Attached to this week’s newsletter is the latest advice from the Department of Education and Training regarding how schools now manage confirmed cases of Covid, minimising school closures and rapid anti-gen testing. As you can appreciate, the advice is changing as more is learned about the virus. When I receive any updates that affect our school community in any way, I will communicate them to you.
On the topic of Covid, I would like to thank all our families who are social distancing during drop and pick up times, remaining outside the school grounds, only visiting the office when needed and supporting our students and teachers as they re-establish school routines.
Most importantly, thank you to all families who keep their children home if they are unwell with even mild symptoms. It may be just a cold but if it spreads to other families, then the ripple effect is quite significant, particularly among our parents who are health care workers.
A key action in the school’s Covid-19 Safety Plan is that any child who is unwell must be sent home until they are symptom-free. We understand this can be challenging so we really appreciate your support with this.
Visitors and Volunteers in Schools
The current advice is that any visitor or volunteer in a school performing work on school sites (both inside and outdoors) must check in via the QR code at the office and then confirm that they are fully vaccinated with the office staff. Our staff will record your name, the date and that they have sighted your certificate (or green tick). You will only need to do this the first time. You will still need to check in on the Compass kiosk as well. Masks are required to be worn inside all school buildings at all times and social distancing between adults even in classrooms is also required.
Presently we are only allowing Canteen volunteers (numbers capped with regard to the person per square metre ratio of 1 to 4). Visitors are on a case-by-case basis unless they are Department staff from the regional office. These staff are required to be fully vaccinated in order to work as our school staff are.
External providers who use or hire school facilities outside of school hours must ensure that their use aligns with the Open Premises Directions including vaccination requirements.
Prep 2022 Transition
It is so delightful to be able to welcome our 2022 Prep students onsite to complete the transition program. The first two weeks had to be done remotely, which is not ideal. Parents were met at the gate by our current Prep staff who collected all the children and brought them inside for a ‘real life look’ at the classrooms.
Our staff have done a wonderful job of connecting with our new students, making them feel welcome and getting them comfortable and excited about starting school next year. There are two more onsite sessions to go before our Prep 2022 Information Night for parents to be held in Week 9 of this term; this will be held remotely.
How your child's school will manage suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19
Staff or students with COVID-19 symptoms
The Department of Education and Training (DET) has comprehensive procedures in place with the Department of Health (DH) to manage suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in schools.
If a member of school staff or a child has symptoms matching those of COVID-19, the school will ask them to go home and get a PCR test, and to self-isolate while awaiting the outcome of that PCR test.
For students with COVID-19 symptoms, the school will isolate the student as quickly as possible on the school site, then contact a parent or carer to ask them to collect the student immediately.
- chills or sweats
- sore throat
- shortness of breath
- runny nose
- loss or change in sense of smell or taste.
A headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may also be considered a symptom.
Isolation and supervision
If a child, young person or staff member at school is showing symptoms of COVID-19 and cannot travel home immediately, the school will isolate them in a suitable area at the school, with supervision as appropriate.
Staff protection and hygiene
If a student cannot remain alone in an isolation area while waiting to be collected, the staff member looking after them will wear personal protective equipment, in accordance with DET guidance, while supporting the student.
The school will take all appropriate actions to respond to the suspected case, record keeping and reminding the school community about good COVIDSafe practices such as hand hygiene and monitoring for symptoms.
If a staff member, a child or family member is diagnosed with COVID-19
Procedures are in place with the DH to manage suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in schools.
Immediate action by the school once it is notified of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19
The school will contact DET if they are informed that a student or staff member:
- is a confirmed case
- has been in close contact with a confirmed case.
Schools no longer need to report confirmed positive cases of school community members if those school community members were not onsite in the 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
DET may advise that the school will close for an initial 24 hours to allow for identification and notification of primary close contacts. This instruction will be provided as soon as possible.
As part of this, DET will provide schools with a spreadsheet and instructions to complete the identification of primary close contacts (close contact) and communication templates to use.
What the school will do once they have notified DET?
Schools will contact affected students and staff (close contact) and advise them to get a PCR test and remain at home until they receive contact from DH, who will confirm the quarantine requirements.
Families and households of identified close contacts do not have to isolate.
Students and staff who have not been identified as a close contact can return to school.
A deep clean is not required after a positive case has attended onsite. COVIDSafe Routine Cleaning (daily whole of school clean, including high-touch clean and disinfect) is the appropriate level of cleaning.
When will the school reopen?
Impacted schools will be open and running as normal as soon as possible.
In most cases, schools that have been closed due to a confirmed COVID-19 case will re-open within 24 hours. In rare circumstances, the contact identification process may identify additional cases or take longer than expected. This means that the school may need to stay closed for longer. The school will keep in touch with parents, carers and staff about this.
If I, my child, or family member has been identified as a close contact by the school
Staff and students who have been identified by the school as a close contact are advised to only leave their home for brief periods of time for necessary activities:
- caregiving to family members when no alternative is available
- medical care
- to get tested for COVID-19
- in an emergency.
How do I know if I’m a primary close contact?
DH will review all the people the school has identified as close contacts and will confirm that they are primary close contacts (PCC). DH or the Local Public Health Unit will get in touch with the parent/carer or staff member via SMS to confirm that the parent or student is a PCC. This may take some days.
DH will advise how long the PCC should quarantine for and will outline testing and release dates.
If the isolation period is:
- 14 days: The PCC will require an additional PCR test on day 13 prior to returning to school. Once they receive their day 13 negative test result, they can stop quarantining immediately.
- 7 days: The PCC will require an additional PCR test on day 6 prior to returning to school. Once they receive their day 6 negative PCR test result, they can stop quarantining at 11:59pm on day 7.
Upon completion of quarantine and if they have returned a negative PCR test, PCCs are not required to wait for clearance from DH to leave quarantine.
If a case of COVID-19 is identified at your child's school
- Step 1
COVID-19 case confirmed
Principal identifies close contacts and asks them to get a PCR test, then stay at home and wait for contact from the Department of Health. The Department of Education and Training informs WorkSafe if a Department employee or contractor has tested positive for COVID-19.
If contact identification is complete and no closure is required go to step 3.
- Step 2
Possible school site closure, then reopening
If necessary, the school may close for 24 hours to allow time to complete the identification of close contacts.
- Step 3
Daily COVIDSafe Routine Cleaning can continue even if the school site is closed. A deep clean is not required; COVIDSafe Routine Cleaning (including high-touch clean and disinfect) is the appropriate level of cleaning. The Victorian School Building Authority will arrange for a daily attestation from the service provider confirming that the required COVIDSafe Routine Cleaning has occurred at the school.
- Step 4
Return to school
Principal informs the rest of the school (those not identified as close contacts) that they can return.
For more information: Department of Education and Training: 1800 338 663
Rapid antigen testing pilot in schools
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved the use of rapid antigen testing for home use from Monday 1 November.
The Department of Education and Training is currently working with the Department of Health to run a rapid antigen testing pilot in school communities from Monday 8 November.
The Department of Education and Training is currently working with the Department of Health to roll-out a state-wide program for any new COVID-19 exposures on school sites from Monday 15 November. This program will help unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students to return to school as quickly as possible after being identified as a primary close contact (PCC) after a seven-day quarantine, instead of a 14-day quarantine.
Library Books are D
It’s that time of year! Time to look under the beds, in closets and in the car for school library books. The final week of borrowing is week 8 and it is essential that all library books are returned by December 1st. Thank you in advance for your assistance in returning in a timely manner, as this will ensure the whole school community benefits from access to our library books.
Enrolments for Prep in 2022 are open and we are finalising grades for the coming year. Enrolment forms may be downloaded from the link below.
When lodging the enrolment form, we are also required to sight the original birth certificate and current immunisation history statement, which we will take a photocopy of for school entry requirements.
|Thurs 11 Nov|| Emily Furlong
|10:15am - 11:30am
11:30am - 1:45pm
Friday 12 Nov
11:30am - 1:45pm
9:30am - 11:30am
|Mon 15 Nov||
9:30am - 11:30am
12:30am - 1:45pm
Tues 16 Nov
9:30am - 11:30am
12:30pm - 1:45pm
Wed 17 Nov
12:30pm - 1:45pm
|Thurs 18 Nov||
|10:15am - 11:30am||
12:30pm - 1:45pm
Friday 19 Nov
|Caty Swain||11:30am - 1:45pm||
9:30am - 11:30am
Term 4 Roster
Next term’s roster is now available online! We cannot do this without you. Please choose anytime that is free and fill in your name.
Volunteers are required to be fully vaccinated. Please provide proof of vaccination to the front office.
Did you know
Canteen offers a free slinky service! Bring your washed apple or pear from home to the canteen and have it made into a fun slinky.
Volunteers & Hygiene
Please use the QR code at front entrance of the school and sign in at the office kiosk upon arrival.
We will be practising social distancing in the canteen. Please wear a mask. No more than 1 volunteer will be in the canteen at any one time. All surfaces will be sanitised regularly and hand sanitiser is available for your use.
Sonia - Canteen Manager
Phone: 03 94992171