To our SKPS Family,
I would like to share with you the latest information regarding the current health situation. However, firstly I would like you to know that I have just wandered around the school and everyone is happily engaged in activities both inside classrooms and in the yard. We have our parent exercise group getting lovely and fit as they exercise under the elm tree. It is a picturesque day at SKPS with oodles of happy cherubs!
The main point to share with you today is that the DE&T has introduced new cleaning measures that will mean extended and additional cleaning in all government schools through to the end of term. This will include progressive cleaning throughout the day to ensure that risks of transmission are reduced. I had a conversation last night with the company in regard to what this would look like and I am pleased to say that our cleaners arrived on site today at 10.00am. All toilets will be regularly cleaned and all main touch points, especially doors and door handles, will be cleaned regularly throughout the day. The main clean will take place daily after school has finished, which is our usual practice. I have sought additional cleaning of table tops and this may occur this afternoon.
Where schools are directly impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19), the Department will work with the school to undertake a deep clean of the facility. As part of this deep clean, all surfaces, furniture and equipment will be disinfected with hospital-grade disinfectant. Our school is not in this position.
Student attendance: At present, the best place for students to learn is at school.
The exception is where students are being kept out of school due to self-isolation requirements or based on medical advice. We are working with families to ensure that these children can remain engaged in learning and are provided with appropriate materials and support.
DE&T has stated that schools are not obliged to support continuity of learning where the school remains open and parents choose to remove their children from school due to general concerns in relation to COVID-19.
Social distancing in schools:
Social distancing is important to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). As you would be aware, one of the recommendations from health authorities is that people should endeavour to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between themselves and others. This can be implemented by staff in schools between themselves and colleagues. It is not, however, always practical for this advice to be applied to interactions with students, especially young students. It is important to note in this context that the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s advice is that the risk of transmission represented by children appears to be low.
Nevertheless, we are able to take the following practical steps to implement social distancing strategies:
- Greetings are big colourful ‘air hugs’, tapping of feet or elbows – non-contact greetings
- Where possible, we will endeavour to keep 1.5 metres distance from each other
- The highest standards of hygiene are being adhered to
- We have suspended large gatherings of staff and students. Assemblies will be held over the public announcement system with all children remaining in their classrooms
- As we do not have over 500 children attending school currently we do not need to stagger the start and finish of the school day nor staggering recess and lunch breaks
- When our cherubs line up to enter class, they are encouraged to keep 1.5 metres between each other where possible, similarly we are encouraging children to enter and exit their classrooms with greater distance between them
- During classroom group work, there is less ‘huddling’ happening
I would like to thank our parent/carer community who have sent lovely messages through to the school. Each one has been gratefully received. This morning we also had a gorgeous family who delivered a scrumptious morning tea for the staff. Such kindness. Thank you.
Please keep safe and well and I will share the next update with you soon.