Dear Families

With the coronavirus situation developing quickly, advice from government officials is changing on a regular basis. In relation to schools, the Prime Minister in his most recent announcement (Sunday afternoon 15 March), indicated that schools would be ‘staying open for the time being.’

As part of this announcement, the Australian Government has advised that all mass gatherings attended by more than 500 people must be cancelled from Monday 16 March 2020. Within a few hours of this announcement, we have received further advice from The Department that we must consider whether events go ahead, regardless of the numbers attending. Extra attention to health and hygiene also complements any event/excursion/incursion.

As a result of this advice, the following upcoming events will be postponed/cancelled:

Harmony Day/World Downs Syndrome Day Whole School Assembly on Thursday 19th March

  • Assemblies cancelled until further notice.
  • Activities related to Harmony Day and Downs Syndrome will still occur in classrooms.

Sports Day – Friday 27th March

  • To be rescheduled for a later date in the school year.

In line with health and departmental advice and guidelines, we believe it is also prudent to postpone/cancel any excursions that take groups out of the school until further notice.

We are waiting to be advised on whether SAPSASA events are continuing. You will be updated as soon as we know anything different.

Please note:

  • We will provide more information and advice on social distancing as it comes to hand from the department.
  • As we have already seen across the world, this situation is expected to continue for some time and as such, the department’s preparations are for both the short and medium term.
  • Every effort is being made to minimise disruption to student learning.
  • In the coming days schools will be provided with information on preparations for continuation of student learning in the event students or teachers are required to self-isolate. These directions are about supporting the effort to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • We continue to encourage families to read the coronavirus fact sheet from the Department of Health, and stress the importance of children (and staff) not attending school if they are unwell or are displaying flu like symptoms. All children, students and staff who are unwell with fever and/or respiratory infection should remain at home until symptoms resolve.
  • NB: If a child arrives at school unwell, parents will be contacted to collect them.
  • School staff will continue to advise students to:
    • wash their hands regularly, particularly after using the toilet and before eating
    • cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue or elbow
  • We are providing sanitiser in classrooms for students to use and ensuring that it is used at appropriate times.
  • Despite some of the reports on media, at this stage we will continue to have a single recess time and a single lunch time for all students.  Our grounds are quite large and students tend to play in different areas according to where their classmates play. They do not gather together in large groups.
  • At this stage Parent / Teacher / Student interviews will continue.
  • At this stage the Governing Council AGM will go ahead on April 1st unless advised otherwise.
  • Hallett Cove School has cancelled its Open Night scheduled for Wednesday 18th March.

Please note that some of what is on the media differs at times with the context of what we get from either SA Health or The Department.

It is also important to note that we are in a rapidly changing situation, so I encourage you to keep checking, on a daily basis, for updates as they occur in the News Blog.

Thank you for your support and understanding.

Steve Freeman