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Coronavirus COVID-19 Update

This page provides up to date information and advice for St John’s families, staff and community regarding our precautionary response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This page will be continually updated as information is advised.

Latest Update

Following the Federal Government’s recent announcement regarding childcare, under this new plan St John’s term break Vacation Care will be at no cost to our families.

This will include the period between Monday 6 April through to Monday 20 April 2020. Our normal enrolment and booking arrangements continue to apply.

For families who have already made payment for vacation care during this time, please contact our Finance Department to discuss refund arrangements.

We will continue to keep our families informed of any updates during the term break.

Updated 3 April 2020

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We continue to follow the Queensland Government directives as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve.

At this stage, Term Two at St John’s will commence as normal, with students attending the College on Tuesday 21 April 2020. If the Government health advice determines otherwise, we will continue our Academic Contingency Plan through our remote online learning for all our students. For those families who are required to continue to attend their workplace, a physical presence will remain at the College for those children who are required to attend school.

The College will be closely monitoring the developing situation over the term break and will keep the College community informed as needed of any developments.

Updated 2 April 2020

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In preparedness for continued remote online learning, St John’s have developed a number of resources for Primary and Secondary families. These guidelines are to further assist parents and students in the transition to remote online learning. St John’s families can access these documents through their My St John’s account.

Updated 31 March 2020

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We acknowledge that we are experiencing unprecedented events and that the Federal Government’s management of the Novel Coronavirus COVID 19 pandemic brings various challenges for our families and College community.

As the Government’s management strategies continue to be implemented, St John’s is committed to working with our families who are experiencing financial difficulties in these uncertain times. The form attached is a practical step that you can take to manage your finances and explore ways that the College may be able to assist. Please click here for more information. 

Updated 30 March 2020

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College Psychology Services

As part of our contingency planning in the event of a College closure, St John’s College Psychology Services have developed the following procedures to ensure the health and wellbeing of our students are our number one priority.

Email communication:

  • will occur between the College Psychologist’s current students via their official student email
  • will be sent in order to check in on students and to assess their welfare

The College Psychologist would maintain that same level of confidentiality that is used for in-person meetings during school hours.

In cases of high concern for a student’s wellbeing, the College Psychologist would communicate more frequently with the student to ensure they are safe. If the College Psychologist has concerns for a student’s wellbeing, they will contact the student’s parent/guardian via email or telephone, to request external support services be accessed.

Updated 23 March 2020

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Academic Contingency Plan

Information was sent to all College families in Daily Correspondence on Thursday 19 March 2020

  • Families have been advised that the priority is the ongoing provision of quality teaching and learning interventions
  • Course content via St John’s online platforms will be available for Primary, Middle and Senior school students
  • An outline of the remote learning online model
  • Advice for families as students prepare for an online remote routine

Remote Teaching and Learning Guidelines

Information was sent to all College families in Daily Correspondence on Thursday 19 March 2020

  • Families have been given the guidelines to provide safe practices for our staff in relation to student protection to ensure a clear, uniform approach by all involved when participating in online learning.

Student Free Professional Development Days

Information was sent to all College families in Daily Correspondence on Thursday 19 March 2020

  • Thursday 26 and Friday 27 March 2020
  • Two online lesson testing opportunities for our staff and students in preparedness for remote learning

Frequently Asked Questions | COVID-19 Guidelines for our Community

For the benefit of our community, we have created a FAQ page which seeks to provides guidance on the College’s management of COVID-19. You can view, download and print the FAQ page here.

Updated 20 March 2020

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COVID-19 and Unprecedented Times

It has certainly been an unprecedented couple of weeks, with the closure of several schools and the World Health Organisation declaring coronavirus COVID-19, a pandemic. I wanted to take this opportunity to reassure our own community of the detailed planning measures that the College has in place if we were required to close due to a diagnosed case of the virus.

There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the College. The College would immediately notify the St John’s community if it were otherwise. However, the scene is shifting so rapidly that it is necessary to plan carefully for all eventualities.

What has been happening to prepare?

In late January 2020, Coronavirus (COVID-19) was designated as a potential Critical Incident by the Senior Leadership Team and the College’s Critical Incident Policy was enacted and the team began working on our Communications Plan and a Containment and Preparedness Plan for the College. We have been in contact with health officials at State and Federal level. Against this background, I want to assure you that the College – and all the schools under the umbrella of the Anglican Schools Commission – is doing all that it can to stay informed and to be prepared for any eventuality. The health and well-being of our students is our highest priority.

Sometimes the advice we receive is inconsistent or even contradictory. The chief priority is to secure the health of all students, staff and families, so far as it is possible. A close second priority is to attend to the mental wellbeing of all, allowing students to thrive together during times of uncertainty. It’s not quite “business as usual”, but we have been trying to strike the balance between allowing students to enjoy 2020 whilst urging them to be mindful of the concerns around us. To that end, we have established a detailed Plan, which I now share with you.

This plan outlines the actions and responsibilities in addressing key areas including:

Infection control – promotion of good hygiene to students and staff.
Communications – ensuring that our communications to all our community is coordinated and factual.
Absence management – reinforcing self-isolation and quarantine measures for both students and staff
Student and staff wellbeing – establishment of protocols to monitor the wellbeing of our students and staff and providing resources for staff to be able to talk with students where required.
Homestay – reviewing our infection control measures within the Homestay Families. A Homestay readiness plan is in place should our students need access to health services or to their families.
School events – Continual risk assessment of all upcoming scheduled events.

School closures are being discussed in the media

Should the College be required to close, an action plan has been developed that ensures continuity of learning for our students so that learning can continue with as little disruption as possible.

Please ensure that you have adequate web and Wi-Fi access at home and that you have tested all your own systems? Whilst remote learning will never replace the positive learning experience that a classroom interaction provides, we still can stay in touch with the academic program this way and not lose valuable curriculum time.

Of concern are our Year 11 and 12 students as they approach their assessment period. Whilst we are planning for a future disruption, we hope that this plan never sees the light of day. Please be in touch with your Head of House or Home Group if you are concerned.

Events before the end of term

There are still several weeks before the end of this term and a number of scheduled events. Changes to these scheduled events and activities are as follows – Click here. We will continue to keep our community updated with any changes that may need to be made to the current calendar. Changes may be necessary.

Thanks to all members of the community for maintaining a calm approach in light of these extraordinary times. Please pray for the St John’s community.

Updated 16 March 2020

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On Sunday 15 March 2020, the Australian Government announced new measures to protect the Australian community in its response to the COVID-19 virus. This includes the requirement that all individuals arriving in Australia from an international destination must self-isolate for 14 days.

This is in addition to social distancing measures which prevent non-essential static gatherings of 500 people or more.

The Australian Government announcement does not prevent the operation of essential functions such as schools, universities, other education provision and workplaces at this time.

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has updated its COVID-19 landing page and several of its fact sheets to reflect this information:

  • Advice for international students travelling to Australia (formerly Advice for international students travelling to Australia from affected countries)
  • Coronavirus FAQs for international students
  • Coronavirus regulatory information for universities, VET, ELICOS and higher education providers
  • Coronavirus regulatory information for DSAs and school providers
  • Information for employment service providers
  • Information for job seekers and participants

The department will provide further updates as new information becomes available.

For further health advice please visit the Department of Health website.

For further information on travel restrictions please visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

Updated 16 March 2020

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Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) update on travel restrictions — Italy

The Australian Government has now added Italy to the list of travel restrictions, alongside China, Iran and South Korea. These extended measures again serve to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission in Australia.

Given that this is a dynamically changing and complex situation with an evolving level of responsiveness across all levels of government, it is imperative that you regularly review the most up-to-date advice.

The Commonwealth travel advice follows the decision by the Department of Education that all State school/departmental international student and staff travel should not proceed until further notice for all destinations other than New Zealand. This directive does not include any private international travel plans that families and staff have made or are considering. I would simply ask that you make informed decisions based on your personal circumstances in relation to your own health risk and after consideration of the Australian Government’s travel advisory information available online at Smart Traveller.

Notwithstanding, all of the above information and advice is underpinned by the need for good personal hygiene, both at home and in a school setting. Again, the message is very clear. To help stop the spread of germs, wash your hands regularly, especially before and after eating, and after going to the toilet.

In addition to this advice, please:

  • use alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap is unavailable
  • cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow
  • dispose of tissues in the bin immediately
  • if you’re unwell, stay at home and avoid contact with others through touching, kissing or hugging.

Please continue to reference updated COVID-19 information on the Queensland Health website or Australian Government website. These sites are being progressively updated and it is important to continue to stay in touch with the latest information.

Updated 12 March 2020

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The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. Take steps to protect yourself by cleaning your hands often and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Here is a short video from the World Health Organisation demonstrating how to effectively wash your hands.

Updated 11 March 2020

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As we approach the school holidays at Easter there will be students, their families and staff who may be planning to travel overseas at this time. In this rapidly changing environment, please be aware that Government advice on overseas travel may change by the time the school holidays arrive. The Australian Government’s Do Not Travel list on Smart Traveller will have the latest advice.

As a precaution and to ensure the ongoing safety of all our students and staff, we would ask that you let the College know if you are planning a family holiday overseas in the coming school holidays.

Updated 9 March 2020

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The Australian Government recently announced that coronavirus travel restrictions have been extended to people travelling to Australia from Iran and South Korea. The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has updated four of its fact sheets to reflect this:

  • Advice for international students travelling to Australia from affected countries
  • Coronavirus regulatory information for universities, VET, ELICOS and higher education providers
  • Coronavirus regulatory information for DSAs and school providers
  • Coronavirus FAQs for international students (English).

You can access the updated fact sheets on the Department’s website.

For further health advice please visit the Department of Health.

For further information on travel restrictions please visit the Department of Home Affairs.

Updated 6 March 2020

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As you would be aware, last month the Australian Government announced new measures that specifically address travel restrictions from mainland China. Over the weekend, the Government announced updated restrictions which now include travel from Iran. This is consistent with the travel restrictions in place for Australians returning from mainland China.

Students or staff cannot attend school or childcare centre if they have:

  • left, or transited through mainland China in the last 14 days (they must isolate themselves
    for 14 days after leaving mainland China)
  • left, or transited through Iran on or after 1 March (they must isolate themselves until 14 days after leaving Iran)
  • been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus in the last 14 days (they must isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case)

These are important preventative measures that have been put in place in the interests of public health. These travel restrictions should not significantly impact any of our day-to-day school operations and we will continue to work to ensure any disruption is minimised.

Anyone who has completed the self-quarantine period of 14 days and shows no symptoms of illness is eligible to return to work or school. If your children are unwell or show symptoms of illness, they should see their doctor. As always, the health and wellbeing of your children, and our staff, remains our number one priority.

We continue to take advice from Queensland Health and the Department of Education in relation to this matter and the latest information is available at novel coronavirus on the Queensland Health website.

Updated 4 March 2020