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This page will be continually updated with coronavirus (COVID-19) news relevant to St Patrick's 鶹Ƶý and its community.


Tuesday, 15 March 2022

UPDATE: HOW THE COLLEGE IS COPING WITH THE IMPLICATIONS OF COVID-19

To date, I have been extremely pleased with the smooth transition that we have made since the beginning of term. Face to face teaching and learning continued to be a priority and we are currently achieving this while not sacrificing most of our co-curricular and extracurricular activities.

We are currently averaging around 15 student Covid-19 cases a week, which in a 鶹Ƶý of 1550 students is relatively low. Vaccinations, wearing face masks and procedural changes have all made a significant impact on this and the 鶹Ƶý community has been amazing in how they are adapting to the current environment.

Recently, however, we are observing an increase in absences of staff who are required to isolate due to being close contacts. Many have primary-school-age children who are contracting Covid-19 due to the spread through the primary schools.

While I hope it’s not the case, if this situation continues to impact staff absenteeism, some changes to regular 鶹Ƶý programs, including camps and extracurricular activities, may be required and community members will be informed if the need arises.

Thank you in anticipation of your support and understanding. 



Monday, 7 February 2022

COVID-19 UPDATE

As we fully expected, the 鶹Ƶý now have a number of students who are COVID-19 positive and it is likely for this to rise over the coming days and weeks in the community.

While we have taken all the precautions possible in the classroom, students are mixing while eating outdoors and engaging in social situations external to the 鶹Ƶý, which will likely lead to some transmission.

We continue to work with students on wearing masks correctly and in the correct areas and the rule we are using is that if students and staff look up and you can’t see the sky, they must wear a mask.

We will continue to advertise Health Alerts on the Schoolbox Parent Portal, and it’s likely these will occur on a daily basis. We recommend that parents/guardians monitor children for symptoms and if unwell, please ensure they stay home, use a Rapid Antigen Test kit and advise the 鶹Ƶý of their absence by phoning 6341 9988 or completing the Student Absentee Form on the Schoolbox App.

Thank you for your support in this matter. We appreciate your understanding that we are navigating this situation as best as possible.


Friday, 4 February 2022

RAPID ANTIGEN TEST KITS & SUPPORTING A SAFE RETURN TO SCHOOL

Rapid Antigen Test kits (RAT kits or RATs) have been received and will be distributed to families through students’ Tutor and Home Groups on Monday 7 February.

Please use the link below to access an important message from the Executive Director, Catholic Education Tasmania, Dr Gerard Gaskin and a Supporting a Safe Return to School flyer.

Welcome letter and Supporting a Safe Return to School Link:  

Please note that there is an amendment to the letter above from Dr Gaskin, which indicates that two surgical masks will be issued with the RAT kits. Masks will not be distributed with the RAT kits; however, they are available in the Front Office and will be issued to students as required. 

RAPID ANTIGEN TEST KITS

Two test kits will be supplied and due to current supply and stock quantities, are to be kept at home and only used in the event that a student develops symptoms of COVID-19.

If a student develops symptoms while at school, parents and guardians will be called to collect their child and the test is to be taken at home. Tests will not be administered at the 鶹Ƶý.

Each test kit contains the following components:

  • 1x test device (Test Cassette)
  • 1x nasal swab
  • 1x extraction tube
  • Instruction sheet

If your test is missing any of these components or you did not receive two kits, then please phone the 鶹Ƶý on 6341 9988 email contact@stpatricks.tas.edu.au 

Instructions

The InnoScreen COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Device instruction sheet includes a QR Code that can be used to access an online tutorial. The tutorial can be accessed by using the link below by either clicking on or copying and pasting the link into your internet browser.

Online Tutorial 

  

Important points to remember about RAT Kits:

  • There are different types of RAT Kits available in the community. Please follow the instructions that come with a kit.
  • Assistance is available through the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline (the 鶹Ƶý does not provide medical advice or administer tests).

Contacts

Tasmanian Public Health Hotline:  1800 671 738 

Tasmanian Public Health website:  



27 January  2022

ST PATRICKS COLLEGE COVID SAFETY INFORMATION

28 January 2022 | St Patrick’s 鶹Ƶý COVID Safety Information (Simple English Version)

28 January 2022 | St Patrick’s 鶹Ƶý COVID Safety Information (Simple English Version)

As you may know, COVID has returned to Tasmania. The school has made several plans to help keep people safe as we deal with COVID. Our plans have been made with the Tasmanian government and Catholic Education Tasmania. Here is some important information for you and your family:

Vaccination

The school highly recommends that students get vaccinated against COVID. Unvaccinated students are allowed to come to school.

If you are doing a TAFE course (Year 11 & 12), you must be fully vaccinated.

Education if you get COVID

If you have COVID symptoms you must stay home. please get a COVID test to check if you have it and let school know. If you are a ‘close contact’ you must also stay home for 7 days and get a COVID test. If you test negative, you can come back to school after 7 days. If you test positive, you must stay home until you are well again (at least 7 days).

School phone number for absences: 63 41 99 88 or via 鶹Ƶý App.

If you are staying home due to COVID, please continue to study by accessing Schoolbox and emailing your teachers. The Tasmanian Department of Education has also made some resources for students who must stay home due to COVID. Please see this website:

RAT Rapid Antigen Tests

When they arrive, the school will give each student and staff member 2 Rapid Antigen Tests.

Masks

All students and staff must wear a mask when indoors at school and when travelling on the bus. You must provide your own mask. The school has some spare disposable masks at the office for students who lose their masks or forget them.

If a student cannot wear a mask because they are exempt, please let the college know by filling out this form: or email/talk to your teacher. A medical certificate needs to be given to the school.

Students can remove masks for some activities (like PE). The teachers will explain when this is ok. Sometimes the teachers will take off their masks to teach students with hearing difficulties or to help with communication.

Minimising Risk

The school will implement these strategies to help minimise the risk of spreading COVID:

  • Middle School students will be released for a break 10 minutes earlier, to reduce time spent with other students.
  • Activities and gatherings will be moved outdoors where possible.
  • Windows and doors will be opened in rooms for cross ventilation.
  • Air purifiers will be provided for internal rooms and those where windows cannot be opened.
  • Parents/Guardians (etc) cannot watch indoor sports on campus.
  • The Middle School swimming carnival will be split over two sessions.
  • The Senior School carnival will be cancelled.
  • Camps may be cancelled or changed. We will let you know about this soon.

Vulnerable Students & Hearing Impaired

If you are worried about getting COVID because of a medical condition or disability, please let the school know. Please fill in this form or email/talk to your teacher.

If you have a hearing impairment, please let the school know so we can help with masks and communication. Please fill in this form: or email/talk to your teacher.

COVID Updates

The school will keep parents and students updated as much as possible. This link will have COVID news. Simple English versions will be available for important messages.

English Language Support / Humanitarian Entrant Support

If you need to talk to a teacher about our COVID safe procedures or have any questions, please visit the EAL Hub or contact:

Dr Rebecca Seward-Linger: Rebecca.Seward-Linger@stpatricks.tas.edu.au

Ms Rachel Scott: Rachel.Scott@stpatricks.tas.edu.au

It is likely that there will be many changes in the school year. We will work together to make sure that our students have a good education in 2022.

We are looking forward to welcoming students back on campus next week for the start of the school year and trust you have had a restful and fulfilling break. 

As you would be aware, the return to school will include some Covid related changes that all parents/guardians must familiarise themselves with beforehand. 

The Tasmanian Government has recently released the Return to School Operational Plan 2022, which is aligned with the National Framework for Managing COVID-19 in Schools and developed by education and health experts to achieve the best possible education and health and wellbeing outcomes for students and teachers. 

Additionally, Catholic Education Tasmania (CET) has released the Covid-19 Return to School – Advice for Parents/Carers can be viewed by clicking on, or copying and pasting the link below into your web browser: 

CET Covid-19 Return to School - Advice for Parents/Carers Link:  

Please note the following requirements effective at the start of the school term. 

These will be reviewed and changed accordingly, and we will continue to keep you informed as necessary. 

EDUCATION 

Quarantined Covid-positive students, or those in isolation as a close contact, will continue their studies from home by following the class scope and sequence on Schoolbox. This will be used as the primary communication tool between teachers, students and parents/guardians during this time. 

We recommend that all students test their login to the Schoolbox Student Portal from a device at home. As you can appreciate, we require students to be prepared to continue their studies online from home via Schoolbox if the need arises. If they encounter any issues, students must bring their device to the IT Centre at the 鶹Ƶý as a priority and staff will assist further. 

We recommend using Google Chrome and a desktop computer when using Schoolbox as the mobile app doesn’t have full functionality. 

In addition, parents/guardians may choose to access additional learning resources for students provided by the Department of Education. These can be accessed by clicking on, or copying and pasting the link below into your web browser: 

Department of Education Learning at Home Resources Link:  

VACCINATION 

Public Health recommends vaccination as a measure to reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 illness and COVID vaccination is highly recommended for students. 

THIRD-PARTY ORGANISATION VACCINATION MANDATE 

Although highly recommended, Catholic Education Tasmania has indicated there is no current requirement for students or staff to be vaccinated. Please be mindful, however, that there are a number or businesses and organisation providers that the 鶹Ƶý uses who may require staff and students to be fully vaccinated unless medically exempt to access their services. 

TasTAFE has advised they require all staff and students who are undertaking training facilitated by a TasTAFE teacher, regardless of the venue, to be fully vaccinated unless they are medically exempt. 

We appreciate your understanding that some third-party providers may require this. 

MINIMISING RISK 

The 鶹Ƶý will continue to implement a strict hygiene and cleaning regime and will identify opportunities to reduce the risk of the virus spreading where possible. These include: 

  • Middle School students will be released for break 10 minutes earlier, to reduce time spent with other students. 
  • Activities and gatherings will be moved outdoors where possible. 
  • Windows and doors will be opened in rooms for cross ventilation. 
  • Air purifiers will be provided for internal rooms and those where windows cannot be opened. 
  • Parents/guardians (etc) will initially be restricted from watching indoor sports on campus. 
  • The Middle School swimming carnival will be split over two sessions. 
  • The Senior School carnival will be cancelled. 
  • Camps are still under review and parents/guardians will be updated on the outcome. 

SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT/COVID RELATED ABSENCES 

All students, staff and visitors must not attend the 鶹Ƶý if they are unwell, have symptoms of COVID-19 or if they have been directed to isolate by Public Health. 

For student absences, please contact the Front Office on 6341 9988 or submit a Student Absentee Form via the 鶹Ƶý App prior to 9:00am on the day of absence. 

If a student displays COVID-19 or cold or flu-like symptoms during the school day, they will be required to be collected from the 鶹Ƶý and return home. 

RAPID ANTIGEN TESTING 

The 鶹Ƶý will provide two rapid antigen test kits for each of our staff and students. It is hoped that the kits will be available by the commencement of Term 1. 

WEARING A MASK 

Staff and students are required to wear a mask while indoors and travelling on buses unless medically exempt. Students will need to provide their own mask and a limited number will be available if required. 

Students may remove masks indoors while participating in vigorous exercise, as permitted by their teacher. 

All visitors to the 鶹Ƶý campus must wear a mask when indoors. 

MASK EXEMPTION 

We understand that there are members of the 鶹Ƶý community who may have an exemption from wearing a mask. In such cases, we are required to sight the exemption. Where student exemptions are validated by the 鶹Ƶý, badges will be provided and must be worn so students are not continuously asked to wear a mask. 

If your child has an exemption to wear a mask, please complete the Mask Exemption Form by Tuesday 1 February. Please note that supporting documentation, such as a medical certificate, is required in addition to the form to complete the exemption claim. 

[Form link removed. Parents and guardians, please refer to St Patrick's 鶹Ƶý Covid Safety Information email sent Thursday 27 January 2022]

HEARING-IMPAIRED STUDENTS 

To support our students with a hearing impairment, teachers are permitted to remove their mask when located at the front of the class at an appropriate distance from students. The 鶹Ƶý is also investigating assisted hearing technology for applicable students. 

To ensure our records are up to date and that teachers are aware, if your child has a hearing impairment, please complete the Hearing Impairment Notification Form, by Tuesday 1 February

[Form link removed. Parents and guardians, please refer to St Patrick's 鶹Ƶý Covid Safety Information email sent Thursday 27 January 2022]

VULNERABLE STUDENTS 

It is important all students continue to access education through these times and that students with a disability and who are medically vulnerable will be adequately supported. If your child has a disability or is medically vulnerable and you feel they may be impacted by Covid related events, please complete the Vulnerable Student Notification Form below by clicking on, or copying and pasting the link into your web browser, by Tuesday 1 February. If you have any supporting documentation you wish to provide the 鶹Ƶý, please email this to student.services@stpatricks.tas.edu.au or provide a copy to the Front Office as a priority. 

[Form link removed. Parents and guardians, please refer to St Patrick's 鶹Ƶý Covid Safety Information email sent Thursday 27 January 2022]

We will continue to communicate with our parent community regarding any developments and I emphasise the importance of regularly checking your emails and Schoolbox to ensure you receive any important updates. 

We expect the situation will evolve and anticipate the need to provide parents/guardians with updated information, therefore please note that all correspondence and important information can be located on this page.

Irrespective of these changes, we look forward to continuing the education journey of our students with families and anticipate another successful year.