Executive Director’s Update to Principals #89: COVID Update - 1 Oct 2021
God of grieving,
God of silence,
there is a strange gift in having time,
one whole day,
to sit with questions of why and how long and to hear no response at all.
To rush from Friday to Sunday,
from death to resurrection,
wouldn’t do either justice.
Nor would it dignify the life of those
whose daily pain and grief
and constant pleas for justice
go unanswered in the world’s daily rhythm. Let your silence fill this silence,
until our empty noise dies out.
~ The Corrymeela Community
Immediate lockdown for Moorabool Shire LGA
In today’s Victorian press conference, Premier Daniel Andrews announced that the Moorabool Shire LGA will enter a 7 day lockdown at 11.59pm tonight, Friday 1 October.
Moorabool Shire LGA currently has 32 active COVID cases, including 6 new cases today. People who are experiencing symptoms or who have been contacted by the Department of Health are asked to come forward for testing. Additional testing facilities are being set up within the shire.
The following schools are affected:
- St Brigid’s Primary School, Ballan
- St Mary’s Primary School, Clarke’s Hill
- St Brendan’s Primary School, Dunnstown
- St Patrick’s Primary School, Gordon
The above Moorabool LGA schools are required to commence Term 4 via remote learning for all year levels.
Schools should be flexible in their arrangements to ensure continuity of learning. This can include digital learning platforms and/or the provision of learning materials. Where necessary, students should be provided with access to digital devices to enable access to learning programs being provided by the school.
Moorabool students attending schools in non-locked down LGAs
Students who live in Moorabool LGA and attend schools in non-locked down areas will be able to attend school on-site in accordance with their year level (see staggered start details announced in yesterday’s Executive Director’s COVID Update #88).
Staff and final year students who are required to cross the Moorabool LGA lockdown border to attend school must be double vaccinated, or must get tested twice weekly.
Moorabool Shire LGA on-site supervision requirements
Moorabool Shire LGA schools must continue to provide on-site supervision for students in the following categories:
Children where both parents and or carers are considered authorised workers who cannot work from home, work for an essential provider and where no other supervision arrangements can be made:
- Where there are two parents/carers, both must be essential workers, working outside the home in order for their children to be eligible for on-site provision.
- For single parents/ carers, the essential worker must be working outside the home in order for their children to be eligible for on-site provision.
Children experiencing vulnerability, including:
- in out-of-home care
- deemed vulnerable by a government agency, funded family or family violence service, and assessed as requiring education and care outside the family home
- identified by a school or early childhood service as vulnerable, (including via referral from a government agency, or funded family or family violence service, homeless or youth justice service or mental health or other health service)
Where a parent/carer indicates that a student with a disability is vulnerable because they cannot learn from home, and/or informs the school the student is vulnerable due to family stress, the school must provide on-site supervision for that student. This may apply to students enrolled in specialist schools and students with a disability enrolled in mainstream schools.
Today’s Victorian press conference
Further to the Moorabool LGA announcement, Premier Daniel Andrews also announced that mandatory vaccinations will now apply for all essential workers across Victoria to be able to continue working outside the home. Essential workers will need to have received their first vaccination by Friday 15 October, and their second dose by Friday 26 November. Please note: This announcement does not change the vaccination timelines already announced for the education sector.
Return to on-site learning
Below is an infographic which clearly outlines the staggered return-to-school arrangements.
Infographic source: James Merlino’s Facebook page
School Operations Guide
We are awaiting an updated School Operations Guide. In the meantime, we will continue to operate under the Term 3 School Operations Guide until further notice.
We have received enquiries from schools about multi-age classrooms made up of students who will return to on-site learning at different times due the staggered return-to-school plan. We are seeking exemptions to the plan to alleviate teachers needing to manage students simultaneously in both an on-site and remote learning setting, and will provide an update on this next week.
In the meantime, principals are requested not to publish any communication suggesting that students may return to school at a date contradictory to those announced in yesterday’s Executive Director’s COVID Update #88.
Reminder: COVID-19 information session for principals
A reminder that there will be a meeting (via Zoom) on Monday 4 October from 11.00am for an hour to assist principals in providing further information and an opportunity to address any questions or concerns. For those who cannot attend, the meeting will be recorded.
Next COVID Update
We will continue to monitor the situation and advise principals of any updates. Please liaise with the COVID Support team (see left hand column) or your Education Consultant with any questions or concerns.
Stay safe and continue to look after each other…
Deputy Director of Catholic Education (Interim)