COVID Update #1 2022

Friday 4th February, 2022

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CEWA COVID SAFE SCHOOL PRACTICES

Dear Parents & Caregivers,


It has been a wonderful return to school for our community this week and the energy and enthusiasm has been infectious. Congratulations to all the children and their families on the way they have adapted back to classroom routines and learning.


Amidst the very positive return from our children, I am sure there is some parent concern around the recent news of schools having confirmed positive COVID cases in their community. Unfortunately, this is an ever changing situation but we continue to place the safety and wellbeing of your children as our number one concern. As outlined by The Honourable Sue Ellery, Minister for Education, 'schools and early years services are critical, providing face-to-face learning to students for their social development and their mental health and supporting the economy so parents can work'.


COVID SAFE PRACTICES

As communicated by the Executive Director, Dr Debra Sayce, our school has a number of strategies to attempt to mitigate the risk placed on parents or children at our school. This includes, but is not limited to:


  • Mask wearing in all indoor spaces (please be advised that masks are NOT required outdoors as you move around the school unless you cannot safely socially distance)
  • Continued hand hygiene practices
  • Regular cleaning of high contact surfaces
  • The use of natural and mechanical ventilation in learning spaces (eg. opening windows, running air-conditioning)
  • Audits by external contractors of all learning spaces for ventilation


CHIEF HEALTH OFFICER ADVICE

Further to the above, I received communication this morning from Catholic Education WA on advice from the Chief Health Officer, that to minimise the number of staff or students impacted by the presence of a positive case, schools are to limit gatherings. As a result of this latest advice, we have had to make some difficult decisions in regards to coming events:


  1. Parent Information Night Tues 8th Feb - this will be CANCELLED. Instead, on Tuesday afternoon, each year level will send home, electronically via SeeSaw, their parent information booklet outlining all the information you would normally receive. At 6pm, I will provide a live streamed Principal address to the community. If you do not wish to watch it live, the link can be used to watch the recorded version. This will also be sent to all parents on Monday.
  2. Merit Assembly Fri 11th Feb - merit awards will be presented in year levels as per 2020 post lockdown. Parents of each child receiving a merit award will be invited to attend the classroom. They MUST wear a mask and maintain appropriate social distance.
  3. Family Fun Night Fri 11th Feb - unfortunately, this event will have to be POSTPONED. Although outdoors, our advice is to minimise risk to students and parents. Therefore, this will hopefully go ahead at a later date. Thank you to the P&F for being so agile in their response to this late decision.


Playgroup will continue to operate and will begin on Monday 7th February. Please ensure you can demonstrate proof of double vaccination, sign in via the QR Code and wear a mask.


FUTURE EVENTS

Information and advice from the Chief Health Officer continues to change, therefore we will review events on a weekly basis. I understand this will be difficult to manage for parents but I ask for your understanding and cooperation. Please stay connected to our school website, SeeSaw and Facebook for event updates as we try to navigate the balance between maintaining our strong community feel, with prioritising safety and ensuring minimal impact on learning programs.


PARENTS ON SITE

Parents are still welcome on site and only need to wear a mask if entering buildings indoors, or if they cannot socially distance safely. If you are not wearing a mask and have a valid exemption, please do not be offended if I ask for a copy of your exemption. We are only acting on the latest advice from the Health Department and following directives. Parents who volunteer more than once a week are required to provide proof of vaccination. If you volunteer on an ad-hoc basis, then this is not required.


OTHER MEASURES

Please be assured that a number of other measures have also been implemented to minimise the impact on students across the school should a positive case be confirmed. These measures are from a staff, procedural and logistical perspective.


As highlighted by the quote from Virginia Satir above, it is often the fear of the unknown that causes the greatest concern. I am aware that many parents will have 'what if' questions for a number of different scenarios. Unfortunately, I may not be able to provide answers to all your questions, but should you wish to contact me, I am happy to discuss. Please either phone the office on 9562 9500 or email mailto:jason.baker@cewa.edu.au


Regardless of the challenges ahead, as a community of educators we are ready to pivot when necessary. So please be assured we will endeavour to maintain safety and consistency for your children, and continue to provide clarity of communication as we move forward.


Enjoy the weekend ahead.

Best wishes

Jason Baker

Principal