LPS eNews: Special Edition

28 January 2021


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Principal's COVIDSafe update

Welcome to 2021 at Laburnum Primary School. We are so looking forward to welcoming back our students and meeting new families. 

This special eNews updates all families on the recently revised DET Operations Guide. Please read the detailed information below for starting school arrangements. Families who have Preps starting at LPS should also read the separate arrangements for Prep.

As always, our school follows the DET & DHHS guidelines carefully, to ensure as safe an environment as possible for students, staff and visitors. As our efforts have now been formally recognised, we hope families will feel confident and comfortable as we move into Term 1.

In Term 4, 2020, LPS was inspected and audited. On December 11, we received a letter from the DET Regional Director, Mr Terry Bennett, in recognition of our performance. This letter is partially reproduced below: 

COVIDSafe Assurance Program – High Performing School Recognition for Laburnum Primary School

I am writing to you in relation to the recent visit to your school as part the COVIDSafe Assurance Program for schools.

It has been brought to my attention, through feedback received from the support officers conducting the visit and the external auditor engaged by the Department, the exemplary manner with which your school has applied and implemented health and safety strategies to ensure your school is COVIDSafe. The support officers from the visit have noted your school displayed a very high standard of COVID-19 preparedness and had very effectively implemented the strategies and guidance to help minimise the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission in your school.

I wanted to pass on my personal thanks and gratitude that you have demonstrated this commitment and dedication to keeping your students, staff and school community safe, while also continuing to support the learning needs of your students. There is no doubt that it has been a challenging task to continue to respond to health and safety advice and the changing nature of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic throughout much of 2020. Your responsiveness and agility to achieve this is commendable and incredibly valued, by the Department, myself, and members of your school community. You should be very proud of your efforts and of the efforts of your leadership team and staff who play a very important role in this as well...

While we hope Victoria will maintain and improve our current pandemic status, we remain committed to following the rules and processes that have proved effective for our school. Of course, school arrangements are subject to change and, although we regret any inconvenience to families, health and safety remains our paramount concern.  Unfortunately, as we have seen, things can change rapidly.

We had wonderful community support and understanding last year about COVIDSafe requirements, and look forward to that again in 2021.

QR Code Registration
To support contact tracing, schools must keep a record of all staff, students and visitors who attend onsite for more than 15 minutes. This includes visitors in the playground.

Schools must record the name, contact details, date, and time of attendance at school, as well as the areas of the school that the person attended. The only way to avoid this registration is to keep your visits very brief.

In addition to our usual procedures, we will be trialling the Victorian Government's new QR Code Service. You will notice QR code posters at the entrances to the main office. Parents can read more about this 

Drop Off and Pick Up Arrangements

These remain unchanged, so Term 4 arrangements continue. New families can read those in detail here. Parents should drop off students between 8:45 and 9:00 am and pick up between 3:30 and 3:45 pm.  Students should go straight to their classrooms on arrival. Of course, Preps have a slightly different first month of school.

The Pakenham St and Blacks Walks gates will be locked at 9:00 am and only the Janet St gate used for school access between 9:00 and 3:30 pm. We prefer that children arrive at 8:50 am to settle into school so they are ready to learn at 9:00 am. Remember, a calm start to the day begins by getting organised the night before!

Please note that social distancing remains essential. Parents who have pre-scheduled appointments with staff (such as our individual Prep parent-teacher meetings) can attend those onsite after registering at the office.

Unfortunately, other parents still cannot enter the classrooms before and during classes, due to the continuing limits on the total number of people in each space. This total number includes children. Please say your goodbyes in the car or playground for now. 

As we cannot 'mind' students whose parents may be running late for pick up at 3:30 pm, all families should ensure they are registered for OSHClub, just in case. Registration is free - click here.

Access to the school and office
As in 2020, due to the density restrictions still in place, we need your support in keeping any visits to those that are essential. If you can phone or email our office instead of visiting at the moment, or use the QR codes to register that you are in the school for more than 15 minutes, we hope to be able to manage the 'one person per 2 square metre' requirements.

Anyone entering any building should carry and then wear a mask while inside. This applies to the school office, if a visit is essential. Please also note the number limits on display.

The density limit of one person per 2 square metres (including students) applies to any spaces and activities being attended by parent/carers or other visitors, especially during drop off and pick up. Face masks are recommended when 1.5 metres physical distancing cannot be maintained.

2021 Timetable and student lunches
In 2020, we trialled a new timetable and had intended to try earlier and later lunch eating time options. Remote Learning disrupted that plan.

Our timetable this semester will trial lunch play from 11.00 am to 11.45 am. Lunch eating in classrooms, with teacher supervision, will be from 11.45 pm - 12.00 pm. Afternoon recess will remain at the same time from 2.00 pm - 2.30 pm.

In addition to lunch and afternoon tea, please feel free to pack a mid-morning snack if required.

For new families: please note that, although we love acknowledging children's birthdays, sharing of food is not permitted. Please do not send along any food-based treats for sharing with other children. Further information about severe allergies will be provided in an upcoming newsletter.

Other updates to School Operations, including Music activities, are listed in the summary table below.

Let's not forget those long months of Learning from Home in 2020 and the fantastic gains we have made. We want your children learning onsite at school every day, so everyone has an important role in helping us stay safe and keeping the school open.

Welcome to the 2021 school year everyone, and thanks once again for your patience. We'll resume our 'normal' newsletter next time!



COVIDSafe behaviours

Key actions for schools

All Victorian Schools 

Temperature checks


Face masks



Face masks are recommended when physical distancing of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained.

Create COVIDSafe spaces

Key actions for schools

All Victorian schools

COVIDSafe routine cleaning


Enhanced hand hygiene facilities


Enhanced ventilation


Community use of school playground


Community use of school facilities (indoors and outdoors)


Libraries (for borrowing and as a learning space)


Promote COVIDSafe activities

Key actions for schools

All Victorian schools



Pre-service teacher placements


Health, wellbeing, inclusion visits


School tours






School photos


Camps and overnight stays


Assemblies (whole school and year level)



Density limits apply with external guests




Density limits apply with external guests or if held at external venues

Graduation ceremonies



Density limits apply with external guests

Kinder transition program


Year 7 transition programs


Non-contact sports (indoors)


Contact sports (indoors)


Contact sports (outdoors)


Non-contact sports (outdoors) 


Interschool and intraschool sports


Other interschool activity (such as debating)


Singing, brass and woodwind classes and groups



Music activities including group singing and wind instrument use can take place with health and safety measures in place in line with DHHS advice

Swimming (school-based pool)


Professional development and staff meetings (face to face)


Respond to coronavirus (COVID-19) risk
Key actions for schools

All Victorian schools

Keep visitor records


Maintain adequate PPE supply




Additional arrangements for Preps

From the Assistant Principal, Jo


We are all incredibly excited to be welcoming our new Prep students for the 2021 school year! Please note the details below to ensure a smooth and calm transition into Laburnum Primary School.

Friday 29 January and all Wednesdays in February - individual Prep assessments, as per the letter invitation posted in December 2020. 

Parents should wait with their child at the designated time and location for the individual assessment until the classroom teacher collects your child from this space. The assessment will take an hour. When the assessment is completed, the teacher will return your child to the original drop off point for parent pick up. Please note that, as per DET guidelines, parents are unable to be in the school ground for longer than 15 minutes so are asked to leave during this time.

Designated locations (Please see map above):
Prep K & Prep P - outside Art room entry doors
Prep B & Prep W - outside canteen entry doors

Monday 1 February OR Tuesday 2 February - 9.30am - 12.30pm, as per letter invitation posted in December 2020.

Allocated students are to arrive at school at 9.30am and wait in their designated location (marked on map above), where their classroom teacher will meet them. Please bring along your child's clearly labelled book box (see example label below) and leave this outside in the specified area, marked by orange witches' hats. These will be delivered to your child's classroom by school staff.

Example book box label:
Name - Jo Bloggs
Class - Prep K 

Monday 1 February OR Tuesday 2 February afternoon - Individual parent-teacher meetings.

Times and days were provided in the December letter posted to parents. These will be held onsite in vacant Prep classrooms. Please register via the QR code at the general office, then wait for the teacher to collect you from your child's Prep meeting area, as detailed above.

Thursday 4 February - students commence 'regular' school days from 9am - 3.30pm, excepting Wednesdays in February.

Your child will continue to meet as a class at their designated locations for drop off and pick up.

Please review the 'Principal's Update' newsletter page in this edition for additional details. 

Thank you!