Changes to School Operations from Monday 30 November


Dear Families

It’s been a LONG time but the wait is almost over! In our efforts to continue to build community spirit and strengthen the connection we all have at school, we can announce some significant changes to our operations. These changes are exciting and today there is great energy and optimism that can be felt across our great school.

Noting that there are still many COVID safe practices that we must adhere to, we are able to welcome our amazing parent community back on-site at pick up and drop off times (no more than 15 minutes at a time) and no longer need to run staggered start and finish times.

These updated procedures, along with a number of others included below, will come into effect at Edithvale Primary from Monday 30 November.

With classes able to commence at a common time, we will revert back to a 9:00 am Start time and a 3:30 pm Finish for students in all year levels from Foundation to Year 6. Students should, where practical, continue to enter and exit through the gate they have used throughout Term 4 to assist with social distancing.

We will be running a similar timetable to one that will be in action during 2021.

9:00 am – 10:40 am

Learning Time

10:40 am – 11:25 am


11:25 am – 1:05 pm

Learning Time

1:05 pm – 1:50 pm


1:50 pm – 3:30 pm

Learning Time


Teachers will be on duty from 8:40am when the gates will be unlocked and students will be supervised in the yard before school starts. The exception to this will be the gate closest to the School Crossing along Edithvale Rd that will be open from 8:20 am so that students can access our FREE Breakfast Club that commences on Tuesday December 1.

For parents wishing to come on-site we respectfully ask that your stay is no longer than 15 minutes and that you use
the hand sanitiser provided. Our gates will again be locked shortly after 9:00am and reopen at 3:15pm.

On Wednesday evening the Deputy Secretary of Department of Education and Training provided updated advice for all schools. The following is a summary of important changes to the School Operations Guide.

School visits

Limitations on who can visit school premises no longer apply from the Last Step. This means parents can be welcomed back on site, for example for school drop-offs and pick-ups. Classrooms and other indoor spaces will be accessible to staff and students only.

To ensure consistency with physical distancing measures, students and families should not be permitted to congregate at the school gate before or after school and will be required to maintain 1.5 metres between each other as far as is practicable at the start and end of the school day.

To support contact tracing, schools must continue to keep a record of all staff, students and visitors who attend on site for more than 15 minutes.

Graduation ceremonies can take place with parents on site

Face-to-face year level assemblies and graduations can occur at full capacity if they are exclusively attended by students and staff only.

Subject to public gathering limits, parents can also now attend student graduation ceremonies. Graduation ceremonies and other large gatherings on school site involving external guests are subject to gathering limits for ceremonies; total venue cap (including students, staff and visitors) of 150 indoors or 300 outdoors.

Year level and inter-school mixing

Schools are no longer required to consider how students can be grouped separately (for example, in year levels).

Kindergarten to school transition activities

Kindergarten to school transition activities are permitted, but group sizes should not exceed public gathering limits.

Use of face masks

Updated advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer requires that face masks must be worn indoors by people aged 12 years and over, unless an exemption applies. Face masks are not required outdoors except where physical distancing of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained.

Drinking fountains

The use of drinking fountains in schools is now permitted.

Staggered starts

Schools are encouraged to move away from staggered starts. However, to ensure consistency with physical distancing measures, students and families are required to maintain 1.5 metres between each other as far as is practical at the start and end of the school day. Schools should display signage at entrances to this effect.

Mobile phone policy

During the period of learning from home, students may have become used to using mobile phones during the school day. With the return to on-site learning, it is critical that students and staff understand that the Department’s Students Using Mobile Phones Policy remains in place to ensure appropriate use of technology.

Students with underlying conditions (such as hay fever or asthma)

If a student has persistent symptoms due to an underlying condition such as hay fever or asthma, the student should still be tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) if they develop symptoms that are different to or worse than their usual symptoms. Parents/carers should also consider getting a medical certificate from the child’s treating GP to confirm that it is safe for them to attend school with persistent symptoms that may overlap with some of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) such as cough or runny nose.

Young children with persistent mild symptoms

For younger children (in grades Prep to 2) who have had a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test that was taken after they developed symptoms, the decision about return to school should be made in conjunction with the child’s treating GP. If the GP is satisfied the child has recovered from their acute illness, is otherwise well, and does not need a repeat coronavirus (COVID-19) test, the child can return even if they are not completely free of symptoms. Any worsening of symptoms will require review and repeat coronavirus (COVID-19) testing, if considered appropriate by the doctor.

Students with a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test whose symptoms have completely resolved do not need a medical certificate to return to the school. The single destination website for coronavirus (COVID-19) information is

Take care and keep well

James Whitla