13th March 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians
I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that our first priority at Sacred Heart School, is the health and safety of our school community. As a staff, we live the adage that our students are at the heart of everything we do.
Since the coronavirus started to impact our society, we have been provided with the latest advice from the Australian and Victorian Chief Medical Officers by the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd to ensure that our school practices are helping to keep our school community safe from the outbreak.
If any incidents do arise they, will be addressed in accordance with our relevant Emergency Management Plan. We will also have access to resources and support from Catholic Education Melbourne and the Department of Health and Human Services.
At Sacred Heart School we have implemented some initiatives to help combat the virus. Today we have put soap dispensers in each room and as of Monday, teachers will have their students wash their hands before eating at recess and lunch and when they return to class after their recess and lunch breaks.
We have postponed our Open Day next Thursday 19th March because of the possible impact of visitors coming into our school.
Because of the evolving nature of the virus, events such as the Year Three/Four sleepover, visits to Parade College for cooking classes and kindergartens for choir visits, Year Five/Six camp and the interschool sport program are being evaluated for their risks. Decisions about these events will be made in the coming days.
As parents, you have a critical role in helping the school manage this situation:
Please exercise good judgment by keeping children home if they are feeling unwell for any reason (Please remember to contact the school via skoolbag app, email or phone if your child will be absent)
Talk to your children about the situation, as they may be feeling anxious or stressed. You have a key role in helping your children feel prepared and safe
Encourage your children to be proactive and committed to their schoolwork, and to stay connected with the school and their teachers.
As of today, if a staff member or student at Sacred Heart School is in one of the categories below, we must contact the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Categories for contacting DHHS:
the person is a confirmed case of coronavirus
the person is a close contact of a confirmed case of coronavirus in the past 14 days.
‘Close contact’ is defined by DHHS as someone who has had at least 15 minutes of face-to-face contact with a confirmed case, or shared a closed space with someone for more than two hours with a confirmed case.
Protocols have been developed to help manage instances where there is a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus in a school. Part of this protocol will be Victoria’s Chief Health Officer recommending the affected school’s closure for 24 hours.
As you are all well aware this is an evolving situation, but we will keep you updated as things change. I ask that you continue to work closely with our school and to contact us should you have any concerns. Thank you for your support as we work to keep your children safe.