Current advice on Coronavirus

Dear Parents and Carers,

The current status of arrangements with COVID - 19, together with the intelligence I have reviewed on the matter from a range of sources has left me to reflect carefully over the last two days on the steps I can take, to not only assure our community that we are aware of the challenges ahead, but also the practical steps that will occur here from tomorrow. Again, I thank those parents who have endeavoured to ensure that I am abreast of some of the more complex and expansive issues provided in more esoteric, but valuable literature and citations.

I apologise for the inconvenience created but I do not apologise for making this matter our greatest priority. So be it.

Please be assured that there is no need for displayed panic or undue anxiety and I encourage every parent to carefully monitor their dialogue in front of children. We of course will be doing likewise. The mental health of our students in crucial anytime but mostly now as they witness unexplained behaviours by others in places. Basically, we will be driving two objectives: firstly to assist with a greater level of social isolation - given of course,  that being somewhat difficult in a school and secondly, to ramp up our entire focus on hygiene matters.

Tonight I spoke with the State Member for Box Hill, Mr Paul Hamer. I raised system matters with Paul on Friday and I am aware these were relayed to the Minister for Education, Hon James Merlino. I convey my appreciation for Paul's leadership and advocacy in relation to such matters that are of complete system interest and leadership.

Suffice to add the following will be occurring from 8.00 am tomorrow:

1/ There will be no School Assembly tomorrow or for the remainder of the
    Term. Understandably Paul had taken the decision that it was not wise to attend and expected that we would cancel this experience. I will confer with staff about presentation of badges etc for another time.

2/ We will be carefully reviewing all aspects of our curriculum provision with staff  - incursions, excursions, etc for the remainder of the Term, at least.

3/  I have been in contact with senior personnel from Spotless (Cleaning) today  to express my views about some very different approaches from here tomorrow. I will be engaging Spotless to do additional and ongoing cleaning of all critical hygiene areas. This will begin early tomorrow and will be at our own cost for the remainder of this Term - at least.

4/  I will be communicating to you regularly about the changes to occur for at least the remainder of the Term. I know I also speak with our School Council and Parent Club in recognising that some planned events such as our Welcome BBQ and Picnic for 21st March cannot proceed.

5/ Additionally, I would request that we all have a focus upon lifting our approach to personal hygiene, the washing of hands and the appropriate approaches to sneezing, coughing etc. Let's make sure we model it relentlessly.

6/ Tonight I spoke with our Division 1 School Nurse Karen Smith and together we will be identifying further practices across the school  to ensure a high level of hygiene and cleanliness of places and practices. I will also be working closely with our Canteen Manager, Ms Konstantina Halastanis in relation to our response and likewise ensuring a level of diligence with Camp Australia for Before and After School Care. I will also be in contact with external providers tomorrow. - Creative music, Uke 4 Kids, Dance, Chess, etc.

7/ I would respectfully request that if your child experiences illness or any flu like symptoms that they remain at home. Additionally, we would ask that the adults you likewise.

There will be more to come but please be assured the health and hygiene of our students, staff and community is of unrelenting focus.

I will have more to inform you in due course.

Christopher Cotching