I hope you and your family and friends continue to remain safe and healthy during this Covid-19 outbreak in Colac.
Please stay calm and continue to observe the guidelines of strict social distancing and good hygiene practices.
I’m writing to update you on my email regarding a student at Trinity College testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), and the subsequent closure of the school.
Once again, at the time of writing, I am pleased to say we have not had any further positive cases amongst our students and staff that we have been informed of. Next Tuesday, all those students and staff deemed to be close contacts of the student with the virus, will undergo a second test and then should be OK to return to school on August 3 if they have their clearances. Several staff and students are still awaiting initial test results, but these are starting to flow through and so far they have been reporting negative results, which is very pleasing.
In the meantime, all DHHS designated close contacts must remain at home in quarantine. Please reach out to them and I’m sure they would appreciate your support, particularly our Year 12 cohort.
I feel the decision to close the school and move to remote learning was the right one and this next 10 days is very important in Colac reversing the trend of infection and avoiding further cases.
Having our staff and students work from home is part of that. It simply stands to reason that if we limit our movement, we limit the chances of spreading the virus. Social distancing and good hygiene practices are essential. If you do need to leave home, please utilise face masks to protect yourself and others.
Today we returned to remote learning and early indications are that this was smoother than the first round, possibly due to staff and students being more familiar with procedures and technology.
All students need to log in through Teams for every class, including homeroom. Teachers will take rolls for all classes and provide instruction and work for the students.
We have six more days of remote learning to go and our plan remains to reopen school on Monday, August 3. If the situation changes, we will inform you.
All students were emailed a remote learning support guide during the week with step-by-step instructions on how to access their classes and work. It also provides contact points for assistance.
The school and the DHHS are continuing to work through a contact and containment strategy. DHHS have visited the school today to provide feedback on our deep clean and tips for any further procedures to implement before the students and staff return.
There are several cases in the Colac community, and we feel our stance of closing the school has allowed further time for contact tracing and testing and is aimed at reducing further spread of the virus. We have several staff awaiting test results as well and this will ensure they are available to return to the classrooms. By the time we return to school, it will be over two weeks from the initial positive result.
The school is being supported by both the DHHS and the CECV on our next steps and about any appropriate action. We will continue to keep you informed as further updates become available.
More information regarding coronavirus and schools is available on the DHHS and CECV websites.
With the return to remote learning for 7 school days, there will be some differences:
All staff and students will follow their usual timetable which will be conducted remotely via Teams.
The attendance roll must be marked on SIMON for each lesson.Homeroom period
Every student is expected to join the Homeroom Group each day, which will be scheduled and managed by the Homeroom teacher in Teams.
The Homeroom teacher must mark the students’ attendance to the homeroom period in SIMON, as Homeroom is an official roll.
Students are expected to join every class for each subject via Teams. The teacher will use this log in to mark the attendance roll of each lesson.
Teachers should teach each class remotely for at least a portion of the allocated lesson. Teachers will send an invitation to their class team for each timetabled lesson for students to join. Support is available from learning leaders to assist teachers with this process. It is the teacher’s choice how best to manage the lesson: video conference lesson, team chat or the allocation of work for students to complete during that lesson.
There is an acknowledgment that teaching practical classes and elective classes may be difficult. Students are expected to join these classes as well and the teacher can touch base with students about any aspect of the curriculum.
TAFE and SBA have been suspended for this fortnight.
Collection of belongings from lockers
Students will not be able to collect their general belongings from their lockers. However, it is imperative that students have access to their device.
Should your child have left a device at school, please phone the school.
Parents/Carers of unwell students must contact the College Absentee phone line to inform the school of any student’s absence.
Children of essential workers (excluding ALC families)
During this time, our advice would be that, if your child can stay at home for this entire period then, that is the preferred option.
Children of vulnerable and essential workers may attend school to sit in a supervised setting for their remote learning. Families in this situation will need to inform Paul Clohesy via email email@example.com so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Unfortunately, we cannot offer the option to do their learning on site to the children whose parents/carers/household members work at ALC.
RETURN TO ONSITE LEARNING
When all students are able to return to onsite learning on Monday, 3rd August, please reinforce to them the importance of good hygiene, cough etiquette, social distancing and wiping of desks.
If your child or a member of your household is experiencing any symptom of COVID-19, please keep your child away from school and organise a test. Only return your child to school once the test result has been returned negative.
There is a possibility that by the time we are scheduled to return, government regulations may have changed. Colac and other areas could be added to Stage 3 lockdown regulations which would mean a continuation of remote learning for some students. It would also mean the mandating of mask wearing for all students. If we are able to return as scheduled on Monday 3rd August, we will be encouraging our students to wear masks and hope that you might help us with this.
Finally, I would like to thank you all for the ongoing support you have provided Trinity College through these challenging times. If the situation changes, we will notify you. Please don’t hesitate to make contact should you have any questions or concerns.