As you would be aware, the Premier announced last week that, thanks to the efforts of people in the affected Local Government Areas (LGAs) and the efforts of those who adhered to home quarantine requirements, from 4pm Friday 20 August there will be an easing of restrictions.
Thank you to all staff for the work you have undertaken over the past few weeks during the COVID-19 restrictions and to parents/guardians who have followed and complied with the restrictions put in place, this has made our job in difficult time so much easier.
The easing of restrictions means that we will once again welcome parents/carers, visitors and external providers back onto our school sites, and community and school sport will resume.
Myself and Prep staff will continue to welcome students at the gate of a morning from 8:30am as this has been a positive for many parents in dropping off younger students and saving them coming into the school (alleviating parking stress and attachment issues as well as being a time saver). The increase in younger students independence and resilience has been exciting to see grow in such a short space of time. Plus we love it, it is just such a lovely thing to do welcoming kids into the school with a friendly smile and warm hello.
Some key changes with the easing of restrictions include:
Parents/carers/Volunteers on school site
- Parents/carers and visitors/volunteers will now be allowed back on school sites, with the requirement they adhere to the ongoing direction regarding the wearing of masks.
- This means masks must be worn by all adults inside school buildings (unless they can stay 1.5m apart from other people) but may be removed outdoors, as long as they can keep 1.5 metres apart from other people.
- Assemblies and other large group activities including instrumental music groups, choirs, performances, extra curricula sporting activities, and dancing are permitted, adhering to COVID-19 health directions including wearing of masks.
Sport and excursions
- Interschool sport and excursions are permitted. Excursions should not involve interstate travel.
Visitors and external providers
- Visitors and external providers including providers of extracurricular activities will now be permitted on school sites.
- Masks must be worn by all visitors and external providers inside school buildings (unless they can stay 1.5m apart from other people) but may be removed outdoors, as long as they can keep 1.5 metres apart from other people.
- Itinerant staff can recommence their usual work arrangements visiting schools, adhering to face mask requirements.
Wearing face masks
- In the 11 LGAs masks must be carried by all adults and all secondary aged students.
- Masks must be worn by teachers and staff (all schools), plus students in high school in the 11 LGAs, unless you can stay 1.5 metres apart from other people. This applies to both indoors and outdoors.
- Based on this advice, and the difficulty of implementing a 1.5 metre rule in classrooms, it is expected that secondary students will continue to wear masks in classroom settings in most cases for another week unless health advice determines otherwise.
There are a number of exceptions to wearing face masks, including for children under 12 (unless they are in Year 7) and people with particular medical conditions or disabilities. Some of these exceptions include:
- anyone who has a medical condition or disability that may be made worse by wearing a mask, including problems with their breathing, a serious skin condition on their face, a mental health condition or experienced trauma
- anyone who is communicating with those who are deaf or hard of hearing, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
John Byrne - Principal Maleny State School