This week has seen quite a wintry blast of cold and wet weather, which means that sometimes we have children indoors during recess and lunch period, and sometimes the Oval is too wet for them to use even if they are outdoors.
At the same time, because children are close together, colds and other illnesses are beginning to take hold. Several weeks ago, I mentioned that we had up to 150 students a day away, that has dropped to be in the mid 80s, which is still quite a lot more than our normal absence rate.
Many of the absent students have illnesses other than COVID-19, and a few have the flu. Any child who is even mildly unwell at school, will continue to be sent home in order to recover and then return to school symptom-free. While this is has been a practice related to COVID-19, it also helps to reduce the chance of an outbreak of flu or other illnesses throughout the school.
A number of our staff have been absent due to their own illnesses or family illness, and at the writing of this we have one person who is at home because they are positive to Covid. It has been quite some time since we have not had at least one staff member at home because of themselves being positive to Covid.
When a teacher is absent, we do our best to get a relief teacher to come and take the class. This has been increasingly difficult and on a number of occasions, we have been unable to source a relief teacher, and so our aim is to keep our teachers healthy. That is so children can be in a classroom together, rather than split among other classes or taught by a range of teachers during a single day, which is what many other schools have had to do.
Below is the latest update in relation to the use of masks in schools. Please note that all parents are now permitted onto the school grounds, volunteers are helping in the kitchen, canteen and in a number of other activities. I see quite a few parents in the morning dropping their children at the classroom door and not wearing masks which is a lovely change to what we have recently experienced.
Given that COVID-19 is still quite prevalent, we will continue to only have parents enter classrooms if invited by their child’s teacher for a particular purpose. While not mandatory, we would appreciate if on these occasions, masks were worn.
At all times we are still recommending that social distancing continues. However, you will certainly begin to see a relaxing of many of the previous restrictions that were in place.
In the coming weeks and months, you will see a number of opportunities where parents can come back into the classroom. We are looking forward to being able to share what is happening in your child’s classroom with you, their learning as well as strengthen the relationship that you have with your child’s teachers.
Face mask use from Monday 30th May
From Monday 30 May 2022, face masks in education and care settings (including OSHC services) are strongly recommended (but not required) for all adults (including visitors) while indoors.
If we do have an outbreak of Covid, SA Health will advise us of our next steps. I have added below what we currently understand the triggerpoints will be to be considered an outbreak of Covid either in a class or at school. You will certainly be informed if that happens.
Face mask use in Outbreaks
- Face masks will be required to be worn indoors by all staff and adult visitors for a 14-day period, in education and care settings, at the whole of site level, where COVID-19 transmission reaches certain thresholds, based on SA Health advice:
- Where an individual classroom reports 10 cases or above over 7 days; and or
- Where a site reports 5 classrooms with 5 cases or more over 7 days.
- These thresholds are used to guide public health action on a case by case basis.
- If our school reaches an outbreak threshold, Staff and parents will be advised of the dates that face masks will be required
- Exemptions will still be made for staff who have a medical condition, such as problems with their breathing, a serious skin condition on the face, a disability, or a mental health condition.