We appreciate your patience. We have met this morning as a Senior Leadership team, (Tracy Edwards, Mike Lawrence, Jane Prichard, Catherine Greenwell and Rachel Prime) to discuss and plan for the return to school tomorrow in light of the updated information we received over the weekend. No decisions, by all members of staff involved, have been taken lightly and have been made for personal reasons. We can only apologise for the short notice – something that was beyond our control.
We are in the position, due to lack of staffing capacity, of making some significant changes.
Four classes will be closed to all but key worker children and vulnerable (*) children. These will be Cedar, Yew, Rowan, and Sycamore. As there are key worker children and vulnerable children in each of these classes, members of staff will come into their classrooms every day to provide work for those children and to provide remote learning for the children who are staying at home. This then negates the main concern raised by the members of staff about the number of children within a small, enclosed environment. Individual personal circumstances and vulnerable family members are also being taken into account. Please refer to the website for the agreed requirements for home learning expectations. https://elmhurstjuniorschool.org.uk/remote-learning-offer-at-elmhurst/ If you are unable to access Google classroom, and would prefer to have a paper copy of the work, please contact the class teacher via Dojo or email and they will liaise with you regarding the collection of work.
The eight remaining classes will be open as normal. These will be Holly, Hazel, Elm, Fir, Willow, Ash, Pine and Oak. These classes will continue with the same staggered timetable as before Christmas. A single teaching assistant will be attached to each class so that they do not have to move between bubbles and a lunchtime supervisor will take the cover of lunchtimes as per last term.
As a result of reduced capacity, we will also only be able to offer Wrap Around Provision for key workers and vulnerable children only. Any parents/caregivers who have booked in but are now unable to use the facility will be provided with a refund.
We appreciate that the decisions made this morning will impact many families hugely. We also appreciate that it is going to be difficult for parents/caregivers who have children in different classes. We understand that some families may choose not to send siblings in.
*For the purposes of the current situation, we will contact you if your child falls within the vulnerable category.
As well as the changes above, there are other aspects where changes will be made. We ask for your continued support:
1.Staggered times and entrances will still apply. Please keep to the times as much as possible as we would like you to drop the children and send them straight into school where they can wait. We are trying to limit the number of adults waiting at the gates to reduce contact between adults and children. If you are within the school boundary (ie by the bike sheds or in the car park), we will expect you, unless medically exempt, to be wearing a face covering. Please support the school in this.
2. We would ask parents to re-read the Home School Agreement sent out at the start of September. By sending your child to Elmhurst, you agree to support this:
3. School uniform rules and behaviour expectations still apply. As stated previously, children may wear additional layers (within reason) to help keep warm whilst we adhere to ventilation requirements. The risk assessment will be updated this week and the summary shared with parents as soon as possible.
4. Hot lunches will go ahead as planned. If your child is in one of the closed classes and is not attending school but is entitled to a free school meal, we would ask that parents let the school know at the start of the week. Arrangements can then be made for a member of the family to collect the lunch. We appreciate that this is in no way ideal!
We thank you in advance for your continued support. We will review the plans weekly, or when Government updates are received. Teatime??
The Elmhurst team