the possibility that this may occur in the future. We sent out a Google Form survey around technology access at home for all our families. If you have not responded to this survey can I ask that you do please as we want to have a very clear audit of who will be able to access on-line learning at home and who will need alternative provisions. As a school we are in an extremely good position to deliver on-line learning for all our students across most learning areas as we are well advanced with our on-line platform Canvas.
Advice on sending children to school has also been sent out from the DoE and it is certainly parents’ choice as to quarantine your child(ren) at home. No sanctions will apply. Can I please stress if students are presenting unwell in any condition, it is in the best interest of everyone in our school community that they remain at home.
We are very mindful of the anxiety and concerns that this epidemic can trigger in many and have avenues for students and staff to access support. Students have a question box in all grade areas and can access on-line check in’s through their Canvas Home Room site. Our support staff team are always available to assist as are all staff so please let your Grade Teams know if you think your child needs more support.
As I said to the students last week, it is a time to think about what we CAN do to assist and protect the health and wellbeing of ourselves and those around us. It is important to remain calm, well-informed and proactive in our conduct. It is also important to remember to be kind and respect and care for each other. Our Prefects have compiled a fabulous video with some important messages, please take the time to have a look.
In other news:
A change of focus now to some more celebratory news:
Red Sprites Racers F1 in Schools success
A massive congratulations to our wonderful Red Sprites Racers F1 in Schools team (Ella, Riana, Cleo, Chilli, Jaxon) for their wonderful achievements at the Nationals 2 weeks ago. Our team travelled with teams from RHS and QHS and they competed in the Professional Class category aligned with the Queechy team. They improved their national ranking from last year to finish 7th over all in the country which is an amazing achievement as most of the higher ranked teams comprised of year 11/12 students. Professional Class is the highest class in the competition and our team was the highest ranked Tasmanian team as well.
They also were awarded the Best Verbal Presentation in Professional Class. Outstanding work. A big thank you to Mr Richardson and all his work in supporting, coaching and mentoring the team. Also, to Jen Copeland for accompanying the team and to all businesses and companies who have supported our team to be able to attend and compete. It is a wonderful example of a flexible STEM program in our school.
KMHS was lucky enough to conduct their annual Swimming Carnival before pool closures and on Friday 13th March our carnival was held. Fabulous participation and enthusiasm have been reported back to me as I was unfortunately unable to attend due to other DoE commitments. I know that everyone enjoyed themselves on the day with healthy competition which saw Tamar come out on top as the winning house. It is always impressive to see records broken and particular mention to Jess Homan for breaking her own mother's record.
All student interim reports have been sent home and detail progress to date particularly around work habits in the classroom. Please take the time to discuss these with your child and each report had accompanying emails to contact teachers if you wish to discuss anything further. We will not be conducting face to face parent teacher interviews at this time. Thank you to Mrs Lovitt for all her work in coordinating our reporting process.
I am absolutely thrilled that KMHS has joined the Northern School Debating roster and we have junior and senior teams preparing to participate when the restrictions on such events are lifted (post Coronavirus). Thank you to Mr Walker-Bowd and Mrs Ritchie for co-ordinating and supporting these teams. They have been meeting and preparing whilst competition is on hold.
Another exciting literacy innovation from Ms Furley and Mrs Dobson this year has been the introduction of Literacy Leaders. These selected students have undergone some training modules and have begun working with junior students around reading to assist in their progress. Another wonderful leadership opportunity for our students and also a way to provide extra support to the younger students around reading.
Excursions and Visits:
- Senior Art students had a recent excursion to view the Glover Art pieces and also Art Rage giving them some insight into contemporary artwork and motivate them for future ideas. Thanks to Mrs Wightman for co-ordinating.
- North Melbourne footballers visited the school two weeks ago to do a Q & A session and mini clinic with some students and was really enjoyed by those who participated.
Congratulations to :
Lachlan Oliver for making the Tasmanian Track team.
As part of our Positive Behaviour Support Program at Kings Meadows we will be acknowledging students who have been contributing positively to our learning environment. This means that they have been supporting our school wide expectations.
Respect for others, self and environment
Commitment to learning
We would like to acknowledge the following students:
Addison Keegan & Liam Dyke - for their positive attitude to work and their peers.
Rita Nabikolo - for being studious and consistently following the ROCKS.
Zavier Langerak - for his caring and respectful behaviour.
Jasmine Jones - for consistent application to all aspects of her schooling and for helping out in the office at the last minute.
Bree Lavelle - for exceptions participation and house spirit at the Swimming Carnival.
Katie Cross - for always following the ROCKS and being conscientious and diligent towards her studies.
Hunter Nuss - for his great interaction in the MYROAD program on our My Education Day.
In the past week students have the received the following information:
- Principal's address via the PA system at school
- Letter from the Secretary and Minister of Education; includes FAQs about COVID-19
- Interim reports
On Wednesday, Mrs Pinnington gave an address to the whole school about the current COVID-19 virus and the processes we are putting in place to keep everyone safe at school. This video can be viewed on youtube by following the link on the Kings Meadows High School Facebook page. In addition, a letter from the Secretary and Minister of Education was sent home on Thursday 19th March along with a list of frequently asked questions.
Interim reports have also been delivered to students. If your child was absent for this, reports have been mailed home.
A big congratulations to our newly appointed class leaders:
7A - Hayden Murfett and Lily L’Hullier
7B - Casey Boyer and Amy Quillerat
7C - Nikki Wegman
7D - Addison Keegan and Liam Dyke
7E - Hallianna Madden and Mae Gilligan
7F - Harrison Boatwright and Drew Moran
7G - Stella Menzie and Jakob Anderson
Thank you to all students who participated in this process and we wish our new leaders all the best on their leadership journey.
Along with our term focus on ‘Keeping safe’ and ‘Sensible behaviour’, our new handwashing and social distancing procedures have been rolled out across the school in response to the COVID-19 Government and Department of Health measures in preventing the spread of disease. Students in Grade 7 should be commended on their attitude and efforts towards these new procedures as they have embraced them fully. A few points to remember:
- Sensible behaviour when washing hands
- Use a small amount of soap and hand towel, be respectful of others needing to use these items
- Clean up wash areas after use if water spills
It is imperative we take this process seriously and are being respectful of the wash areas and equipment.
Well done Grade 7!
On Friday, Miss Males and Mrs Hume trialled the weekly Grade assembly using a videolink into classrooms. As we are unable to gather in large groups at the moment, this was a fun and interactive alternative to delivering the weekly KMHS news, sharing celebration and recognising success in grade 7. Grade assemblies are an important part of our pastoral care here at KMHS and we are so glad that we can continue to meet once a week as a grade. The trial was a success and so Miss Males and Mrs Hume will be zooming in to classroom TVs every Thursday- stay tuned!
Importance of Eating Breakfast
We would also like to encourage our Grade 7 families to highlight the importance of eating breakfast every morning prior to arriving at school. Below is a link to an article explaining the significance and impact eating breakfast can have on student learning. At KMHS we provide a breakfast club available on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings from 8am which is free for students to access prior to class.
We would like to celebrate the resilience and adaptability displayed by our Grade 8 students in the midst of a week filled with uncertainty and change. There have been a number of changes to our school day in order to incorporate hand-washing and social distancing, and we are very impressed with how responsible our students have been in adhering to these new processes.
We would also like to celebrate the way in which students have continued to adhere to our ‘off and away’ Department of Education policy – there has been some fantastic learning taking place in our classrooms and so many positive and respectful interactions taking place at break times. Grade 8 students should be proud of the maturity, kindness and adaptability they have shown, especially in recent weeks. Let’s keep up the great work!
Our focus for the remainder of the term is to be vigilant around hand-washing and physical distancing. It is our collective responsibility to keep our loves ones safe and well!
This week has been business as usual with a major focus on staying healthy and using healthy habits. New terms have been introduced to our students including social distancing and self-isolation. Students have watched clips on correct and effective handwashing techniques and what social distancing looks like. We have been very proud of our students for their mature response to our new normal at school. Many new procedures have been put in place to ensure our students have a safe learning environment, including staggered locker and canteen access, and regular handwashing before breaks. Our lessons have still had a strong focus on learning outcomes and our teachers have been working tirelessly to ensure that our school day is still as normal as possible. Last week our Swimming Carnival was held and our grade had a wonderful number of students participating in all of the events. All students should be congratulated on their efforts both in the pool and on the pool deck. Reports have gone home this week also with some students receiving some excellent results. These reports were a brief report to give parents a quick overview of how their child has started their year in each of their subjects. Parent teacher interviews will not be undertaken but we do encourage email or phone contact if parents have any queries.
Over the next few weeks our focus will be around maintaining our own personal health and hygiene, continuing to apply good learning behaviours and academic rigour and building on the great start we have had this year. Our reports have indicated to us where our areas of strength are and areas where we can see some improvement. We are encouraging all students to set themselves some goals to achieve for the remainder of this term and leading up to our mid-year reports in Term 2.
Bella Dyer, Jessica Morrisby, Arabella Johns, Maddi Gray, Emily Pinel - Literacy Leaders
Red Sprite Racers - returned from a successful event - Best Team Verbal Presentation in the Professional Class.
Seth Anderson - Tae Kwon Do Gold Coast Open Sports Fighting
In Grade 10 students are focusing on taking responsibility for their learning. A strong year of teamwork and maturity will set the tone for our culture of positive learning outcomes. We are excited to welcome our new students into our culture and continue to build strong relationships with staff and students preparing us for post Grade 10 studies and work.
During the week commencing 8th March, Kings Meadows High’s “Red Sprites” competed in the national F1 in Schools final at the Bosch Centre in Clayton, Victoria. Having been crowned State Champions at the Tasmanian finals last September, our “Sprites” were keen to improve their standings, and they did exactly that.
Red Sprites Racing is a team of five grade ten students: Jaxon Bassett, Ella Copeland, Riana Francia, Chilli Kettle and Cleo Taylor. Each team member has a vital role to play in the success of their enterprise, but it’s their ability to work in a united manner which saw them be so successful. Being grade tens, the team is classified as “Junior Professional”, but they actually competed in the “Senior Professional” class against students from grades eleven and twelve. Our Red Sprites came seventh overall in this combined class, and second in their actual class. Further to this, they won the competition’s major award for best team presentation. This is an outstanding effort given that they were up against the best teams in the nation, who in turn, were the best of the 13,000 students nationally, who competed in the programme’s 2019/2020 season.
The team would like to thank all the staff, students and community members who supported their venture. They would also like to thank the state competition sponsors Bell Bay Aluminium and team sponsors Island Block and Paving, Think Big Printing and the YMCA. In addition to this, they would also like to thank Mrs Jen Copeland for the time she gave up to ensure the team had a successful trip.
The Red Sprites receiving their award, presented by F1 in Schools founder, Andrew Denford from the United Kingdom.
In light of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 we have decided to cancel tonight's School Association Meeting and postpone the AGM and election for a new committee until further notice. The existing committee will remain in place until a time when the election process can be completed.
This year, at Kings Meadows High School we have decided to introduce an exciting new leadership position for Grade 9 and 10 students in the area of literacy; the Literacy Leader. Congratulations to our successful applicants for 2020. The successful students are, from Grade 10; Bella Dyer, Maddi Gray, Arabella Johns, Jessica Morrisby and Emily Pinel and from Grade 9; Ella Fullbrook, Kiara Eamens, Chaise Jordan, Jasmine Jones and Ashtyn Peters.
On Monday 16th March, our new Literacy Leaders began their work with our new Grade 7 students. Our Grade 7s are certainly lucky to have the opportunity to work with such passionate literacy learners in the area of reading. The Literacy Leaders worked in pairs, each pair having been allocated a group of students from a Grade 7 class. This week the leaders worked with their students on reading a narrative text aloud together. It is certainly a privilege to work with such excellent student leaders and avid readers who are motivated to help and assist others with the development of their literacy skills.
Ms Furley and Mrs Dobson
In addition to physical books students at KMHS also have access to a large collection of ebooks and audiobooks. These are available 24/7. Internet access is required to search the catalogue and borrow books but not to read them. Once they are borrowed/downloaded then books can be read/listened to offline.
Grade 7/8 students already have the Wheeler’s ePlatform app installed on their iPads and will just need to register to create an account if they have not already.
Grade 9/10 students can download the app from either the iOS or Android store at no cost and then register an account.
Please use your school login as your username and make sure to add an email that you check (does not have to be school email).
The Wheeler’s ePlatform app looks like this:
If you only have a computer/laptop then you can access out elibrary at http://kmhs.wheelers.co and create an account and borrow/read there!
If you have any issues or need trouble shooting, please email me at email@example.com I will be checking my email intermittently outside of school hours to hopefully solve problems as they come up.
For our parents and carers, the Launceston Library (and all other branches of Libraries Tasmania) also has an ebook service. To use it you will need to be a member but it is very easy and free to sign up. The staff at Civic Square will be able to get you a library card and show you how their ebook system (Libby by Overdrive) works. If you already have a library card, you can download the app and start borrowing! Your username is you library card barcode and you password is the phone number linked to the card.
The Libby app looks like this:
Libraries Tasmania has also temporarily extended their loan period and their item limit. As of Monday you can now borrow 30 items for 6 weeks. For more information visit www.libraries.tas.gov.au
If your student/s have books checked out that are overdue because they are not at school due to illness – do not panic! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know and the books can be returned when things get back to normal. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions surrounding this.
Mandy Ritchie – Library