Dear Parents and Caregivers,
I am writing to you to provide a further update of the College’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
School-based measures currently in place:
In response to the rapidly evolving guidelines that have been provided by NSW Health, the Federal and State Governments, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta and NESA, we are implementing a wide ranging programme of protective measures to minimise the risk posed to our students and staff by the spread of the virus in the broader community.
- You have already been provided with separate communication listing the events and presentations that we have been obliged to cancel. These sadly include sporting competitions, parent presentations, excursions and whole school gatherings such as assemblies and Masses. We are, however, maintaining our timetabled lessons for all Year groups.
- We are ensuring that all students and staff who present with identified symptoms go home immediately and remain absent until the symptoms are assessed and resolved.
- We have increased our daily contract cleaning regimes to include further disinfectant measures on surfaces.
- We are regularly monitoring and replenishing soap and hand drying facilities throughout each school day.
- We are actively facilitating for all staff and students the maintenance of the protocols and obligations around social distancing, as much as is feasible in our environment.
- We have hand sanitiser pump packs on back order to be placed in all learning spaces as soon as they can be supplied.
These measures are all preventative risk minimisation measures as there are no reported or confirmed cases of any Marian staff or students testing positive to Covid-19 at this time.
Remote learning & teaching measures currently being implemented:
This week we are rolling out our remote learning and teaching strategies to all staff and students to support the continuation of the delivery of our educational programmes should we have a school closure, which appears to be increasingly possible.
Teaching staff have been trialling the expansion of the current online learning platforms which have been widely used for some time in the College, such as Google Classroom, Edrolo and Zoom. There is also a vast array of online teaching resources that can be utilised to further enhance remote learning experiences. Teachers will be speaking with their classes this week about lesson delivery and the expectations around the use of these platforms to access resources, teacher instruction and feedback, as well as class collaboration and submission of student work.
Up to this point, we have been seeking to provide accurate information in a rapidly developing situation based upon the right advice from the Government agencies and educational authorities. We will continue to keep you informed as soon as we receive advice from these trusted sources. Please be assured that our staff are working hard to plan and prepare for the need to work differently with your children should that become necessary.
What parents can do to help support their children in this current situation:
- Keep your child at home if he or she is unwell.
- Have a conversation with your child about their learning generally and ability to access the College existing online learning platforms.
- Co-plan with your child the establishment of the space, structures and expectations that will be required for them to engage with and complete work provided online.
- Ensure you and your children have downloaded the College communication channels such as School Stream and enabled the notifications so that you can be fully informed of any updates in a timely manner.
- Discuss with your child the information that is provided through trusted sources such as Government agencies and the College communication channels, to counter any misinformation that may be circulating on social media. This will decrease your child’s uncertainty and anxiety.
Parents and carers can also access support from:
- the National Coronavirus Health Information line (1800 020 080)
- the NSW Health COVID-19 website for the latest information and advice
- the Catholic Schools NSW website for updates
- the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta website
- your local General Practitioner, Community Health Centre or Hospital Emergency Department
We are also very aware that families may be finding this unprecedented circumstance very stressful and may wish to seek counselling support through a referral from their General Practitioner.