23 March 2020 (2)
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, indicating:
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
23 March 2020
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/
Sunday 22 March 2020
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.
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.
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.
18 March 2020
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:
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.
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.
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:
Thank you everyone for your continued attention to these school communications, which are also uploaded to our website home page for ease of translation.
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 email@example.com Mail will be checked regularly.
Everyone can protect against infections by practising good hand and respiratory hygiene:
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.