Update on school closure
Dear parents and carers,
I hope you and your family and friends remain safe and healthy during this Covid-19 outbreak in Colac.
Please stay calm and continue to observe the guidelines of strict social distancing and good hygiene practices.
I’m writing to update you on my email regarding a student at Trinity College testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), and the subsequent closure of the school.
Last weekend we took the decision to close our school for three days to allow for a deep clean of the school and to provide further time for the DHHS to conduct contact tracing and for staff and students to undergo testing and hopefully receive their results.
The school and the DHHS are continuing to work through a contact and containment strategy.
This included identifying and notifying any person who had been in close recent contact with the affected student. Affected students, their families and school staff have been notified and supported to ensure they understand what actions to take.
At the time of writing we are not aware of any further positive test results; however, several more cases have been identified in the Colac community and our thoughts and prayers are with those families.
Our original plan included a move to remote learning for all Year 12 students for the next week and half. A large percentage of our Year 12 students were deemed to be close contacts and had been asked by the DHHS to quarantine at home for two weeks. Some staff were also in this situation.
Given the escalation of cases in Colac, we have now decided to move to remote learning for all year levels, commencing Thursday, July 23 and concluding on Friday, July 31. We will then return to school on Monday, August 3 if it is safe to do so. (See directions below)
This will allow further time for contact tracing and testing in the community and is aimed at reducing further spread of the virus. We have several staff awaiting test results as well and this will ensure they are available to return to the classrooms. By the time we return to school, it will be over two weeks from the initial positive result.
The school is well-prepared to resume its remote learning. Full instructions on the expectations of remote learning will be provided to students but, in essence, this time around they will need to log in through Teams for every class, including homeroom. Teachers will take rolls for all classes and provide instruction and work for the students.
I understand news of the COVID-19 outbreak in Colac may be concerning for many of you. I want to assure you we are doing everything we can to contain and slow the spread of the virus and to ensure the health and safety of our whole school community.
The school is being supported by both the DHHS and the CECV on our next steps and about any appropriate action. We will continue to keep you informed as further updates become available.
REMOTE LEARNING GUIDELINES
With the return to remote learning for 7 school days, there will be some differences:
- All staff and students will follow their usual timetable which will be conducted remotely via Teams.
- The attendance roll must be marked on SIMON for each lesson.
- Every student is expected to join the Homeroom Group each day, which will be scheduled and managed by the Homeroom teacher in Teams.
- The Homeroom teacher must mark the students’ attendance to the homeroom period in SIMON, as Homeroom is an official roll.
- Students are expected to join every class for each subject via Teams. The teacher will use this log in to mark the attendance roll of each lesson.
- Teachers should teach each class remotely for at least a portion of the allocated lesson. Teachers will send an invitation to their class team for each timetabled lesson for students to join. Support is available from learning leaders to assist teachers with this process. It is the teacher’s choice how best to manage the lesson: video conference lesson, team chat or the allocation of work for students to complete during that lesson.
- There is an acknowledgment that teaching practical classes and elective classes may be difficult. Students are expected to join these classes as well and the teacher can touch base with students about any aspect of the curriculum.
- TAFE and SBA have been suspended for this fortnight.
Collection of belongings from lockers
- Students will not be able to collect their general belongings from their lockers. However, it is imperative that students have access to their device.
- Should your child have left a device at school, please phone the school on Wednesday morning so that we can explain the process to collect the device. Devices will need to be collected on Wednesday.
- STUDENT ATTENDANCE
- Parents/Carers of unwell students must contact the College Absentee phone line to inform the school of any student’s absence.
Children of essential workers (excluding ALC families)
- During this time, our advice would be that, if your child can stay at home for this entire period then, that is the preferred option.
- Children of vulnerable and essential workers may attend school to sit in a supervised setting for their remote learning. Families in this situation will need to inform Paul Clohesy via email principal@localhost so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
- Unfortunately, we cannot offer the option to do their learning on site to the children whose parents/carers/household members work at ALC.
- RETURN TO ONSITE LEARNING
- When all students are able to return to onsite learning on Monday, 3rd August, please reinforce to them the importance of good hygiene, cough etiquette, social distancing and wiping of desks.
- If your child or a member of your household is experiencing any symptom of COVID-19, please keep your child away from school and organise a test. Only return your child to school once the test result has been returned negative.
- There is a possibility that by the time we are scheduled to return, government regulations may have changed. Colac and other areas could be added to Stage 3 lockdown regulations which would mean a continuation of remote learning for some students. It would also mean the mandating of mask wearing for all students. If we are able to return as scheduled on Monday 3rd August, we will be encouraging our students to wear masks and hope that you might help us with this.
Subject Selection Process for Years 10-12 2021: We have pushed this process back a week and will forward more information to students and families later this week.
Finally, I would like to thank you all for the ongoing support you have provided Trinity College through these challenging times. If the situation changes, we will notify you. Please don’t hesitate to make contact should you have any questions or concerns.
Paul Clohesy, Principal