PARENT UPDATE-1 (19/03/2020): COVID-19 AND PREPARING FOR TRANSITION TO REMOTE LEARNING
Dear Parents / Guardians,
Due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 Pandemic there will be frequent updates sent to all schools. Relevant information from these updates will be posted to Compass and parents will receive emails to inform them that these updates are available. Families should ensure that the College has updated contact details in our system. If you are unsure about how to access Compass or you wish to update your contact details, please contact reception at the relevant Campus.
Over the course of this week, College staff have met to ensure that we are well positioned to deal with any new updates as they arise. We are committed to ensuring all staff and students at all three of our Campuses remain focused on teaching and learning in a safe and orderly environment. We understand our role in both protecting the health of our students and staff and in supporting broader efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Key points relating to Hume Central Secondary College and the CO-VID-19 Pandemic:
1. Hume Central Secondary College is not closed nor in the process of being closed. You will be informed directly by me if there is any prospect that our school will be closed, either as a stand-alone school closure or as part of a local or area-based closure.
2. To date we have not had any confirmed COVID-19 cases at Hume Central Secondary College. However, if a staff member or student is in one of the categories listed below, we will immediately contact the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as per guidelines.
Categories for contacting DHHS are:
- The person is a confirmed case of COVID-19
- The person is a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days
3. ‘Close contact’ is defined by DHHS as someone who has spent 15 minutes of face-to-face contact with a confirmed case or shared a close space with someone for more than two hours with a confirmed case.
4. We have maintained good hygiene practices by ensuring regular cleaning at the College and continue to review these daily. Additional cleaning services have been put in place at each campus this week. We have posters displayed around the Campuses, which have been provided by the Department of Education (DET) reminding students of these hygiene practices.
5. All camps, excursions and events for the remainder of the term have been cancelled and or postponed as per DET guidelines. We will review Term 2 arrangements over the break, depending on the situation at that time and communicate with all families regarding any changes in College events.
6. As outlined in a media release earlier this week, persons arriving into Australia from overseas from midnight on March 15 will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. This includes students and staff who may be returning from overseas travel. Importantly, it also includes parents and carers and any other relatives or friends of students who are returning from overseas travel. If this relates to you or your family you are required to self-isolate, you must not visit the school to pick up children or for any other reason.
Providing for Learning Continuity in the Event of a School Closure
In the event of a school closure we are well positioned and prepared to engage in online teaching and learning. All teaching teams are preparing resources and technologies for the use of Compass for this to occur.
It is important that students seek support at their relevant Campus if they need assistance with their Compass Login or if their Personal Learning Device (laptop) requires some attention as it is vital that this device is operating effectively to assist with learning continuity during any potential school closure. Students who do not have access to a device or to the internet at home should inform their Team Leader. Where possible, learning resources will be made available on paper. Information about how multiple purchase options for Personal Learning Devices are available from each campus.
Students and parents will be provided with instructions to assist them in transitioning to online learning, should this be required. It is an expectation that all students will engage with this process. Subject Teachers and Team Leaders will be contacting parents/guardians where concerns exist about students completing learning tasks during a potential period of school closure.
Conversations with children and young people
Families and caregivers of young people should discuss news of the virus with those in their care in an open and honest way. They should try to relate the facts without causing alarm, and in a way that is appropriate for their age and temperament. It is important to listen to any questions they may have, and to let them know that they are safe and that it’s normal to feel concerned. If the media or the news is getting to be too much for them, encourage them to limit their exposure.
A range of key resources, including videos and tips for young people,are listed below to assist our community during this period:
SPECIAL REPORT: Coronavirus – Dr Michael Carr-Gregg developed this video for parents and school staff. (The College acknowledges the generosity of SchoolTV in making the report accessible to parents and staff)
How to talk to your children about coronavirus – ABC News article
Worried about your child getting coronavirus? Here’s what you need to know – The Conversation article
We continue to monitor expert advice and new information and we are making adjustments to our programmes accordingly. The staff at Hume Central Secondary College are working very hard to reassure students and provide continuity as much as possible.We are planning for all scenarios and we will keep you informed of any changes to our response. This is a time of great uncertainty for everyone, and I thank you for your ongoing support as we navigate new territory.