Executive Director's Update to Principals #50: COVID Update - 10 Aug 2021
with a deep sense
of servant leadership,
with courage and trust in
the face of difficulties.
May we lead with integrity
in this time of upheaval and
crisis in our world.
Updated School Operations Guide
The Term 3 School Operations Guide has been updated this morning, and is available to download from CEVN. A summary of pertinent changes is below.
Please note: Information in the School Operations Guide specific to regional Victoria is highlighted in teal. Information specifically for metropolitan Melbourne is highlighted in a burgundy.
Download the regional Victoria quick reference of permitted school activities as a one-pager.
Return to on-site schooling in regional Victoria
Based on advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, schools in regional Victoria have returned to face-to-face learning for all students as of today, Tuesday 10 August.
All regional students and school staff are required to attend school in accordance with normal arrangements from and including Tuesday 10 August. This includes students and staff who reside in metropolitan Melbourne and work in schools in regional Victoria. Further advice is provided in the updated Operations Guide.
Outside School Hours care programs operating in schools in regional Victoria can recommence on Tuesday 10 August.
Students and staff who live in metropolitan Melbourne and are enrolled in or work in a school in regional Victoria will be able to attend on-site.
Students and staff who live in regional Victoria and are enrolled in or work in a school in metropolitan Melbourne will continue with remote and flexible working arrangements in place in metropolitan Melbourne.
Face mask advice remains the same for all schools:
- School staff and secondary school students aged 12 or older must always wear a face mask indoors and outdoors at school, including when attending an Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) program, unless a lawful exception applies.
- Children under 12 years of age and students at primary school are not required to wear face masks when at school, or when attending an OSHC program.
- For communication purposes, teachers and education support staff are not required to wear face masks while teaching, but those who wish to do so, can. It is recommended that face masks be worn while teaching wherever practicable.
- Face masks are mandatory for all school staff and school students aged 12 or older when travelling to and from school on public transport and when in taxis or ride share vehicles.
The density quotient of 1 person per 4 square metre applies for all schools in spaces used only by staff and to publicly accessible areas. It does not apply in classrooms.
School camps and overnight stays for regional Victorian schools can take place within regional Victoria. Bookings must be limited to single schools. Multiple schools can attend camps providing school groups remain separated and do not share common facilities at the same time. Mixing of staff and students between different schools is not recommended. Testing requirements are now in place for the Victorian ski fields (see ‘Intrastate and interstate travel’ in the School Operations Guide).
Outdoor education including excursions and overnight stays within regional Victoria, for the purpose of outdoor education are permitted. Programs should only operate for staff and students from single schools. Testing requirements are now in place for the Victorian ski fields (see ‘Intrastate and interstate travel’ in the School Operations Guide).
Excursions are permitted within regional Victoria and should take place with students from single schools only. There is no group size limit (but students should be in their class group) and excursions must be conducted in line with any specific capacity limits on venues that are being used.
Use of school facilities by community and sport groups, such as ovals and pools, is permitted in regional Victoria if the use aligns with Department of Health advice for the relevant activity, including the application of required density limits. Use of facilities during school hours should ensure there is no mixing between those using school facilities and school staff and students (e.g. a swim school’s exclusive use of a school pool and changeroom). Also see ‘use of school facilities’ advice regarding cleaning requirements.
Victorian border communities
Students and staff who live in and are enrolled in or work in a school in a cross-border community area and attend a school in regional Victoria will be able to attend on-site.
Singing, brass, woodwind classes and groups
Singing and playing wind and brass instruments can occur in regional Victoria if Department of Health recommendations to reduce transmission risk are followed. Recommendations include moving outdoors, increasing ventilation, physical distancing of 2 metres between performers and 5 metres between performers and the audience, reducing the number of people, or reducing the length of time an activity is conducted. Further advice on ways to reduce risk can be found in DH guidance: COVID-19 transmission from air-circulating, wind-blowing devices and activities.
SWL and work experience placements can recommence in regional Victoria.
This year’s General Achievement Test (GAT) for Year 12 students will be rescheduled to keep Victorian students, teachers and broader school communities safe from coronavirus.
With ongoing community transmission still occurring in metropolitan Melbourne, the Department of Health’s public health team has recommended the GAT be rescheduled, reducing the risk of a further outbreak with large cohorts of students taking the test together.
On the rescheduled date, students who are in quarantine as positive coronavirus cases or Primary Close Contacts, as well as schools deemed exposure sites, will receive an exemption from the GAT. This will not disadvantage students’ results and will be taken into account with the Consideration of Educational Disadvantage process.
MACS and the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) will support schools in the coming weeks to make appropriate COVIDSafe plans to hold the GAT.
Next COVID Update
We will continue to monitor the situation and advise principals of any updates. Please liaise with your Education Consultant with any questions or concerns.
Stay safe and continue to look after each other…