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COVID-19 Update

 
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Dear Parent/Caregiver 

Re: COVID19 Student Attendance Management - Weeks 1-5

We thank our families for their support with the home-based learning model that the State Government has implemented from Monday 20 April until at least 22 May 2020.  During this period, all students who are able to be supervised at home and learn from home are to stay home, except for vulnerable students and children of essential workers. 

In line with the current Department of Education operating guidelines for Queensland State Schools, we have commenced a daily check-in with your student via email to see they are online and ready to learn at home and if they require additional support. 

To streamline this process, we are using a function of Microsoft Office called Voting buttons.  We can quickly obtain a response from your child and record their attendance each day.  If we haven’t had a response by 10am, we will send an SMS text message to you.  This system worked well today, after an initial hiccup, however the response by students was excellent.  Some feedback was that they were unable to respond using the Voting options, and as such we have uploaded the instructions to our website along with a video tutorial to assist.  

Students have been asked to respond with one of the following options:  

  • In attendance learning at home
  • Need help learning  
  • Need help personal

If they require help with learning or a personal matter, this information will be forward to our Deans of Students for their referral.  Students are able to email their Teacher who are available as per the student timetable.  

Again, we thank our families for their overwhelming support during the COVID-19 pandemic and we use this time to ensure continuation of learning for our students whilst we practice social distancing to keep our students, staff and community members safe and well. 

 

Yours sincerely


Mark Rickard
Executive Principal 


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16/03/20

Dear Parents & Caregivers 

I am writing to further update you on the changing situation in response to COVID-19. 

Mass Gatherings

As you would be aware, the Australian Government has announced that all organised, non-essential mass gatherings attended by more than 500 people must be cancelled from Monday 16 March 2020.

While the announcement was very clear this does not apply to schools, and that there is no need for mass school closures, it does include activities such as school fetes, fairs, concerts and the like where they involve more than 500 people.

Our school is in the process of reviewing our forward activity schedule and will postpone our participation in any activities that meet this criteria until further notice.

As our response to COVID-19 is all about containment, I continue to ask all families to pay extra attention to health and hygiene measures employed at home with your children, particularly the use of soap and, if soap is not available, hand sanitiser. You can be assured we are reinforcing this message at school.

These directions are all about supporting a national effort to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19. Each one of us, and our school, play a vital role in this effort and I ask for your continued support in this containment effort. Students must not attend school if they are unwell.

International Travel

I also draw your attention to the Australian Government’s announcement that all people arriving in Australia must now self-isolate for 14 days on their arrival back to Australia. The Department of Education banned all staff and student international school travel last week – this ban now also includes any travel to New Zealand. 

Continuity of Teaching and Learning

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, our school continues to prepare for continuity of learning and teaching.

The Department of Education has many resources available to us and our teachers will seek to minimise any disruption to student learning should our school be impacted by the virus

Ongoing Planning

As we have already seen across the world, this situation is likely to continue for some time and is evolving. As such, as a school and as a community, we must all prepare over the short, medium and long term. 

I ask that you continue to take all necessary local actions to support your child’s, and the school’s, health and hygiene and act in a protective and preventative manner to help limit the spread of coronavirus.

I will continue to provide communication as Australia’s response to COVID-19 evolves. Thank you for your vigilance in helping us manage this public health issue.


Yours sincerely,


Mark Rickard
Executive Principal





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04/03/20

Please see below for the latest update from the Queensland Government.

Dear Parents and Caregivers

I am writing to you regarding the evolving situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Queensland Health and the Australian Department of Health are working tirelessly to manage and contain the impact of this virus for Australians and Queenslanders alike. They are regularly updating travel advice (https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/) as new information emerges.

In addition to our in-school health-first approach which is documented below, I have also today been advised that the Department of Education has issued a school travel ban directive until further notice for all student and staff travel to international destinations other than New Zealand.  

On that basis and in the interests of student and staff health, we will unfortunately have to review our school trips to France, Japan, Italy and the USA. I know that your children were looking forward to these trips, but I am sure you will understand the need to delay and possibly cancel these travel arrangements at this time.

Our travel coordinators will be in contact with parents/caregivers to discuss the impacts of this decision. 

The Department of Education continues to work closely with Queensland Health to monitor the situation and identify and manage any impacts on schools and early childhood centres. You can be assured that we have been preparing and stand ready to act should the need arise.

I wanted to also provide you with some more information about the approach that our school might need to take if a COVID-19 case is identified in our school. 

If a case is identified in our school, the Department of Education and Queensland Health will work closely with us in managing our response and our actions will be taken with community health at the centre of our decision making.

If there is a confirmed case at our school, it is likely our school will need to close for a period to allow Queensland Health to assess the situation and to perform contact tracing as required to identify people and students who may have come in contact with the COVID-19 case. You may have already seen this happening in other states where confirmed cases have been identified. 

The Department of Education will then work with our school to conduct any specialised cleaning of our facilities as required to ensure our school is safe for students and staff to return when clearance is given. A closure is likely to include any on-site services such as outside school hours care (OSHC) and other facility hirers.

Continuity of learning is extremely important to us and, as in other disaster and emergency events, the department has online learning materials and virtual classroom capability that can be used by teachers to support your child’s learning.  The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) also has procedures in place to support senior secondary students.

If your child develops flu-like symptoms, please:

  • keep your child at home;
  • avoid close contact with others such as touching, kissing or hugging, or any mass gatherings, especially those involving other children;
  • see a doctor or contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) immediately;
  • seek medical advice if your child has other underlying medical conditions; and 
  • call ahead to the medical centre or doctor’s surgery, advising of your child’s symptoms and the closure of the school.

It is also important to continue to encourage your children to:

  • wash their hands regularly with soap and water, particularly before and after eating, and after going to the toilet;
  • use alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap is unavailable;
  • cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of their elbow; and 
  • dispose of tissues in the bin immediately.

Further advice and information about the coronavirus is available on the Queensland Health website:

http://conditions.health.qld.gov.au/HealthCondition/condition/14/217/838/novel-coronavirus 

As a community, during this preparation phase, it may be timely for families to consider their own family and care arrangements should school closure be necessary.

Again, while you can be reassured that the Department of Education and Department of Health are taking all necessary measures to contain COVID-19, it is important for me to keep information flowing to parents and caregivers to ensure we are all informed and prepared as a community, should this public health issue come into our school.

I thank you for your support in managing this event and supporting student awareness of the additional need for strong health and hygiene practices. 

Yours sincerely,


Mark Rickard
Principal


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Dear Parents and Caregivers,

I am writing to update you on the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

As you would be aware, last month the Australian Government announced new measures that specifically address travel restrictions from mainland China.

Over the weekend, the Government announced updated restrictions which now include travel from Iran.  This is consistent with the travel restrictions in place for Australians returning from mainland China.

Students or staff cannot attend school or childcare centre if they have: 

  • left, or transited through mainland China in the last 14 days (they must isolate themselves for 14 days from leaving mainland China)

  • left, or transited through Iran on or after 1 March (they must isolate themselves until 14 days after leaving Iran)

  • been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus in the last 14 days (they must isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case).

These are important preventative measures that have been put in place in the interests of public health.

I do not expect that these travel restrictions will significantly impact upon any of our day-to-day school operations and I want to reassure you that we will continue to work to ensure any disruption is minimised.

Anyone who has completed the self-quarantine period of 14 days and shows no symptoms of illness is eligible to return to work or school.

If your children are unwell or show symptoms of illness, they should see their doctor.

As always, the health and wellbeing of your children, and our staff, remains our number one priority.

We continue to take advice from Queensland Health and the Department of Education in relation to this matter and the latest information is available at novel coronavirus on the Queensland Health website.

Again, thank you for your understanding and attention to this important matter.


Kind regards,

Mark Rickard
Principal


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15/02/2020

If you have been to/or transited through mainland China in the last 14 days and are feeling unwell, see a doctor immediately. 

The advice below is for anyone who has travelled to/or transited through mainland China in the past 14 days, or for anyone who has been in close contact with a confirmed case of Novel Coronavirus and is feeling well.

If you have been in, or transited through, mainland China 

  • You need to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date you departed mainland China.
  • If you begin to feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or a respiratory illness during your period of self-quarantine you should seek immediate medical attention. Call ahead to your GP or emergency department and mention your travel history before you arrive.
  • If you experience any other symptom during your period of self-quarantine you should also seek immediate medical attention and mention your travel history before you arrive.

If you have been in close contact with someone who is confirmed to have Novel Coronavirus 

  • You need to self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of contact with the confirmed case.
  • If you begin to feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or a respiratory illness during your period of self-quarantine you should seek immediate medical attention. Call ahead to your GP or emergency department and mention you’ve been in contact with someone with Novel Coronavirus before you arrive.
  • If you experience any other symptom during your period of self-quarantine you should also seek immediate medical attention and mention you have been in contact with a confirmed case before you arrive.

More information about self-quarantine and what happens at the end of quarantine is available here.

As always, the health and wellbeing of our students remains our number one priority and I would ask that you remain alert to your child’s/children’s wellbeing during this time. Children can have a range of reactions during an event like this and, as always, teacher and guidance support is available. If you have any concerns, please discuss them with your child’s teacher.

We continue to take advice from Queensland Health and the Department of Education in relation to this matter and the latest information is available at Novel Coronavirus on the Queensland Health website.

Again, thank you for your understanding and attention to this important matter.

Yours sincerely 

Mark Rickard
Principal


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3/02/2020

Dear Parents & Caregivers

As you would be aware, the Australian Government has announced new measures that specifically address travel restrictions from mainland China.

While there remains a very low risk of transmission in Australia, these preventative measures are being instigated in the interest of public health.

I do not expect that these travel restrictions will have any major impact on our school operations and I want to assure you that we will continue to work to ensure any disruption is minimised.

Our school will be open this week as usual as we progress through Semester 1 2020.

As always, the health and wellbeing of our students remains our number one priority and I would ask that you remain alert to your child’s/children’s wellbeing during this time. Children can have a range of reactions during an event like this and, as always, teacher and guidance support is available. If you have any concerns, please discuss them with your child’s teacher.

We continue to take advice from Queensland Health and the Department of Education in relation to this matter and the latest information is available at Novel Coronavirus on the Queensland Health website.

Queensland had already announced and enacted restrictions last week for travellers who had visited China (including Hong Kong), and I reiterate this earlier advice from our health agencies, which remains current:
• anyone who has been in contact with any confirmed Novel Coronavirus cases must self-isolate (self-isolation means staying at home and not accepting visitors) for 14 days following exposure;
• travellers who have visited Hubei Province of China need to self-isolate for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province (noting that the Australian Government has announced this now applies to all of mainland China as explained above);
• returned travellers who have visited China cannot attend school, childcare or TAFE for 14 days after leaving China including Hong Kong.

On a personal level, can I ask that as a school community we all look out for and support each other during this time. 
Again, thank you for your understanding and attention to this important matter.

Yours sincerely 

Mark Rickard
Principal

 

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30/01/2020

Dear Parents & Caregivers

The school is providing advice from the Department of Education in relation to the Novel Caronavirus to all school families on an ongoing basis. Current advice is that any student enrolled in the school who has been in China and Hong Kong (including transiting through Hong Kong) is not to return to school until 14 days has lapsed since their return to Australia.

Domestic and international students who provide advice that warrants them returning after the commencement of term one classes will be supported to learn from home. These students will be provided with individual support to ensure that they are provided with all necessary learning information and materials for their subjects.

If your student has been in China or Hong Kong just prior to their scheduled return to school, please contact the school for us to confirm any period of required isolation

 

Yours sincerely 

Mark Rickard
Principal

 

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29/01/2020

Dear Parents & Caregivers

As you are aware, health authorities across the nation are continuing to respond to the emergence of the Coronavirus that has emanated from China.

Health authorities have late today updated advice regarding the novel Coronavirus.

The following advice is now in place:

 

  • anyone who has been in contact with any confirmed novel Coronavirus cases must self-isolate (self-isolation means staying at home and not accepting visitors) for 14 days following exposure;
  • travellers who have visited Hubei Province of China need to self-isolate for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province;

returned travellers who have visited China cannot attend school, childcare or TAFE for 14 days after leaving China including Hong Kong.

 

Yours sincerely 

Mark Rickard
Principal


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Last reviewed 22 April 2020
Last updated 22 April 2020