Last Updated: Thurs 3 February 2022 | Recent updates are listed in RED.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

This page assists Prince of Peace Lutheran College families interested in accessing the latest information regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in relation to their child’s education. Along with SEQTA correspondence and Flex@POP, it will continue to provide regular updates relating to COVID-19. We recommend families visit the QLD government website for a broader range of COVID-19 information. Facebook updates and POP App pushes will continue.

Latest Information

This information, headed ‘Latest Information’ was fully updated on Thursday 3 February 2022.

Over the weekend, the Queensland Government announced their Back-to-School plan. We have received some documentation surrounding this plan. Education Minister Grace Grace described the plan as refining what has, essentially, been implemented for the past two years.  Much of what is outlined then, Prince of Peace already has in hand and has been planning towards.

Face Masks  

  • All ‘High School’ students (including those who are under 12 years of age) must wear a mask unless they are seated or are able to maintain 1.5 metre distance from others. 
  • Students in Years 3-6 are also encouraged to wear masks at school when physical distancing is not possible. 
  • Families are to provide own masks for their children and students are responsible for the wearing of masks. 
  • Staff (teaching and non-teaching) will need to wear masks while standing or moving about indoors, they can remove their mask when seated or if able to maintain a 1.5 metre distance from others while teaching or interacting with students and other staff or when outdoors.  
  • There may be exceptions and exemptions for mask wearing, particularly for people with specific medical conditions or disabilities.  
  • We encourage students to bring their own masks (and a spare) to school and always carry with them. 
  • It was announced that schools will have a supply of masks to use as needed. It has not been made clear how these masks will be supplied to schools yet. However, we do have limited supplies currently on campus. Students will only be given a mask in emergency situations and/or they have lost or forgotten to bring their own to school. 

RATs (Rapid Antigen Tests) for staff and students 

  • RATs are not required for general attendance.  However, a student exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or completing a quarantine period is required to receive a negative test before returning to school. 
  • If a staff member or student develops COVID-19 symptoms while at school, they will be able to access free RATs from their school, if available.  Please note, we are required to keep a record of which families or staff these are distributed to, and to provide this information to the Department of Education.  We have not received information yet regarding how schools will receive or source the tests or the number of tests that will be supplied. 
  • Parents/caregivers will need to collect their child from school and administer the test at home. Staff will not be administering RATs to students. 
  • Importantly, RATs cannot be supplied by the school for students or staff who present to the school with symptoms already in place.  Sending a child to school while unwell breaches the spirit of the School and Early Childhood Service Exclusion Direction and potentially puts the school community at risk. 
  • If staff or students are sick, they are not to attend school.  In this instance, staff and students should attend their local Queensland Health testing clinics where they will be prioritised to receive a RAT or PCR test. 

 Vaccinations  

Students of all ages can attend school regardless of their vaccination status. 

Reducing Transmission 

Prince of Peace continues to implement a range of measures to reduce opportunities for transmission.  These include but are not limited to:  

  • Sending home students, staff and volunteers who present as unwell. 
  • Using air conditioning or opening windows and doors in classrooms, and relocating classes to outdoor settings when practical. 
  • Thorough cleaning with appropriate cleaning agents each evening. 
  • Cleaning shared resources during the school day. 
  • Encouraging students to employ appropriate hygiene practices. 
  • The wearing of face masks by school staff when mandated by the State Government. 
  • Limiting onsite visitors. 
  • Maintaining a register of the attendance of students and visitors (e.g. contractors).  

 Further, all Prince of Peace staff (including contractors) and volunteers are vaccinated.  These measures are implemented to reduce opportunities for transmission, which is different to preventing transmission. The prevention of transmission cannot be guaranteed. 

Onsite Plans 

We will be postponing camps, excursions, and large gatherings in line with the Government requirements until 4 March 2022 and will revisit these events after an update from the Government. Assemblies and chapels will be held virtually in the majority of cases, or with single cohorts where space allows. Parent Information evenings have been postponed as communicated last week and year level information will be provided in the next fortnight to families. Any parent/teacher interviews can occur via Zoom, Teams, or phone.  

Pick Up/Drop Off  

From Monday 7 February 2022 – Friday 4 March 2022 parents and carers should not gather in areas around the school such as carparks, at the school gate and outside classrooms. However, we understand that starting the school year can be both an exciting and anxious time for families particularly if you are new to the school, have a vulnerable student, or have students in Prep – Year 1. We are more than happy for you to drop your child off at their classroom, say your farewells for the day and then leave the site. To assist with our pickup / drop off please use the following protocols. Parents who have been with us over the past few years, should be very familiar with the process.  

 Junior Campus  

Please use the following stop, drop and go zones around the Junior Campus:

  • Prep Car Park (for Prep families)
  • Green Room
  • Pick-up Zone out the front of Junior Campus Reception. 

Staff supervision of the yard begins at 8:00am each day and students should only be dropped off to school from this time. If students come onsite earlier than this time, we ask that they use the OSHC facilities. 

At pick up time, we ask that you wait in your car in the following areas:

  • Prep Car Park and the Green Room where your child will be brought to your car.
  • Kiss and Go/ Pick-up Zone out at the front of Campus Reception where children will walk to their car once it has stopped. 

 For further and more explicit details about drop off, pick up and parking on the Junior Campus please click here.

 Middle & Senior Campus  

Please make use of our stop, drop, and go zone in the top car park for students from Years 7-12. Staff supervision of the yard begins at 8:00am each day and students should only be dropped off to school from this time.  A reminder to parents not to park in the smaller carpark where the buses drop off students between these hours 2:30pm-3:30pm. This is due to the need for space for the buses to flow through freely which impedes cars reversing and leaving the carpark. 

Please wait in your car for your child to come to you at pick up time in the Ring Road pick up zone.  

Safety and Hygiene on Site 

A few reminders for our community as we continue to support the health and safety of everyone on Site:  

  • Students and staff who are unwell must not attend school. 
  • Physical distancing of 1.5 metres is required by all adults. 
  • Students will engage in regular effective hygiene protocols, including regularly washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitiser and covering coughs and sneezes. 
  • Students will need to bring water bottles (there are several taps on campus for students to refill their bottles throughout the day). 
  • We encourage students to take their rubbish home in their lunch boxes and clean out each night to reduce the spread of germs around bins. 
  • Outdoor communal microwaves and sandwich presses will not be available for students on the Middle and Senior Campus during this time. 
  • All visitors must sign in at the Administration Building (Reception) at both Campuses. If you need to drop anything off for your child during the school day, please do so at Student Services. 
  • Masks are to be worn on-site by all visitors.  
  • All visitors are to check in via the Queensland Government QR code, clearly identifiable on each site, and will also be required to sign into the College register. 

From 2022, please be aware that, in line with the Queensland directive regarding the mandated vaccination of all workers on school sites, all volunteers are deemed to be workers, along with staff and contractors. As such, all volunteers will be required to provide proof of vaccination before volunteering in any capacity. 

Learning when in Isolation 

Should your family be experiencing an isolation period please contact your child’s class teacher and/or pastoral care teacher for guidance. 

Outside School Hours Care (OSHC)  

Before and after school care will operate as normal. For further information regarding OSHC please refer to the details on our website https://www.princeofpeace.qld.edu.au/services/oshc/  

Homework Club on the Middle & Senior Campus 

We are still appointing a staff member to this role, and we will communicate to families when the club commences.  

Management of Positive Cases 

We understand that there are, and will continue to be, positive cases in our community.  Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly said the return to school will increase movement in the community, and will therefore increase the transmission potential of the virus.  Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard has written that we ‘… will expect to see increased numbers of positive cases associated with early learning and education facilities’. 

Communication will be provided to staff and families that there has been a COVID-19 case (please note that specific information of the case will remain confidential).  Initially this will be through formal communication but, as our community becomes more acquainted with school-based diagnoses, the communication will become less formal. 

  • Community members will be advised to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and to stay home if unwell. 
  • Follow any direction provided by the Public Health Unit (PHU) or Queensland Health. 
  • All individuals must follow Queensland Health advice in relation to isolation and testing. 

https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/stay-informed/exposed-to-covid/close-contacts 

Senior Assessment and Exams 

Consideration will be given to the nature and frequency of assessments and examinations, should major disruptions to continuity of learning occur. The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority will publish updates as required. 

Back to School Check 

We do encourage families this week to ensure all stationery, uniforms, drink bottles, lunch boxes, etc are clearly labelled with your child’s name. Please check the uniform guidelines at the following link to ensure your child’s appearance reflects these;
https://www.princeofpeace.qld.edu.au/services/uniform/  

We understand that there have been some supply issues with the College uniform. If you are experiencing these issues, please contact your child’s pastoral care/class teacher.  

What can I do to support the College’s response to the pandemic? 

Parents and caregivers play a vital role in the College’s response to the pandemic.  There is much you can do to support our community.  Examples include: 

  • Stay home if you are unwell. 
  • Keep your child home if unwell. 
  • Familiarise yourself with and adhere to public health and social measures. 
  • Teach your child covid-safe hygiene practices and the reasons for these practices – this is your role as the primary educator of your child, and it is reinforced by College staff. 
  • Remind your child that they are not permitted to share food at school. 
  • Use the Queensland Check-In app and sign in through the College system when onsite, even when entering the administration building for a short period of time. 
  • Stay calm and trust that the College is following the advice of authorities. 
  • Know to expect communication from the College when school-related government requirements change. 
  • Don’t be swept up by media sensationalism and, instead, read or listen to the facts. 
  • Check in on the well-being of other parents and caregivers. 
  • Support your parent/caregiver peers when they experience the ups and downs of anxiety and other mental health challenges. 
  • Ask for help when you need it. 
  • ‘Put your own oxygen mask on first’; in other words, look after yourself first, knowing that you are not effective in helping others if you are not caring for yourself. 
  • Encourage your child’s teachers and student coaches – they are feeling the pressure, too. 
  • Don’t have unrealistic expectations of yourself; remind yourself that you are doing the best you can and that that’s more than enough. 
  • Rest in the knowledge that God is bigger than this. 

Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

NED-1370-Coronavirus-symptoms-comparison_NyAdNvG7

 

How Will Prince of Peace Communicate with You?

Communication will be provided to staff and families that there has been a COVID-19 case (please note that specific information of the case will remain confidential).  Initially this will be through formal communication(such as email and SEQTA Direct Message) but, as our community becomes more acquainted with school-based diagnoses, the communication will become less formal. 

In the event of a school closure, parents will be notified immediately via email as well as all other modes of College communication—including Facebook and the PoP App.

Please ensure that you have the Prince of Peace Lutheran College App downloaded onto your phone or tablet to receive the latest alerts. Please download the app from the App Store (Apple devices) by searching for ‘Prince of Peace Lutheran College’ or from Google Play (Android devices) by searching or following this link, or scan the the relevant QR code below, then set your Notification Subscriptions:

iPhone PoP App

Android PoP App


Further Information

We thank you for your cooperation and understanding with this current situation.  If you have any further questions or concerns, please email HeadOfCollege@princeofpeace.qld.edu.au.  All student absences should be reported via absences@princeofpeace.qld.edu.au or via the absentee button on the PoP App.


Parent Resources

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is an evolving international health concern. Although children are considered at lower risk of infection, they are not immune to the anxiety that may result from hearing the multitude of news reports regularly seen or heard in the media.

This pandemic is a cause for great concern to parents, but it is also very worrying to young people. Many are wondering how best to discuss this pandemic in a way that will be reassuring to kids without making them feel more worried than what they may be already. Parents should not avoid such a discussion with their kids. Not talking about something can often make them worry more.

Although most children will have already heard about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), it is important for parents and caregivers to take this opportunity to convey the facts about it and set the emotional tone. This may help kids feel more informed and reassured. Involving them and encouraging self-efficacy can also give them a sense of control and purpose.

Useful Links

Please note these links are provided as a reference for your information only and do not necessarily constitute the official views of POPLC.

Talking Points for Families with Young Children


GENERAL INFORMATION

For more information on Coronavirus and the Government’s response, please visit: www.treasury.gov.au/coronavirus or www.australia.gov.au.
Alternatively you can contact the business.gov.au support line at 13 28 46.