From the Principal Update #6 – Action and Strategies

We will continue to provide you with further updates as they become available and also update you on our actions and strategies. We will continue to review our response to advice on a daily basis and make the necessary adjustments made by the Department of Education.

Attendance:
I would like to thank parents for their ongoing support and confidence, and to inform you that our attendance rates this week are some of the highest for the year, which is important to us because having students at school limits other exposure opportunities. We do recognise that some students and families will have good reason not to be here at this time. As per advice, we must insist that if students are unwell they should remain at home as a precaution and we thank parents for their diligence in this matter. Students kept at home should ensure they have access to Connect, and their Connect classes. Individual requests for homework will be challenging but aspects of classwork may be available through Connect.  Connect is also the easiest access to class content in the library, and to upload work completed by the student, direct to the teacher.  

Social distancing:
To reduce the risk of the transmission of any communicable infection we have been asked to remind everyone that social distancing is necessary.  It is important that you consider being at least 1.5m away from others and are mindful of your coughing and other aspects of personal hygiene.  There are posters placed around the school that remind individuals of what is important. We will ask that teachers consider this in their classroom seating plans and other arrangements.

Personal Hygiene:
Everyone on our school site has again been reminded of the message that has been shared with our community on Sunday, that all students should consider a personal supply of soap and/or hand sanitiser. Where we have supplied soap in toilets it has continued to be damaged and wasted, and this is not ok!  All students must consider the importance of taking responsibility for self and others.

How to minimise the spread:

  •        Frequently washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or using an alcohol based hand gel
  •       Refraining from touching mouth and nose
  •        If coughing or sneezing, covering your nose and mouth with a paper tissue or flexed elbow
  •        Dispose of the tissue immediately after use and perform hand hygiene
  •        Avoiding close contact with anyone if you, or they, have a cold or flu-like symptoms (maintain a distance of at least 1 metre).

Additional cleaning on site:
We have increased the level of cleaning on the site at this time with a focus on high contact areas such as the canteen, rails, door handles, toilets and other surfaces being cleaned regularly throughout the day.

Wellbeing Concerns and Anxiety:
To assist in reducing and managing the concern and anxiety that individuals will have about the current situation related to COVID-19 we have been firm in asking students not to make jokes or make physical contact with others with the intention of making them feel uncomfortable.  This is not reasonable behaviour.  Information around strategies and the conversations related to how to manage personal anxiety at this time has been shared with the community, and can be discussed further both at school and at home. We have shared information with the broader community and with students.

Excursions:
All planned incursions, excursions and school camps between now and the end of Semester 1 have been postponed or cancelled. Country Week and our whole school athletics carnival are now also cancelled.  We are limiting the movement of all non-essential visitors coming to site and would ask that if it is not essential that parents phone or email rather than visit where possible.

Assemblies:
From Thursday 19.3.2020 we will no longer hold assemblies of more than 100 students indoors and outdoor events will not exceed 500 students as outlined in State and Federal Government expectations.

Canteen access – supporting social distancing:

The school canteen continues to ensure that all hygiene processes and procedures are to the highest standard as per expectation.  Above and beyond this they are also disinfecting all service areas and counters at regular intervals. We encourage students to use paypass where possible to limit the handling of money. At this time, we are looking at the best means of reducing the number of students congregating in any one area and our review of the school has concluded that the only area for adjustment is the canteen with the following action now being put in place:

As at 18 March 2020 we will ask that any student that is not purchasing food move away from the central canteen area, and the walkway between Maths and English, to reduce the number of students in this area at any one time. Once students have purchased food they must leave the area and not congregate.

Further to this, students are encouraged to pre-order their food on-line so that they may simply walk to the associated window to collect their pre-paid food and leave the area as quickly as possible regardless of their year group.

We will stagger the method in which the students queue for food in the following ways to reduce students in that area:

  • From when the bell rings for either Lunch 1 or Lunch 2 only our students with maroon shirts (Year 7,8 and 9) will have access to the canteen for the first 10 minutes
  • After the first 10 minutes has passed students with white shirts (Year 10, 11 and 12) will join the lines at the canteen

We would encourage students to order on-line because if this occurs and we have an increase in this method we will be able to open more lines and clear the area to a greater extent. To order on-line parents can go to www.quickclick.com.au or phone 1300 116 637 to register.

Domenic Camera

PRINCIPAL

18 March 2020

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