Arrangements for Years 7, 8, 9 & 10 student return to onsite learning

Thursday 4 June 2020

Dear parents and carers,

Re Arrangements for Years 7, 8, 9 & 10 student return to onsite learning

Let me begin by thanking you for all your support during these past few weeks in supporting the College and our Senior Students in returning to face to face teaching as well as supporting the remote and flexible learning for Year 7, 8, 9 and 10.

As I mentioned when I last wrote to you almost two weeks ago, following advice from the Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has advised that schools can begin a phased return to on-site schooling.

In the first stage, all senior secondary (Year 11 and 12 VCAL and VCE) students successfully returned to the college on Tuesday 26 May.

In the second stage of our return to on-site schooling, Years 7, 8, 9 & 10 students will return to the college from Tuesday 9 June.

I am particularly looking forward to welcoming all our students back as of next week.

Once a year level has returned, all students will be expected to attend school as normal. This means if you choose to keep your child/children home after their year level has returned to on-site schooling, we can no longer support their learning from home. This does not apply to children who need to be absent for health or medical reasons. Parents/carers of students with complex medical needs (including those with compromised immune systems), should seek advice from a medical practitioner to support decision-making about whether on-site education is suitable, noting that this advice may change depending on the status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Victoria. I ask that you contact the college to provide us with a medical certificate and to also discuss how to best support your child’s learning in this situation.

Let me reiterate that this same approach is being taken by all government schools in Victoria.

To support the health and wellbeing of all our students and staff, our school will continue an enhanced cleaning routine and will encourage frequent hand washing.

I want to emphasise to you that if your child is ill or is feeling unwell, they must not attend school. They must remain home and seek medical advice. If a child is unwell and is at school you will be contacted to come and collect them.

While the Chief Health Officer has advised that students will not be required to maintain physical distancing at school, there will be a number of important changes to our school operations, consistent with health advice. This will apply until further notice.

It is important to note that changes will include:

  • Given the multiple entry points into the college we will not be rearranging times for drop off and pick up and will not be staggering school start and finish times. We ask that families ‘drop off and move on’ in the morning and if you are picking up you remain in your car and your children come to you.
  • Students will also be asked to line up for their classes in specific areas at the beginning of each lesson and then escorted to class single file.
  • In the last 3 weeks of term we will be dismissing Years 7-10 classes 5 minutes earlier before the start of recess, the start of lunch, and before the end of the day on a roster in order to minimize the congregation at the lockers. Years 7 and 9 classes will do this in week 9 and week 11 and Years 8 and 10 classes will do this in week 10.

It is important I emphasize to you that this will not effect the finishing time at the end of the day. Students’ school day will finish at 3:10pm as usual.

  • Restrictions on access to the school site for anyone other than immediate school staff and students will apply. We ask that students enter and leave the college from the nearest gate to their residence.
  • The way we conduct parent-teacher meetings and interviews will need to change. That means parents and carers must ring or email the school to arrange a tele-meeting to discuss issues and concerns.
  • The way you contact the college will change as well. We ask all families to ring the college first to arrange for coming onsite to make payments, deliver or collect paperwork.
  • We ask families to make suitable arrangements for snacks and lunches prior to sending children to school. We will be unable to collect and distribute food items on a casual basis.
  • All students will be inducted on their first day at school on the expectation on social distancing at school. There will be a number of processes and recommendations in place to provide the best safety conditions that we can have for all students and staff based on the recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer. We expect all members of the school community to abide by these expectations and I ask for your support in emphasising the importance.
  • Excursions, incursions, camps and other non-essential large gatherings will be postponed for this term. Student assemblies will continue to be conducted using video conferencing.
  • At this stage and for the rest of this term, students learning on-site should keep their school loaned devices at home each day to support out of school learning. This will be reconsidered for the start of Term 3. I remind all families that the devices will continue to be the property of the college.
  • All students should undertake regular hand hygiene, particularly on arrival to school, before and after eating, after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing or using the toilet.
  • Where soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitiser will be provided in every occupied room.
  • If students are sharing school equipment, all students must undertake hand hygiene before and after class. Where soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitiser will be made available.
  • Students must bring their own writing materials/calculator etc. to school for use in class.
  • Students should bring their own water bottle. Bubble taps will not be available for use but taps for refilling during the day will. The sharing of food and drink bottles will not be permitted.
  • Extended and increased cleaning arrangements have been introduced and will continue. This involves progressive cleaning throughout the day to ensure that risks of transmission are reduced.

We understand that some families may feel anxious about this move back to onsite learning. I can assure you that this decision has been made on the basis of the best health advice available to our state.

More information about the return to school and coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on the Department’s website, which will continue to be updated:

https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/department/Pages/coronavirus.aspx

Thank you for your continued support and patience during this time. We look forward to welcoming our students back to the classroom.

Yours sincerely,

 

John Mitsinikos

College Principal