Welcome

Welcome to my Principal blog.

This blog is designed to provide the latest in news and updates on the happenings at Peak School along with information on a number of topics related to education.

Enjoy!

Bill Garnett

EDB GRANT – 2020-2021

We are hearing reports, via the media, that the EDB are going to offer another round of grants this academic year.  We understand it to be the same as last year – $2500 per child attending school.  Children attending ESF Schools qualify for the grant so we will ensure that you have access the the form as soon as possible.

The deadline is November 6.  If the process is the same as last year, you will be required to download the EDB form, once supplied to us by the EDB, via Gateway.  You then need to print off the form and fill it in.

PLEASE NOTE – some families had their initial application refused last year as they provided the details of a joint bank account and not a sole bank account as per the requirement.  The confusing thing was that some families, that provided a joint bank account, actually got the grant whilst some did not.  The other key point to make is that you have to put down the bank code.  They did not accept applications that did not have the bank code for HSBC (004).  Please read the form carefully and closely to ensure you are filling it in correctly.  The EDB are very particular around what they accept.

We will provide more information as soon as we have it.

This is what we know based on the media:

Student Grant for 2020/21 school year accepting applications (CN: Sing Tao Daily)

  • Starting from the 2020/21 school year, EDB is regularising the one-off student grant of HK$2,500 provided last year for each secondary day-school, primary school and kindergarten student
  • Schools are to obtain application forms from their respective Regional Education Offices starting from today. The deadline for returning the applications is 6 November 2020
  • The student grant will be non-means-tested. Eligible students for the grant include: all students studying in secondary day-schools, primary schools and special schools (including public sector schools, Direct Subsidy Scheme schools, English Schools Foundation schools, private schools) as well as kindergartens (regardless of whether joining the kindergarten education scheme) offering local or non-local curriculum in Hong Kong
  • Students of evening schools and private studies, holders of student visa for entry into Hong Kong for studies and holders of Form of Recognizance issued by the Immigration Department are not within the scope of subsidy
  • For details, visit EDB’s website (bilingual)

PLEASE do not print off any forms from the EDB website until we fully understand whether they will accept this or require the ESF pre stamped one similar to what we did last year (downloaded from Gateway).

We will have more information next week for you.

RETURN TO SCHOOL UPDATE

The return to school has been very successful in terms of they systems we have in place to ensure everyone remains safe and that the children have had the chance to learn face to face with their teacher and peers.

Some things beyond our control, such as when the buses arrive at school for pick up in the afternoon and the traffic conditions across Hong Kong, have been frustrating but we are confident these will settle down quickly.   The first few days of any year are usually frustrating and not in line with the timings we were told by the bus company.  But it does usually quickly settle down.

The focus for us now is ensuring everyone remains safe and our children make progress with their learning throughout the day.

We are really hoping that we can prove to the EDB that we can manage 2/3 days with all children in and that in the coming weeks we start the planning for full days, should this become an option for us.

Our desire is for full days but the EDB will be watching the situation closely across Hong Kong in terms of Covid cases.  All we can do is to continue to ensure our systems are working and that we demonstrate we have the capacity and planning to run full days should they allow us to do this in the coming weeks.  I am starting to work with ESFC around the planning required to open for the full day should this become an option.

I am still getting questions around why we are finishing at 12.15pm and not 12.30pm or 1.00pm like some of the other schools.  As previously mentioned, this is dictated to us by the bus company (as it is for all schools).  They could not pick up at 12.30 or 1.00pm and initially they told us 12pm was our only option, but they have now realised it has to be 12.15pm.  My understanding is some of the buses we use, have pick ups straight after they have dropped our last child off.  The reason the buses are sometimes late to arrive at school in the afternoon is because they have just finished a drop off for some schools that had to finish earlier than us to accommodate the bus company.

PICK UPS – AFTER SCHOOL

We are moving the pick up time for non bus children to 12.30pm as we simply have too many cars arriving early and they are blocking the buses.

If you are picking up your child/ren via car, please do not arrive before 12.25pm as the amount of parent traffic is actually causing our buses to arrive late.  They literally cannot get up the road to the school because we have school community cars blocking the road.  Children being picked up by car/walkers, will not be sent down to the lower playground until after 12.30pm

Bus children will continue to leave at 12.15pm onwards but we are asking that parents/adults who are picking up their child/ren to arrive for 12.30.  If you arrive any earlier than this you are part of the congestion problem.  Ideally, we are looking for a vast majority of the buses to have left before the cars start to arrive.  This is only achievable if cars arrive after 12.25pm and not before.

NEW FINISH TIME – END OF SCHOOL NOW 12.15pm

School as of Monday 28 September (not 28 October as per my app message) onwards will finish at 12.15pm .

The bus company have been unable to guarantee that all the buses will arrive by 12pm (some have been arriving at 12.15pm).  As a result we have negotiated to have our bus children picked up from 12.15pm meaning we are now in a position to extend our school day by 15 minutes.  The buses have been arriving late pushing back the parent pick up (walkers and cars).

I have approached the EDB and informed them that we intend to extend our school day from 12pm to 12.15pm.  I am confident they will allow us to do this as they will appreciate the bus situation and the fact that the rest of our original plan will remain exactly the same.

End of Day Logistics as of Monday 28 September and beyond…

12.15pm – Bus children are called down from their classes and catch the bus home

12.25pm – Parents who are picking up their children can enter the lower playground

PLEASE NOTE THAT UNLESS YOU HEAR OTHERWISE FROM THE SCHOOL, WE WILL GO AHEAD WITH THE TIMINGS AS ABOVE STARTING MONDAY.

DROP OFF AND PICK UP LOGISTICS

The logistics of drop off and pick up have gone well but thus far we have only had up to 66% of our children in school.  It is important for everyone’s safety that we adhere to the following drop off and pick up times, particularly when we have 100% in:

DROP OFF

8.10am – 8.25am – Bus children are dropped off at school

Please note that sometimes buses run late and as a result we may ask cars not to drop their child/ren off in the turning bay as we know a bus is about to arrive (the driver will be asked to continue up the hill rather than turning in).   Please do not be offended if you are unable to park in the turning bay to drop off your child.

8.25am onwards – Children arriving by car can be dropped off in the turning bay assuming all buses have arrived.  Children who walk to school can also arrive at this time.

PICK UP – PLEASE NOTE NEW TIMES

12.15pm – Buses children will hop on the bus and leave Peak School

12.25pm – Parents who are picking up their children (Car or walkers) can enter the lower playground and pick up their child/ren.  Please note that it will be at least 12.25pm before we are able to have the parents enter the school.

Our thanks to Patrick (PTA Chair) for giving us his time each morning to support the school by ensuring the traffic flows freely in the morning this week.  Thank you Patrick!

45% ESF FEE DISCOUNT

We still have about 30 families that are yet to opt in for the 45% fee discount.

Please check the ESF/PS App and if the 45% Fee Discount Icon is still showing on the app, this means you are yet to opt in or out.  If it is not showing, you have already submitted a response.

The deadline is next Wednesday, 30 September.

MR GARNETT READING STORIES

Please click HERE to access nearly 30 stories that I have read aloud and recorded since February, 2020 and shared with the classes.

Some children really enjoy listening to them but they have been asking me where the link is so that they can listen/watch other stories that they may have missed.

I have shared this link before but I am conscious that we have a number of new families that have joined since I last shared the link.

 

IMPORTANT UPDATES AND REMINDERS

Please note that the following arrival and departure times beginning September 23

Bus children will be arriving from 8.05-8.20 and will be departing between 12.00-12.15.

We ask all parents who walk their children to school or drop them off via car/taxi to arrive in the morning from 8.20 – 8.35

In the afternoon, parents who are picking up their child can all meet in the lower playground from 12.15pm onwards.  Please stand on a spot and have your child come to you.

Buses will start to run from September 23 onwards.

 

ESF/PS APP – TEMPERATURE CHECK

ESF have emailed you informing you that you can now record the temperature of your child or children, first thing in the morning, into the ESF App.  This was something that was apparently requested by a number of families across the Foundation.  If, for whatever reason, you would prefer to fill in the form like last year.  Please click HERE to access and print off the form.  This will be accepted by the school as we appreciate not everyone will be able to use the App to record the temperature.

 

ESF/PS APP – HEALTH AND TRAVEL DECLARATION

You will also have received a message from ESFC regarding the Health and Travel Declaration that you must fill out out, via the App, for your children.  Only families that have filled this form out will be allowed access to the school building so it is imperative that you fill this declaration in for your child or children.  Please refer to the ESF/PS app message for instructions on how to fill in the form.

 

RETURN TO SCHOOL WEBSITE

We have put a lot of time and effort into creating a website for our families that highlight what it will be like for the children to return to Peak School under the current situation.

Please take the time to go through this website with your child or children as it will really help them (and you) appreciate what the return to school will look like.

Click HERE to access the website.

 

DISTANCE LEARNING – PARENT SURVEY

Please click HERE to access our September Parent Survey.  The purpose of the survey is to find out what has worked well and ‘even better ifs’ in terms of our Distance Learning Provision offered this term.  It should only take 5 minutes and your feedback is very important to us as it helps shape trends across the school and allows us to identify what we need to keep doing and what we need to change/enhance.
Obviously we are all hoping we do not have to return to a Distance Learning provision in the future but I’m sure you can appreciate it is very good practice to review and be prepared for all options moving forward.
The survey will close on Friday at 3pm.  Please take the time to share your views.