(In blue – Shared from from the Department – 24 April, 2020)
Advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee regarding schools
The AHPPC has today updated its advice regarding physical (social) distancing in schools, preschools and early
childhood services. The AHPPC does not believe that the following is appropriate or practical in classrooms or
· maintaining 1.5m between students
· the ‘venue density rule’ of no more than 1 person per 4 square metres.
The AHPPC continues to note that there is very limited evidence of transmission between children in the school
environment, and population screening overseas has shown very low incidences of positive cases in school-aged
AHPPC believes that adults in the school environment should practice room density measures (such as in staff
rooms) given the greater risk of transmission between adults. Please continue to maintain physical distance
between you, your colleagues and parents/carers.
Playgrounds and sandpits
The department has worked with SA Health to apply AHPPC guidelines relating to playgrounds.
· Playground equipment will be cleaned once a day (at a minimum) before recess. The equipment will be
sprayed and wiped dry. This cleaning will be an addition to existing increased cleaning arrangements at
schools and preschools.
· This will be funded centrally by the department. Please ensure children wash their hands with soap or
hand sanitiser before and after using play equipment.
· Regularly clean the high use sand pit toys or remove toys if cleaning isn’t practicable (this is a site
responsibility). Continue the usual safety measures in relation to sandpits, e.g. daily raking. Children
should wash their hands before and after sandpit play.
Access to the Public
· Playgrounds and sandpits on school grounds should only be used by students during breaks and OSHC.
Please restrict public access to playgrounds. Where playgrounds are not fenced, consider placing signage
on the equipment.
In green – Seacliff Primary Local Measures – 27 April, 2020
Welcome back to a new school term everyone! Today we had almost 65% attendance. It was really lovely to see
so many happy children reconnecting with friends and teachers after the extended holiday and ‘Learning at
Home’ that so many students were involved in last term.
With so many students returning to school, we have not been able to provide a combined class structure to share
the workload of support the Learning at Home program planned for, prior to the school holidays. All indications
are that ‘Learning at School’ numbers will increase over the next week, so we have transitioned back into
delivering face-to-face teaching and following our regular classroom timetable for intsruction. As the numbers
across various age ranges varies, for a short while, some teachers are managing to support students learning at
home, but I don’t imagine this will be sustainable for very long.
I want to pay tribute to Scott Francis for all of the timetabling work done with specialist and classroom teachers
and our SSO support staff. I also want to thank all of our staff team for their dedication and preparation for the
‘Learning at Home’ program, prior to and during the holidays.
I know that there are many parents and caregivers still grappling with making the a decision (about sending their
children to school or not) for their family context. As I mentioned in my last update during the holidays, ‘All each
family can do is make the best decision for their family circumstances based on the latest information available to us all.’
Daily Attendance and requirement to report every single day
With about 35% of families choosing ‘Learning at Home’ at the moment, we have greatly appreciated the
communication by parents and carers with the classroom teachers of your intensions. However, there is a
requirement from the Department that we make a daily attendance report and follow-up with a contact on every student in the school, every single day. So, today for example (and yes, it was the first day back) we had to
provide an explanation for our attendance figures of 283 at school and 157 absent. Today we were notified of a
small number of absences for Family days or Illness but we had 55 recorded for Home study and 78 Unexplained.
By 9:30am each morning, class teachers must submit the roll so that Sue can follow up on unexplained absences.
This is done via sms and if we don’t hear back, Sue and Elaine do follow up phone calls. When large numbers of
‘Unexplained’ absences occur, this becomes an expensive and time consuming process.
I understand that this may seem a nuisance/unnecessary, but if your child is not coming to
school, as part of your morning routine, please send confirmation (by email or Seesaw
message or whatever your class communication system is) to your child’s teacher by 8:45am
each day. In that way, teachers can record their absence accurately rather than having it
down as ‘unexplained’. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to register a student absence for
‘Learning at Home’ for more than 1 day at a time.
E.g. as an email in the subject heading… Fred Bloggs is Learning at Home today…or…Fred
Bloggs is sick today.
For families (and staff) doing the Learning at home, the Department experienced teething problems with
LearnLink today. Some sites had intermittent access issues with LearnLink this morning that may have resulted in
their staff and students needing to log in multiple times before gaining a successful connection. If you are
experiencing issues, please refresh the page and try logging in again.
As per the Department directions above, it was good to get the playground equipment back in action today. We
will have the equipment cleaned twice a day and have signage up restricting equipment use only by our school
and OSHC users. The sandpit is also back in action but we are removing sandpit toys from use.
While school classrooms are exempt from the ‘social distancing’ guidelines, as far as is practicable, schools are
trying to implement social distancing to reduce the risk of exposure. So, for families sending their children to
school, please do the ‘kiss and drop’ at the school gate (unless your child is not able to manage getting to their classroom by themselves). In addition to this, please use QKR, Bpoint or credit card (over the phone) for
payments, as we are unable to accept cash at this stage and we are seeking to minimise the number of people
coming onto the school site.
All the best – Steven and the staff at Seacliff Primary School