COVID-19 Update 20/5/2020

We are updating our advice to parents with the latest information regarding COVID-19 protocols that relate directly to how we are operating in our school. The School Response Team has discussed the Department of Health and Education directives and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) guidelines. Below are the protocols that are in place at East Hamersley Primary School.

A link to the AHPPC provides further information for parents/carers

https://www.health.gov.au/news/australian-health-protection-principal-committee-ahppc-advice-on-reducing-the-potential-risk-of-covid-19-transmission-in-schools-24-april-2020

Updated information as of 20th May 2020

  1. What are the arrangements for teaching and learning from Monday 18 May 2020?
  • From Week 4, Monday 18 May 2020, all students are expected to attend school, except for those students medically referred to learn from home.
  • This means students are either:

– at school;

– have a medical referral to learn from home;

– recorded as absent if they do not attend; or

– students who are unwell, should stay home.

  • If a student does not attend school without a medical reason, they will be marked as absent and will not be provided a learning program.

Medically vulnerable students and families

  1. Should students with medical conditions return to school?
  • Parents and carers of students with a medical condition, or a family member/carer in their home with medical condition, should seek medical advice.
  • If the advice is that their child should not attend school, the parent/carer should notify the school and provide the school with medical evidence such as a medical certificate.
  • Where a student/parent or carer’s pre-existing medical condition is already known to the school, no medical evidence is required.
  • The school will complete a brief medical referral form in consultation with the family and send to SSEN Medical and Mental Health (SSEN: MMH).
  • The student’s school will continue to provide support to the student while the medical referral is progressed.
  • The student will not be marked as absent during this period.
  • SSEN: MMH will process the referral form and make contact with the student’s school to determine the best way to support the student’s learning at home. This will include engagement with the student’s parents.
  • This support may include assistance for school-based distance learning, utilisation of the Connected Learning Hub, priority access to SIDE and/or direct support from the teachers at SSEN: MMH
  1. Can a parent choose to keep their child at home if they are not medically referred to do so?
  • They will be marked as absent (U / unauthorized).
  • Every day away from school has a negative impact on student learning.
  • If a student does not have medical referral to learn from home it is expected that they attend school.
  • The School Education Act 1999 states the requirement that: A student must attend on the days on which the school is open for instruction.
  • When a student is enrolled in a school, it is compulsory for them to attend every day of the instructional program.
  1. Is it expected that schools continue to provide learning programs for those students who stay at home but are not medically referred to do so?
  • For students who are absent without a medical referral, there is no expectation for the school to continue to provide learning programs or work packages.
  • All the evidence supports regular attendance as being critical to educational outcomes. There is no educationally safe level of absence.
  • Every day away from school has a negative impact on student learning.
  1. Face Masks
  • You do not need to wear a mask to school if you are healthy.
  • While the use of masks can help to prevent transmission of disease from infected patients to others, masks are not currently recommended for use by healthy members of the public for the prevention of infections like coronavirus. However, we respect individual decisions to do so.
  1. Communication with Parents
  • Our main form of communication with parents is through our skool bag app, email and Facebook.
  • We will send you an urgent message via skool bag app and email
  • Please ensure that we have your correct contact details. If you have changed your email address and phone number in the last 12 months, please ensure we have the new details.
  1. Social Distancing / Mass Gatherings

School pick up and drop off

  • No parent or carer will be permitted to enter school grounds to drop off or pick up students.
  • Children will be dropped and collected at access paths entering on school grounds
  • Kindy and PP students are to enter and exit via the Doon Way gate where they will be met by staff who will gather and take children to class.
  • Parents/ Carers of students in other year levels are to arrange with their child specific access locations that they are to enter and exit – reinforce this when you drop off your children.
  • Please allow safe social distancing of 1.5m while you are dropping off and picking up your children.
  1. Why do parents need to drop their child at the gate?
  • The AHPPC guidelines and the WA Chief Health Officer identify there is a relatively low risk of Coronavirus transmission between children.
  • The greater risk of transmission in a school environment is between adults. It is for this reason that situations arise where adults come together, need to be avoided.
  • Discussions about student learning and progress should be undertaken via phone or email.
  • The Director General’s Principal Advisory Group has developed a resource for schools to support them to implement this requirement.
  1. Other safety measures across the school
  • Children should not arrive at school until 8.35 at the earliest
  • All children are to leave the school grounds promptly after the 3pm bell
  • As mentioned previously, students will not be permitted to remain on site after the school bell unless attending an approved organised activity.
  • All incursions and all excursions have been cancelled
  • School assemblies will not be held until otherwise advised
  • Honour certificates will continue to be handed out by admin to each class separately
  • Parents will be advised by the teacher that the child is receiving an honour certificate.
  • School Banking is cancelled.
  • Parent – Teacher meetings should occur via telephone
  • Staggered eating and play arrangement to separate student and limit student mixing
  • Students will eat in their classrooms
  1. Health & Hygiene practices
  • Parents must keep children at home if they are unwell.
  • Children will not be permitted to play on any of the school playground equipment after the final bell.
  • Our cleaners are very vigilant and have stepped up their cleaning processes throughout the school.
  • A cycle of cleaning occurs throughout the day. Extra cleaning staff employed. High touch surface, toilets and playground are cleaned and disinfected in a regular cycle over the day.
  • Handwashing must occur on school site before eating, after the toilet and after a break in the playground.
  • Hand sanitiser is in every classroom and staff areas
  • Soap dispensers are full every day.
  • Hand washing and hygiene signs that promote an effective washing time are being promoted through the school.
  • All toilet doors have posters for handwashing.
  • Paper towel is maintained every day.
  • Please discuss with your child the need to be highly respectful about the resources provided in the school toilets.
  • Our resources are finite, (soap, paper towel, sanitiser) and we have had socially inappropriate actions in some areas of the school that impact on our resource levels and the respect for the work of our cleaners).
  • The school is actively encouraging and demonstrating to students;

– cough, sneeze, cover protocols,

– hand washing protocols and good personal hygiene practices.

– Handshakes, high-fives, holding hands and similar must be avoided.

  1. Food and Drink Practices
  • Shared food – any shared food in our school is not permitted.
  • Shared cooked food from home is not permitted and will not be distributed to any class
  • We still love celebrating birthdays, so individually wrapped confectionary may be an alternative to cup-cakes if you wish (i.e. fredo frog multipack).
  • Drinking fountains – students will be discouraged from drinking directly from the water fountains. All student must have a water bottle. Water bottles can be refilled from water fountains.
  1. Social Distances
  • 5m social distance requirement excludes children at school
  • Where ever possible social distance requirements will be encouraged.
  • Our kids will still share a desk with another student.
  • Morning tea and lunch eating arrangements have changed to avoid mixing of children
  • Parents/cares and staff must adhere to 1.5m distance when on school grounds
  • Parents/carers must seek prior approval to enter school grounds/administration area
  1. Student Absences
  • If you are advised that your child has come into contact with C19 please advise the Principal immediately.
  1. What parents can do to help control the spread of the virus
  • As mentioned in recent correspondence, East Hamersley PS has already put in place universal hygiene practices for students. Please reinforce this with your child.
  • Ongoing: Please have a conversation with your children about the hygiene practices, especially no sharing of drink bottles and food. This will always be reinforced by all of our school staff.
  • Children, staff, parents and visitors are to be kept away from school when unwell or with cold/flu symptoms
  • Implement social distancing practices
  1. Will Semester 1 Reports need to be completed for P-10? 
  • Significant amendments have been made to reporting requirements for Semester 1, 2020.
  • In Semester 1, 2020 there is no requirement to report on student achievement for Pre-primary to Year 10 using a 5-point scale.
  • Teachers will be providing reports on students’ general progress to date.
  1. What happens if COVID-19 cases go up – will students be taken out of schools?
  • All decisions are based on Chief Health Officer advice.
  1. What if there is a confirmed COVID-19 case at our school?
  • If a school has to close due to a confirmed case, it will be on advice from the WA Health Department’s Chief Health Officer.
  • The Chief Health Officer will, if there has been a positive COVID-19 test result in your school, close the school temporarily while assessment and tracing of exposure is conducted. A thorough school clean will then be carried out to make the school safe for the return of students and staff.
  • In this situation, the Department of Education will work with the principal to provide direct advice and support regarding the closure process and communication.