Coronavirus Update from John Cortese 31 July 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

“Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you and uphold you with my right hand of justice.” Isaiah 41:10.

Coronavirus Testing

Please continue to advise the College via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if your child is being tested for Coronavirus. We also ask that you email evidence (a screen shot or photograph of a letter) of a negative test to the absences email address prior to your child’s return to school.

Face Coverings

The Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria, has announced that from 11.59pm on Sunday 2 August 2020, face coverings will be mandatory for all Victorians when they leave their home. The use of face coverings, including cloth face coverings or surgical masks, will assist in providing an additional physical barrier between people and to help reduce community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) across all of Victoria.

All staff at Notre Dame College will be required to wear face coverings when at school from Monday 3 August 2020 to protect the health and safety of all students, staff and the wider school community. Some limited exceptions apply to the use of face coverings for Teaching staff and Learning Support staff. The exceptions are as follows:

  • Teaching staff will not be required to wear a face covering when providing direct support to students in the classroom but will wear a face covering at all other times, including whilst undertaking yard duty
  • Learning Support staff providing direct instructions and support to students in the classroom may remove their face covering if it is not practical to wear one.

Students attending Notre Dame College are also required to wear a face covering when at school from Monday 3 August 2020, unless an exemption applies. Some students may be eligible for a medical exemption from wearing a mask at all times, if this applies to your child please send a note to their Head of House or Director explaining their situation.

Parents, guardians and carers are required to supply their child(ren) with an appropriate face covering that covers the nose and mouth. Appropriate face coverings include single use face masks (commonly called surgical masks), cloth face coverings made from three layers of a mix of breathable fabrics or face shields designed to cover the sides of the face and below the chin. Single use face coverings will only be provided by the school in circumstances where a student has forgotten to bring a face covering, or their face covering becomes soiled or dirty. Cloth (reusable) face coverings or surgical (single use) face masks can be purchased from retail outlets including chemists and hardware stores.

Personalised face coverings are permitted to be worn by students, patterned or printed material are acceptable. However, if a personalised face covering is deemed to be offensive, the student will be asked to remove, and possibly dispose of the face covering. In these circumstances, a plain disposable face covering will be provided by the school. If a student refuses to wear a face covering, a member of staff will discuss the reasons with the student, and provide them with an explanation as to why a face covering is required.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website provides instructions and a video so people can make a reusable face covering that covers the nose and mouth.

To ensure that the health and safety of all students and staff can be maintained, in the instance that a student continues to refuse to wear a face covering, parent/s, guardian/s or carer/s will be contacted requesting the immediate collection of their child(ren). Parents, guardians and carers are encouraged to discuss the use of face covering with their child(ren) and reinforce the need to keep 1.5 metres apart from other people, to wash and dry hands thoroughly and regularly, and cough and sneeze into a tissue or their elbow.

Parents, guardians and carers will also be required to wear a face covering when dropping off or picking up their child(ren) or if collecting an unwell child(ren) from the school.

If you require clarification in relation to the use of face coverings at school or additional support, please contact our Risk and Compliance Officer Sarah Molyneaux – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For further information regarding the latest restrictions please visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/updated-restrictions-announced-30-july-covid-19.

Thank you for continuing to support the College in keeping your children, our staff and our wider community safe at this time.

 Keep well

Keep safe

Regards,

John Cortese

Principal

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