The Term ahead will be exciting and offer great opportunities for students and families to start to get back to regular and familiar routines. The term will have its challenges and the strength and resilience of our community will continue to be important in helping our students settle back in to school life.
Our students continue to learn through observing the flexibility, determination and resilience shown by all adults around them which has helped them to learn throughout this pandemic.
Included below is some recent correspondence from DET about school operations as well as some specific details of what this might mean for us here at Edithvale. More detailed information that is Year level specific will be sent out early next week.
But firstly – Staff arrivals and departures
This week we have welcomed Hayley Grindley to our school. Hayley is our new Assistant Principal and she will be sharing the role with Luke McMaster. In 2022 Luke will be working closer to home and has accepted a position at Rosebud Primary school. Luke’s talents and perspective will be missed and Hayley’s transition, under Luke’s guidance has been smooth. It’s exciting to welcome Hayley to the team.
Stacey Smith who has been a tireless worker as a First Aid officer and as Administration Support is also set to take up a position outside of education. Stacey’s efficiency and support for our students, families and staff during the the last 18 months have been essential in helping us stay on top of the challenges we have all been faced with. We wish her all the very best in her future endeavours.
Visitors to school grounds are limited to essential school services and operations. As soon as we are allowed to welcome families back on-site, we will do so
All students are expected to attend onsite as their year levels return to onsite learning unless they are formally registered as being home-schooled. Parent preference is not an approved absence reason.
All schools in metropolitan Melbourne and restricted areas will continue to provide remote and flexible learning for year levels not scheduled for onsite learning, except for students in the following categories who are eligible for onsite supervision and care:
- Children where both parents/carers are considered authorised workers who cannot work from home, work for an authorised provider and where no other supervision arrangements can be made:
- Where there are two parents/carers, both must be authorised workers working outside the home for their children to be eligible for onsite provision at school.
- For single parents/carers, the authorised worker must be working outside the home for their children to be eligible for onsite provision at school.
- Children experiencing vulnerability, including:
- in out-of-home care
- deemed vulnerable by a government agency, funded family or family violence service, and assessed as requiring education and care outside the family home
- identified by a school or early childhood service as vulnerable, (including via referral from a government agency, or funded family or family violence service, homeless or youth justice service or mental health or other health service)
Where a parent/carer indicates that a student with a disability is vulnerable because they cannot learn from home, and/or informs the school the student is vulnerable due to family stress, the school must provide onsite supervision for that student.
The learning program delivered onsite will continue to be the same as the learning program delivered to students undertaking remote learning. Students attending onsite will be supervised by staff onsite but follow the teaching and learning program provided by their classroom teacher.
Preparation for On-site Learning from October 18
In Weeks 3 – 5 of Term there will be some changes to the way we operate as we commence a staggered return to school for our students.
For ALL students undertaking Remote and Flexible Learning, an adjustment to the starting time for the first webex meeting of the day will be made. This is to build in time for families who will have some children completing their learning face to face at school AND having their brother or sister learning from home. The travel to and from school has been factored into this possibility and ALL webex meetings at the start of the day will be at 9:15am. This will commence from October 18 and remain in place until November 5 – when we have ALL students back on-site.
Foundation (Monday-Wednesday) and Year 1 and 2 students (Thursday-Friday) will be the first students we welcome back to school from Monday October 18. These year levels will start at 9:00am (gates will be open at 8:45am), entering from different access points, and finish at either 3:20 or 3:30pm. The staggered exit times help to reduce the congregation of adults around the school and reduce congestion.
Schools are required to increase fresh air flow into indoor spaces (including shared spaces, staff areas and thoroughfares) whenever possible. Staff and students will maximise the use of outdoor learning areas or environments wherever possible. Some other recommended measures that will be in place include keeping all windows, doors and vents open as much as possible.
It remains important that any student who becomes unwell while at school returns home. Students experiencing compatible symptoms with coronavirus (COVID-19), such as fever, cough or sore throat, will be isolated in an appropriate space with suitable supervision and collected by a parent/carer as soon as possible. Urgent medical attention should be sought if needed. It is not suitable for an unwell student to travel home unsupervised.
The Department of Education is delivering air purifier units (model Samsung AX7500) to schools. Air purifiers will be prioritised for higher risk areas. These areas include where high levels of mixing of staff – For example, sick bays, staff rooms, canteens, school receptions and student centres and gymnasiums.
For all school settings, the Victorian Chief Health Officer:
- Directs school staff to wear a face mask while teaching wherever practicable, except where removal of a face mask is necessary for effective communication.
- Victorian students from Year 3 and above will be required to wear a mask in classrooms when face to face learning resumes later this month.
It will be an individual decision for our Foundation – Year 2 students to wear a mask or not. The current operational guidelines that all schools have received, is that mask wearing is recommended (not mandated) and considered as an effective method of reducing risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Please see coronavirus.vic.gov.au for the latest face mask requirements.
Monitoring of close contacts in schools
To minimise further community transmission of COVID-19, the Department of Health has introduced a new system for the identification, notification and monitoring of close contacts (primary and secondary).
In line with this, schools will now be advised if a student or staff member at their school has been identified by the Department of Health as a close contact of a person with COVID-19.
Close contacts are contacted directly by the Department of Health regarding requirements for quarantine and testing; the student or staff member should not attend school until they are advised by the Department of Health that their quarantine has concluded. Students or staff members should bring a copy of the clearance message (text, email or letter) they receive from the Department of Health indicating that their quarantine period has ended when they return to school.
Schools will be asked to confirm that the student or staff member identified as a close contact is not attending school during this time. If the student or staff member is attending school, they must be sent home immediately. The school is not required to close due to a close contact attending, unless advised otherwise by the Department.
When notified that a student or staff member has been in close contact with a positive case of COVID-19 and/or has visited a public exposure site, an Incident alert will be sent to our Emergency management support team and await further instruction from them.
COVID processes and safety plans are included below.
Students with COVID Symptoms Instructions – Oct 21
Take care and stay safe.