COVID 19 - Return to School Policy
The purpose of this policy is to outline to parents, carers and students how our school will be managing risk and other operational matters relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) during Term 4, 2020.
Glen Waverley South Primary School is committed to providing a safe learning and working environment for our students and staff. We ask for all members of the school community to follow this policy to enable us to provide the safest possible environment during this time. We all have a role to play in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Victoria.
Glen Waverley South Primary School is following the advice from the Department of Education and Training which can be found on the Department’s website at Coronavirus (COVID-19).
This policy applies to everyone in the Glen Waverley South Primary School community engaging in on-site learning or visiting school grounds. This includes all members of staff (principals, teachers and education support staff), all parents/carers who interact with the school and all students. It also includes visitors to the school. Information specific to staff only and not directly relevant to students and their families is not included in this policy.
On-site learning and remote learning from home
We are pleased to advise that all students will return to full-time on-site learning commencing Monday 12th October.
Term 4 priorities
We will continue to have in place strong measures to protect the health and safety of students, staff, families and the community. In addition to the health and safety measures outlined in this policy, we will be focused on three key priorities in Term 4:
Mental health and wellbeing
Our highest priority will be the wellbeing, particularly the mental health, of every student and member of staff. This means effectively mobilising all available resources to support our most vulnerable students and enabling staff to access the relevant support services.
Learning and excellence
Some of our students have thrived in the remote and flexible learning environment, others have maintained their learning progress, and some have fallen behind, despite their best efforts and those of their families and teachers. Our priority will be supporting both those who need it to catch up and those who have progressed to continue to extend their learning.
We will make every effort to ensure successful transitions for children moving from kindergarten into Foundation and the Grade 6s moving into Year 7.
Health and safety at school
Our school follows the Department and Victorian Chief Health Officer’s advice and requirements in relation to health and safety. The health and safety measures relating to students are outlined below. These health and safety measures are regularly reviewed in line with the changing context of COVID-19 in Victoria. As a result, as Term 4 proceeds, some measures may no longer be required and/or new measures may be introduced.
Unwell students (including students who have been tested)
- Unwell students must stay home.
- Where students have been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) they are required to isolate at home and must not attend school until they are both symptom free and have received their results (provided the result is negative).
Managing unwell students at school
- Students experiencing compatible symptoms with coronavirus (COVID-19), such as fever, cough, chills or sweats, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, loss of smell or taste, will be isolated in an appropriate space with suitable supervision and collected by a parent/carer as soon as possible. Urgent medical attention will be sought where needed. Unwell students will not be permitted to travel home unsupervised.
- Health care plans, where relevant, should be updated to provide additional advice on monitoring and identification of the unwell child in the context of coronavirus (COVID-19).
- If a staff member is unsure whether a student is unwell in the first instance we will contact the parent/carer to discuss any concerns about the health status of the student, and we will take a precautionary approach, requesting the parent/carer to collect their child if concerns remain. A trained staff member may take the temperature of the student, where appropriate, to support decision-making. Gloves will be worn for the purpose of taking a temperature.
- Parent/carers of students experiencing compatible symptoms with coronavirus (COVID-19) will be encouraged to seek the advice of their healthcare professional who can advise on next steps. Students should not return until symptoms resolve.
Managing a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19
The Department has comprehensive procedures in place with the Department of Health and Human Services to manage suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in schools. In accordance with these procedures:
- We will contact the Department of Health and Human Services on 1300 651 160 to seek advice if a student or staff member:
- is a confirmed case
- has been in close contact with a confirmed case
- We will inform the Department’s Incident Support and Operations Centre who will support the school to make an IRIS incident alert.
DHHS defines ‘close contact’ as someone who has either:
- had at least 15 minutes of face-to-face contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- shared a closed space for more than two hours with someone who is a confirmed case.
- All school staff on site will wear face coverings unless exempt due to a medical condition or disability but may remove their face covering when teaching students.
- As we are a primary school, students are not required to wear face coverings regardless of whether or not they are aged 12 or over, but may choose to do so.
- Parents are also required to wear face coverings whenever they leave the house, including for a school drop off and pick up. When travelling in a car alone, or only with members of their household, they do not need to wear a mask.
- Wherever possible we will encourage and support physical distancing of students however the Department and Victorian Chief Health Officer has acknowledged that physical distancing in schools is practicably difficult to achieve and has not mandated this practice.
- Parents are asked to observe physical distancing requirements (1.5 metres) whenever dropping off or collecting students from school and must not congregate at the school gate.
School arrival and departure arrangements for Term 4
To support physical distancing at our school we have arranged the following:
- There will be four entry/exit points for students to enter the school grounds at the beginning of the day and exit at the end of the day. Each entry point will be allocated a House name/colour:
- Entry point 1 – Whites Lane – main entrance – Goolagong/Yellow
- Entry point 2 – Whites Lane – community garden entry – Bradman/Blue
- Entry point 3 – Watsons Road – crossing entry – Cuthbert/Red
- Entry point 4 – Watsons Road – former OSH entry – Landy/Green
- Parents are encouraged to allow their children to independently enter the grounds. Parents will not be able to enter the school via these entry points. Social distancing protocols are expected. Each entry point will be staffed.
- All entry points will be unlocked at 8:45am and locked at 9:00am for the duration of the school day. They will reopen at 3:30pm for dismissal and will be locked at 3:45pm.
- Students will line up in their usual line up areas at the start of the day, rather than entering the buildings directly. Class teachers will guide and escort the students into the classrooms.
- Students will be dismissed at 2 minute staggered intervals from 3.30pm.
3.32 -Levels 1/2
3.34 -Levels 3/4
3.36 -Levels 5/6.
- To minimise interaction of students and adults at entry points we ask that parents use a regular and pre-arranged pick up routine for picking up children from the school gates.
- Where possible older siblings may collect younger siblings and proceed to the pre-arranged pick up point.
- Parents may wait on the nature strip (socially distancing), or at their cars, so children can locate and join them.
Hand, food and drink hygiene
- Hand sanitiser will be available at main entry points to corridors and in classrooms and students will be educated on the importance of this health and safety measure.
- All people on school grounds must undertake regular hand hygiene, particularly on arrival to school, before and after eating, after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing or using the toilet.
- Where shared equipment is necessary, students will be required to exercise strict hand hygiene before and after use.
- Students must not drink from the school water fountains and must bring their own water bottle for use and refilling at school.
- Students must not share their food.
- Wherever possible, we will increase fresh air into indoor spaces and maximise the use of outdoor learning areas and environments. This will include where possible keeping doors open to keep air circulating.
- Mandatory temperature testing of all students is no longer required. However, we will continue to heed Department and Chief Health Officer advice on this, and temperature checks may be reintroduced if the current levels of community transmission in Victoria increase.
- The Department and school’s mobile phone policies continue to apply and we ask that students clean their phones regularly.
Health, Wellbeing and inclusions Workforces at school
- Health and wellbeing staff (such as Student Support Services, Koorie Engagement Support Officers, Visiting Teachers and school nurses) will continue to provide support to students as required.
- Please contact Julia Rankine for further information.
Record keeping for contact tracing
- To support contact tracing, we are required to keep a record of the name, contact details, date and time of attendance of all staff, students and visitors who attend on-site for more than 15 minutes.
- We are also required to record the areas of the school the person attended.
COVID-19 Safety Management Plan
- Our school follows and implements the Department’s COVID-19 Safety Management Plan, available at: COVID19 Safety Management Plan.
Normal attendance notification requirements apply for all students.
Exceptions to attendance may exist for medically vulnerable students. The Acting Deputy Chief Health Officer has advised that decisions regarding school attendance should be informed by the nature of a child or young person’s condition, its severity and intensity of required treatment. In most cases, the presence of common conditions of childhood, such as asthma, epilepsy or Type 1 diabetes, should not preclude a student from attending face-to-face learning.
In keeping with expert public health advice, some students may be at higher risk for severe outcomes or complications of coronavirus (COVID-19), for example those with chronic medical conditions. Any student with a chronic medical condition should seek advice from their medical practitioner about attending school on site at different stages in the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Please also contact Julia Rankine on 9560 6371 for further support and advice on how we can support your child in these circumstances.
Our school records student attendance in accordance with the Department’s Attendance Policy.
School assemblies will not take place face-to-face, but alternative arrangements will be considered.
Camps and excursions
- Camps and excursions cannot take place. We will inform parents and students if this changes over the course of Term 4.
Sport and recreation
Based on the Department and Chief Medical Officer advice and requirements as at 5 October 2020:
- Playground equipment can be used by students. However students should practise hand hygiene before and after use.
- Playgrounds are not available for community use.
- Indoor sport is not allowed. Wherever possible students will participate in physical education or recreational play outdoors and will be discouraged from engaging in contact sport.
- Choirs and wood/wind/brass instrument use are not permitted in schools.
Visitors and school tours
Under Department and Victorian Chief Health Officer advice and requirements visitors to school grounds must be limited to those delivering or supporting essential school services and operations (e.g. student health and wellbeing services, cleaning and maintenance workers). This means:
- Parent volunteers must not attend school
- Parent-teacher information sessions and interviews will be conducted remotely online
- On-site school tours for prospective students and their families will not be conducted unless an exemption has been granted by the Principal to support essential educational planning and decision-making for students with disability or highly complex needs.
Visitors to school grounds must comply with physical distancing and face covering requirements and practise good hand hygiene.
School buses and transport
Students should practice hand hygiene before and after catching any form of public or school transport.
Physical distancing should be practised by both parents and students at bus stops, interchange locations and train stations.
Out of School Hours Care
Out of School Hours Care will be available for students in accordance with the usual process.
All interschool activities that involve on-site attendance by students from other schools will be cancelled.
Communication between parents/carers and our school
Parents and carers are encouraged to contact their child’s classroom teacher via email or phone call to discuss any concerns or areas of need in regards to their child’s learning, health, wellbeing or access to teaching and learning resources.
Cleaning and facilities management
At our school we will:
- Continue extension of routine environmental cleaning, including progressive cleaning throughout the day to ensure that risks of transmission are reduced for high-touch services. See Department information about Access to cleaning supplies and services.
- Carefully consider the necessity of using shared items or equipment e.g.: shared computers, class sets of teaching and learning materials
- Be practising hand hygiene immediately before and after use of shared equipment.
Further information and resources
- DET Coronavirus (COVID-19) website:
- DHHS Coronavirus (COVID-19) website:
- DET Infectious Diseases Policy:
- DET Health Care Needs Policy:
- Talking to your child about COVID-19:
- Department of Education and Training COVID-19 Advice Line – 1800 338 663
- Department of Health and Human Services Coronavirus hotline – 1800 675 398 (24 hours, 7 days a week)
This policy was last updated on 6/10/2020 and will be reviewed on a regular basis as the situation changes.