January 28, 2022

News | Return to School COVID Measures

 

We have recently received updated guidelines around the procedures and operations of our College in the first weeks of Term 1.

 

Whilst we are conscious that there may continue to be changes in this space, this has allowed us to formalise several the practicalities that occur as we begin the year. Our priority is to ensure that our students and staff are physically, emotionally, and spiritually well and have access to the first-class learning opportunities that will afford them growth and achievement in a safe environment.

 

Please find details below regarding the expectations and guidelines for a successful start to our year at Catholic College. I appreciate that there is a great deal of information to process here. Please contact us with any questions that arise. Thank you for your ongoing support of our Catholic College community as we begin 2022.

 

RAPID ANTIGEN TESTING

No doubt, you will have seen reports in the media that all schools in Victoria will be asked to undertake surveillance testing of students. It is recommended that students complete a rapid antigen test twice a week for the first four weeks of Term 1.

 

We have been informed that we will be provided with rapid antigen tests for each student.
Depending on the arrival date of these tests, we will have an opportunity for parents and guardians to collect a box of tests for their child or children on Tuesday 1 February:

 

  • 9.30am – 1.30pm parents and guardians will be able to attend the College site and proceed to the lawned area in front of the administration building.
  • Individual stations set up for each of our Learning Communities and identified by the Community flag.
  • You will be able to collect an individualised box of tests per student to be used in the surveillance program from your child’s Learning Community station. Please ensure you have the correct details about which Learning Community your child belongs to as tests will be allocated accordingly.

 

For all other families who are unable to attend the College site for collection of tests on Tuesday, the tests allocated for your child/children will be sent home with them on Wednesday 2 February. Students will receive one package of tests in Week 1 and the second package of tests in Week 3. We will communicate with you about how the second batch will be available once they arrive.

 

Students who have tested positive to COVID-19 in the past 90 days are not required to undertake rapid antigen testing as part of this program.

 

Information about how to undertake the rapid antigen tests is available online in a variety of languages. Please access these videos for support if required. Students undertaking the surveillance testing are asked to complete the tests at home. Any positive tests must be reported via the Department of Health systems or the Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 AND to the College so that students can be supported by our community.

 

CCW COVID PROCEDURES AND CASE MANAGEMENT 2022

The details below reflect the updated requirements should a student test positive to COVID.

 

POSITIVE TO COVID

  • If a student tests positive to COVID- 19, either through a Rapid Antigen test or PCR test they are required to isolate at home or in private accommodation for 7 days (inclusive of weekends) and do not attend school during this period.
  • Families are required to Inform the school either via the online schools’ portal, by phone or in writing, that the student(s) has tested positive to COVID-19.
  • Families are required to report the positive result to the Department of Health via the online reporting systems
  • If students test positive, follow the Checklist for COVID cases for guidance on support as stated on the Vic Department of Health
  • Students must refrain from attending school if they remain symptomatic, unless it is known that symptoms are caused by an underlying health condition.
  • If students are asymptomatic as close contacts at school (NOT considered household contacts) then they should continue to attend school and monitor for symptoms.

A negative test is not required to return to school following completion of 7 days of isolation.

 

HOUSEHOLD CONTACTS

Where a student is a household contact of a positive case (that is, they have spent more than four hours with someone who has COVID-19 inside a house, accommodation, or care facility) they must inform the school and isolate for seven days and not attend school during that period.Household contacts are required to undertake a Day 6 test. If the student tests positive at this time, results are to be reported and isolation requirements followed as per the requirements for a positive case listed above. If this test is negative, students are able to return to school after their 7 day isolation period.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

 

STUDENT ATTENDANCE

    • All students are expected to attend onsite. Parent preference is not an approved reason for absence.
    • Students required to isolate will be provided with materials to support learning. Schools are not expected to provide a full remote learning program.
  • Students with chronic medical conditions or medically vulnerable students are asked to seek advice from their medical practitioner.
  • Students who are absent from school due to illness or approved absence are to follow the Catholic College absence policy to report this to the College in the usual way.

 

 

VISITORS TO THE COLLEGE SITE

All visitors attending schools, including for drop off/pick up must adhere to physical distancing, density limits and face mask requirements. If visitors enter a school building, they must be double vaccinated and are required to show visual proof of vaccination.
Exceptions include:

  • When administering medical treatment to a child that cannot be administered by the school
  • When attending school to collect an unwell child
  • When attending for a momentary period that does not involve sustained contact staff or students eg. to collect an art project.

 

Visitors ARE required to check in with QR code when entering school buildings but not school grounds.

 

MITIGATION MEASURES

 

EXCURSIONS AND CAMPS

For the first four weeks Term 1, there will be restrictions on some of the events and excursions that can run at CCW. Excursions during this time will be approved by Catholic Education Sandhurst Compliance and Risk. Catholic College will conduct additional risk assessments of any proposed excursion activities.

 

For any excursions that do go ahead, parents and guardians will be informed of COVID safe measures that have been put in place prior to attending activity. Updated permission must be provided for students to attend these excursions.

 

Any confirmed or probable case presence at a camp or excursion activity while infections may result in other attendees being identified as household contacts and thus requiring them to quarantine for 7 days.

 

AIR PURIFIERS

Catholic College has received a delivery of air purifiers that will be distributed in spaces around the site. These purifiers will be provided in classrooms, gathering spaces and communal areas in addition to other ventilation measures including increasing air flow in learning spaces.

 

SOCIAL DISTANCING

Staff and adults on the school site will maintain 1.5 metres between individuals to the extent it is reasonably practicable. Students will be encouraged to maintain social distancing while on school premises. The College will work to minimise mixing of classes as far as is practicable. Where possible and necessary, staff will utilise large learning spaces and outdoor areas

 

FACE MASKS

  • All students at Catholic College must wear face masks when indoors unless they have an exemption.
  • Face masks are not compulsory outdoors.
  • When students and staff are attending indoor camps and excursions, they must wear face masks.
  • Face masks are not mandatory on outdoor education camps unless physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • All students over 8 years of age must wear a face mask on buses, taxis and on other public transport
  • All visitors to the College aged 8 and above must wear a face mask indoors.

 

HYGIENE

    • All staff, students and visitors should undertake regular hand hygiene. Hand sanitiser is available at entry points to classrooms. Students are encouraged to regularly sanitise their hands as they enter learning spaces.
    • To minimise contact spread, sharing of food is NOT permitted and students and staff are encouraged to use non-contact greetings.
    • COVID safe routine cleaning arrangements will continue. This involves daily end of day cleaning with particular focus on cleaning/disinfection of high-touchpoint areas.

 

RETURN TO SCHOOL DATES

 

A reminder that our year starts with the following arrangements:

 

Tuesday 1 February: students in Year 7 and all VCE students return. This includes students in Years 11 and 12 as well as any Year 10 student undertaking a 1/2 subject. Those Year 10 students will be able to sign in at the Mercy Centre to attend those timetabled classes. Year 7 students will receive an additional letter with the outline of their first day.

 

Wednesday 2 February: students in all other year levels (Year 8, 9 and all of 10) return.

 

Please rest assured that as the staff of Catholic College, we will be doing all that we can to ensure that your sons and daughters are cared for, supported, and guided through this time and the challenges and opportunities that will present.