We thank all our community for the continued diligence and support that is being shown as our school responds to the worldwide Coronavirus situation. The purpose of this email is to keep you informed of the current position of John Colet School.
As a School, we are monitoring the situation locally and globally, and continuing to develop proportional responses that are well planned and based on official information. We see this as an opportunity to model the Values that our School holds. It is natural to feel a sense of unease at the current time. It is important that we respond cautiously and methodically, acting on best authoritative advice and directives from health agencies and government.
The School continues to follow advice as provided by NSW Heath, the NSW Department of Education, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Association of Independent Schools.
As a School our advice remains, that if you or your child are unwell and experiencing flu-symptoms then you or your child are not to attend school and should seek medical attention as soon as possible, particularly if there is a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath. As is the normal practice at school, if your child presents with flu like symptoms, including a fever, parents will be asked to collect their child. As an added precaution during this time we are asking that the School does receive a medical clearance note from a doctor before returning to school.
As usual, simple routines of hygiene are recommended such as thorough hand washing and sanitizing. All available advice remains that the most effective way to prevent spread and protect against the coronavirus is thorough hand-washing with soap and water, or if not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Teachers are reminding children of correct hand washing techniques and procedures. As a matter of precaution students will also now sanitize their hands when arriving at School. Hand sanitizes need to contain over 60% of alcohol to be effective, our hand sanitizes contain over 70%. We have also put on hold our custom of handshaking.
We are confident in the advice we are receiving, and the preparations being made by the Australian Government. As such, we would like to ensure that our community remains calm and respectful during this time and follows the advice provided by the School as it comes to hand. We have received communication from our after school care provider, Camp Australia, and the provider of our transport system, Forest Coach Lines, with regards to their enhanced standards and precautionary measures. We are confident that these are in line with the School’s position.
At present travel advisory by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been updated to include Italy, along with South Korea, Iran and China as ‘do not travel’. As such the School requires that families who travel to South Korea, mainland China or Iran must not return to School until after 14 days of arriving back into the country. Due to the current circumstances it is important to note that the travel advisory may change at any time. Also, the School may insist on more conservative travel restrictions if advice is not immediately forthcoming.
We urge parents, family members and carers who are currently visiting, or plan to visit, any country to be particularly mindful of any symptoms and to seek medical advice if present. We do encourage families considering overseas travel to any destination in the short and medium term to consider their plan carefully.
As a staff we continue to plan for the possibility of the School being closed, if directed to by the relevant authorities. We still believe this to be highly unlikely. We urge parents to still send their children to School as per normal. Normal expectations for attendance remain. Our School is not in a position to offer a remote learning environment if there is a closure. However, staff would endeavour to ensure available work is taken home and will be able to provide some direction for activities and be available for communication by email.
For further health advice please visit the Department of Health website
For further information on travel restrictions please visit the Department of Home Affairs website.
Again, as this is a changing situation, we do thank you for your understanding and support as we work to ensure continuity of the education we provide while ensuring as best we can the health of our students and staff.
Julian Wilcock – Headmaster