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COVID Frequently Asked Questions – please read before contacting office

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions – please read before contacting office

What if my child or someone in the household has COVID?

  • Follow the direction of DHHS
  • Once your family is well again, DHHS will give you a clearance
  • Send copy of DHHS clearance to school and the children can return to school


What do we do if our child is sick?

  • Do not send them to school
  • If they have COVID symptoms then you should get tested as a family
  • Return to school when negative


What happens if a teacher is sick?

  • If your child's teacher has symptoms they will get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result
  • If the result is positive they will isolate until they receive DHHS clearance
  • Lessons will continue to be delivered with a replacement teacher (possibly a school leader) ensuring learning continues


What if there is a COVID positive case at the school?

  • School will immediately work with DHHS following their directions
  • MACS (Melbourne Archdiocese of Catholic Schools) and DET will support the school
  • Parents will be notified of action needed ASAP (this will be directed by DHHS)
  • Depending on situation, we may be asked to close for cleaning, help contact tracers, send either a group of students/staff or whole campus home with directions from DHHS
  • Once we get DHHS clearance, school will resume onsite


What is the rule about masks?

  • Year 3 to Year 12 students to wear masks on buses and in school building. Years 7-12 are also required to wear masks outdoors
  • We know it is harder for primary students to wear a mask so we will maximise outdoor learning space and time when they do not have to wear a mask; we will do our best to minimise discomfort
  • If you have a medical exemption, please send a copy to school office. F-6 to go to jzeidan@antonine.catholic.edu.au and 7-12 to hbaz@antonine.catholic.edu.au
  • Foundation to Year 2 do not have to wear masks but some parents have asked their children to wear them in class – that is OK


Some schools are Vaccine Hubs. Does that mean that schools can force students to be vaccinated?

  • NO – No vaccine can be administered to any student without parental consent. The nurse will always call parents if the vaccine consent form is not clear.


Do students have to be vaccinated to return to school?

  • NO – there is no such mandate


Do I need to show COVID vaccination records for my children to the school?

  • NO – we do not ask for records or keep any records


Do parents have to be vaccinated?

  • Not for picking up and dropping off or meeting teachers/staff
  • Only for the purposes of volunteering – just like WWCC is required


Can the school decide not to follow Government guidelines?

  • NO – schools must comply or risk hefty fines and other serious consequences


Do teachers have to be vaccinated?

  • YES - all staff onsite including canteen, bus drivers, support staff, office and teachers


Does Antonine College have any vaccination onsite?

  • YES - each year we have Moreland council come and provide free vaccination with parent consent

This is the normal program:

Year 7

12–13 years of age

Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) (combined vaccine)

Year 10

15–16 years of age

Meningococcal ACWY

  • The year 7 & 8 *(catch up) immunisations will be taking place on Tuesday 9th Nov at St Joseph Campus. There may be a date for Year 10 & 11 *(catch up) also
  • Covid-19 Vaccines CANNOT be administered 7 days before or after this date
  • Parents of these year levels will receive a consent card to fill in


What else has the school done to minimise risk of infection?

  • Our staff are vaccinated and wear masks
  • Provided hand soap and sanitiser at more locations around the school
  • School cleaners use disinfectant on high use surfaces
  • Government provided air purifiers for areas where ventilation is poor
  • Classroom windows and doors will be kept open as much as possible
  • We send sick children and staff home
  • We communicate with families who are sick with COVID to ensure they have followed DHHS directive before return to school


What can parents do to reduce student anxiety?

  • Watch the amount of news and social media children are exposed to
  • Be aware of own anxiety levels as children often notice
  • Check with school first before making false assumptions or incorrect posts on social media about what is happening at school - this just adds to everyone’s anxiety
  • Get a routine happening now before they return to face to face learning at school e.g. morning routine, pack lunches, organise uniform and school bag, early bedtime etc.
  • Support the school and follow processes – your children will be less anxious is they know home and school are working in partnership
  • Fact-check what you see and read – social media is not a good source of information because anyone can post anything. Go to official websites without using links from social media posts.


Please be assured:

  • We are here to support you as much as we can
  • We will always follow government guidelines
  • We appreciate your support, and we empathise with all you have been through
  • We do NOT need parents to send us information from social media especially from fake sites, influencers, people representing their personal views – we only refer to the official Government guidelines (see below)
  • We are always hopeful about the future; we know things are tough at the moment, but they will get better!


Important sites:

https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/

https://www.australia.gov.au/

https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

https://www.education.vic.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx

https://www.macs.vic.edu.au/

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