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June 4 Newsletter

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COVID-19 UPDATES

WHERE ARE WE AT WITH COVID-19?

Resumption of Face to Face Learning at St Aloysius College

We welcomed all students back to the College on Monday, 25 May 2020.  The information below is provided to assist parents and students in the transition back to face to face learning.

 

Understanding the COVID-19 virus

The simple combination of soap and water remains one of the strongest weapons against infectious diseases, including COVID-19.  To fully understand why health officials keep coming back to soap, it helps to know how the coronavirus exists outside the body, and what research is saying about how long the virus can linger on common surfaces.

Because respiratory droplets are heavy, they typically fall to the ground easily.  Depending on where they land, they could persist on a surface before being touched by a hand that carries the virus to a nose or mouth, leading to infection.

Although it is not certain at this time how long the COVID-19 virus survives on surfaces, studies suggest that corona viruses can survive on cardboard for 24 hours, two days on stainless steel and three days on hard plastic.  The virus could only be detected for four hours on copper, a material that naturally breaks down bacteria and viruses.

Environmental conditions can also influence how long the virus lasts.  Humidity, for example, is thought to make it harder for respiratory droplets to travel through the air, and ultraviolet light is known to degrade.

There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted via food, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Porous items like clothes and wood don't hold the virus for longer than four hours.  That is because these items pull moisture away from the virus and cause it to degrade.

No matter what you touch, soap and water is the best way to remove any potential coronavirus from your hands before it can lead to infection.  The coronavirus does not penetrate through skin because your outermost layer is slightly acidic, which prevents most pathogens from entering the body.

Soap works so effectively because its chemistry pries open the corona virus’s exterior envelope and causes it to degrade.  These soap molecules then trap tiny fragments of the virus, which are washed away in water.  Hand sanitisers work similarly by bursting apart the proteins contained in a virus.

Effective cleaning is important for reducing the risk of transmission of many germs.  The aim of environmental cleaning is to minimise the number of germs that survive on surfaces.

 

Students and staff who are not well must not attend school.  If your child presents at school with a fever, runny nose, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath you will be phoned to collect them from school.  Please keep them home if they have any of these symptoms.  This will also apply to staff that have the symptoms mentioned.

 

What if my child is unable to attend school due to being vulnerable due to Covid-19 health concerns?

As is currently the case, parents are asked to communicate with the college regarding their child’s absence from school.  If, for medical reasons (as stated above), students cannot attend for an extended period of time, we ask you to  contact the Deputy Principals; Susan McGann at Kingston Campus and Susie Bond at Huntingfield Campus.

  

Is it safe for students to return to school?

Schools have been identified as safe places for students and staff and evidence suggests that they present low risk in relation to the spread of COVID-19.

 

What protection is in place for students and staff?

The health and safety of our students and staff is of highest priority and we are implementing a range of measures to ensure we meet the public health advice.  The following controls have been established or maintained since term 1:

 

  • Students and staff who are not well must not attend school;
  • Physical distancing of 1.5 metre is required by all adults;
  • Cleaning frequency has increased to include daily cleaning of high touch surfaces such as desks, handrails, door handles, taps, outside play equipment;
  • Shared devices are limited and, if used, are sanitised after each use;
  • There are procedures in place to ensure that students wash their hands on entry to each class and before eating at recess and lunchtime;
  • Hand soap and paper towels are available in each class where there is a sink available. Hand sanitiser is available in the areas where this is not possible;
  • Posters reminding staff and students of the importance of social distancing and hand washing are displayed;
  • Communal water fountains have been closed;
  • Increased amount of fresh air inside classrooms is encouraged by opening doors and windows when suitable;
  • Library book borrowing will be limited to 5 books and returned books will be quarantined for 72 hours before being returned to the shelves;
  • No woodwind or brass instruments to be played in music classes;
  • All excursions, incursions, camps and work experience are cancelled until further notice;
  • All inter school events and competitions and learn to swim are cancelled until further notice;
  • No volunteers are permitted until further notice;
  • No College assemblies, performances involving audiences or College Masses are permitted until further notice;
  • Strict hygiene controls will be in place for food preparation (canteen) staff and their close contacts.

  

Students will be reminded to:

  •   Not share food or drink;
  •   Practice good personal hygiene by covering coughs and sneezes with an elbow or tissue, placing used tissues immediately in the bin, washing hands frequently before eating and after toileting;
  •   Avoid touching their face, nose, eyes or mouth;
  •   If they do cough, sneeze or touch their face, they are encouraged to wash their hands or sanitise;
  •   Practise social distancing as practical.

  

Will there be physical distancing enforced at school?

Physical distancing of 1.5 metres is required by all adults.  Public health advice is that physical distancing between children is not required in schools provided that they are well.  However, where possible, physical distancing will be encouraged for students.

Staff rooms and office spaces have limited capacity to comply with the social distancing requirement for adults of 4 square metres.

  

Parents and caregivers gathering before and after school

Adults congregating in groups on school sites poses the greatest risk of transmission of COVID-19.  It is very important that parents and carers observe physical distancing and hygiene protocols when picking up and dropping off students.  We ask for your support to maintain this.  If it is essential to visit the administration area, please ensure you sanitise your hands and maintain social distancing.  If you observe the area is busy, please reconsider your need to visit at that time or if your enquiry can be solved in an alternative way by email or phone.

We ask that you drop and pick up your child from outside the College grounds, and only enter the school if essential. Teachers will be at the classroom doors to welcome students as they arrive.  Please keep the amount of time that you spend in the car park or at pick up and drop off to a minimum and we ask that you do not use the playground before or after school.  Whilst we appreciate that this is usually a social time for families, please help us to stay vigilant and keep our community safe.

We also ask for your assistance to minimise the disturbance to classes by not requesting the unnecessary early release of students from classes without prior written or phone consent. 

  

Will student temperatures be monitored?

There is limited evidence to suggest that temperature testing is of value when testing for COVID-19.  If temperature testing is required, First Aid Officers have non-touch thermometers to support their first aid delivery.

  

Does the College have sufficient hygiene supplies?

The College has sufficient supplies and has been able to secure a regular supply of all hygiene products.

  

Is there any support for my child’s emotional well-being?

There is always professional support available to support the emotional well-being of students.  These include class teachers, pastoral co-ordinators and our College Counsellor.  Please discuss any concerns with your child’s teacher.

  

Will buses operate?

The bus businesses that provide transport to your child will operate as normal.  We have been advised that additional cleaning is being provided to all high touch point surfaces and, where possible, social distancing will be encouraged.  Until the 5 July, bus travel is free and there will be no physical contact with the bus driver to exchange tickets.

  

What will happen in the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19?

If a confirmed case is identified, the College will follow the advice of the public health department.  The College may need to temporarily close to allow time for the public health to conduct tracing and specific cleaning to make safe for students and staff.

  

Why should I consider downloading the COVIDSafe app?

The app assists health officials to quickly contact people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. 

  

Please consider downloading the app to help to reduce the spread of the virus should it reach our college community.  The health officials can only use the app information to help alert those who may need to quarantine or get tested because they have been in contact or in an area with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19.   The COVIDSafe app is the only contact trace app approved by the Australian Government.

  

COVID-19 Testing

The Tasmanian Government has expanded its COVID-19 testing program and is now encouraging people to seek a COVID-19 test referral from a GP or the Public Health Hotline should they have any of the following:

  • fever
  • runny nose
  • cough
  • sore/itchy throat
  • shortness of breath

Where a member of the immediate household or a member of staff or student has chosen to seek a referral for a COVID-19 test from a GP or Public Health, that member of staff or student does not need to self-isolate unless the person who is tested returns a positive result.

Where a member of staff or a student has been instructed by a GP or Public Health to seek a COVID19 test, then that member of staff or student must not attend their school or any other CET premises until they have received their results and it is confirmed as negative.  Please advise the College if your child is absent from school and is being tested for COVID-19.

Should the person who has been tested return a positive result then all members of the household must not enter a CET school or CET premises until the member of the household with the COVID-19 infection has been informed by Public Health that it is safe for that person to return to their usual activities, and other members of the household have completed their 14 day self-isolation period without developing COVID-19 symptoms or have been cleared by Public Health.

May 21 Newsletter

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May 7 Newsletter

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April 2 Newsletter

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Information for Families

For the latest information regarding learning at home, book collection and other arrangements please refer to School Stream

Catholic Mass

Dear families,

Please find attached a letter from the Archbishop of Hobart, Most Reverend Julian Porteous regarding the suspension of public celebrations of Mass for all Catholic Parishes - +JP to Catholic Community 18 Mar 2020


Kingston-Channel Parish Mass online

As a result of the changes mentioned above, Fr Chris, with the assistance of our Head of Mission, Polly Marriott, our Parish Associates, Hannah Donovan & Robert Elkerton and our ICT Technician, Sam Howell, will now be broadcasting Sunday Mass online each week.

We encourage families to join these services either by livestream, at the usual Sunday Mass time of 10.00am, or the service can also be viewed at a time that is convenient to you and your family.

Internet is required which may not be a possibility for all Parish Members but hopefully it will reach, and be a comfort to many. We are working on a step by step help-sheet with images to assist those who would appreciate some instruction. Hard copies of this document will be left in the church - Youtube - online Mass Instructions

If you wish to view the services each week, please use this link to access the St Aloysius Livestreams YouTube page - http://bit.ly/masslivestream

We thank and congratulate Fr Chris and his team for their efforts and adaptability during this time.

March 19 Newsletter

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Temporary Closure of Explorers Program

Thank you to all our families for your ongoing support of our school community throughout the current concerns with the Coronavirus situation.  
At this point in time, the advice we have from Public Health officials is that continuing to keep schools open, whilst exercising good hygiene practice is appropriate.
However, after receiving advice from Catholic Education Tasmania we will be closing our Setup for Success - Explorers - Program. We have so many people in such a small space and it would be impossible to maintain the necessary safety measures to avoid transmission of Covid-19. 
We are sad to be missing our time together but hopeful that all these measures will help protect our communities as best we can. Over the next while, I will endeavour to continue to provide families with some ideas for ‘Exploring’.
Blessings 
Andrea Reece (and Amanda Boon)”

March 5 Newsletter

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