On Monday I organised for Kim Ho from St John’s to talk to our staff. She focused on some basic mental health awareness topics in light of the recent disruptions in Hong Kong, and some of the anxiety, stress, depressive and trauma related symptoms that some of us may have been experiencing.
She also touched on the dynamics of in group love, out group hate, and intergroup conflict as one perspective on understanding the polarization in our society today. Finally, she highlighted the importance of self care during stressful periods like this, and when it may be appropriate to seek professional support.
Finally, she focused on what we should be looking for, in terms of our children and what things we should and should not be saying to our children. As a school it is important that we remain neutral and our only focus is ensuring our children are safe and that we continue to do the things we have always done (stability).
My question to the parent body is whether or not you feel that a session like this, for our parents, would be useful. The session run by Kim would involve her presenting for 50 minutes and then having a Q&A for 20 minutes. The session would also focus on some parenting tips in light of our current situation in Hong Kong.
We will only offer the session to our parents if there is enough interest. Next week, I will be sending out a survey to gauge interest. Please fill in the survey if you would like to attend. At this stage we would plan for the session to start at 6.30pm with a finish time of around 7.40pm.
Over the coming days and weeks, I will be reaching out to our PTA members and other parent reps to help test our new Peak School App. The idea is to test the new App for the next few months with the goal of ensuring it is ready to release to all our parents in Term 2, or possibly in Term 3, depending on how the testing goes.
The purpose of the app is to streamline our communication to parents. One issue that I hear often is the fact that, as a school, we can be guilty of over communicating. Obviously this is better than under communicating but I appreciate the number of channels in which we use to communicate can become a burden for some families in terms of accessing it.
It is hoped that the App will streamline this so that, eventually, the App will become the “one stop shop” for all school wide communication including important messages, making payments, granting permission for trips, notifying school of absences, accessing calendars etc.
The App is almost ready for testing and although it will start off with limited features, the hope is that in the months and years ahead, the app makes our communication more efficient and effective.
First thing, Thursday morning, our Year 5 children are operating a “pop up” shop to sell some of the many clothes that have been donated as part of our “ReDress” involvement. Any money raised from the sales will be donated to ReDress.
Some of the Year 5 children have been working on the “marketing material” to promote the pop up so please look at the material below to learn more about the shop on Thursday.
As previously mentioned we now have a pollution monitoring machine, on site, at Peak School.
This allows us to access local information to make decisions specific and appropriate for Peak School. I do not have access to actual figures but we have a system made up of coloured levels and when it gets to a certain coloured level, we make the decision to cancel outside activities. The good news is that now the weather has cooled, it appears the likelihood of us getting to that particular level is now reducing.
On the odd occasion we have had to keep the children inside during a lunch break or we have had to cancel an after school activity. Whilst I know this can be very disappointing for the children and an inconvenience for the adults having to rearrange after school pick up etc, please appreciate this is all about the safety of our children.
I think it is fantastic that we had ESF support us by providing the weather/pollution machine and it now means that we are one of a few schools that can confidently state that they can keep the children safe in regards to exposure to harmful pollution. On top of that we have the amazing support from our PTA who have purchased IQ Air Purifiers (x 20) in all the rooms of the school meaning that if the pollution outside is high, the pollution levels within the school buildings are low and safe.
A number of parents have asked why we have taken the staff contacts, including photos and email addresses, off the website.
The reason is because staff, including myself, were being impersonated. An example of this was happening on a regular basis where someone would impersonate me and email staff members, obviously using the email addresses available online, making requests for vouchers etc. Other staff members across ESF were having their photos and email addresses used for fake profiles etc so all ESF have had to take the step to remove their staff from their websites.
The good news is that the photos and email contacts are still available to you and you simply have to log into Planet Peak to access. The idea is that the information can only be accessed by parents as they have the username and password to access the data.
Please read my other blog entry about how we are in the process of making it even easier for you to contact the school via the Peak School App.