It has been such a joyful week of connecting and reconnecting: students with teachers, students with students, teachers with teachers, teachers with parents, parents with parents. Learning has well and truly begun and so have the social interactions, debate, enthusiasm, discussion and creating that make up such an important part of that learning experience. It was wonderful to see so many parents joining us for our first EP School Assembly of the year on Monday - we welcome parents to each of our Monday School Assemblies whilst we are learning online. Monday assemblies start at 08:10 and last for 10 minutes.
One particular area of connecting and reconnecting that I would like to share with you in our first EP KLASS Blog of the new academic year, is the role of the PTA in welcoming and supporting our new families. Yesterday, our PTA held a Zoom welcome event for our new families. Gavin Lazaro, our Vice Principal for Community and Operations, tells us more about this successful event and the vital role our PTA plays in our community below.
In amongst the wonder and excitement of moving to a new country comes the inevitable trepidation of finding somewhere to live, finding out what the weather really is like and discovering which supermarket sells *kimchi/Marmite/Vegemite/sake/brie. And of course, how will the children get on at their new school. One can only do so much research, since what really counts is how they actually settle into the new school, and feedback from our new students thus far has been very positive, despite the additional challenges of starting a new school online.
One aspect that’s often ignored is ensuring the parents settle into a new school routine. Our amazing PTA spent a wonderful 90 minutes on Thursday morning with nearly 50 new EP families via Zoom. A warm introduction from PTA Chair, Sharianne Quirk, highlighted the great work that our PTA team does, year in, year out. Staying in touch is crucial in any year and more so at the moment, so informing new parents about Facebook, WhatsApp groups and virtual coffee mornings helped alleviate some of the stress.
EP also has year group representatives and these amazing parents welcomed new families in breakout rooms. This time was used to allow parents to get to know each other and offer a range of support and advice including dentist recommendations, language support and home location advice.
Some parents stayed for nearly an hour, so this was definitely a worthwhile experience for everyone. Sincere thanks to our PTA and the EP year group reps for offering up their time and expertise to support our new families.
One question lots of our new parents asked was when they can actually come onto campus. Once the current restrictions allow, we will absolutely invite parents for on-site tours around our wonderful (though currently rather quiet) campus.
Lastly, whether you’re a new or an established parent, please do reach out to school and/or each other in these challenging times.
*Replace with your own favourite supermarket item!
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend,
Dr. Maria Osowiecki