75 Pioneer Street, FOSTER, VIC 3960
03 5682 2370
03 5682 2500



22nd May 2020

Transition Back to School Information for Parents/Carers


20th May 2020

Return to School – Practical Information

Dear Parents/ Carers,

As you are all aware students in grades Prep, One and Two are returning to school on Tuesday, 26th May. We are looking forward to seeing all their lovely smiling faces again!

Monday 25th May is a PUPIL FREE DAY. No online or onsite teaching will be happening on that day as we will be preparing for the return to school. We will also be telephoning parents/carers of Prep -2 students to book a time for adults to return borrowed devices to school.

We will not be staggering the school start and end times at this stage but will be making other changes to minimise interactions.

For Junior children next week, to support them with their transition back to school, a teacher from the Junior area will meet the children at the main front gate on Pioneer Street in the allocated pick up/ drop off zone IN the school grounds. They will then take them into school when you/ they are ready. This gate will remain the  main entry point for Prep – Twos’ for the remainder of the term. If you are coming in from the school crossing over the creek, we ask that you pick up/ drop off by the play house/ play equipment by the creek.  We ask that parents do not enter the main school grounds (unless absolutely essential) at this stage as per Department requirements. If you need to talk to a teacher, office staff or myself please email or telephone the school (56822370) to make an appointment first.

Onsite supervision will still only be available for children in Grades 3-6 for those students who cannot be supervised at home or are vulnerable. An attendance form must be completed by Friday each week, for the following week. Grades 3-6 will return on the 9th June, following the Queen’s Birthday on the 8th June. More information will be sent out nearer the time for the returning Grade 3-6 children.

We ask that students bring their own water bottle (which they can fill at the drinking taps) but students will be unable to drink from the drinking taps.

In order to keep your children safe and well, our school will be undergoing extra cleaning of high touch/ use areas and also of the playground throughout the day, as well as the regular cleaning. Children will be washing their hands before eating, before and after playtime and at any other time that is appropriate. We also have hand sanitiser available in every classroom as well as surface disinfectant and will be minimising the sharing of equipment as far as possible. All shared outdoor play equipment will also be removed for the time being.

In all instances, please do not send your child to school if they are at all unwell.

All of the above measures are being taken in line with departmental requirements to keep your children, parents/ carers and our staff safe. It will feel very strange for a while as we adapt. Again, we appreciate your feedback as we tweak our practice in order to continually improve the learning experiences for our students.

Thank you so very much for your support and efforts in helping us transition to remote learning and thank you in advance for your support in transitioning back to onsite learning.

Kind regards,
Lorraine Gurnett



20th May 2020



Dear Parents and Carers,

Important dates to remember;
Monday 25 May will be a pupil-free day, to support all school staff to prepare for returning to school.
Tuesday 26 May – P/1/2 classes resume

We understand that some families may feel anxious about this move back to classroom teaching and learning. I can assure you that this decision has been taken on the basis of the best health advice available to our state.

  • Some students will be feeling very excited about returning to school, others will be feeling apprehensive. Students will react differently when coming back to school – some will be loud and active whilst others will be reserved and quiet. Both reactions are normal, and teachers will cater for all responses.
  • The teachers will be using the first few days for the students to debrief about their time remote learning, spending time on social and emotional wellbeing, and reintroducing expectations.
  •  Allowing students time to reconnect to their peers and re-establish friendship groups will also be an important element of the first week back.

Helping your child to transition back to school
We can help our children by encouraging them to express how they feel about going back to school, and validate their concerns. Children’s anxiety expert Karen Young suggests a conversation opener such as: “It’s a big thing going back to school and it’s OK if you feel a bit worried. That’s really understandable and normal.”
After validation comes strength: where we tell our kids it might be a bit hard at first but it’s going to be OK, and we know they’re going to get through this. “This is very different to saying there’s nothing to worry about,” says Ms Young. “They don’t buy that anyway, and it also just increases their anxiety because they feel the person they have turned to for support doesn’t get it.”
For more information on returning to school please see the recent article that was published in The Age  https://www.abc.net.au/life/helping-kids-with-the-transition-back-to-school/12247052

Thank you for your continued support and patience during this time. We look forward to welcoming our Prep, One and Two students back to school on Tuesday.

I shall also be sending out some practical information shortly about how the return to school will look like so that everyone can be kept safe and happy.

Warm regards,
Lorraine Gurnett

14th May 2020

Following advice from the Victorian Government on Tuesday 12 May, some students will be returning to school from Tuesday 26 May.

The Victorian Chief Health Officer has advised that it is safe for Victorian school students and teachers to return to on-site schooling in a two-staged approach:

  • Stage 1 – from Tuesday 26 May

Early years students (Prep to Grade 2) and senior secondary students (Year 11 and 12) undertaking the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL), and all specialist school students will return to on-site schooling. All staff will attend on-site.

  • Stage 2 – from Tuesday 9 June

Grade 3 to Year 10 students will return to on-site schooling, subject to health advice.

The Department’s latest advice on can be found at www.education.vic.gov.au/coronavirus


12th May 2020

Dear parents and carers,

Thank you for all your support during these past few weeks of remote and flexible learning.
Following advice from the Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has advised that schools can begin a phased return to on-site schooling.
In the first stage, students in Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2, senior secondary (Year 11 and 12 VCAL and VCE) students and all students in specialist schools will return to school from Tuesday 26 May.
Year 10 students undertaking VCE studies, including VCE VET studies, should also attend school for those classes where practicable. If this is not possible for your child/children, our teachers will make sure the work provided to students attending at school is also provided to your child/children.
To support all school staff to prepare for this transition, Monday 25 May will be a pupil-free day.
In the second stage of our return to on-site schooling, all other year levels will return to school from Tuesday 9 June.
For those students who cannot be supervised at home and vulnerable children, the existing model of on-site schooling will remain in place during the two-week period from Tuesday 26 May to Tuesday 9 June. The current process that we are using to enable parents and carers to indicate the days or part-days for which on-site schooling is required will continue for this two-week period.
All other students in these grades and year levels will continue learning from home until Tuesday 9 June.
Once a year level has returned, all students will be expected to attend school as normal. This means if  you choose to keep your child/children home after their year level has returned to on-site schooling, we can no longer support their learning from home.
This does not apply to children who need to be absent for health or medical reasons. For those families, please contact us so we can make an appropriate plan.
This same approach is being taken by all government schools in Victoria.
To support the health and wellbeing of all our students and staff, our school will continue an enhanced cleaning routine and will encourage frequent hand washing.
If you child is ill or is feeling unwell, they must not attend school. They must remain home and seek medical advice.
While the Chief Health Officer has advised that students will not be required to maintain physical distancing at school, there will be a number of important changes to our school operations, consistent with health advice to all schools. This will apply until further notice. I will provide more detail about our local school context as soon as possible, but it is important to note that changes will include:

  • adjusted arrangements for drop off and pick up, including staggered school start and finish times for non-bus travellers;
  • restrictions on access to the school site for anyone other than immediate school staff and students;
  • the way we conduct parent-teacher meetings and interviews

We understand that some families may feel anxious about this move back to classroom teaching and learning. I can assure you that this decision has been taken on the basis of the best health advice available to our state.
More information about the return to school and coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on the Department’s website, which will continue to be updated:
Thank you for your continued support and patience during this time. We look forward to welcoming our students back to the classroom.
Yours sincerely,

Lorraine Gurnett

12th May 2020

Dear Parents/ Carers,

I am sure that many of you watched the announcement by our Premier, Daniel Andrews and Education Minister, James Merlino this morning.In summary:-
May 25th  Pupil Free Day
May 26th  Prep, One and Two Students will return to school
June 9th   Grades Three, Four, Five and Six will return to school

I am sure there will be much more information coming out over the coming days and will endeavor to get this to you as soon as I can..

Thank you so very much for all your support in helping your children and our teachers over the last few weeks in delivering the remote learning. We have certainly missed you all and are looking forward to starting this next new phase.

Kind regards,

Lorraine Gurnett

22nd April 2020

Dear Parents/ carers,

We have received guidance from the Department re: Use of school playgrounds and drinking water supply
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), strategies to minimise risk must be considered for school facilities such as playgrounds and drinking fountains.

School playground equipment
Schools with play equipment accessible to the public outside of school hours should remain closed to students during school hours. Principals are advised to close play equipment accessible to the public where possible, or alternatively tape up the equipment.
Drinking water
It is recommended that students don’t drink directly from drinking fountains at this time and instead bring their own water bottle for use (and refilling) at school.
We shall therefore be following the recommendations as outlined by the Department and taping off our playgrounds and drinking taps. If your child is attending school, please send them with a water bottle until the recommendations change.
Kind regards,

Lorraine Gurnett

17th April 2020

Coronavirus Information for Parents, Carers and Guardians

15th April 2020.
Please see attached letter from the DET regarding at home learning.

15th April 2020.
We, the Homelessness Team at The Salvation Army Leongatha want to let you know that we are still open and here to provide housing support and rental assistance over the phone to those who may be struggling during this time financially due to job loss, reduced hours of work, loss of income etc.

We encourage local residents to call us on 5662 6400 for a chat or email us at iapgippsland@salvationarmy.org.au if they are struggling to pay rent. We can also link them into other services which may assist such as Financial Counselling or limited Emergency Relief (access to food etc)

We look forward to hearing from you to answer any questions you have.

Kind Regards