COVID-19 Update 2021 (No.3)

Dear Parents/Caregivers

COVID-19 Update 2021 – No. 3 (as at 5 February 2021)

The Premier last night announced that the State’s hard lockdown will cease at 6.00pm this evening, pending no further local cases of the virus.  However, some restrictions will continue to apply until at least 12.01am 14 February.

We are delighted and excited that Ursula Frayne Catholic College will be welcoming our students’ back school on Monday 8 February 2021 and write to provide information in relation to the following:

  1. Post-Lockdown Transitional Measures
  2. Calendar Changes
  3. Campus Access
  4. Canteen
  5. Maintaining a Healthy School
  6. Additional Support for Students
  7. Additional Support for Families

 

POST LOCKDOWN TRANSITIONAL MEASURES

During next week, the mandatory mask rule will apply to all school staff and students in Years 7 to 12 (Duncan campus).  There is no requirement for students from Kindergarten to Year 6 to wear a mask, however they may choose to if they wish.

The College will endeavour to exercise a common-sense approach to the application of these transitional arrangements with the conditions about mask use on campus being explained to secondary students on Monday.

 

CAMPUS ACCESS

The College will continue with a very cautious approach in relation to parents/caregivers accessing the campuses.  However, the access arrangements for the first week of school, as previously advised by the Head of School, will remain in place.  Please note that these are specific to your child’s year level and/or campus.

Parents, caregivers and visitors to schools in the Perth and Peel regions must wear a mask and adhere to COVID-safe guidelines while they are on a school site.

 

CALENDAR CHANGES

Monday will mark the beginning of Week 1 of an eight-week term (with the Day 1 staggered starting time also being relevant for our Kindergarten and Pre-Primary students).

As such, scheduled events will either be cancelled, modified and/or rescheduled (e.g. Year 5 Big Day Out), depending on WA Health Department School Operations Guidelines. At this stage, the following involving parents/caregivers have been rescheduled:

Tuesday 9 February: College Advisory Council Meeting

Monday 15 February: Preparatory School Parent Information Evening

Monday 15 February: Year 12 Commissioning Evening

Monday 22 February: Junior School Parent Information Evening

Thursday 25 February: Year 7 Parent Information & Social Evening.

 

CANTEEN

The College has taken the decision to keep our College canteens closed next week. We are transitioning to a new canteen model this year, whereby orders will be prepared at our secondary campus for both campuses.  Having the canteens closed for this first week of school will give us an opportunity to prepare for this change.

 

MAINTAINING A HEALTHY SCHOOL

As the health and safety of our students and staff remain our first priority, the College will continue enacting its COVID Safety Plan.

As students prepare to return to school for the 2021 academic year, it is opportune to remind them of good hygiene practices intended to protect themselves and others from the virus.

  • Wash hands often with soap and water, or hand sanitiser.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or inner elbow.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay at home if sick even with mild cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Mindful of physical distancing students are to avoid close contacts such as hugging and        shaking hands even though they may be overcome by the excitement of returning to school and seeing their friends for the first time after the holidays.

 

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS

Students, and particularly younger children, may have been distressed by the COVID lockdown. The Head to Health website offers a central platform for digital mental health resources, including apps, that may assist parents, caregivers and students.  This can be accessed via https://headtohealth.gov.au.  Other resources and supports can be found in the Frayne Cloud on the College website: https://www.ufcc.wa.edu.au/fraynecloud-2/

If your child is particularly anxious about starting school, please contact their Head of School via admin@ufcc.wa.edu.au

 

SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES

During these uncertain times, I wish to again reassure every parent and caregiver that the ongoing enrolment of every child in our school is guaranteed.  I understand that the impact of COVID pandemic can put considerable strain on household budgets. Every year, the College makes provision for families facing financial hardship, perhaps through changed personal or economic circumstances.

I encourage parents seeking financial support arrangements to contact the College to utilise one of the following options, which are immediately available to all families:

  • The Centrelink Health Care Card Discount Scheme provides an automatic fee concession to the holders of eligible means-tested family concession cards. This discount applies to all year levels from Kindergarten to Year 12. Additional financial considerations are also available depending on each family’s circumstance.
  • For parents and caregivers who do not qualify for the Health Care Card discount, but who are experiencing financial difficulties and may need assistance in meeting their school fee obligation, please do not hesitate to contact Teresa Jaksic (teresa.jaksic@ufcc.wa.edu.au or 9470 0924) to discuss what arrangements can be made to provide support to assist with tuition costs.

 

IN CONCLUSION

I appreciate that parents/carers and students will have many questions about the new arrangements and I assure you that I will continue to provide updates about the requirements as soon as these become available.

The College staff will continue to work closely with you to ensure that all children can be welcomed back to school on Monday 8 February in a safe manner.

I look forward to welcoming back all of our students on Monday and trust that this will be a safe and productive year.  As we set out in the Year of St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, I thank you for entrusting your child/ren to our learning and faith-sharing community, centred in Christ.

As a community, let us also take time to think of those who have been affected by the dreadful bushfires on the northern and north-eastern outskirts of the city and those within and beyond our community who are first responders and “front-line workers,” particularly those in our hospitals and health-care facilities.

The Frayne family is a hopeful community who believe in the power of prayer and in the power of love in action.  Let us pray for each other, and all those in need at this time with consistency and trusting faith. Let us ask the Lord to provide us with opportunities to show the sincerity of our prayer by reaching out to others in any way we can.

In the meantime, stay safe.

With regards and prayerful best wishes.

Geoff Mills

Principal