There is no change to our operating at school today. The Chief Health Officer has released the following statement regarding the reasons for continuing to open schools:
One of the reasons why schools have been kept open by governments across Australia, on the basis of the advice from the health and medical experts, is that people remaining in their routine daily activities, whilst decreasing non-essential social and mass gathering activities, will decrease the opportunities for spread in our community, including those to teachers.
There is evidence that children in households may be infected by adults within the households, which is why all household contacts of confirmed cases are placed into home isolation when a case is confirmed. This will continue throughout the COVID-19 response.
Thus far, approximately 2% of total cases in China have been in children, and there have been no deaths in children under 10 years with very few hospitalisations. There is emerging evidence indicates that the people who are most unwell, and most symptomatic are more infectious than those with very mild or minimal symptoms.
There is not widespread community transmission at this point, and levels of COVID-19 illness are likely to be very low. Children who are at all unwell are advised to be at home, and schools and teachers should exclude any unwell children who present to school. Any children with undetected symptoms are likely to be minimally infectious.
At this point there is no evidence of any school clusters where infections were driven by the student population or student introductions. The evidence is reviewed daily and advice will continue to be tailored to the evidence. Any change is policy advice will consider the risk to teachers as well as the broader community.
Adj Clin Prof Brett Sutton Victorian Chief Health Officer Health Protection Branch
Internally, we have started to communicate our framework for Remote Learning with our students should we get to that point, and have issued the following statement to the student body:
Thank you for the way so many of you are making your education a priority and focussing on your learning.
As a school, we acknowledge that you may be feeling uncertain about whether the school is going to shut. Our best advice to you is to continue to focus on your learning. Keep coming to school if that is what your parents/carers choose for you and keep doing your classwork and homework.
We all feel very sorry that we have had to postpone many of the activities you were looking forward to, but we will do our best to reschedule these activities as much as possible.
If you are required to remain at home for any reason, then make sure you check the work that your teachers have put in your class teams and make sure that you do this work.
In the meantime, it is very important that you practise some basic activities:
- Wash your hands with soap and water as often as you can.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Avoid touching other students as much possible. We know that in our daily lives we have normal physical contact with other people but try to limit this.
- In classrooms, if there is enough space, feel free to separate yourself and sit at other desks.
Our school has worked out a Remote Learning Plan which I will enclose in this email. What this means is that, if schools were to close:
- Teachers will still continue teaching students. However, this teaching and your learning will not happen on campus.
- You will not need to follow your school timetable if you are at home. You can do your work anytime during the day away from school. This is because we are aware that many of you may have other commitments during the school day in your family home.
- You can access your work from your class team and do the work in your class teams. You can also communicate with your teacher through your class team.
Please read the attached document and, if you have any further questions, please discuss them with your Year Level Coordinator or with your homeroom teacher. We will also keep emailing you information as we receive this.
Take care of yourselves and of each other and remember: keep washing your hands!
We will continue to update you on any further developments.
Paul Clohesy, Principal