Updated advice to our community regarding COVID-19

Dear Families

As you can appreciate, the world-wide response to the COVID-19 situation changes daily. The following information is up to date as of today and is based on information from government agencies handling Australia’s response.

We would like to assure our community that we continue to implement safe hygiene practices across the College campuses and are closely monitoring advice from state and national agencies regarding management of this ever evolving situation.

News regarding Carey Grammar being closed today will have reached many of you, and highlights the importance of appropriate response measures to illness, without cause for alarm or worry. Put simply, if you or your child present with flu like symptoms, please do not come to school, consult with a GP and inform the school you are doing so. Please review the Victorian State Government advice regarding management of COVID-19, in particular the symptoms to be aware of. If cleared by a GP the College requests a copy of the pathology report indicating a negative result for COIVD-19 or a letter stating the student is in good health. This needs to be provided to the relevant school section administrator, Junior School Office or Senior School Office prior to your child recommencing school.

The School Executive and Senior staff members have been working through a number of potential scenarios that may eventuate due to the impact of the virus. This is being done to ensure our preparedness, and is not done with a sense of alarm or concern. Some short term impacts may include restrictions on school trips overseas and potential heightened concerns families or staff may have regarding travelling overseas.

We are aware that Victoria’s Chief Health Officer issued advice last Friday that overseas school excursions should cease, except to New Zealand and Canada. We are currently investigating the implications this could have on the Fiji trip planned for the June/July school holiday break. Families affected by this news have been sent an additional communication outlining the steps we are taking to clarify our options and next steps.

The Executive Team have also started planning possible responses to partial or full school closures, should they be mandated by our governing bodies. Any proposed response to such directives will be proactive and measured and will have the welfare of students, staff and the broader community at the centre of any decision. We are investigating how our curriculum can be delivered across a range of possible scenarios and how we may need to support families and staff across those same scenarios.

In light of the above information we’d like to reiterate that our primary concern continues to be the ongoing safety of our entire community. We are hopeful that what may seem like extreme measures will not be required, but as this situation continues to unfold we are committed to being proactive in our approach.

We thank you for your support.

Yours sincerely

Simon Le Plastrier
Principal | ELTHAM College