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Thursday 23 April, 2020
Staggered return to campus
There continues to be a changing and dramatic response to the COVID-19 pandemic across the country. In South Australia, we can be proud of the way our community has adapted to the new restrictions with dignity and understanding. The willingness of families to stay close to home over Easter and to maintain the social distancing measures asked of them have had positive outcomes and we have seen a flattening of the curve.
Throughout this week, we have been in direct contact with senior members of government and received advice from the Chief Public Health Officer and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee who have instilled confidence that it is safe for our students to attend school.
The strategies put in place by the South Australian Government, including increased testing, have resulted in a steady decline in COVID-19 cases over the last three weeks and consistently low rates of infection. Even when there were high rates of contagion, there were no cases of student to student transmission and no cases of student to teacher transmission. In light of this, we believe that it is in the best interest of our girls to implement a gradual return to face to face learning.
To do so, we will adopt a measured and orderly approach and will stagger the arrival of our students to campus over the first 2 weeks of term. This enables us to establish best practice in our learning environment and good routines as we move forward.
From Week 1, all ELC and Junior School students along with our Year 11 and 12 girls will return to campus for face to face lessons. Our Middle School and Year 10 students will continue to learn from home. Should the situation remain stable, our Middle School and Year 10 students will return to face to face learning in Week 2.
We are incredibly excited to welcome our girls back on campus, having missed their smiling faces, their energy and love of learning.
This is a positive step, both for our state and our Wilderness community. We are in a far better situation than we could have conceived in Week 9 of last term. To have our girls back and to be together as we transition to a more normal routine, will enable us to do what we do best. Provide exceptional learning to exceptional girls.
Monday 30 March, 2020
We are open and teaching and learning in virtual classrooms.
The past few months have been an extraordinary time for our community as the outbreak of the coronavirus has impacted each of us in varying ways. Collectively, we are feeling the uncertainty of the changing environment and we would like you to know our thoughts are with everyone as we are all readjusting.
I would also like to take this opportunity to share with you some of the ways Wilderness has been working together as a school community in response to COVID-19.
Over the past few weeks Wilderness teachers and girls have been adapting to a flexible delivery of our curriculum. During the last week of Term 1, we have been trialling online learning with most girls accessing their daily class programs from home. We are aware that each day looks and feels somewhat different to usual. Yet in the face of rapid change, I am very proud of the way the girls are working together and with their teachers, continuing with their study and maintaining a positive and optimistic outlook. We have received wonderful feedback from our girls and their families about how creative they are being in responding to virtual classrooms and the different innovations being adopted across the school.
Looking ahead, we are committed to continuing to provide a high quality and richly engaging program for all our girls. Our teachers are working tirelessly to prepare for the weeks ahead to ensure girls in every age group are appropriately supported and engaged in their learning should the need for an extended community response to COVID-19 be required in Term 2. I am particularly grateful for our girls, teachers and parent support to ensure our girls are cared for and that their learning and wellbeing is at the centre of all that we do.
During this time of uncertainty, it has been wonderful to see the Wilderness community extend and strengthen. We know the most important thing that defines our school is the strength of our relationships. In this time, where we are called to distance ourselves from our colleagues, friends and many in our extended family, it is vital that we keep connected. We must nurture and protect our relationships and social connectivity even in a physically distanced but technologically enhanced learning world.
We will continue to respond and adapt to the changing circumstances, but it is the wellbeing of our girls that is and will continue to be at the centre of all of our decisions.
As we look to the future, we know this time will pass. Our days will normalise, and our girls will return to school and they will fill the campus with their unbreakable spirit, enthusiasm and love for learning.
We look forward to welcoming everyone at this time and hope your family remains safe and well in the near future.
Resources for families
Wilderness Remote Learning and Wellbeing Guide
To assist you in supporting your daughter’s learning and wellbeing at home.
Anxiety among young people – School TV
As the situation develops, the media and public commentary surrounding the outbreak may cause anxiety in young people. Please find a link to a useful video that provides a guide for parents to help support their child.
Simple steps to stop the spread
A national campaign has been launched to help reduce the risk to individuals and families by enabling them to make informed decisions and to take up health recommendations. Further information regarding good hygiene, travel and prevention can be found on the Department of Health’s website.
Government Support for Businesses and Households
The government has provided the following information and resource links for businesses and households affected by the crisis.
Business.gov.au support line: 13 28 46
Small or medium business with reduced cash flow?
Here’s what we’re doing to boost your cash flow.
Is your business financially distressed?
This is what we’re doing to support you.
Assisting the economic recovery
Here’s how we’ll support you to grow.
Employ an apprentice or trainee?
This support is for you.
Are you a sole trader that has lost business?
This is what we’re doing to support you and your business.
Household finances hit by reduced work?
Here’s what we’re doing to help support your family budget.
Payments to support households.
If you would like more information about COVID-19 you can contact the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080, or visit the Department of Health website.
The Australian Government also publishes a daily alert with the latest medical advice and official reports.