Update: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

10 April 2020 

Late last night, Principals were sent updated information from DET. The arrangements that were in place before the end of Term 1 have now changed.


Dear Parents/carers,

 

Once again, thank you for your support during the current crisis. As you are aware, the situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve. All schools will move to remote and flexible learning when students return for Term 2 on Wednesday 15 April.

 

Late last night, Principals were sent updated information from DET. The arrangements that were in place before the end of Term 1 have now changed.

 

From next week, this means that all students who can learn at home must learn from home. This is a very clear directive by the Victorian Government based on the advice of the Chief Health Officer.

 

All students will be learning from home, with minimal and strict exemptions. Learning ‘at school’ is only available for children on days when they are not able to be supervised at home and no other arrangements can be made. Recent relaxation of child minding arrangements may assist you in managing this, as parents can now arrange child minding at your home or another person’s if you are required to leave your home for a permitted purpose.

 

Nevertheless, I am sending parents an Application Form, in case we have any students for whom no other arrangements can be made. If you feel you have grounds to request your child attend school, this form should be returned by email to laburnum.ps@edumail.vic.gov.au:

  • by 4 p.m. on Monday 13 April for this week, and
  • by 4 p.m. each Wednesday for subsequent weeks.

Parents will then be emailed to let you know whether your child can attend school. The decision for your child to attend cannot made by parents, until further notice.

 

Access to the school grounds and buildings will also now be severely limited. No one can be on site, or in the school buildings, without the pre-arranged approval of the Principal.

 

If your child is Learning from Home, you do not need to contact us.

 

Please be further advised that, due to the health crisis, Principals have no authority to instruct or expect any staff to attend schools from Tuesday 14 April 2020, at this stage. Our staff, including teachers, will also be working from home.

 

This means, for children who are approved to attend school, that they may be supervised by CRTs or need to attend another site.

 

This is not an action being taken lightly, and I understand it may cause you and your family concern or stress. Please know this serious step is being actioned due to Victoria being in a declared State of Emergency. All schools have a role to play in slowing the spread of the virus and ensuring the health and safety of all Victorians, including our students and staff.

 

Work is also underway to identify students who do not have access to internet or any digital technologies at home. Devices such as laptops and tablets will be made available on loan to these students free-of-charge to ensure no student misses out. Please email us if your child has no access to a device or internet at home.

 

This is clearly going to be a challenging time for all of us. It is critically important that we work closely together to ensure that we provide the best possible support for the ongoing wellbeing and learning of our students and your children. This factsheet provides ways you can support your child during this transition.

 

Further information regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) and schools can be found on the Department’s website, which will continue to be updated: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/department/Pages/coronavirus.aspx

 

As detailed recently, parents can expect further emails about Learning from Home next week. I am confident that as a school community we are well-prepared for remote learning in the weeks to follow.


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23 March 2020 (2)

Dear Parents,


I hope you can appreciate that we are acting on the latest DET advice in a rapidly-changing scenario.

 

Supervision of children of Essential Services personnel

DET has now advised that during this week, schools have a responsibility to provide care and supervision programs for children of (or under the care of) essential services workers. Examples of essential services may include health, police, corrections and emergency services workers.

 

Of course, if those families choose this option, their children will need to be well enough to attend school.

 

Care and Supervision of Vulnerable Children

We also have a responsibility to ensure there is a program of care and support this week for vulnerable children. They may include:

  • children in out-of-home care
  • children deemed by Child Protection and/or Family Services to be at risk of harm
  • children identified by the school as vulnerable.

Children who attend school for Care and Supervision will be minded by a staff member, but should not expect to be with their class teacher or in their own classroom.

 

There remains no provision of Care and Supervision by the school for other children this week.

 

If your child falls into one of these categories above, AND you wish them to attend Care and Supervision from tomorrow until Friday, please email laburnum.ps@edumail.vic.gov.au, indicating:

  1. Which children need to attend school and their year level/s; and
  2. If you require vacation program places for these children over the Term 1 holidays due to the State of Emergency.

 

The Department will then work with the school and OSHC providers to determine whether vacation programs can be put in place over these coming holidays.

 

PLEASE NOTE:   YOU DO NOT NEED TO RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL IF YOUR CHILD WILL NOT BE ATTENDING SCHOOL FROM TOMORROW

 

Kind regards,

Kim Dray


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23 March 2020

Dear Parents,

 

Yesterday the Victorian Government announced additional steps to combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), including bringing forward the school holidays in Victoria to commence from Tuesday 24 March, tomorrow.

 

School closes today at 3:30 p.m. OSHClub will close at 6 p.m. today. We will advise families as to when both school and OSHClub will reopen.

 

As this is a rapidly changing scenario, please keep checking your emails for further updates, as well as the school website home page https://www.laburnumps.vic.edu.au/

 

Kind regards,

Kim Dray


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Sunday 22 March 2020


Dear Parents,

You may be aware of an announcement this afternoon regarding school closures from Tuesday.

We are awaiting further communications from the Department. Please be assured that, once I have details confirmed by DET, I will communicate this to the school community.

Kind regards,

Kim Dray

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Dear Parents,

 

NAPLAN

You may already be aware that NAPLAN testing will not proceed for 2020, due to the disruption caused to schools by coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

ADDITIONAL STUDENT-FREE DAYS

Late last night the Minister for Education acknowledged the additional work being undertaken by teachers and schools to prepare for the possibility of moving to flexible learning arrangements, including remote learning or ‘Learning from Home’.

While our schools and teachers are preparing for this, it won’t always be perfect, and we will learn as we go.

Our PLC leaders and Leadership Team have already undertaken considerable work to decide on how we can support students, and the types of learning tasks that might be suitable for ‘Learning from Home’. It is simply a huge task in addition to our usual duties. You may have noticed that we anticipate using the school website to translate ‘Learning from Home’ tasks, but there is still much to be done.

To support staff to make these preparations, the Minister for Education has approved two additional student-free days. The first will be on the last day of this term, Friday 27 March, and the second will be on the first day of Term 2, Tuesday 14 April, after the school holidays.

I have not yet had an opportunity to check any OSHClub arrangements, but families will be advised about this.

 

SCHOOL HYGIENE

Given the challenge posed by coronavirus (COVID-19), it is essential that our schools are safe workplaces. As of yesterday, we have received increased school cleaning, increased supply of school cleaning products and advice around common sense social-distancing measures.

 

NEXT WEEK IN SCHOOLS

Based on the recommendations of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, schools will continue to be open next week, except for the student-free day on Friday 27 March. We will provide the full range of classroom teaching, learning and social activities that are so important for our students.

I am also acutely aware of our OH&S responsibilities towards staff during this time. DET has advised that, if parents choose to keep their children at home, the onus will be on parents to support the learning of their children.

As with any short-term absences, we encourage students at home by choice to read daily, undertake some relevant writing and take the opportunity to use their maths skills in real-life applications.

 

UNWELL STUDENTS

In the current situation, we again remind parents that school is no place for unwell students. Please see the 18 March email from me that clearly outlines the guidelines around this.

 

We are so fortunate at Laburnum to have professional and generous staff, who have made incredible contributions in the last few weeks.

Thank you to all those parents who have both appreciated the work we are doing and allowed us to focus on the upcoming challenges of supporting your child’s learning.

 

Kind regards,

Kim Dray

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18 March 2020

Dear Parents,

 

Please read this important update.

 

Additional School Closures and our preparations

The advice of the Chief Health Officer remains, at present, that all state schools should remain open, except in the event of a confirmed case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Thankfully, I am not aware of any of these at Laburnum P.S.

 

However, I want to reassure parents that our teachers would be on duty, even if at home, if this occurred. Our Leadership Team and PLC Leaders have been planning for the possibility of students ‘Learning from Home’ and I thank our wonderful staff for their focus and professionalism at this time.

 

In the coming days, some students may bring additional resources home each day to prepare for the possibility of school closure, which we hope does not occur. Please ensure these items are returned to school each day for children to use. Obviously, our teachers have avoided detailing the reasons for these extra resources to maintain a sense of calm. This is essential, as we are all aware of the need to preserve children’s sense of security.

 

Declaration of a State of Emergency

The declaration by the Victorian Government of a State of Emergency means that the state now has the power to do the following, among other measures:

  • enforce a mandatory self-quarantine period for returning travellers
  • enforce a ban on non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people.

The mandatory self-quarantine period of 14 days for travellers returning from overseas does have implications for students and staff. In brief, students or staff who travel overseas will not be able to attend school for 14 days when they return. Unfortunately, some trips have been cancelled due to global travel bans. 

 

Hoax Messages

This week saw the first widespread circulation of a hoax message related to schools and COVID-19, which falsely reported to be a statement from the Federal and State Health Ministers that schools would close today. This is unlikely to be the only fake statement to be circulated during the pandemic, but did not affect LPS directly.

 

For Victorian schools and their community members, the Department’s COVID-19 website is the single authoritative source of advice and information. 

 

Recording Absences

If parents make the decision to keep their child/ren at home due to COVID 19 concerns, our school will record this as a ‘Code 807 – Parent Choice School Approved’. Please include the word 'COVID-19' in the absence comments.

 

Any student exhibiting the following symptoms (fever, breathing difficulties such as breathlessness, coughing, sore throat and fatigue or tiredness) should not attend school.  If any child presents at school with these symptoms we will do the following:

  • Reassure the student if they are anxious
  • Move the student to a single room away from others, being mindful of the student's wellbeing
  • Contact the child’s parents/carers to inform them of the advice from health authorities and ask them to come and collect their child.

Thank you everyone for your continued attention to these school communications, which are also uploaded to our website home page for ease of translation.

 

Kind regards,

Kim Dray
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15 March 2020
Dear Parents,


This message will also be available on our website Home Page https://www.laburnumps.vic.edu.au/, to provide a translation option for families.

Please refer to https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coron... for the latest advice and information or 新型冠状病毒中文息https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/information-chinese-co...


As you are aware, the response to the Coronavirus situation has been escalating. The measures being implemented are intended to protect the health of our students and broader school community. DET principals are receiving official daily updates. As a result, communications to the school community may increase in frequency.


From midnight tonight, anyone entering Australia must self-isolate for 14 days.


Over the weekend, DET has advised the following:

Any school event that involves attendance by community members who are not students or staff (where staff includes support staff) and where total attendance will exceed 500 should not proceed.


As a result, school assemblies are cancelled until further notice. Class teachers will distribute ‘Student of the Week’ awards. Planning of excursions is currently under review.


A significant number of families have decided to keep their children at home, purely as a precautionary measure. These absences will, of course, be approved.


Our teachers have begun considering and planning ways to support students in the event of school and OSHClub closure, within the guidelines provided by DET. We will not only be aiming for a consistent approach across the school, but also consistency between schools in our network.


Although we appreciate the huge number of suggestions provided by parents, please understand that I simply cannot respond to all of these individually.


Please refer to previous advice on how to practise effective hygiene.

Additionally, please do not send your children to school if they have any signs of fever or flu-like symptoms.


All school measures contribute to broader efforts across the community to contain and slow the spread of the virus over a period of what is going to be a number of months.


Any further updates on Coronavirus will continue to be sent to families by email as our preferred communication tool during this time.


Kind regards,

Kim Dray

 

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11 March 2020
The Commonwealth Government has updated travel restrictions.

The extension to existing travel restrictions now applies to visitors from Republic of Korea, Iran, Italy and mainland China. Visitors who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents, or their dependants, will not be allowed entry into Australia.

Parents/carers should make sure that any child returning from mainland China from 1 February, Iran from 1 March, Republic of Korea from 5 March, or Italy from 11 March, is isolated at home and should not attend school until 14 days after they were last in mainland China, Iran, Italy or Republic of Korea.

We have received many enquiries about school closures. School closures will be made on the recommendation of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer. Once this occurs, DHHS will inform the Department of Education who will then work with the school to implement the closure.

If this affects Laburnum Primary School, information, advice and instructions will be sent by email, supported by SMS if needed. Please avoid calling the school on this matter and ensure you have returned any updated family contact information. OSHClub will not operate if the school is closed, so parents are advised to plan alternative arrangements.

If someone in your family has a confirmed or suspected case of Coronavirus, please contact the DHHS coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 and email laburnum.ps@edumail.vic.gov.au  Mail will be checked regularly.

Everyone can protect against infections by practising good hand and respiratory hygiene:

  1. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with a tissue, or cough into your elbow.
  2. Dispose of the tissue into a bin and then wash your hands afterwards.
  3. Wash your hands regularly using soap and water, including after using the toilet, and before eating.

Please refer to https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19 for the latest advice and information or 新型冠状病毒中文信息 https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/information-chinese-community-victoria


Any further updates on Coronavirus, if needed, will be sent to families by email as our preferred communication tool during this time.

 

 

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