Update on Coronavirus from the Principal

13/03/2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As concerns about Coronavirus rise, the College has made some decisions informed by the latest advice from the Department of Education and Training and the Department of Health and Human Services. We are trying to be proactive and keep students focused on their schooling. In the current climate of uncertainty, we want to err on the side of caution.

We have made the decision to postpone all major events that have been scheduled over the coming weeks. We will advise you when they are back on our calendar. These include:

  • Athletics Day – Tuesday 17th
  • Open Night – Thursday 19th
  • Student-Parent-Teacher Interviews – Tuesday 24th
  • Year 9 Passion Project and ASPIRE Evening – Thursday 26th

As well as these significant school events, we have also cancelled the following school excursions, as a proactive measure to minimise the possibility that our students might be exposed to the virus. Avoiding large crowds is one of the suggested measures.

The following events will not go ahead as planned:

  • Peninsula Heath Music visit – Monday 16th
  • ODR Snorkelling –Monday 16th
  • Arts Academy Shrek and Top Arts Excursion –Wednesday 18th
  • Challenge Day Grade 6 students – Wednesday 18th
  • Year 12 Indonesian Temple Excursion -Wednesday 18th
  • Yr 7 Boys/Girls Cricket – Friday 20th
  • Year 8 Boys/Girls Cricket, Tennis, Volleyball –Monday 23rd

Classes will continue as normal for all students.
Should I be notified that a person from our school has a confirmed case of Coronavirus, I will notify families immediately, following the advice below:

School closures
Based on advice from DHHS, when there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 among a student or staff member, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer will recommend an affected school’s closure for 24 hours. If this occurs, DHHS will work with DET and staff and students will be advised to stay home and self-isolate for 24 hours. This closure will support school and health officials to work through a contact and containment strategy, including decisions about extending the closure period.

As a further precautionary measure, I am asking students to take their text books home as of Monday next week. Should it be necessary for the school to close, they will have their books with them if the closure is sudden. This will ensure they have access to their texts and teachers will continue to put lesson plans onto Compass so that students are able to work from home.

I know that students in Year 11 and 12 VCE classes will be concerned about the possibility of an interruption to their studies. The Department is working with VCAA on a range of strategies for these students to ensure no-one is disadvantaged. I will keep you informed about that as the information comes to hand.

I have asked staff to ensure students who may not have text books are supported and plans are being put in place to address this.
The decisions I have made are with the health and safety of staff and students in the school community front of mind. I thank you all for your support.

Please remember that good hygiene practices are the most effective means of minimising the spread of COVID-19, and I encourage you to keep up these practices.

I will continue to keep the Mount Erin School Community informed, as information comes to hand. In the meantime, school continues as normal.

Thank you for your continued support.

Kind regards,

Karen Lee
Principal