Q. Some parents are less concerned about the current Coronavirus situation, and may ignore advice to keep unwell children home, at what point would the school intervene and insist that parents collect their child from school?
A. All teachers routinely monitor the health and well-being of children who attend our school. If a teacher notices a child is not feeling well, they are sent to school’s sick bay in the school’s administration building, where a senior staff member will examine the child and ascertain whether their condition is serious enough to warrant contacting their parents/guardians and requesting for arrangements to be made to have their child collected from school.
Q. Does the school support parents who decide to keep their children home now instead of waiting for the school to close and/or the first case of COVID 19 to occur within the school?
A. The advice our school has received from the WA Government, who are being advised by health experts, is that schools in our state are currently safe places for children to be at. As a result, our school is encouraging all children, unless they are unwell or have received medical advice to the contrary, to continue to attend school as normal. Note: The Education Department has directed all schools to not provide students, whose parents have chosen to keep them home without seeking medical advice, with prepared work packages and/or curriculum activities, as maintaining normal curriculum programs at schools is their priority.
Q. What can the school do if it suspects a student or a parent is on site who has not completed the mandatory 14 day self isolation period after travelling overseas?
A. From Sunday March 15, all persons entering Australia from overseas are required to undertake a mandatory 14 day self-isolation process. This is an order from the Australian Government. Anyone who does not comply is committing an offence, which carries a penalty of up to $50 000. The school has been advised to contact ‘CrimeStoppers’ if it knows of anyone, on our site, who is not complying with this order.
Q. Will the school be able to provide some educational related work to give to parents to use with their children if they decide to keep them home because of concerns over COVID -19?
A. Yes, the school has prepared a “Learning From Home Pack” for children in all grades from year 1 to 6. Parents wanting a copy of this resource should contact their child’s class teacher.
Q. What has to happen for a school to be closed?
A. Schools in WA can only be closed by order of the WA Health Department’s Chief Health Officer. The Chief Health Officer will, if there has been a positive COVID-19 test result in our school, close the school temporarily while assessment and tracing of exposure is conducted. A thorough school clean will then be carried out to make the school safe for the return of students and staff.
Q. Can the school principal make a decision to close the school?
A. No, only the Chief Health Officer.
Q. What is the school doing to lesson feelings of anxiety amongst children regarding COVID -19?
A. Keeping school operations as normal as possible is the school’s main strategy for lessoning feelings of anxiety amongst our students. It is “business as usual” but with a focus on having fun and being kind to each other. Teachers have been given specific advice from the Schools Psychology Service on what to say to children if the topic on COVID-19 arises during school lessons.