When we are informed of a positive case we will identify close contacts, call them, and send a letter clarifying the next steps.
Here is an infographic designed to help you understand.
We will provide learning material for students required to isolate.
All current regulations are designed to keep students and teachers as safe as practicable in an environment where we are changing from people who locked down the whole scale and isolated from Covid 19 to people who are learning to live with it. A high priority for the Government and Health Department (and MCC) is to keep the school going.
This is not just because students learn better in class, but they live better as well. Students thrive on relationships and being with their friends. Isolation is hard on us all.
Currently for Years 3 to 12, only close friends (e.g., those who hang out and eat lunch together) are identified as close contacts who require after-school isolation for 7 days. If a student in these classes and not wearing a mask, they are regarded as being close contacts. In Early Learning, because students aren’t required to wear a mask, close contacts are regarded as more whole scale.
You may find keeping up with changes confusing, frustrating, and some things downright dumb, but I think on balance the WA Government, Health Department, and MCC are doing the best we can in an ever-changing landscape.
The message I want to send is school is open and operating and we’re learning as a community, here and more broadly, to live with Covid-19. I know it is an anxious time, and there is a tendency to feel like isolating until Covid 19 is over. My feeling is this is something we need to live with and go through together. Waiting for Covid 19 to be over is open-ended and maybe a long time. My understanding is that the flu we live with now is the remnant of the Spanish flu from 100 years ago.
If your child is immune-compromised or there is something unique around your family circumstances, it may be worth getting individual medical advice.
1 March, Week 6
As you may now be aware, it has been quite surprising the number of primary and secondary schools that have been affected by cases of Covid 19 amongst students or staff.
The Government now requires schools to do the close contact follow-up. We have been given distinct flow charts of procedures to identify close contacts. The dynamics for Primary schools will generally involve specific classes that may need to isolate. In Secondary schools, close contacts will generally be the smaller friendship group of students who eat (and hang, is that still a word?) together during and after school.
What does this mean for parents?
Keep students at home if they are showing any signs of being unwell.
Please inform Student Services at Secondary and Reception at Primary if your child has needed to undergo a RAT or PCR test. Let us know immediately if they have a positive result. We are to assume that they have been infectious two days prior to symptoms and inform close contacts.
Primary: Now mask-wearing has been mandated for students from Years 3-6. My assumption is that it will only last until the end of term. If you are concerned about mask-wearing for primary students, please contact me directly through my personal assistant, Maria Price: email@example.com. I hope to send more information tomorrow.
Secondary: please make sure your student is up to date with BYOD connectivity from home so that they can keep up with the curriculum if they are isolating.
We’re well informed and know what to do.
It’s pertinent to mention that the landscape for dealing with Covid 19 is changing as vaccination rates are so high. The previous strategies of wholescale isolation and shutdowns are changing. It is unlikely that at this stage we will face wholescale school shutdowns. I’m saying this with the obvious reservations of an uncertain future. What I’d like to reinforce is that we’ve got this and please don’t become too anxious if there are inevitable cases that occur at the College.
Finally, let’s face it, here in the Hills we’re all close contacts. If ya know what I mean.
9 February, Week 3
The new situation from Monday is for WA to initiate “protocols for a high caseload environment.”
Here are the important elements in these protocols
Camps are not to go ahead (Excursions and the Year 12 Ball can).
Whole School Carnivals are not to go ahead (e.g. Swimming Carnival will be adapted and further information provided). Interschool carnivals may go ahead at this point in time, but this could be subject to change.
Parents are welcome on school sites for drop-off and pick-up in outdoor locations only.
Parent-teacher/senior staff interviews will occur online or over the phone where possible.
Mask wearing for parents will be expanded to outdoors where physical distancing cannot be maintained in regions with existing mask mandates.
What this means in our context
Complex meetings with parents and multiple staff on the campus will be maintained where needed. Where possible, meetings will be held over the phone, video conferencing, where practicable. We will adapt to outside or well distanced meetings.
We will continue our micro assemblies however parents are unable to attend.
We have a spacious and uncrowded Primary Campus. Parents are welcome to bring and collect students from the outside door of a classroom.
Parent volunteers are allowed in the Canteens. Mask wearing protocols apply.
If you want to have chats in the carpark, that’s fine. Just remember to socially distance. Grumpy chats in the carpark are banned.
In the background, we are preparing well for changes to learning that we may need to initiate. We have catered for multiple scenarios. We are ready to cope with rapid changes. We will keep you informed.
Our Main Emphasis
Let’s keep together: lessen anxiety, don’t overthink the future, look after each other in frustrating times, we will adapt as fast as we can to maintain as much normality and opportunity as possible. Please realise all our staff are under a lot of pressure. (e.g. On Monday the Year 7 camp was cancelled, by Tuesday we had organised an alternative).
Let’s stay positive: as we have before, we can get through this well. Send a message of appreciation to someone. Let us know if you’re facing difficulties. Keep a sense of humour.
In that line: be encouraged that MCC is in the Bible:
Psalm 23:4“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
In every likelihood, these updates will be weekly. We will try not to overburden you with information. Below are some helpful links.
– Rod McNeill (Principal)
3 February, week 2
After one week at school, a lot has changed. As you know, most schools started on Monday and after four days of being at school, three schools have been affected by Covid isolation, shutdowns, and cleaning. The Primary school where all staff was isolated for 14 days seems to be the result of all teachers being together for over an hour at a teacher development course. I can’t imagine the logistics of a school running with all new staff.
I’m sure government requirements for shutdown and isolation for staff and students will change over time as circumstances develop. Once again, let’s not overthink this.
I want to let you know how we are responding now and the changes we’ve initiated.
The key is to not consolidate the staff or students on each campus into large groups. The larger the groups the more the likelihood for greater numbers being isolated if a case of Covid appears.
At both campuses, we are asking staff to remain in their collaborative spaces, and we won’t be having whole staff meetings as previously organised.
We won’t be having whole campus assemblies and will limit assemblies to one or two-year groups if these groups already spend time together in their learning.
We want parents to continue to come to the school for events, but we will make these events more size-specific. Please, always be aware of social distancing and mask-wearing if you are indoors (If you really want to hug someone, just give them money instead).
We are keeping rooms well ventilated and are checking and recording CO2 (the stuff we breathe out) levels in classrooms regularly on each campus.
Extended PC activities and assemblies will occur as year group specific during this time.
Our next assembly (Tuesday, 8 February) will involve only the Year 6 students. It will be held in the gym. Parents are welcome to attend, and the seating will be spaced out well.
We will continue the Parent Morning Teas for the different classes.
I’m writing to make contact with you as I’m listening to the press conference update from Mark McGowan. While the situation exploded rapidly yesterday, we’ve been working in the background. I and other SCEA Principals and senior staff discussed the situation yesterday which resulted in the letter from the CEO, Dr. Graeme Cross (parent update)
Our school has grown rapidly since this time last year and our first entrance to home learning. Over 140 new students and 18 staff members began with MCC this year.
We are considering right now and working towards the provision of some learning support this week in the Primary, Secondary, and especially Years 11/12 even though state schools are taking the posture of extended holidays.
This is a rapidly changing situation. My first advice is don’t panic. We worked through Covid and home learning exceptionally well last year and are aligning ourselves for various eventualities that may unfold. This is a hard lockdown and neither students nor parents are allowed on-site at this time. We will be providing learning assistance resources for this week and moving towards the possibility of full home-learning provision for next week should the need arise.
Our work, love, and prayers from our staff are with you and our decisions are being made in the best interests of student learning and welfare and for you as parents and guardians.
Our first priority is to make sure new staff and students are connected with our community
We are working to inform parents how to connect to Parent Lounge and Student Café and off-campus ICT support.
Teachers are working on home learning for next week and learning assistance for this
Learning Support and Pastoral Care staff are preparing to help students in
I will clarify the MCC response and context once Dr. Cross has sent his letter to all SCEA
As we did last time, we will get through this together.