Dear Parents, Teachers and Students,
The College has made the decision that we believe it is time for us to initiate a return to school-based learning for our children. This will be done in stages as outlined below and has been done after considering a range of Federal and State Government requirements. Please be aware that because we have predicted many of the changes that have come to light yesterday and today, we are in a position to bring our plans to fruition slightly ahead of the plan for State and Catholic schools.
Our strategy for the coming days is as follows (see table on back page for a visual representation):
- The remainder of this week will operate as planned as a Home Learning week for our students.
- Next week we are planning on having students in Years F, 1, 2 and 11 and 12 return to normal classes from Tuesday 19th May 2020. They will continue in classes until the end of Term 2 (unless circumstances unforeseen occur). The start day for our Year F, 1, 2, 11 and 12 students will be preceded by a day on Monday 18th May in which these students will not be given additional work to complete but can instead use the day to catch themselves up on work missed.
- Monday 18th May 2020 will be a day in which the College will be minimally available for students. We intend to give the day to our staff so they can prepare for the resumption of normal classroom teaching. We ask parents to try to make alternative arrangements for their children on the day. Where needed, we can provide a cut back supervision service on this day. Please talk with the Office if you are unable to make alternative arrangements so we can plan for these students.
- Wednesday 20th May 2020 is a day we have identified to get a small targeted group of students in Years 3 to 10 back into school to help them get through their work prior to their return to school. We will let you know if your child is one of these students.
- Thursday 21st May 2020 is Ascension Day and remains a mid Term holiday for staff and students.
- On Friday 22nd May 2020, all students in Years 3 to 10 will not be allocated additional work to complete. This day is being provided to all students in these Year Levels so they can catch up on their work while at home.
- Monday 25th May 2020 will see the return of all students in Years 3 to 10. From this day we will have all classes resuming as normal within the College.
- In the week of Monday 18th May to Friday 22nd May (excluding the Ascension Day holiday on the 21st May), parents who need to send their Years 3 to 10 children to the College may still do so, but we ask that you only do so if absolutely necessary.
- We believe it is important to get our students back into classes as soon as possible. We believe the above timeline enables us to do this. We ask our parents to please understand the need for us to stagger our return and to implement strict measures around social distancing and the control of movement inside the school grounds which are designed to assist us to ensure we can remain open for the longer term.
- We understand the majority of our students will be returning to school, but we also understand a small number will stay home because the child is considered vulnerable under COVID-19 definitions, or because someone close to the child is considered vulnerable. In this case our plans for Home Learning in Term Two remain operative. Please ensure you let the Office know if your child is in this category of student.
The College has done a lot of work on various elements of its COVID-19 Return to School Plan. This includes investing in Personal Protective Equipment for staff, building up its hygiene-related supplies, implementing stronger cleaning processes and identifying and reacting to the needs of staff.
Some of the major elements of our Plan are outlined below:
- Minimising Physical Interactions at the School – as part of our strategy to minimise interactions within the school, we ask parents to continue to maintain their distance from school personnel and other students as much as possible for the next month. Where you need to come into the Office, please ring ahead and let them know you are coming and why. Where possible we will try to pre-arrange things so the time spent inside the College is kept to a minimum. Please understand why we need to do this. We are under strict obligations to ensure minimal interactions within the College community.
- School Drop Off – generally this works pretty well and is well staggered. We ask parents to continue to drop students off and leave without delay. Please do not stop and park in the Kiss and Drop Zone.
- School Pick Up Time – pick up time will need to be handled differently. We ask parents to follow instructions. We may need to change our approach to Pick Up as we discover what works and what doesn’t. For now, our plan is to have parent vehicles line up in two lines by entering from the southern most (gym end) gate to the carpark. No parent should park in the grounds and leave their car. We will line cars up in two lines and have 12 cars collect children from the traffic island and the kiss and drop zone. We will then move the first 12 cars off and ask the next 12 to come forward. All students will line up near the Statue of Our Lady out the front of Reception and will be directed to your cars.
- If you need to drop off anything at the College, please try to do this before drop off time. We do not want cars parked in the Kiss and Drop Zone and left unattended.
- All volunteer and extra curricular activities inside the College will cease until the 12th The one exception to this will be the Uniform Shop, but we will work with Michelle Verleg to ensure a smooth process of entry into the College. No Instrumental Music lessons will run inside the College before (and including) the 12th June. We will assess this prior to the 12th June and let you know what will happen with Volunteer and extra-curricular programs after that date.
- The College will continue to ensure relevant hygiene practices are encouraged within the College AND that social distancing is followed as much as possible. Please support us in this by continuing to educate your child about the need to stay away from others as much as possible.
- If your child is sick, they will be sent home until further notice. There will be no exceptions to this. We ask that if they have flu like symptoms they are not sent to school. Our staff have similarly been instructed to follow the same protocols. This will mean we will probably have a higher than normal rate of staff absence within the College. We believe this is both unavoidable and necessary.
- All College Camps, excursions and inter-school sporting activities have been cancelled for the remainder of Term Two and are unlikely to occur throughout Term Three. We will be limiting the amount of unnecessary movement of our students within the community until we assess it is safer to proceed with these sorts of activities. Until then, we will provide opportunities for students to participate in in-school activities as deemed appropriate.
- Due to current restrictions on large gatherings, no student Masses will be run within the College until at least the 12th June 2020. Whole School Assemblies will similarly be cancelled. We will reassess this sometime during the next month.
- Due to health considerations, water fountains will largely be off limits for all students. We ask that all students bring a water bottle to school for use while at the College. Please ensure it is appropriately labelled.
- For the foreseeable future, we ask that no visitors come into the College to visit the Chapel.
We appreciate how difficult the past few weeks have been for some of our families. We are enormously grateful for the hard work and effort that our families have put into Home Learning. We are also glad we can now re-open our doors – albeit in a coordinated and careful manner – before the end of Term Two.
We are aware that we have provided a considerable amount of information to families. Please ensure that you and your child understand how we intend to move forward. We are pleased to also report that we have had no known cases of any members of our College community having contracted coronavirus. As we have said previously, we will continue to maintain and abide by all government requirements as this is not a time to become complacent.
May the Risen Lord be with us all at this time as our light of hope into the future.
Thanks – as always – for your continued support. God bless and keep safe.
Father Andrew Cranshaw (Principal) and Mr Mark Stanton (Deputy)