Term 4 Return to School Arrangements01/10/2021
PRINCIPAL’S COVID-19 UPDATE: 1 October 2021
Dear parents, carers, students and staff,
The Minister for Education, James Merlino, has advised that a staggered return to school for regional students will see regional students back at school, at least part-time within the first two weeks of Term 4.
Please understand that these dates are provisional and can be impacted by localised lockdowns and health directions.
From Monday 4 October, all Year 12 students at Catherine McAuley College will return to the classroom full time, as they were at the end of Term 3.
On Tuesday 5 October Year 12 students and Year 11 students studying a VCE Units 3/4 subject will sit the General Achievement Test (GAT). GAT and arrangements for senior students on Tuesday 5 October information was provided to St Mary’s parents late in Term 3. (Note that Year 11 students attending school for the GAT at St Mary’s on Tuesday will go home following the test.)
From Wednesday 6 October, all Year 11 students will return to face-to-face learning full time.
From Monday 11 October, a staggered approach will apply so all students are back in the classroom at least part-time:
- Year 7 students will return five days a week.
- Years 8 and 9 students will attend school at Coolock on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and remotely on the other days.
- Year 10 students will attend school at St Mary’s on Thursdays and Fridays, and remotely on the other days.
From Tuesday 26 October, all students will be back in the classroom full-time.
Masks remain mandatory for all students aged 12 and older, and all adults, and this will continue to be monitored in light of community transmission rates and changing risks.
Three Vs: Ventilation, Vaccination and Vital COVIDSafe Steps
As we return to on-site learning, there are a range of measures we all need to follow to minimise the risk of COVID-19.
The Hon. James Merlino, Deputy Premier and Minister for Education has highlighted “Following the Three Vs for a Safe Return to School”.
Ventilation of indoor spaces is an important measure. Advice issued to schools is to increase fresh air flow into indoor spaces through opening windows, using door jams, and switching air handling units to 100 percent outdoor air, where possible.
Windows across both campuses have been checked to ensure they are in good working order and can be opened to assist air flow through rooms. We also have placed an order for air purifiers. These will be placed in higher-risk areas across the school as an additional layer of protection.
Vaccination is an act of love. (Pope Francis 18 August 2021)
Recently Pope Francis stated that getting a COVID jab that is “authorised by the respective authorities” is an “act of love.”
Helping others do the same, he said, is also an act of love. “Love for oneself, love for our families and friends, and love for all peoples. Love is also social and political.” The Pope noted that social and political love is built up through “small, individual gestures capable of transforming and improving societies.”
“Getting vaccinated is a simple yet profound way to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable,” he said.
Pope Francis then prayed to God that “each one of us can make his or her own small gesture of love.”
“No matter how small, love is always grand,” he said. “Small gestures for a better future.”
The best way to protect our school community and ensure face-to-face learning isn’t disrupted is for everyone eligible to get vaccinated.
The Chief Health Officer advised on 22 September that vaccination will be made a requirement of work for staff in schools to protect children, staff and our communities.
In order to work, all staff in schools will be required to have a first dose by 18 October or have a booking within one week, with full vaccination required by 29 November unless a medical exemption applies – including in government and non-government schools.
Vital COVIDSafe Steps
The College will continue to maintain a high standard of cleaning, particularly touch points in high traffic areas. To help keep CMC COVIDSafe we ask our students, staff and families to:
- Masks remain mandatory for secondary school students and all adults. Wear a face mask indoors and outdoors – fully cover your nose and mouth.
- Stay at home and get tested if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild.
- Practise good hygiene – wash your hands and cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.
- Keep your distance – stay 1.5 metres away from people where you can.
Brian Turner, Principal