16 March 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
Firstly, I hope you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.
I write to you to provide an update on our school’s operations following the most recent information provided by the Department of Education and Training (DE&T), 16 March 2020.
David Howes, Deputy Secretary, Schools and Regional Services, DE&T has provided a statement on school closures in Victoria CHO_advicetoschools_16March2020.
Current information from DE&T includes:
CAMPS AND EXCURSIONS:
- All camps scheduled to commence from and including Tuesday 17 March must be postponed and rescheduled, or, if there is no other option, cancelled.
- For the purposes of excursions, a school excursion is defined to include local parks and sporting facilities regularly used by the school, including local swimming pools. All excursions outside the school for purposes such as visits to cultural institutions, art galleries, theatres and sporting events or facilities planned from and including Tuesday 17 March must also be postponed or cancelled.
- If you have paid for an excursion or incursion that has been cancelled or postponed, your account will be credited for future events.
GOOD HYGIENE PRACTICES: We are paying extra attention to the health and hygiene measures employed across our school, in particular the provision of soap in school toilets and posters displaying good hygiene practices. Having 547 children and 58 staff, our supply of personal hygiene products (toilet paper, soap and hand sanitiser) is a constant challenge. Thank you to families who have kindly donated some items. Today we had another delivery of soap from one provider.
INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS: Everyone arriving into Australia from overseas from 15 March will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. This obviously includes students and staff who may be returning from overseas travel. Importantly, it also includes parents and carers and any other relatives or friends of our students who are returning from overseas travel. As they are required to self-isolate, they must not visit the school to pick up children or for any other reason.
ORGANISED GATHERINGS: The Commonwealth Government has announced that mass gatherings of more than 500 people are now prohibited. This explicitly does not include schools running normal teaching and learning program. It does, however, apply to any school event that involves attendance by community members who are not students or staff and where total attendance will exceed 500. This includes school assemblies and sporting events. SKPS has made the decision that from this point forward, we will hold assemblies as either junior or senior assemblies (mini assemblies) or in the event of inclement weather, assemblies will be held over the PA system.
In schools with more than 500 students, we have been asked to introduce staggered lunch breaks. A timetable is currently being developed to address this point.
Importantly, I have been advised to minimise all contact at school. This will impact on us considerably.
To help maintain the health and safety of our precious ones, the following events have been either postponed, cancelled or will occur in a creative way i.e. using technology. If we are able to readdress some of the events, we will certainly do so.
- Canberra camp has been postponed until November/December
- Japan tour – cancelled
- Student Leadership Forum – cancelled
- Access to St Kilda library – cancelled
- Parent BYOD Information session – cancelled
- Gala Days – cancelled
- PCYC – cancelled
- BoLT/CoLT – cancelled
- Parent courses scheduled for Term 2: ‘Parent as Helpers (all curriculum areas)’ and ‘How to help Your Child at Home’ – postponed
- Case Planning and Student Support Group meetings – postponed or/ via phone
- Curriculum Nights/Parent Information sessions – cancelled
- Our Annual Report will be posted online (Sue’s News and Compass)
- Year 5 Humiform guest speakers – postponed
- Year 2 Parent ‘Expert’ speakers – postponed
I am seeking feedback regarding the operation of the Holiday Program. I will pass on information as it comes to light.
Please know that if you have any queries in regard to the above information, please phone school on 95343993.
Once again, if your child has any signs of being unwell in anyway (fever, vomiting, sore throats etc.), please do not send them to school. I am aware that doctor surgeries are extremely busy, however Nurse Kate is not able to diagnose and support families with medical needs. This is not her role and we do not want unwell children presenting at school for medical advice. Please visit your GP.
I will provide further information soon. In the meantime, please keep safe and well.