COVID-19 Parent Information (including QLD Schools Student Free Days)
Dear Parents and Guardians
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, I wish to share the following important information and some other matters that are on my heart.
Before I begin, I want to thank you for your support and trust for the decisions that we have made as a College during this unparalleled of times. Thank you for the many letters of support and gratitude and others with your concerns and the graciousness you have afforded us in our responses.
Today, the Premier of Queensland announced that Queensland schools will have Student Free days from Monday 30 March to Friday 3 April (Week 10).
School operations for the remainder of Term 1, the holidays and Term 2
Week 9 (this week): The College will continue to operate under the current arrangements. Parents are free to choose whether to send their children to school for their studies or have them study from home. I do want to stress that students at home should be following the normal school timetable for their studies. Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) will continue as normal.
Week 10 (Monday 30 March to Friday 3 April): This was to be the final week of Term 1. Officially, this week will now consist of five (5) student free days. All Secondary examinations are now required to be postponed until Term 2; however, assignments due this week still need to be submitted. A number of Primary “catch up” examinations scheduled during this week, are also no longer able to take place due to the Government directive, this is extremely unfortunate but out of our control. Students currently studying from home will be released from their previous study commitments during Week 10 (Secondary students, as stated above, may still need to complete some assignments). Parents are strongly encouraged to abide by the Government directives to keep your children at home if they are not at school. Parents who desire to send their children to school on the student free days next week are welcome to do so. We will have staff to supervise them during this final week. Student attending student free days will be permitted to wear modest casual clothes with enclosed shoes and a hat. If you intend to send your children on any or all of the student free days please email the respective schools by the 4pm Friday 27 March: Primary – email@example.com or Secondary – firstname.lastname@example.org
Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) will continue as normal
School Holidays (Monday 6 April to Friday 17 April)
Vacation Care will continue as normal during the holidays.
Term 2 (schedule to commence Monday 20 April)
At this stage Term 2 will commence under the current arrangements with parental choice for students to either study at school or study at home unless there is further Health advice to not do so. Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) will continue as normal.
The College’s alignment with the Prime Minister’s desire
For as long as the Government determines, we will remain open for students of all families to attend the College for their studies or to be supervised during student free days – this is in line with the Prime Minister’s statement that all working parents are working in essential services. If a case of COVID-19 were to alight within the College, the College would be shut-down for a period of time for forensic cleaning and contact tracing, and reopen when safe, with those at risk isolated from attending. At some stage during the Government’s social isolation plan, a full shut down or complete closure of the school may be ordered; this is when all staff and students would not be permitted to come to the campus but would be required to continue to operate externally. Hence, schools during all phases of social isolation would continue to operate under the normal academic year calendar and timetable, albeit externally in whole or in part.
Instructions relating to students during multimodal delivery
- Students studying from home should be maintaining the same school timetable as on campus students.
- If a student who is studying on campus is unwell, they are to remain at home until they are fully recovered (the normal absentee process still applies, please contact the College via the normal absentee processes).
- If a student who is studying from home is unwell, they should not be expected to continue studying until they are fully recovered (the normal absentee process still applies, please contact the College via the normal absentee processes).
- If a student has someone within their household returning from overseas or from interstate, the student must remain at home in isolation for 14 days or unless the person in the household is cleared through a negative test of COVID-19. This is stricter than the current Government requirements; however, it is our desire to isolate staff and students in such cases to remain two steps away from a potential positive case where possible. Students in isolation can continue their studies at home. If the student was currently studying on campus, please contact Student Absences and the College Health Bay to inform them.
- Students are to wash their hands thoroughly or use hand sanitiser when entering school and at regular intervals through the day. This should be a regular practice also for students studying from home.
- Students at school are to avoid queuing or gathering together unless this is essential to the operation of the College (social distancing measures must still be strictly applied).
- Students at school are NOT permitted to sit or stand within 1.5 meters of each other or staff under any circumstances. To remove all doubt this includes but is not limited to engaging with others in class, eating lunch, on ovals, in the playgrounds, on Citipointe Avenue, in locker rooms, in seating areas, and at drop off points.
- Food is not to be shared on campus.
- We are encouraging all staff and student to abide by the following thought process, “All of us have to assume we have [the virus]. You have to act in a way as though you have it and [think] how you won’t transfer [it] to other people.” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
Additional safety measures at the College
- Cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces regularly.
- Conducting lessons outdoors where possible.
- Opening windows and doors and adjusting air conditioning for more ventilation.
- Doors that need to be closed and yet have high traffic flows must have hand towel stations on both sides of the door together with bins for disposal.
- Promoting strict hygiene routines around the canteen.
The imperative nature of the Government’s requirements cannot be understated:
Scenario: On Tuesday night, a church in Newcastle was about to record worship sets in their auditorium ready for future screenings. 20 people were onsite with plenty of social distancing. No service was taking place – just a recording.
Outcome: The church was reported, police arrived and closed them down advising it was a breach of the Health Act. They were given a warning that if issued, the penalties would be $5000+ per individual and $50,000+ for the organisation.
The Government also now requires weddings to only have 5 people present and 10 people at a funeral. These limits are now very real for two of our staff, one relating to their wedding and the other, sadly with a loved one who passed away yesterday.
These are sobering messages for us all. Hence the need for everyone in our College Community to ensure they are abiding by the social distancing requirements for the safety of those not only in our community but the wider community as well.
The Day of Giving – postponed
During this time of hardship, we believe it is prudent not to add undue financial pressure to families.
Support for our College Community
We have a number of families in the College who do not have extended family, church or other support during this difficult time. We have set up a Facebook page called “Citipointe Christian College Community Care” to link families in need to others within the College community who may be able to assist. If you would like help or would like to offer assistance, please join this group where we can continue to support one another.
Just this week, many Australians have lost their jobs across a variety of industries. The economic impact of this virus on Australia is vast. The College has an existing online Business Directory and we would like to support as many of our community’s businesses as possible by
- offering a listing by registering your business here (Use promo code SUPPORT2020 for complimentary listing this year)
- encouraging our families to support the Citipointe Christian College community by finding a range of products and services through the businesses connected to the College here.
If your family requires support regarding the payment of school fees due to financial hardship at this time, please make sure you contact the Business Office / Chief Operations Officer. My heart’s desire is that we would not lose one family through this time, but we would all make it through together.
Government Links for COVID-19 Financial Support
Individuals, Households and Businesses
The Australian and State Governments, local councils and banks have announced a range of financial support for businesses, individuals and households as the nation responds to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Home page to all COVID-19 advice and support
Overview of economic response
Individuals and Households
Supporting Individuals and Households – includes one-off payments of $750 to low-income Australians and a time-limited coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight for particular groups
Support and information – for people receiving Centrelink or other government payments affected by the coronavirus
Payment and service finder – check your eligibility for a range of government support
Support for business – includes cash flow support for small to medium businesses (SMEs), temporary relief for businesses in financial distress, asset write-off and retaining apprentices and trainees
SME guarantee scheme – the Australian Government will guarantee 50 percent of new loans issued by eligible lenders to SMEs
Business information and support – more detailed information on financial assistance, eligibility and timing of government support
Assistance for severely affected regions – the Australian Taxation Office will provide administrative relief for certain tax obligations for taxpayers on a case-by-case basis
I have asked Mrs Moore (Head of Secondary), Mrs Gravestein (Head of Primary) and Dr Myers (Head of International College) to update you on more specific details regarding their respective schools.
I pray God’s protection and safety over you and your families and the whole College community.
God bless you
Ps Brian Mulheran
Date posted: March 26, 2020