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Dear students, staff, parents and carers

Thank you for your understanding as we seek to clarify and develop effective approaches to VCE assessment whether it be remotely or on-site.

On Tuesday we communicated that on site SACs are still possible for Year 12 subjects and are an approved exception to Stage 4 restrictions, i.e. 'onsite attendance (is) permitted for completion of mandatory assessments by students and staff'. This attendance is subject to the operation of the school's specific Covid-19 Safety Plan and staff being designated as permitted workers.

However, the Department of Education nor the VCAA have yet provided updated advice to schools in this regard. Therefore, we will not conduct SACs on-site until this is clarified. We also outlined on Tuesday that where SACs can be satisfactorily conducted and authenticated that these will be completed remotely.

For tomorrow, Friday 7 August we can confirm that English Language and Literature SACs will proceed remotely. However, the Further Maths SAC will be deferred to a date and time to be confirmed. Details of conditions for the conduct of remote SACs will be provided by the Senior School team and your class teacher.

We are aiming to complete assessments as scheduled where reasonably possible. Therefore, both Year 11 and 12 students should continue to thoroughly prepare for SACs as currently scheduled. 

As further advice comes to hand about VCE assessments we will bring it to you.


Kind regards

Trevor Smith & Dani Crew



Dear students, staff, parents and carers

Following the unexpected school closure for the last two weeks of July, to reopen for just one day, and now turning again to remote learning,  there are inevitable and understandable questions about how assessment will occur for senior students, especially those in year 12. With a back log of assessments due to the school closure we are all keen to proceed as soon as reasonably possible with scheduled SACs.

We are all getting accustomed to uncertainty and rapid changes in direction. Whilst it is not yet precisely clear what the advice will be from the VCAA about how schools will proceed with assessments for Unit 4, we understand that the VCAA will provide guidance on this matter very soon.

The government has announced the following education sector, industry specific specific obligations. That  'onsite attendance (is) permitted for completion of mandatory assessments by students and staff'.  This recognises that appropriate authentication of some assessments can only reasonably occur on site. A specific Covid-19 Safety Plan is understood to be required.

Therefore, we expect to conduct most Year 12 SACs onsite, allowing time for students to safely travel to and from school, and to avoid impinging on class learning time for other subjects.

We are intending that all Year 11 assessments will occur remotely under specific conditions to be advised.

This year we implemented a new approach on our wiki and via Compass to the scheduling and communication of assessments. Our aim has been to provide greater oversight, clarity and balance in the timing and calendaring of SACs. It remains our preference to maintain the existing schedule of SACs as closely as is reasonably possible.

Therefore, we expect the  following Year 12 SACs scheduled for this week to go ahead on-site unless we advise otherwise

i.e. English Language, Literature, Further Maths. 

Theatre Studies and Italian SACs will occur remotely.

Students should continue to prepare for these assessments.

However, please understand that we are obliged to wait for the updated Department Operations Guide - expected today - before proceeding with any on-site SAC arrangements.

As soon as we have further concrete advice we will provide it.

Please also be aware that the GAT has been moved to Wednesday October 7 and is anticipated to play a more significant role in moderating student internal assessments than in previous years. Consequently, our Senior School Team is planning additional preparation sessions to ensure students are familiar with the GAT format.


Best regards

Trevor Smith & Dani Crew



Dear students, parents and carers, and staff

The Premier announced this afternoon that we move to Stage 4 restrictions from 6 pm tonight.

Recently, I have frequently been reminded of the maxim to take one day at a time. I will be as succinct as possible, acknowledging that there will be many questions. However, many of these will need to wait for further information and clarification. As the Premier said this afternoon, 'The whole way through this, I promised to be upfront. So I’ll say this now. This will be imperfect. And for a little while, there’ll be more questions than answers. It’s why I’m asking something else of Victorians – please be calm, please be kind, please be patient.

Tomorrow - Monday August 3

  • Year 11 &12 classes (as advised yesterday) will be held on-site and the school is open. I encourage senior students to ensure they attend for this last opportunity to catch up with their teachers in person for 6 weeks
  • Remote learning continues tomorrow for students in Years 7-10
  • The onsite supervision program for students in Years 7-10 will operate tomorrow as communicated yesterday
  • Close contacts of the confirmed case have completed their quarantine period and can attend and no close contact has tested positive
  • Face coverings must be worn by students and staff.  Please see the specific advice for staff and for students here. Detailed information about the correct use of face coverings can be found here
  • All senior students must enter the building from the main entrance in Arnold St and maintain physical distancing whilst school staff conduct temperature checks

Tuesday August 4

  • This is a statewide pupil free day for staff to prepare for Remote Learning at Year 11&12
  • The school will be open on Tuesday August 4 for students and staff to collect books, prepare resources and important items for remote learning.

Wednesday August 5

  • At Princes Hill SC this is a day of parent teacher interviews for students in Years 10-12. This has been scheduled from the start of the year and will continue as planned via Zoom . Please refer to previous News Feed announcements. There will be no remote learning on this day.
  • There will be a limited onsite learning program during Stage 4 restrictions. Advice on how this will operate will be provided when received from the Department of Education.

Thursday August 6

  • Remote learning classes operate from this date for all students until at least September 13.

I anticipate that there will be further advice from the Department of Education later this evening that I will communicate to you tomorrow.

I'll finish this message with the words of the Premier,

'All the temporary sacrifices we make now – all the time missed with mates, those delayed visits to mum – those sacrifices will help keep our mates and our mums and our fellow Victorians safe. We can – we will – get through this.

Apart. But together.'


Take care and stay safe,


Trevor Smith

Principal




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

Dear parents, carers, students and staff,

I’d like to thank the entire school community at the outset for your patience and understanding after a student at Princes Hill Secondary College tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

I have been advised by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that contact tracing for our school is ongoing so our school remains closed.

I would like to inform you that the deep clean of the school has now been completed.

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 caregiving
  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 monitor our own health and the health of our children daily during this time. 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 letter with you
  • call the school to let us know.

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.

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 will advise of our school’s re-opening date once this is confirmed by DHHS.

When our school reopens, it 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.

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 19 August.

I also remind you to please respect the privacy of our student who tested positive to coronavirus (COVID-19). I am proud of our school’s inclusive culture and I encourage you to do what you can to make sure all our students and families continue to feel supported and included during this difficult time.


Yours sincerely,

Trevor Smith
Principal

Princes Hill Secondary College



Dear students, staff, parents and carers

Consistent with the communication sent this morning, in the absence of further advice from the Departments of Health and Education the school will continue to remain closed tomorrow Tuesday July 28. All classes will be conducted remotely for students in Years 7-12.

Please be aware that when classes are confirmed as returning onsite, that the wearing of protective masks will be required. More information about this and other infection control measures in place will be provided tomorrow.

Kind regards


Trevor Smith

Principal

Dear students, parents and carers, and staff

School closure and remote learning

No doubt you have learned through the media in the last few days that the Department of Health is experiencing long delays in following up with contact tracing where cases of Covid-19 are confirmed. 

This has presented significant challenges for schools in providing timely advice to their communities following confirmed cases. The Department of Education has advised that until contact tracing is confirmed as complete by the Department of Health, the school will remain closed and the building cannot be accessed until formal clearance is granted.

Therefore, we expect that the school will remain closed tomorrow Friday July 24 with all Year 7-12 classes conducted remotely. This will be confirmed later today as soon as we receive further clarification from the Departments of Health and Education. Please be aware that the reopening of the school may be delayed into next week. Prior to any return we will clarify the infection control measures in place including advice on the provision and use of masks.

Contact tracing

The Department of Health have spoken with me in the last hour, and we have immediately provided the requested information about possible close contacts to assist in the contact tracing process. 

The Department of Health has also asked the school to inform students and staff who may be considered close contacts today. We will individually email possible close contacts (only Year 12 students have bee identified) this afternoon, and include advice on what to do whilst waiting for contact from the Department of Health. For clarity, the Department of Health definition of ‘close contact’ can be found here. Ultimately, the Department of Health determines who is officially deemed a close contact.

I urge all members of our community to consistently follow the public health advice at the DHHS Website to assist in reducing the spread of the virus. This includes getting tested and staying home if experiencing any symptoms.

Students and parents can contact our student wellbeing team through our Remote Learning Home page for support or with any personal concerns they may have.

I thank you for your support and understanding at this difficult time. We are aware that the pandemic response continues to rapidly evolve. We will endeavour to keep you fully informed as new advice is received or the situation changes.

Best regards

Trevor Smith



Dear parents, carers and students,

I’m writing to update you on the situation at our school. I have been advised by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that contact tracing for our school is ongoing.

DHHS, as the lead health agency, is continuing to identify and speak to all close contacts of the student at Princes Hill Secondary College who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Contact tracing

Contact tracing is a complex process and it is important for the safety of our school and community that it is undertaken in a thorough manner.

DHHS has advised that all our students and staff are requested to remain at home until contact tracing is completed. Any close contacts who have so far been identified by DHHS have been provided with instructions as to what they need to do to care for themselves and their families, whether they need to self-isolate, as well as any necessary further testing.

 School deep clean

The deep clean of the school is continuing and will be completed prior to our school reopening. It is expected cleaning will be completed by Thursday, 23 July.

Next steps

Once 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 are not able to be supervised at home and when no other arrangements can be made – including children whose parents cannot work from home, vulnerable children and children with a disability.

More information

I recognise that we are all anxious to return to normal school arrangements as soon as possible and I assure you we are trying to achieve that as soon as we possibly can.

I am very aware that this is a time of heightened anxiety for us all. The people best placed to answer your questions are the Department of Education and Training (DET) staff who are supporting us. You can contact them on the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 338 663. 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 are able.

I ask you to please respect the student’s right to privacy and encourage you to do what you can to make sure all our students and our wider community are included and supported during this time.

I will continue to keep you informed as further updates become available.


Yours sincerely,

Trevor Smith
Principal


Right now with the school officially closed, it is especially important that we show kindness to each other and express our care and concern for those who are awaiting coronavirus test results as 'close contacts' or are unwell. The global experience is that any one of us has the capacity to catch and transmit the virus - we are absolutely, including neighbouring schools, all in this together.  It is everyone's responsibility in this undeniably difficult time to reflect our school value of community by being thoughtful, considerate and empathetic in what we think, say and do. We invite you, our senior students to take the lead in this regard.

Our thoughts and best wishes are especially with those members of our school community who are unwell or somewhat anxiously awaiting contact from the Department of Health and/or test results.  

We also know that when times are challenging is especially important to stay connected and to take care of your physical and mental health. If you would like to talk about your situation, we encourage you to contact the PHSC Wellbeing team or the Senior school team - who are here to help.  Call 9389 0617 during school hours to speak to Felicity, the Student Wellbeing Coordinator or email marlowef@phsc.vic.edu.au  or Senior Sub School Leader Dani Crew on 9389 0623 crewd@phsc.vic.edu.au or Year 12 Coordinator Andy Kemp on kempa@phsc.vic.edu.au

It is vital that we act responsibly for the good of all in our community by consistently following the advice from the Chief Health Officer. Please be guided by the general public health advice on the DHHS website.

This includes specific advice on:

How to stay safe and well

Getting tested

Quarantine and isolation

Mental health resources - coronavirus (COVID-19) 

We will learn more over the weekend about when we may back to onsite learning. Please check Compass on Sunday evening for further advice on the situation for Monday. Enjoy the better weather forecast for the weekend and get in some exercise.


Best regards

Dani Crew and Trevor Smith



Dear parents and carers,


The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has confirmed that a student from our school has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Princes Hill Secondary College initially closed for 24 hours as a precautionary measure. Following advice from DHHS, Princes Hill Secondary College will close from Tuesday 21 July for a further 72 hours for cleaning and contact tracing. This closure will allow time for the school and DHHS to undertake a full risk assessment. The closure will also allow appropriate cleaning of the entire school site to occur on the recommendation of DHHS. The entire school will therefore be closed to all students, staff and members of the community.

This means that even the following categories of students are not able to attend school, until I advise you differently:

  • students in years 11 and 12
  • students in Year 10 for VCE or VCAL classes
  • students who are not able to be supervised at home and when no other arrangements can be made – including children whose parents cannot work from home, vulnerable children and children with a disability.

All staff will work from home during this time also.

While our school is closed, remote learning will continue for all students in Years 7-12. SACS scheduled for Year 11&12 classes will be postponed until at least next week.

DHHS has advised that all our students and staff are requested to remain at home while contact tracing occurs. If you are identified as being a close contact, DHHS will be in contact to discuss the appropriate next steps, including testing.

More information

I am very aware that this is a time of heightened anxiety for us all. The people best placed to answer your questions are the Department of Education and Training staff who are supporting us. You can contact them on the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 338 663. 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 are able. Our wellbeing team is available to support students - please see information on our Remote Learning Home page

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.

We wish our student a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming them back to school next term once they have recovered.

Thank you for your support, and I will provide any further information as soon as I receive any updates.


Trevor Smith
Principal
Princes Hill Secondary College