Welcome to week 8, what a busy week. I would like to re-iterate my notification issued to parents in the most recent Compass Feed.
Across the College, we are seeing the wonderful resilience, positivity and camaraderie of our staff team ensuring our students continue to receive the quality of education we pride ourselves on at FHC.
Our students are to be commended as they keep turning up, ready to learn. The students are demonstrating the type of resilience and optimism their generation are often questioned about. We are very proud of them.
Keep turning up, because we will keep turning up. Having said that, if you are anxious, we also understand that, and we are here to support you through these times. Through Microsoft Teams, One Note, Compass and email, we will continue to support you maintain continuity of learning. Please email your teachers for assistance if you need, and they will help you.
I am sorry we have had to cancel Parent, Teacher, Student Interviews. For feedback on your child’s progress, refer to their GPA data and email your teachers. We will be working to establish another date for the interviews once this all settles down.
We are pleased to inform you that new cleaning measures have been established, that will mean extended and additional cleaning in Forest Hill College through to the end of term. This will include progressive cleaning throughout the day to ensure that risks of transmission are reduced. We ask our students to leave their chairs under desks now, not on top of desks so that desks can be more easily cleaned.
At present, the best place for students to learn is at school.
The exception is where students are being kept out of school due to self-isolation requirements or based on medical advice.
In such cases, we will work with you to ensure our students can remain engaged in learning and are provided with appropriate materials and support, drawing on a range of options including the new Learning From Home Website. This has not yet been launched, and when it does, we will share it with you.
Social distancing at FHC.
Social distancing is important to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). One of the recommendations from health authorities is that people should endeavour to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between themselves and others. This can be implemented by staff in schools between themselves and colleagues. It is not, however, always easy for this advice to be applied to interactions with students. It is important to note in this context that the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s advice is that the risk of transmission represented by children appears to be low.
Nevertheless, we are working to take the following practical steps to implement social distancing strategies:
- Greetings should take the form of non-contact greetings.
- Where possible, staff and students should endeavour to keep 1.5 metres distance from each other.
- We are doing our best to i implement the highest standards of hygiene in staff rooms, including washing drink and food containers with hot water and detergent and regularly wiping down surfaces with disinfectant.
- We have suspended any large gatherings of staff and students at one time, such as whole school or sub-school assemblies and large information evenings.
- We will not hold any events that involve over 500 people.
- We are considering staggering recess and lunch breaks.
- Where students line up to enter class, today, they will be encouraged to keep 1.5 metres between each other where possible.
- From today, where students usually enter and leave class in an unstructured manner, this practice will be changed so students enter in a more structured way so a distance of 1.5 metres is maintained.
- Students, especially in secondary schools, should be encouraged to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between each other and between themselves and staff.
- Where possible, classroom furniture will be rearranged to provide maximum space between tables.
- We are looking at how our teachers give students feedback. This is an area where our teachers excel, and we pride ourselves on this. Meeting our students at their point of need is something we do well, however, in the current circumstances, we are trying to reduce the prevalence of staff being in close proximity to the student when they do provide feedback on student work.
In the event of a closure we have a team working to make sure we keep access to learning, and that when we do open again afterwards, that we are ready to go. We are planned and prepared as best we can be.
I realise this is a lengthy communication, however, we are doing our best to provide a safe and orderly environment for your children and maintain continuity of learning. I want you all to have a level of comfort and trust in what we are doing at FHC.
I hope you all have a great weekend, where you are able to maintain the things in your lives that bring joy and fun. In these tough times, a sense of optimism is important to be modelled for our children. We will get through this and come out the other side strongly.