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Dear students, parents and carers

I’m writing to update you about the situation at our school, after a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19).

I’d like to thank the entire school community at the outset for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.

This afternoon I was advised that the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), as the lead health agency, has completed its risk assessment and has confirmed the school can reopen from 1 August 2020 now that contact tracing and appropriate cleaning has completed. As such, I look forward to welcoming those students who are allowed to attend (detailed below), to school on Monday 3 August 2020.

When our school reopens, we will operate in line with the current advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer for schools in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire. The only students to attend on site are:

  • students in Years 11 and 12
  • students in Year 10 for VCE or VCAL classes
  • students who require on-site supervision – including children whose parents cannot work from home and where no other arrangements can be made, vulnerable children and children with a disability. Parents who wish their child to access this program where students participate in the remote learning program whilst supervised at school, should complete the form at this link and submit it to Anthony Avotins at avotinsa@phsc.vic.edu.au as soon as possible or call him on 0475 961 023.

Students in Prep to Year 10 at government schools in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire will continue to learn from home until at least Wednesday 19 August.

Quarantine and Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions

As part of its investigation, DHHS has also identified people who have potentially come into close contact with the confirmed case who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). It provided direct and specific advice to these individuals and their families about quarantine and looking after themselves. If DHHS has not contacted you to advise that you or your child is a close contact of a coronavirus (COVID-19) case, you are not required to quarantine. Identified close contacts are reminded to ensure they have the 11 day (or more) covid-19 test as communicated by DHHS. 

The quarantine period for students and staff identified as close contacts has now expired and they are able to attend school from Monday.

All of us in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire remain under the Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions, with only four reasons to leave home:

  1. Shopping for food and essential items
  2. Care and care-giving
  3. Exercise
  4. Work and study, if it can’t be done at home.

If you live in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire you must wear a face covering if you need to leave home for one of the four reasons.

It is important that we all continue to follow the health advice from the experts for our own, and our children’s, health. If you or your child develops any symptoms such as a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath:

  • stay at home and do not attend school
  • seek medical advice – call ahead to alert your doctor about the confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) at the school and any symptoms before visiting, and take this communication with you
  • call the school to let us know

More information

More information regarding coronavirus and schools is available from the Department of Education and Training (DET) on the DET website or by contacting the DET coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 338 663, Monday to Friday during business hours. If you call them, please be clear that you are calling in relation to Princes Hill Secondary College and they will provide as much information as they can.

For school information in your language, call TIS National on 131 450. Please ask them to call the DET coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 338 663 and they will help interpret. For health advice in other languages visit www.dhhs.vic.gov.au.

I also remind you to please respect the privacy of our student who tested positive to coronavirus (COVID-19). We pride ourselves on being a caring and supportive school community, and I thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

The school will continue to work closely with both DET and DHHS during this time. As we prepare to return, I am reassured by the observation that no further positive cases have been reported as part of the extensive tracing and testing procedures.

Further communication will follow tomorrow to clarify various arrangements for the reopening of the school and the return to on-site learning for Year 11 and 12 classes.

Yours sincerely,

Trevor Smith

Principal

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