VPS Latest Update relating to COVID-19

Yesterday we had a great day, with all plans in place, leading to a smoothly run school. I thank all parents and staff for your understanding and efforts in calming the anxiety and keeping routines as normal as possible. The latest is an update on our status and plans related to the COVID-19 pandemic. With new information coming to hand daily, I will be applying this 10/100/1000 word approach when communicating with the school community.

Below you will find three different versions of our message. The first is a very brief, approximately 10-word summary. The second is a slightly more in-depth 100-word summary. The third is a verbose, detailed update that may be 1,000 words or more. We hope this approach will help you find the level of detail you require.

Additionally, we have created a form to submit questions so we can ensure we are addressing the things you want to know. You are still welcome to email me, especially if you have questions about a situation very specific to you or your family, but all questions are welcome on this form. We will do our best to respond individually.

Submit your questions at https://forms.gle/BAEbuB5e5MDMGaZ79

~10 Words

We are not closing schools but we are limiting large gatherings.

~100 Words

We continue to receive updates from Department of Education every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and daily from other sources. Based on the best information available to us, we are NOT closing schools at this time but we ARE curtailing large group events including assemblies and the way we eat at lunchtimes. We have plans for what we will do in case of school closures, at this stage we are not sending any school work at home for those students staying at home.

~1,000+ Words

This information comes from Department of Education in conjunction with Department of Health and comprehensive review of all available factual information. Each decision we make is based on analysis of all of this information, consultation with experts, and coordination with local and state agencies.

This page was last updated and is current as at Monday 16 March, 3.15pm and will be updated every Monday, Wednesday and Friday by 9.30am.  Additional updates will be provided as required.

Blue text: Information which has been edited to provide greater clarity, or updated to reflect an update in Department of Health wording.
Purple text: New information since the 13 March update (update 5).
Orange Text: What we are doing at Vasse PS

While the Department of Health advises that the risk of transmission in Western Australia remains low; they are monitoring the situation and we are acting on their advice to take any necessary precautions for schools and our staff. The current focus is on minimising and preventing transmission and making sure that our school system is prepared for a possible case.

Western Australians should remain alert, but not be alarmed.  The Department of Health has a snapshot on the current situation in Western Australia here.

Attendance at school

On Sunday 15 March, the Prime Minister introduced measures placed on international arrivals into Australia. This means a mandatory 14 day self-isolation requirement will be placed on all international arrivals into Australia effective from today. This also applies to all parents/carers, contractors, visitors and volunteers on school sites.
Below are some areas that we have been asked to consider. I have responded with what we are doing at Vasse PS.

Mass gatherings

  • The Australian Government has announced that all organised, non-essential mass gatherings attended by more than 500 people must be cancelled from Monday 16 March 2020. The announcement was very clear that there is no need for school closures. However, schools should now review their schedule of activities. Sensible social distancing measures are to be put in place at schools.  Events where large static crowds are convened should be cancelled.  Generally speaking, a static gathering is where people are together in an area for a period of approximately two hours.

At Vasse PS we have postponed;

• School Assembly’s
• Harmony Day
• Year 6 Disco
Announcements for other future events coming soon.
All our rooms are practising good hygiene practises after recess and after lunch.
Download VPS Hand washing Poster here

 Lunch breaks

  • Separate students at lunch times into groups of fewer than 500 students using strategies such as considering designated locations and/or staggering break times.

At Vasse PS we are eating lunch in small groups around the school

Incursions and excursions

  • cancel all international school excursions
  • cancel or postpone where 500 or more people will be present
  • review and reconsider non-essential gatherings of fewer than 500 people

At Vasse PS we have postponed or cancelled any incursion or excursions planned at this stage.

Interschool sporting events, performing or visual arts events, social events, or extra-curricular activities

  • cancel or postpone where 500 or more people will be present
  • review and reconsider non-essential gatherings of fewer than 500 people

At Vasse PS we are reviewing the Vasse Art Award and the Interschool Summer Sports Carnival. 

Meetings with School Boards, Councils, P&Cs

  • reconsider, including using alternative modes of communication, such as teleconferencing
  • consider social distancing and hygiene measures if proceeding

At Vasse PS we are considering cancelling the P&C and School Board Meeting scheduled for the 25th  March.

Pre-service teachers and incoming work experience students

  • external personnel must follow all government self-isolation requirements and follow Department of Health advice

At Vasse PS we are monitoring all external agencies entering the school.

Staff professional learning, meetings and network meetings

  • cancel or postpone where 500 or more people will be present
  • review and reconsider non-essential gatherings of fewer than 500 people
  • consider using alternative modes of communication such as teleconferencing or online tools
  • practice social distancing and hygiene measures

At Vasse PS we are practicing the advice above with our staff meetings.

Closing Schools

At this time, we are NOT closing our schools. It is quite possible that we will need to close schools in the near future, In the meantime, families should begin preparing for what they will do if schools are closed for an extended period. This could be considerably challenging for many families, so it is imperative that you plan for what you will do in such a situation. If schools close, so will daycares, before- and after-school programs, extra-curricular activity providers, etc. Now is the time to ensure you have your plans in place so you are not caught off guard if we need to close schools. If there comes a time when we have a case of COVID-19 within our school population, we will close our school temporarily while assessment and tracing of exposure is conducted. A thorough school clean will then be carried out to make the school safe for the return of students and staff.

Sinan Kerimofski PRINCIPAL 
Vasse Primary School
17 Kaloorup Road, Vasse WA 6280                                                                   

p (08) 9746 3700