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Graduated Return to School-Based Learning

Assalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu

Dear Parents and Students,
I hope that you are well, and that you are finding joy, peace and family togetherness during this holy month of Ramadan.

Over the weekend, the Premier of Queensland announced that school students will start a gradual return to school-based learning. What this means is that from Monday May 11 some students will return to on-campus learning, while the remainder of students continue to learn from home.

A People-Centered Approach

I want to be very clear, that as the Principal of AIIC every decision I make puts our students, our staff and our community first. I will not be swayed by public pressure, economics or a vocal minority to re-open our classrooms early; the implications for this are dire and irreversible, and it would be our children who may ultimately pay the price.

I understand and appreciate how difficult remote learning has been for some, and how desperately we all want our children back at school. I appreciate your support, and your understanding while we continue to put our people, first.

Phase 1 of School-Based Learning

On Monday 11 May, the Australian International Islamic College will return to school-based learning for students in Kindergarten, Prep, Year 1, Year 11 and Year 12 only, with all remaining students continuing with their remote learning from home.
Students in these year levels will attend school and teachers and aides will resume regular classes. In the upper Secondary students will remain on an abridged timetable, meaning they will have 90 minutes in the afternoon for assignment and catchup work with their teachers.
Students in these year levels who choose not to return to school will have their remote learning packages only.

A safe return for all

It is imperative that as we transition back to school-based learning that we create a safe environment for students and staff alike.
Students who are returning to school-based learning should only attend school if they are well. Any student who presents with signs of illness, including a cough, runny nose, fever or lethargy will be sent home immediately. If parents cannot be reached (their contact details are out of date) then the student will be asked to remain at home until these details are updated.
We have implemented additional measures to ensure everyone here at AIIC is as safe as can be. For students who are returning, this includes
• Being well, and free of any signs of illness each day
• Agreeing to a temperature check as requested
• Partaking in additional hand washing throughout the day
• Bringing their own packed lunch and water bottle as the tuckshop will be closed
• Exercising social distancing where possible, including at break time
• Praying Salah in class groups
• Being collected immediately after school from the pick-up/drop-off zone (parents should not exit their vehicles)
Any student who willfully puts another person at risk by not abiding by these measures will be sent home immediately and will not be permitted to return.

What we need parents to do

There are a number of ways parents can support the school as we transition back to school-based learning.
1. Parent contact details must be up to date, including email, phone and emergency contacts. It is imperative that we can communicate with families
2. The school office is closed and parents are not permitted to attend the school. Please phone or email any enquiries
3. Parents who are dropping off and picking up students are not permitted to exit their vehicles. Parents should use the pick-up/drop-off zone where educators will be waiting to escort students to class.
4. Please do not send students to school who are unwell. They will be sent home immediately and asked not to return until well.

Why can’t everyone return at once?

We are implementing a graduated return to school-based learning to assess the success of this approach. We need to determine if students can be at school in a safe way, before we bring other grades back.

We will be watching closely, and taking the best advice of the medical professionals on if, and when it is safe to begin transitioning other year levels back to school-based learning. Until that time, we will support students in Year 2-10 in their Remote Learning.

Why are we still paying school fees?

As in Independent school, AIIC is responsible for our running costs, just like any other organization. We have been working tirelessly to continue providing a quality education, despite the tremendous challenges faced by remote learning. In fact, our running costs have increased during this time. I am proud to say that we have continued to support our staff and have ensured safe, ongoing employment for all of our educators. This means that your child’s education has not been compromised and we have a strong team ready for the transition back to school-based learning.

As an independent school we have some of the lowest fees already. We do ask for your support in paying school fees on time and are offering families a 10% discount for fees paid promptly. If you have been impacted by the COVID-19 workplace closures and you are struggling to pay fees, I ask that you make contact with our Accounts team to arrange a manageable payment plan, and to discuss what supports we can put in place during this tough time.

What the future holds

The future, although uncertain, is bright. The reality is, we as a community are likely going to be living with COVID-19 for some time. What we are doing now, is trying to create an environment that is protective, and supportive. What I know, with absolute certainty, is that we are resilient and we will come out of this stronger than ever.

I thank you for your support, and for trusting your most precious children with us. We love them, and we miss them.

Love, peace and blessings

Christine Harman