7 July 2020
Update 14 on SMC Response to Coronavirus (COVID – 19)
Parents, Guardians and Friends,
Melbourne and the Shire of Mitchell have been shut down again by the Victorian State Government as a response to the increasing outbreak of Coronavirus. Of course, this has direct effect on education in the State and this is the first of two Parent Coronavirus Updates I shall send, this one and another one next week once Premier Daniel Andrews releases more information on schooling.
I begin by stating three guiding principles upon which decisions have been made and continue to be based.
- The health and safety of the entire Monican community when on site is of prime importance and priority.
- We are a school, and education is our mission, however or from wherever it is delivered.
- As a principle, our College will abide fully with regulations and directions given to the State of Victoria by our Government and duly endorsed by Catholic Education Melbourne.
Term 3 commences on Monday, 13 July, a calendared pupil-free day. On Tuesday, 14 July students in Years 11 and 12 (VCE and VCAL) and Year 10 students whose studies include a VCE component return to face-to-face teaching on site.
The Government has extended the school holidays by one week for those students in Years 7 – 10. No learning tasks will be set during this holiday week. We await what the Premier will announce about when they return to school and how they resume learning. This will be the subject of next week’s Parent Coronavirus Update from me.
Those parents who are essential workers may send their child to the College for supervision purposes if required. It is necessary to book a place on the day prior to the child’s attendance. Next week this will be deemed a holiday supervision program.
- Schools have not been notified of arrangements that will apply for Years 7 – 10 students as from 20 July
- Neither masks nor temperature checks will be mandated but there is no objection to students wearing a mask or requesting a temperature check
- Social distancing and hygiene standards and reminders will be maintained. Worksafe Victoria has issued the College with a report approving of our procedures and actions
- Please ensure your child remains at home if unwell or feeling unwell
- A thorough deep clean has been done of the entire College by Danaher’s Facilities Management and has duly been passed by authorities.
These are troubling and serious times, dominated by anxieties surrounding Coronavirus. Two staff members who tested positive for COVID-19 have since been cleared as have staff and students who were sent to testing due to direct contact tracing. The College received no notification from authorities concerning a student who was mentioned in the public press as having the virus. Please understand that identities cannot be revealed due to privacy reasons.
Always know that there is someone at the College to take your call or answer your question.
We pray, Loving Christ,
That those who suffer the virus are healed;
That those who are anxious are comforted;
That those who care for the sick are appreciated.
Jesus, hear our prayers and give us the grace to persevere.
Brian E. Hanley