Here is some important information regarding our transition back to onsite learning and measures we are putting into place to ensure everyone's safety
School Closure Days
Monday 25 May
Friday 29 May
There is no school for students at school onsite or remote/home learning on these days.
Return to School
The return to school will take place in two stages.
Stage 1: 26 May – 5 June
In the first stage, students in Foundation, Year 1, 2 and 3 will return to school from Tuesday 26 May.
Stage 2: from 9 June
Students in Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 will return to school from Tuesday 9 June. All students will be expected to attend school as normal.
Return to school of 2-3TK
Last Friday Catholic Education Commision of Victoria (CECV) released detailed information to principals regarding the staged return of students. The Return to School Operation Guide states that where a school has an existing year 2-3 composite class, principals are authorized to make local decisions regarding the return of year 3 students.
I have decided our year 3 students in Miss Tayla Kendall’s 2-3TK class will return to school on Tuesday 26 May, along with the year 2 students in this class. This is good news for our school, as Tayla will be able to resume normal classroom teaching from this date with all students present.
All students in the year levels returning to onsite learning are expected to attend school. Schools are not expected to provide a home-based learning program for students in the year levels that have returned to school learning onsite.
Important communication from Victorian Chief Health Officer
Message from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer
As Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, and as a member of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, and with the health, wellbeing and safety of students and staff front of mind, I fully endorse a return to onsite learning for all Victorian schools.
I trust that you have seen and understood my precautionary approach to onsite schooling to date in Victoria. This precautionary approach continues, so I hope that you have confidence in my view that the risk to you, your students and the broader community has changed to a point that I am confident in the full return to onsite schooling.
There continues to be little evidence within Australia and globally of transmission between children in the school environment. I understand that little evidence is not the same as evidence of limited transmission. Nonetheless, the available evidence largely indicates that transmission between children is likely to be low compared to adult populations. This growing evidence, coupled with very low levels of community transmission in Victoria, means that the risk posed to staff and students returning to onsite learning at this current time is very low.
While the risk is very low, we continue to advise caution, particularly in relation to adults and more vulnerable members of our school communities. The following guidance provides some sensible steps schools can take to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission and provide a safe working and learning environment for staff and students.
Everyone in the Victorian community has a role to play in protecting themselves and keeping the spread of coronavirus suppressed.
Thank you for your incredible contribution to Victoria’s response to COVID-19.
Adj Clin Prof Brett Sutton
Victorian Chief Health Officer
Message from Victorian Bishops
The social/physical distancing guidelines apply to adults onsite at school.
“The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) has advised that a ‘venue density rule’ of no more than one person per four square metres is not appropriate or practical in classrooms or corridors, nor is maintaining 1.5 metres between students during classroom activities. Therefore, the previously established ratio of 10 students per class is no longer required in schools.”
CECV Return to School- School Operations Guide
As the main risk of introducing COVID-19 to the school environment is from adults, close proximity between adult members of the school community should be avoided, particularly during school drop-off and pick-up.
Our school will continue to encourage staff and parents to observe physical distancing measures by not congregating in areas inside or around the school.
Parents are asked to only enter school buildings for essential purposes.
Hygiene and Cleaning
As stated in my communication to parents on 15 May, our school is following all hygiene and recommendations as outlined by CECV. In addition to this our school is currently working with our cleaners Alec Epis to ensure our facilities receive antimicrobial sanitation using fogging equipment.This treatment sanitises not only hard surfaces but also soft surfaces such as carpets. Our normal cleaning regime with the addition of touch point cleaning will take place each day. Throughout the day, progressive cleaning of high touch point areas such as door handles and tables will be carried out by our staff.
We continue to display posters with reminders about washing/sanitizing hands, provide sanitiser at entry points and ensure adults that are unwell do not enter our buildings. Visitors to school grounds are limited and additional information on signing in to our property is required from adults providing essential school services and operations.
Outside Student Drink Taps
The outside drink taps will not be available to students. All students are asked to ensure they have their own drink bottle at school each day. Students will be able to refill their drink bottle throughout the day.
The most important action school communities can take to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is to ensure that any unwell staff, children and young people remain at home. Please keep your child at home if they are unwell.
“Parents/carers of a student with complex medical needs (including those with compromised immune systems) should seek advice from the student’s medical practitioner to support decision-making about whether onsite education is suitable, noting that this advice may change depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Victoria.”
CECV Health and Safety Advice for Returning to Onsite Learning in the Context of COVID-19
I encourage any parent who may have any queries or questions to please contact me via phone or email.
9555 7200 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD)
The following information only applies to parents of students who receive additional funding support. Parents of children who receive this support attend Program Support Group (PSG) meetings each term with teachers, educational support staff and Carmel Donlon, our Student Diversity Leader.
Every year, all schools in Australia participate in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD). The NCCD process requires schools to identify information already available in the school about support provided to students with disability. These relate to legislative requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005, in line with the NCCD guidelines (2019).
Information provided about students to the Australian Government for the NCCD includes:
- year of schooling
- category of disability: physical, cognitive, sensory or social/emotional
- level of adjustment provided: support provided within quality differentiated teaching practice, supplementary, substantial or extensive.
This information assists schools to:
- formally recognise the supports and adjustments provided to students with disability in schools
- consider how they can strengthen the support of students with disability in schools
- develop shared practices so that they can review their learning programs in order to improve educational outcomes for students with disability.
The NCCD provides state and federal governments with the information they need to plan more broadly for the support of students with disabilities.
Further information about the NCCD can be found on the NCCD Portal (https://www.nccd.edu.au).
If you have any questions about the NCCD, please contact the school.
In the meantime, St Catherine's staff, both on and off site, have been busy walking on sunshine.
We ask that parents do not download and share this video on other social media platforms. Please respect the privacy of our staff.
As we head towards a return to school, we need to mindful of the emotions of our children. Many will feel excited to be coming back to school to see their friends and teachers, others may feel a little reluctant after spending such a long time at home feeling safe in their home environment.
We need to encourage positive self -talk as we prepare the students to enter the school grounds. Returning to the classroom will take some time to get back into the daily routines, unpacking the bag, waiting for fruit break, snack and lunchtime especially. We need to encourage the students to take time to breathe and be mindful of these changes in their daily routine in relation to the routines they have developed at home.
I have attached an article by Michael Grose the author of Parenting Ideas on 10 ways to promote good mental health and wellbeing in kids. You might also like to use some of the attached breathing boards for the students to focus their energy if they are needing a break to assist them in regulating their breathing in preparation to start the day or throughout the day.
We know that many of you have been tuning into Lego Masters during lockdown, so in celebration of spending more time with our families, we’re running our very own St Catherine’s Lego Masters competition.
All you need to do is get the family together and build your ideal ‘home’ – then send your photos to email@example.com, along with a one liner describing your creation.
Just like families, homes come in many different shapes and sizes – so be creative. This can be your dream home, your family home, a tree house, your holiday home - the Lego world is your oyster!
Submissions close on Sunday 31 May.
We will announce our top three Lego homes (and their Lego Masters) in early June.
So get the family together and start building. We look forward to seeing your creations come to life!