Dear Families.

The school leaders have been getting many emails from parents wanting clarity about school resumption. I have been told to wait for DET communications, however, I have received no further updates from DET since the email sent out late last week. When something does come, I will arrange for it to be posted on Compass and Facebook as soon as practicable. I understand the need for parents to have some information to organize care for children and arrange for their work. The following is what I know or think:

1 – DET has a list of schools closed on Monday – Manor Lakes P12 College is on this list. Obviously, the school will not be open tomorrow.

2 – The last DET communication stated that, “I’ll advise of a re-opening date as soon as I know.” I will do so, but at this stage I can only provide my thinking, but no facts.

The DET communication on 22/7 stated that, “This closure will allow time for the school and DHHS to undertake a full risk assessment. The closure will also allow appropriate cleaning of the school site to occur on the recommendation of DHHS.
During the risk assessment, the school will assist DHHS to identify potential close contacts of the student. Close contacts of the student will be notified by DHHS and supported to ensure they understand what actions to take. All students and staff are requested to remain at home while contact tracing occurs, which could take up to 72 hours.
As a result of the risk assessment, DHHS may request that some staff and students get tested. However, at this stage staff and students do not need to seek testing unless you develop symptoms.

I will inform you when the DHHS risk assessment has been completed and what actions will be required before the end of this initial closure period.”

My understanding of this is the school will not reopen until DHHS contact tracing has been completed. Contact tracing by DHHS has not commenced. My assumption is this means the school will remain closed for at least beyond Monday. I have advised teachers to be ready to recommence on the school site from Tuesday, but my belief is they are unlikely to be able to do so until late in the week.

3 – The school has initiated a phone call to all staff and students we believe may have had contact with the student who tested positive. We have contacted all families except five, who were uncontactable, and we will try again to call them tomorrow. Most of those we have contacted, staff and students as contacts, have possibly had very little contact and will be at very low risk, and DHHS may opt not to follow up with them.

4 – The school has had a full clean. (While it was a VCE student who tested positive, every room in the school has been cleaned). This has meant, all door handles, windows, ledges, tables, chairs, whiteboards, shared equipment etc; have been disinfected. The school is physically safe to return to, however, we cannot return while there is a risk a student may be positive, hence the need for the contact tracing.

In summary:

  • The school will be closed on Monday.
  • Parents will be informed when I have a reopening date, (I don’t think the school will open until later in the week at the earliest – but this is conjecture).
  • Big, Out of School Hours Care, will remain closed while the school is closed.

I am happy to clarify this if confusing, however, at this time I am working from the information I have provided above.

Steve Warner
Principal
Manor Lakes P12 College
Email: stephen.warner@education.vic.gov.au
Mob: 0425 729 304

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