Northside Christian College is continuing to follow advice from the Australian Government in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19). The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remains our priority. Currently, there are no suspected or confirmed cases of the virus at Northside Christian College.
On the 11th March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic. As a result, the College's Critical Incident Management Team is closely monitoring the situation and are working hard to support our students, staff and parents. The College developed contingency plans to support the learning and wellbeing of students.
We will continue to respond progressively and the following summarises our activities across a range of areas, including student and staff support, travel restrictions, and resources.
Please see below a copy of the most current correspondence from the College Principal:
Parent Letter (3rd November 2020)
Parent Letter (2nd October 2020)
Parent Letter (8th September 2020)
Parent Letter (2nd August 2020)
Parent Letter (20th July 2020)
Parent Letter (14th July 2020)
Parent Letter (8th July 2020)
Parent Letter (22nd May 2020)
Parent Letter (13th May 2020)
Parent Letter (1st May 2020)
Parent Letter (15th April 2020)
Parent Letter (8th April 2020)
Parent Letter (3rd April 2020)
Parent Letter (22nd March 2020)
If you test positive to COVID-19:
1. Whether or not you have symptoms, you must immediately self-isolate. You will be contacted by a public health worker from the DHHS for advice on the next steps. Read more here.
2. Notify the College by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. This inbox is monitored seven days a week. In the email, please include your name, phone number and contact details. Your information will be kept confidential. A privacy collection notice is available.
3. A member of staff will call you within several hours of notification.
Students and Staff Exhibiting COVID-19 Symptoms
Only students and staff who are exhibiting symptoms are required to stay at home. Families are encouraged to seek medical advice when their children present with symptoms. The College continues to recognise that the most important action school communities can take to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), is to ensure that any unwell staff and students remain at home, even with the mildest of symptoms.
If a staff member is unsure whether a student is unwell it is advisable in the first instance to send the student to the College Office so we can contact the parent or carer to discuss any concerns about the health status of the student, and taking a precautionary approach, request the parent or carer to collect their child if concerns remain.
Staff or students experiencing compatible symptoms with coronavirus (COVID-19) should be encouraged to seek the advice of their healthcare professional who can advise on next steps. Where staff or students have been tested, they must isolate until they receive their test result.
Face masks for Students at Northside
Secondary School students aged 12 years and over must wear a face mask while at school and while travelling to and from school.
Students in Prep to Year 6 are not required to wear a face mask. Students who are aged 12 or over by Year 6 who are attending Primary School are not required to wear face masks at school.
Some students and staff are exempt from these requirements. The same exemptions to the wearing of face masks apply in schools as when people are out in the community. This includes students who are over the age of 12 and are unable to wear a face mask due to the nature of their disability. This also includes students or staff who have a medical condition, such as problems with their breathing, a serious skin condition on the face, a disability or a mental health condition.
Masks can also be removed during any exercise or physical activity where a person is out of breath or puffing. Examples include jogging or running or playing vigorous sport like kicking the football at lunchtime. Individuals must carry a face mask and wear it after exercising.
Face mask breaks are allowed for staff and students during the day, but they should be kept brief, when seated outdoors having lunch and physically distanced.
A Term 3 Remote and On-Site Learning Guide was published on the 14th July to support students and families in preparation for Term 3.
Remote and On-Site Learning Guide (Last Updated 17th July 2020)
A Term 2 Return to School Guide was published on the 22nd May 2020 to support students and families returning to school at Northside Christian College.
Return to School Guide (Last Updated: 22nd May 2020)
Student and Staff Support
The College developed a plan to support student learning throughout the year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Plans were being made to respond to a variety of scenarios where learning may be delivered through alternative approaches to support students who may be absent for extended periods of time. Likewise, arrangements have been made to support staff who may be unwell.
The College has prepared Emergency procedures to assist the College in managing a variety of situations that may present as a result of COVID-19. The plan will be updated on an ongoing basis as new information becomes available and/or as public health guidance changes. Planned camps and excursions will be reassessed for any additional risks on a case-by-case basis and postponed, cancelled, or rescheduled if appropriate.
The College will also have a plan for a phased return to school. The College Principal will work in partnership with the Executive Team to oversee the implementation of this plan. The implementation of this plan will be closely monitored. The Principal reserves the right to adjust this plan to ensure the safety of the College Community. Any identified cases of COVID-19 will continue to be managed in line with health advice, including temporary school closures where necessary. Once finalised, the plan will be shared with the College community.
We are aware of additional challenges such as fear from misinformation, and media reports of racism linked to the virus. We have distributed information to staff about respectful behaviour and responding to unacceptable behaviours across the College.
Students are reminded that if they are feeling anxious or distressed about the current situation, our Student Wellbeing Team are available to support.
Travel Restrictions and Self-Isolation
The Prime Minister announced on the 18th March 2020, effective immediately, the travel advice in relation to overseas travel is at Level Four: Do Not Travel. As described on the Smartraveller website - "At level 4, your health and safety is at extreme risk. This may be because of a high threat of terrorist attack, conflict, violent social unrest, widespread infectious disease or critical levels of violent crime. It could be a combination of risks." All staff and students are advised not to undertake overseas travel. The Prime Minister urged Australians on the 24th March 2020 to avoid non-essential travel.
The latest travel information is available on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Smart Traveller website.
If you have been overseas upon your return you must stay at home (self-quarantine) for 14 days, other than when seeking medical care.
You must also:
If you begin to feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or respiratory illness, you should call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice. This number is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Any person who has had close contact with a person with coronavirus, regardless as to where the contact occurred, must undertake self-isolation for a period of 14 days.
Northside Christian College will continue to communicate with our College community in relation to this matter.
World Health Organization (WHO) Recommendations
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommendations on how to reduce the transmission of illnesses, including coronavirus:
If you or anyone you know is feeling unwell, as always, please see a doctor and don’t come to school.
If you feel unwell and have recently travelled to China, especially Wuhan or Hubei provinces, or have had close contact with a confirmed case in the 14 days before becoming unwell, seek medical attention. Please phone the doctor in advance so precautionary measures can be taken ahead of your arrival.
On 13th March 2020, the Prime Minister announced a number of measures that all Premiers agreed to, on the basis of the advice from Australia’s Chief Medical Officer and Chief Health Officers of the states and territories. They announced that all non-essential planned gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled from 16th March. These measures do not include the closure of early childhood services, schools or higher education institutions.
On the 16th March, the Prime Minister updated this information and highlighted there is a ban on non-essential gatherings of 100 or more people indoors. Education facilities including schools, universities, and child care facilities are exempt from the 100 person indoor ban. However, schools are advised to avoid groups of this size wherever possible.
On the 22nd March, the Victorian Premier, Mr Daniel Andrews, announced that school holidays will be brought forward in Victoria, with schools closing from Tuesday 24 March, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Northside Christian College shortened Term 1 in response to this announcement.
On the 7th April, the Victorian Premier announced that most Victorian students will be educated from home when Term 2 starts to ensure that physical distancing will help slow the spread of coronavirus. Northside Christian College commenced remote learning in response to this announcement. On-site learning will only be available for children whose parents can’t work from home and vulnerable students without access to a suitable learning environment at home. Small groups of VCE and VCAL students also attend on-site for short periods if their learning requirements cannot be conducted at home.
On the 12th May 2020, the Premier announced that Victorian government school students will begin a phased return to classrooms before the end of May, following advice from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer that it is safe for the community to do so. The College announced a phased return to school plan shortly after the announcement from the Premier.
On the 7th July 2020, the Premier announced that businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire would return to Stage 3 restrictions on the 9th July 2020. During the announcement, the Premier noted that Year 11 and Year 12 students and Year 10 students completing a VCE subject will go back to school for Term 3 as planned at the commencement of Term 3. For students Prep to Year 10, the Premier announced an extension to the school holidays by one week to provide time to gain more advice from health experts.
The Premier announced on the 2nd August 2020 further significant measures to control the spread of COVID-19. This included a transition back to remote learning for VCE and VCAL commencing on Wednesday 5th August 2020. The new measures are covered by the declaration of a state of disaster, in addition to the current state of emergency. Under the measures, the Melbourne metropolitan area will move to Stage Four restrictions, while Stage Three measures will be imposed on regional areas. The Stage Four restrictions are in place until at least the 13th September 2020.
On the 6th September, the Premier, Mr Daniel Andrews, announced details about the Victorian Government's 'roadmap' for the gradual, phased and conditional lifting of current COVID-19 restrictions. The roadmap is conditional on health and medical advice and reducing case numbers. The plan highlighted that VCE/VCAL students will return to school for Term 4 from Monday 5th October so they can sit the GAT on Wednesday 7th October and any other essential assessments (i.e. SACs). Prep – Year 2 students and VCE / VCAL students will return to onsite learning from Monday 12th October. Year 3 to 10 students may start returning from Monday 26th October as part of the third step on the plan, but this is only listed as a "potential staged return" depending on public health advice at the time. The College will continue to keep the College community updated in regards to the staged return to school.
The Premier, Mr Andrews, and the Education Minister, Mr Merlino, on the 5th October 2020 announced the timeline for the staggered return to school of students in Years 7 to 10 in metropolitan Melbourne. Year 7 students will resume face-to-face learning from Monday 12 October. Students in Years 8 to 10 will return from Monday 26 October. Primary School students, students studying VCE and VCAL will return to face-to-face learning in metropolitan Melbourne from Monday 12th October.
Closures will be made on the recommendation of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer. Once this occurs, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will inform the Department of Education and Training, and we will then work with the school, service or institution to implement the closure.
Information for schools and early childhood centres, students and their parents (Last updated: 19th March 2020)
Digital Video: Recommendations for using a Cloth Face mask with Brett Sutton, Victorian Chief Health Officer
Remote Learning Resources
Remote and On-Site Learning Guide (Last Updated: 17th July 2020)
Remote Learning Guide (Last Updated: May 2020)
Leading authorities have compiled a range of resources to keep us informed about coronavirus:
Northside Christian College
31 McLeans Rd, Bundoora VIC 3083, Australia
Phone: 03 9467 2499