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January 22, 2021

Dear {{contact.GREETING}},

Welcome to the 2021 School Year

The 2021 school year is about to unfold, and we look forward to it with a measure of optimism and based on our recent experiences some careful preparations for it unfolding in other ways.

In 2020, we learned that we are indeed a tight knit, supportive and resilient school community. We had significant success in ensuring the ongoing learning of your children, our students, in the face of significant difficulties and the importance of our school values of care and empathy, resilience, responsibility, respect and achievement (personal best) were reinforced as significant.
 
As I sit to write this, we have recently received the latest School Operations Guide from the Victorian government outlining how we are to operate in these first few weeks of term. Each Head of Sub-school will outline some of the detail in their correspondence with you.

I would like to point out that one of the continuing limitations we have is that parents cannot be on site for longer than 15 minutes without being required to register with us. We will have QR code signs in high traffic areas to allow for registration. My request to you is that you are not on site for longer than 15 minutes unless there is a designated appointment or school event. If you do stay longer, please register via the QR code system. I thank you in advance for your assistance.
 
In 2020 we had to work very hard as parents, and teachers, in the lives of young people to ensure their social and emotional well-being in the light of quite long-term lockdowns. There were a number of young people and indeed some older people who struggled through these times and one of our aims for the start of 2021 is to ensure that school continues to be a welcoming community to all and that we have people happily settled and productively working onsite. As a result, we have devised a special programme for the first 2 days of school, Thursday and Friday January 28th and 29 that is heavily focused on social and emotional wellbeing as underlining academic attainment. We will look to offer a warm welcome, and develop a settled approach to enhance social interaction, confidence and well-being. In addition, there will be an age-appropriate focus on skills of organisation, time management, record keeping, the familiarisation with new digital equipment when appropriate and expectations on the use of time for study and schoolwork.

The Commissioner of eSafety, a federal government appointee has provided us some resources to enable conversations about online safety. Whether your child is starting preschool or in secondary school, eSafety has a range of resources to support you.

Visit eSafety parents to learn more and share with your family and friends.

I have written and published an article on LinkedIn and on the Leaders Blog of the TKS website. It is a summary of my thinking of how we managed 2020 and what aspects of the learnings from 2020 we will carry into 2021. I would encourage you to peruse this article to understand my thinking on how 2021 will unfold. The links follows: School life to see a more flexible approach endure | LinkedIn and also linked it through to a blog post on our website.

Finally, a reminder that in the Junior School the class teacher is your first point of contact and in the Middle and Senior Schools your first point of contact should be your daughter’s or son’s Mentor. In previous years, this role was described as Tutor. The term Mentor will now be used to describe the role as we consider this to be a more accurate descriptor. The Mentor is your first point of contact with the School and their role with your son or daughter is to get to know them as a person, whether they teach them or not, to support their social and emotional well-being, to assist them with the development of their character and to assist them in managing the ebb and flow of school life.


Allan Shaw
Principal and Chief Executive

Academic Scholarships Now Open

Academic Scholarships are available for new and current students who will be entering into Years 7, 9 or 10 in 2022 and will be awarded to students who are able to demonstrate outstanding academic ability.

Students applying for this scholarship will be required to sit an exam conducted by Edutest. This scholarship offers a discount of 50 per cent off the tuition fees and is tenable until the end of Year 12.

Find Out More

Year 7 Welcome Evening

By way of welcoming you to the start of your Secondary School Journey, it is our pleasure to invite you to a Welcome Evening on 3 February where you can meet other parents of Year 7, 2021 and key staff who will be guiding your child through this important transition.

Book Tickets Here

Uniform Shop Holiday Hours

The Uniform Shop holiday opening hours are now published on our website.

Middle and Senior Leadership Assembly

Save the date for this year's Student Leadership and Celebration of Achievement Assembly which will be livestreamed to parents on 16 February 2021 at 11.20am - 12.40pm. Please note the link will not work until the day of the event.

Livestream Here

From the Falcon Philanthropy Group

For many years, each term fee account has invited parents to make a voluntary contribution to The Knox School Building Fund. These contributions have supported projects such as the original construction of the Information Common, the refurbishment of the Auditorium, and the recent refurbishment of The David Aitken Pavilion in 2018.

In 2021 it is planned that voluntary contributions to the Building Fund will support the refurbishment of the Library which is a major student resource. The school has recently determined the need to modernise the Library to support the personalised learning journey of each student.

We are pleased to report to our parent body that donors supporting the voluntary contributions program has increased six-fold in the last three years, and we can now proudly acknowledge that 40% of our families make a voluntary tax-deductible donation.

For more information please email philanthropy@knox.vic.edu.au

Chris Adam
Benefits & Resources Sub Group – Falcon Philanthropy Group (FPG)

On behalf of the Junior School, I would like to express a warm welcome back to all students and families and extend a special welcome to our new families for 2021. I know we will make our new families feel welcome and supported as they become familiar with The Knox School community. I hope everyone had a safe and restful summer break and are ready for an engaging and exciting term ahead. I am looking forward to the new year and all that we have ahead of us.
 
As we start this new year, we are pleased that many restrictions have been eased, allowing School programs, and learning opportunities for students to go ahead as planned. However, it is important to note that despite the easing of many restrictions the School continues to operate under the COVID-Safe guidelines outlined by the Department of Education, to ensure we provide the safest environment for our whole community.

Therefore, as we start the new school year, parents and visitors to the School are still subject to density limits both indoors and outdoors, physical distancing requirements, and registration of any visitors to the School who remain on-site for longer than 15 minutes.

Please see outlined below relevant COVID-Safe practices that apply to the beginning of the year. We will continue to update the community if there are changes to these. The School greatly appreciates the ongoing support of families to adhere to these practices.
 
Catherine Samuel
Head of Junior School

Drop Off

The top carpark will remain a Kiss and Drop Zone from 8.00am – 8.45am. It will be a No Parking Zone during this time. If you need to park, please make your way to the Lower Junior School carpark outside the Main Reception. Parking spaces will be limited.

Year 1 to Year 6 students should be dropped off using the Kiss and Drop Zone, as we did in Term 4, 2020. Once again, Staff will be there to assist students as they arrive. We will also have additional teachers and students to help the younger students to their classes. Do not hesitate to reach out to your classroom teacher or me if your child needs some additional TLC.

New families in Year 1 to Year 6 are welcome to park in the Lower Junior School carpark outside the Reception Area and walk students to the building on Thursday 28 January and Friday 29 January, as students are becoming familiar with the new surroundings.

Prep and ELC parents are asked to park in the Lower Junior School carpark outside the Reception Area and walk students to their classroom via the external doors for drop-off. Teachers will be there to welcome you. Please be mindful that parking during this time is limited, so we request that parents do this quickly.

ELC parents, as we did in Term 4 2020, we encourage families who can, to come between 8.45am and 9.00am.

Pick Up

Regular end of day times will resume for both ELC and Prep to Year 6 students. There will no longer be staggered pick up times. ELC parents should pick up students via the external doors, and Prep-Year 6 parents should wait on the Upper Playground grass to collect students or ask their child to wait at the Kiss and Drop Zone. For physically distancing purposes, please do not wait directly outside the Junior School doors.

Parent’s should not wait inside the Junior School or RRLC building to collect students.

Books and Student Resources

As students need to make their way from the top carpark down to their classroom, please stagger the bringing of any booklist items over Thursday, Friday and Monday, so that students can manage their belongings.

Assemblies

Junior School Assemblies will resume every second Friday from 8.45am – 9.30am, starting on Friday 29 January. Due to indoor density limits, parents will not be able to attend Junior School Assemblies in person. However, the School will live stream the Assembly for those parents who might like to tune in from home or work. A link will be sent to parents before each Assembly.

Birthday Treats

A reminder any birthday treats being distributed amongst the class should be individually packaged. A cupcake or fun-sized chocolate bars are an easy and very manageable option. We are still unable to have shared food.

Individual Circumstances

In all situations, some families and students may have individual needs or circumstances. Please communicate any of these with your classroom teacher, so appropriate support and arrangements can be put into place.

Key Dates for February

Welcome to 2021! It promises to be another year filled with great opportunities and fantastic possibilities for students in Middle School. I trust you have had a safe and restful summer break, refreshed, and reenergised for the plethora of events engaging students alongside the academic requirements in Term 1.

We are pleased that many restrictions have been eased for the start of the new year, allowing programs and learning opportunities for students to go ahead as planned. However, it is important to note that despite the easing of many restrictions the School continues to operate under the COVID-Safe guidelines outlined by the Department of Education to ensure we provide the safest environment for our whole community.

The following is information regarding the start of term and other pertinent information for upcoming events.
 
Toni-Ann Bright
Head of Middle School

Parents on Campus

In keeping with the current COVID-Safe guidelines, parents and visitors to the School are subject to density limits both indoors and outdoors, physical distancing requirements and registration of any visitors to the School who remain on-site for longer than 15 minutes.

Parents and visitors are asked to limit being on campus to under 15 minutes where possible, not gather unnecessarily, and practice physical distancing. For appointments, meetings or events lasting longer than 15 minutes, parents are required to sign-in. Sign-in sheets will be provided at any events or information evenings.

Drop Off and Pick Up

Middle School parents are encouraged to use the College Close entrance to the School and utilise the lower roundabout for drop-off and pick-up. The top carpark remains a Kiss and Drop Zone for Junior School and using the rear entrance will ease traffic congestion.

Arrangements for 28 and 29 of January - Year 7

The first two days of school have been set aside for a comprehensive Orientation Program for Year 7 students and an invaluable Academic Care Program for Year 8 and 9 students. Both programs will include a range of valuable activities to cover organisational matters, team building, study skills, and health and wellbeing. Workshops will be intentional in their support of academic achievement and integral to the learning purpose.
 
Year 7 students are to meet their Mentors in the Year 7 Centre and the Year 8 and 9 students are to meet their Mentors in the Middle School Building.

Students are required to attend School from 8.35 am to 3.40pm each day, wearing their School Sports Uniform.

A BBQ lunch will be provided for all students on Friday 29 January. Dietary requirements will be catered for appropriately.

Books and Student Resources

Please stagger the bringing of any booklist items over Thursday, Friday and Monday so that students can manage their belongings. Timetabled classes will commence on Monday 1 February with Week 1 Day 1.

Flexible Learning Periods (FLPs)

With evidence supporting the need to provide students with flexibility to prioritise their work requirements, teach them valuable skills in organisation, develop independent learning and create even greater opportunities for collaborative learning, Flexible Learning Periods (FLPs) will continue in 2021.

Class Teachers will support students in the Middle School during FLPs and assist with the development of the necessary skills. FLPs will be indicated in student timetables by the room allocation being designated as ‘FLEX’ rather than a room number. Further detail about the expectations for FLPs will be provided to students in the 2-day program commencing January 28.

Key Dates for February

Year 12 students and their parents are invited to the Year 12 Information Evening to be held on Thursday 28 January from 7.00-7.45pm in the Auditorium.

The Knox School requests that students and parents of current Year 12 join us to learn more about the programs, services and staff that are provided to assist students and families in what is a busy and rewarding year.

We will address the key issues and dates for Year 12 2021 followed by a light supper in the foyer. If you cannot make it, please contact Sonia Lili, EA to the Senior School on 8805 3820 or via sonia.lili@knox.vic.edu.au.
 
Suzanne van Strien
Head of Senior School

Start of Year Arrangements

28 and 29 January Students are required to attend school from 8:35 – 3:40 each day, wearing their School Sports Uniform. Please note that a BBQ lunch will be provided for all students on Friday 29 January.

 

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