Executive Director's Update to Principals #8: COVID Update - 17 Feb 2021
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea …
Updated School Operations Guide
An updated Term 1 School Operations Guide is now available and is applicable from tomorrow, Thursday 18 February. Highlights are detailed below.
Facemasks in Schools
Advice for facemasks in schools will return to the pre-circuit breaker rules, as detailed on page 13 of the updated School Operations Guide. Key points include:
- School staff and secondary school students aged 12 or older must carry a face mask at all times and wear a face mask indoors when at school, including when attending an Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) program, unless an 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 OHSC program.
Visitors and School Events
When schools are giving consideration to visitor numbers or attendees at school related functions, they are to follow the directives as outlined in the latest School Operations Guide, even if these may differ to directives given for general community events.
Current advice from the School Operations Guide is below:
Assemblies, award ceremonies and other large gatherings
From page 16 of the School Operations Guide:
If an event is held with external guests (parents/carers/visitors), then the overall attendee limit (inclusive of guests, staff and students) must be based on the available floor space of the venue, with the density limit of one person per two square metres applied.
If an event is held exclusively with students and staff from a single school during or outside school hours, density limits do not apply to the venue or dance floor, regardless of whether the event is held at school or at a hospitality venue, entertainment facility or community facility.
Visitors to school premises (including interschool activities)
From pages 16-17 of the School Operations Guide:
Visitors to school grounds must comply with the physical distancing and face mask recommendations set out in this School Operations Guide, and practise good hand hygiene. There is no requirement to limit the number or type of visitors to school premises; however, the density limit of one person per two square metres should be applied to any spaces and activities being attended by parent/carers and other visitors. The density limit applies to all persons in the space, including students, for the time that space is in use to avoid crowding.
To support contact tracing, schools must keep a record of all staff, students and visitors who attend on site for more than 15 minutes. Schools must record the name, contact details, date and time of attendance at school, as well as the areas of the school that the person attended. Schools can use existing mechanisms such as visitor sign-in procedures, student attendance records and staffing rosters to record this information.
- If an event is only attended by students and staff from the school, density limits do not apply.
- If any external visitors are attending the event (parents, carers or visitors), the density limit of one person per two square metres must be adhered to.
Professional development and staff meetings
From page 18 of the School Operations Guide:
Face-to-face professional development and staff meetings can recommence. The density limit of one person per two square metres should apply to spaces used by staff for these activities. Components of the professional development or staff meetings that can reasonably be conducted online should still be pursued wherever possible.
Use of woodwind instruments, singing, voice projection and dance
Below is an excerpt from pages 18-19 of the School Operations Guide containing new advice:
The Department of Health currently advises when participating in a music or singing rehearsal or lesson it is recommended that individuals keep at least two metres from others in the rehearsal or lesson. Those required to wear a face mask indoors must wear a fitted face mask when singing indoors.
Next COVID-19 Update
We will continue to send out COVID-19 updates on an as needs basis. Please liaise with your Education Consultant with any questions or concerns.
Stay safe and continue to look after each other…