Hi everybody –

Thank you to all of the families and carers who have taken the time to check in with the team and ask how we are all doing. My staff are doing an amazing job at remaining calm and focused on your children. I really appreciate their efforts in this unsettling time. I am writing this post as there have been many developments over the week and I wanted you to all be aware of them. If you know families who do not have access to Facebook or Compass – I wonder if you could take the time to check in with them and make sure they have current advice and supports. I completely understand that many families are feeling unsettled – please make contact with us so we can reassure you and provide extra supports. This is such an unusual and unprecedented time for us – we are all finding our way through it – best we do it together in partnership than alone. Below is a summary of departmental advice as of today. Please continue to check COMPASS, SEESAW and Facebook regularly to see updates. I can help in any way – please either call the school on Monday or send me an email brooke.briody@education.vic.gov.au  I will try really hard to answer your questions or find someone who can.

All reports from the state and national government is that at this time, the best place for students to learn is at school. The exception is where students are being kept out of school due to self-isolation requirements or based on medical advice. Last night it was announced Schools were to use a pupil free day at the end of this term and beginning of term 2. Please put on the calendar that 14th April 2020 is a pupil free day.

We are very sad to say that given advice about large scale events, we will not be hosting SSG day on site this term. Teachers will be in contact with you to check what the best remote option is for you, telephone, skype, FaceTime or to postpone. The curriculum day is still in operation. It is a student free day. We will be looking at a different agenda for these meetings based around supports for you and your family should school be closed. Please ensure we have your most current phone number, mobile number and email address.

Please make sure if your child or young person shows any sign of sickness that you keep them home and away from the community. We have some very vulnerable students and staff at our school, who have lower immunities and are vulnerable to infections. If your child is sick at school, a member of the leadership team will call families/carers for collection.

Whilst our staff have taken on cleaning duties this week to ensure your child has access to the most hygienic setting we are happy to hear the Department of Education will provide some additional cleaning in all government schools until the end of term. This includes cleaning throughout the day to make sure that risks of any potential spreading are reduced. Until we know more, our staff will continue to clean bench tops, tables, light switches, door handles and phones.

Schools are not obliged to support continuity of learning where the school remains open and parents choose to remove their children from school due to general concerns in relation to COVID-19 however your classroom team will continue to develop activities and list resources on SEESAW for your children should our school close for any reason. Please make sure you have logged into your SEESAW account. All students have been set up with a SEESAW log in also so they can access work. If you have any difficulty with internet or do not have access to a device- please make contact with your class teacher so they and provide another option.

Swimming lessons have been postponed. It is unknown when the ban on camps or excursions will be lifted.

Specifically, non-essential indoor gatherings of the general population of more than 100 people will no longer be permitted.While this is an important update, it applies to non-essential gatherings only and does not apply to schools and other settings deemed essential, including health care settings and workplaces.

Whilst schools are exempt from implementing the social distancing guidance, it is important you as a family are implementing these guidelines to keep yourself and your families safe:  • Greetings should take the form of non-contact greetings. • From 9pm 20 March 2020, any Australians returning from any country outside Australia should now be considered at risk and are required to self-isolate for 14 days. • Keep a full arm-span (about 1.5 metres) between yourself and other people where possible • Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue • If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow • Continue healthy habits: don’t smoke, exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep • Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol • Stay at home if you feel sick, and undertake physical distancing as outlined in the section below. • Wearing a face mask is not necessary if you are well.

Best wishes, Brooke