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COVID-19 – 16 March Update 2

16 March 2020 by

Dear Parents and Guardians

I write to update you on the current COVID-19 virus as it relates to MacKillop College. We remain committed to making each decision in the best possible interests of all students and staff at the College along with our extended community. We are dealing with a rapidly evolving situation within which it is essential to continue to focus on facts, and follow the advice of government and professionals.

At the time of writing this, no student or staff member at MacKillop College has tested positive to the virus. Advice from authorities, including Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Department of Education and Training (DET), and Catholic Education Commission Victoria (CEVC), is that the school should continue to operate with a number of adjustments in place to reduce the chance of the virus entering the College community and spreading within the community.

We encourage all members of the community to be aware of, and comply fully, with all government direction regarding self-isolation if returning from overseas travel or coming into close contact with any person who has tested positive.

In reporting the absence of your son/daughter please call (03) 8734 5200, our absence line. It will assist us greatly if you provide information as to why your son/daughter is away; we ask your support in this.

It is our intention to send regular updates to parents/guardians regarding this constantly evolving situation.

To this point, the following has been put in place:

  • To avoid crowding and encourage social distancing, as of Wednesday the canteen will be offering a Lunch Orders Only service. Lunch orders will operate in the usual manner via the Year Level Coordinators. Students will be expected to bring their recess snack. The canteen will not open at recess or lunchtime.
  • The College has cancelled a number of key events in line with the Catholic Education Commission Victoria guidelines, including camps, assemblies etc. All excursions and events involving large gatherings of staff and students have been cancelled. Information regarding the specifics of these events will be forwarded.
  • Soap dispensers are currently in place in all student toilets. If students find soap is not present in any toilet, they are to report this to their teacher.
  • Two additional staff members have been employed by the College to sanitise hard surfaces such as desks, chairs, light switches, door handles etc. These staff members work full-time and are on site Monday through Friday. On Saturdays, a crew of six other staff are employed to ensure a sanitised and hygienic environment.

In the event of school closure classes will continue to run remotely. In order for this to be possible we have asked students to ensure that their laptops and chargers, along with any essential textbooks and portfolios, are taken home with them each day.

In the event of school closure, it is critical that each student engage fully with the online learning arrangements. It is possible that these arrangements may need to be in place for some time. More information regarding this will follow in upcoming updates.

Rory Kennedy

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