Updated 20 July 2021
The COVID-19 Management Plan provides guidance to the College community on how the College is managing the risk of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The College is committed to providing a safe environment for all staff, students, parents, contractors, volunteers and visitors.
The management plan will be updated based on advice from government departments, by the Department of Health (DHHS) Catholic Education Commission Victoria (CECV) and the Department of Education (DET).
TRANSITION TO REMOTE & FLEXIBLE LEARNING
On Thursday 15 July 2021 the Victorian Government announced new directions to help reduce community movement and prevent the spread of COVID-19. As a result, in line with the directions issued from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Emmanuel College will move to a period of remote and flexible provision from Friday 16 July until the restrictions are eased.
All students will be learning from home from 16 July, except for students in the following categories:
- Children where both parents and or carers are considered authorised workers who cannot work from home, work for an essential provider and where no other supervision arrangements can be made:
- Where there are two parents/carers, both must be essential workers, working outside the home in order for their children to be eligible for on-site provision.
- For single parents/ carers, the essential worker must be working outside the home in order for their children to be eligible for on-site provision.
Children experiencing vulnerability, including:
- children in out-of-home care
- children deemed vulnerable by a government agency, funded family or family violence service, and assessed as requiring education and care outside the family home
- children identified by a school or early childhood service as vulnerable, (including via referral from a government agency, or funded family or family violence service, homeless or youth justice service or mental health or other health service).
On-site supervision will be available, but only for students in the categories listed above, for the purpose of providing continuity of teaching, learning and support.
When on-site supervision is provided, hand-sanitiser will be available at the entry points to classrooms and education will be provided on hand hygiene. Physical distancing will be implemented in classrooms to the extent feasible and unwell students will be excluded from attending.
The learning program delivered on-site will be the same as the learning program delivered to students undertaking remote learning. Students attending on-site will be supervised by staff on-site but follow the teaching and learning program provided by their classroom teacher.
Students attending on-site must be supervised at all times by staff with either current Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) registration or a Working with Children Check. Education Support staff can provide direct support to and supervision of students, provided they have access to support from a VIT registered teacher.
The parent or carer is responsible for students’ general safety at home or elsewhere.
Students and parents/families will be given clear information about how and when they will receive learning materials and feedback.
The College will create and communicate what is expected of students in relation to the completion of learning tasks.
SCHOOL FACILITIES – COVIDSafe Plan for schools
A combination of strategies is required to minimise transmission risk as no single strategy completely reduces risk and not every measure will be possible in all educational settings. Where some controls are not feasible, others will be enhanced. Strategies will also be adjusted over time in line with the changing risk of transmission in the community.
Measures to promote COVIDSafe activities will be implemented on school premises for students and staff continuing on site, including:
- limiting school access to outside visitors where possible
- reduce mixing between groups
- create workforce bubbles
Density limits of 1 person per 4 square metres apply to staff areas such as staff lunchrooms and areas accessed by the public, such as reception areas. For public areas, signage will be displayed to indicate the maximum number of members of the public that may be present in the space at a single time.
FACE MASKS IN SCHOOLS
Directions are provided by the Department of Health. As directed by the Victorian Chief Health Officer, from 11.59pm Thursday 15 July:
School staff and secondary school students aged 12 or older must always wear a face mask at school unless a lawful exception applies.
For communication purposes, teachers and education support staff are not required to wear face masks while teaching, but those who wish to do so, can.
Face masks are mandatory for all school staff and school students aged 12 or older when travelling to and from school on public transport and when in taxis or ride share vehicles.
There are a number of lawful reasons for not wearing a face mask, including for staff and students who are unable to wear a face mask due to the nature of their disability. This includes students or staff who have a medical condition, such as a breathing problem, a serious skin condition on the face, or a mental health condition.
A face mask must cover the nose and mouth. Face shields, scarves or bandanas do not meet these requirements.
A combination of strategies are required to limit transmission of COVID-19. Where students and staff are unable to wear face masks, other transmission reduction strategies, such as physical distancing, can be enhanced, noting that any additional or enhanced strategies should be aimed at the whole school or class population.
Staff members unable to wear face masks should avoid providing supervision or care of students with COVID-19 symptoms.
The College will display information and signage at school entrances and in communal areas such as staff rooms as reminders for staff to wear face masks when not teaching.
Visitors to school premises should be limited to essential school services and operations.
Visitors to school grounds must comply with physical distancing and face mask requirements set, and practise good hand hygiene.
The density limit of 1 person per 4 square metres should be applied to any spaces and activities being attended by parent/carers and other visitors. The density limit applies to all persons in the space, including students.
QR CODES & RECORD KEEPING
The use of Service Victoria QR codes for electronic record keeping is mandatory in all schools to enable the effective contact tracing of any COVID-19 cases.
QR code check-ins are required to be used by:
- all essential visitors on school site (including contractors, external Department staff and building and maintenance staff)
- all parents who enter school buildings when on school site for essential purposes
QR code check ins are not required to be used by:
- parents of eligible students who come onto school grounds for drop off or pick up, but do not enter buildings.
The College will continue its existing sign in and out processes to record essential visitor attendance, in particular the purpose of visits, for legal and regulatory obligations.
STAFF AND STUDENT WELLBEING
The College wellbeing team will provide programs and support for students. The Employee Assistance Program is available for staff.
MANAGING A SUSPECTED CASE OF COVID-19 DIAGNOSIS
Management of a suspected diagnosis is based on advice from government departments and the CECV.
MANAGING A CONFIRMED COVID-19 DIAGNOSIS
The College will follow the guidance of the CECV and government departments to manage and respond to confirmed cases of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a notifiable disease in Victoria. People who are confirmed with COVID-19 will be interviewed by DHHS (for contact tracing purposes). COVIDsafe data will be uploaded (if available) as requested by a health official.