Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

This page will provide the most up-to-date and current information relating to College plans in response to the Coronavirus (known as ‘Covid-19’).

Please visit this site to stay up-to-date with news from the College. This page should be used as a truth source for any matters relating directly to the operations of the College.

The latest information from Government sources relating to schools can be accessed here:

If you have any questions relating to COVID-19 these should be directed to the Principal at PrincipalCOVID@tatachilla.sa.edu.au 

Confidential COVID-19 notification form

If your child tests positive for COVID-19, you are required to notify the College immediately and your child must isolate for 7 days. To notify the College of your child’s positive COVID-19 test please complete the details on the COVID Notification Form. 

Governing principles for Lutheran schools

  1. The health and well-being of members of the school community – including students, families, and staff – is paramount.
     
  2. We will follow directives and guidelines from relevant health authorities. To further protect the health and well-being of our school community members, we are willing to consider additional applicable measures.
     
  3. We will maintain the focus on providing high quality education and care for students, and constantly explore opportunities to maintain and enhance the education and care for students, as the COVID circumstances change.
     
  4. We will ensure that any short term interruption to education has minimal impact to the long term education of students; in particular students doing SACE Stage 2 subjects.
     
  5. Students benefit significantly from the social interactions at school and so we acknowledge that the teaching and learning experience for students is best if the students attend school, but most students can significantly progress with remote learning.
     
  6. We respect that parents/caregivers may not want their child to attend school for a range of reasons at this time of COVID uncertainty.
     
  7. If parents/caregivers wish their child to undertake their schooling from home, we will use our best endeavours to provide remote learning to these students.
     
  8. If parents/caregivers wish their children to attend school and that is permitted by the Government, we will use our best endeavours to provide learning experiences for these students.
     
  9. The delivery of education and other programs for students who attend school may be disrupted because of measures to reduce the health risks, the inability to undertake some normal activities and absences of staff and possibly other students.
     
  10. We will seek input from members of the school community as we seek to provide the best possible education and care to students.

COVID-19 wellbeing resources

Lifeline Australia  |  Crisis support and suicide prevention  |  13 11 14 or chat online or text

Beyond Blue  |  Anxiety, depression and suicide prevention support  |  1300 224 636 or chat online

Kids Helpline  |  Phone counselling service  |  1800 551 800  |  kidshelpline.com.au

Managing the Coronacoaster  |  Fact sheet  |  momentumfirst.com.au

Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

Visit the FAQs page to view common frequently asked questions surrounding COVID-19.

Latest updates from the College

UPDATE: Tuesday 26 July 2022

Dear Parent/Caregiver,

Welcome back to Term 3.

Please find a link here to a letter from Professor Nicola Spurrier regarding masks in schools.

Kind regards,

Noel Mifsud
PRINCIPAL

 

 

UPDATE: Wednesday 30 March 2022

Dear Parent/Caregiver,

It remains a blessing to provide quality, safe education at Tatachilla this year amidst the challenges of COVID-19. Thank you for your ongoing cooperation and understanding as we amend events such as parent-teacher evenings, school camps, and excursions to meet COVID-19 safety requirements. The safety of all College members and continuity of learning remain key priorities during these challenging times.

Testing, isolation, and close contact information

Please note the following COVID-19 requirements/reminders.

  • The quarantine period for household close contacts is now 7 days.
  • Somebody who has had COVID-19 is not considered a close contact for 12 weeks post-isolation period.
  • Schools are now required to report the Year Level in which COVID-19 cases have been recorded and not specific classes as previously noted.
  • Students in classes where a COVID-19 positive case has been noted may attend school if they do not exhibit symptoms.
  • If your child tests positive to COVID-19 please report this immediately via this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Y2ML2SZ
  • Forward any related COVID-19 related questions/messages toprincipalCOVID@tatachilla.sa.edu.au
  • Face masks are required for all adults (including visitors), except impeding the ability to teach. Masks are also required for students in Years 7 to 12 and are strongly recommended for students in Years 3 to 6.

Vaccination

Schools across Australia are reaching out prior to the end of first term to encourage and remind parents to book a COVID-19 vaccination for their child. National statistics indicate over 50 per cent of all children aged 5 to 11 have now received a first dose, with many now due for a second dose (eight weeks after the first). In particular as we approach school holidays and the weather cools down, it is important to take steps to minimise the impact of COVID-19. Vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect your child, and the community.

The Department of Health website provides a number of resources with further information about seeking COVID-19 vaccination. Following is a link to a Fact Sheet which you could use to have a conversation with your child.

__files/f/10222974/How_to_Speak_to_Children_about_Vaccination_-_March_2022.pdf

Further resources are also available at: www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/who-can-get-vaccinated/children

Vaccines are widely available across the country at general practices, state-run clinics and Aboriginal Health Services. You can find a participating clinic and make an appointment by visiting the Vaccine Clinic Finder at: https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/booking

I realise some parents have contrary views to those expressed above.  I, therefore, leave the decision for student vaccination as a parental and not a College decision.  

Conclusion

Thank you for your efforts to keep your child and the wider school community safe.

Yours sincerely

Noel Mifsud
Principal

UPDATE: Friday 25 March 2022


Dear Parent/Caregiver,

I hope your family is safe and well, and I wish all our community members who are currently isolating due to testing positive for COVID-19 a swift recovery.

Please note the following updates and reminders to COVID-19 Testing, Isolating, and Quarantine and reporting requirements; based on guidelines from AISSA and SA Health.

  • Parents must register Positive RAT or PCR results on the SA Health Website and notify Tatachilla Lutheran College using the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Y2ML2SZ. SA Health has indicated that this is a critical part of their data surveillance and enhances their ability to respond effectively.
  • The CDNA National Guidelines for Public Health Units state a person who has had COVID-19 is not considered a close/classroom contact or a positive case for 8 weeks after release from isolation. Close contacts who are recovered cases do not need to quarantine if re-exposure is within 8 weeks of release from initial isolation. If a person re-contracts COVID-19 after this 8 week period, normal quarantine requirements will reapply.
  • Classroom contacts can attend extra-curricular activities, excursions, etc. If they do not have any symptoms and only with venue approval.
  • You must now isolate for 7 full days after you had your positive COVID-19 PCR test taken or tested positive using a rapid antigen test. You can only leave isolation after 7 days if you do not have acute symptoms, including a sore throat, runny nose, cough, or shortness of breath. 
  • Face masks are required for all adults (including visitors), except impeding the ability to teach. Masks are also required for students in years 7 to 12 and are strongly recommended for students in years 3 to 6.
  • If there is a reported positive COVID-19 case at the College, families of that year level will receive an email titled Classroom Contact.

Please forward any related COVID19 related enquiries/messages to principalCOVID@tatachilla.sa.edu.au

Thank you for your ongoing support, encouragement, and prayers. Your child’s quality education, health and happiness are important.

Kind Regards

Noel Mifsud
Principal

 

UPDATE: Thursday 10 March 2022


Dear Parents/Caregivers,


Update to Testing, Isolating and Quarantine Requirements

Please read the attached updated SA Health guidelines on COVID testing, isolating and quarantine and reporting requirements.
 

Changes/Notes:

  • Parents and staff must register Positive RAT or PCR results on the SA Health website, as well as notifying Tatachilla Lutheran College of the result using the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Y2ML2SZ. SA Health has indicated that this is a critical part of their data surveillance and enhances their ability to respond effectively.
     
  • The CDNA National Guidelines for Public Health Units state a person who has had COVID-19 is not considered a close/classroom contact or a positive case for 4 weeks after release from isolation. This has now changed from 4 to 8 weeks. Close contacts who are recovered cases do not need to quarantine if re-exposure is within 8 weeks of release from initial isolation. If a person re-contracts COVID-19 after this 8 week period, normal quarantine requirements will apply again.
     
  • Classroom contacts can also now attend extra-curricular activities, excursions etc if they do not have any symptoms but only with venue approval.
     
  • Please note parents attending outdoor College events such as sports days etc are asked to limit number of attendees, maintain a safe distance from others (other than your own child/ren), wear a face mask and hand sanitise.

I thank you for your ongoing understanding.

Let us keep each other in our prayers and also pray for those beyond the school gates who are suffering war, floods or illness.

Regards,

Noel Mifsud
Principal
 

UPDATE: Thursday 3 March 2022


Dear Parents/Caregivers

It has been a joy to see your children engaged so happily and productively in their learning.  Thank you for your continued cooperation in these challenging times which is enabling continuity of quality learning. I thank my colleagues on staff who are so positively and professionally guiding your children in their learning at the College.

Please find the following quick updates.


College Phone System
We are experiencing a problem with our phone company which has disrupted calls to and from the College. We are working with our provider to rectify this problem and apologise for any inconvenience.


COVID Updates
SA Health have mandated the following COVID conditions in SA schools:

  • COVID-Safe check-in is no longer required at Tatachilla Lutheran College.
  • Camps  No overnight camps permitted until further notice with exception of:
    • Year 11/12 SACE related camps.
    • Camps held entirely outdoors (no dorms or accommodation other than 1- 2 students /tent).
    • travel time not to exceed 2.5 hours.       
    • The College is seeking alternative events to meet the aims of camps.
  • Parent Visits onsite
    • Only for invited events and masks must be worn.
    • No spectators at any indoor cocurricular events.
    • Limited parent access for sports days etc and mask wearing required (unless evidence of exemption is provided).

Please join me in praying for all those affected by COVID, wars across the globe (especially in the Ukraine) and for those affected by floods in Australia. Let us also be thankful for the positives and simple joys in our lives.

Blessings

Noel Mifsud
Principal

 

UPDATE: Wednesday 23 February 2022


Dear Parents/Caregivers

Thank you for the way you continue to support the College in so many ways and especially with the changing landscape of COVID19. Our community COVID19 infection rates are low at present. Your ongoing cooperation will ensure this remains the case.

Since COVID19 first appeared I have enjoyed regular two way communication with parent/caregiver, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all.

Recent feedback from a parent, asked me to remind you not to be complacent with abiding fully with the mandated COVID19 safety precautions.

We have been advised by SA Health, that when a child is identified as a classroom contact and is presenting with symptoms: "they must not attend school, preschool or childcare and are required to be tested for COVID-19."  Please assist the College by ensuring you keep your child home if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID19. Secondly, if the College notifies you that your child is sick or displaying symptoms and needs to be picked up please do so and do so immediately.

In a recent email from a concerned parent they wrote:

We are concerned about parents being complacent and sending in their child with symptoms, and not sure how this is being addressed. A parent whose child is a classroom contact and presenting with symptoms should not misunderstand their responsibility and send in their child with symptoms. 

Please let this message by parents to parents be respected, to ensure the safety of all in our community.


Latest COVID Update

The State Government has announced that some restrictions will be lifted as of Monday 28 February. All sports training/competitions and individual music lessons will resume. Prospective parent tours and information nights targeted at students considering enrolling in the school are permissible in a COVID safe manner. Years 11/12 SACE related camps may resume but all other camps are postponed across the state until the end of Term 1.

Onsite visitors to the College continues to be limited to those attending the school for specific events held outdoors (eg spectators attending outdoor sporting games), as well as

  • volunteers required by the school; (who meet the COVID19 volunteer vaccination requirements)
  • instrumental music teachers
  • allied health professionals
  • contractors who have supplied COVID19 vaccination status statuary declarations.

These visitors must wear a face mask when indoors, practice physical distancing, and not attend the site if they are unwell.

SA Health have advised all parents/caregivers to remain off campus where possible until Term 2.

The following COVID19 settings remain in place:

  • face masks continue to be required, (when indoors) for:
    • all adults, except when it impedes the ability to teach
    • students in Years 7 to 12.
    • face masks are strongly encouraged for students in Years 3 to 6 (when indoors).
  • current testing, isolating and quarantine settings remain unchanged, including definitions for classroom contacts.

SA Health will monitor the transmission of COVID19 in schools and the broader community over the coming weeks and education sectors will continue to work with SA Health during this time.  

I thank all members of the community for your continued cooperation and prayers.

Regards

Noel Mifsud
Principal

 

UPDATE: Friday 11 February 2022


Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Arrangements from Monday 14 February

As previously advised face-to-face learning will resume as planned for all year levels from Monday 14 February.

The following COVID safe measures will continue at the College.

  • All students must stay home if unwell, even mildly.
  • Ventilation to classrooms will be maximised by leaving doors/windows open, continuing use of air conditioning (set to fresh air intake where available) and fans, including with doors and windows open. Air purifiers are also now installed in a number of rooms across the College.
  • Outdoor learning is encouraged where appropriate.
  • Physical distancing where possible.
  • Limiting non-essential visitors on-site, allied health professionals and student support services are an exception. Parents please continue to drop off your child at drop off zones and refrain from entering the College unless essential with mask, QR code, and social distancing.
  • Hand sanitiser is provided in all rooms for regular use.
  • Additional cleaning of high-touch areas will continue.

Face masks are (please read carefully as this updates my previous email to parents):

  • required for adults, except when it impedes the ability to teach.
  • required for students in Years 7 to 12.
  • strongly recommended for students in Years 3 to 6.
  • medical exemptions continue to apply.

Masks have not been mandated, and therefore are not legally enforceable, but are required as policy by SA Health.

The following activities will be postponed now until I am advised by SA Health (we anticipate by the end of week 4, Term 1:

  • camps, excursions, and incursions.
  • choirs.
  • interschool sport trials, practice and competitions.
  • large gatherings such as assemblies, events and concerts.

Further information about the resumption of these activities and other programs will be provided ahead of week 5. 


Vaccination Resources for Parents and Students

SA Health has developed dedicated vaccination resources for children aged 5 to 11 including a letter to parents from Professor Nicola Spurrier. Click on link to view letter:

__files/f/9841475/Professor_Nicola_Spurrier_COVID_Vaccine_Child_Parent_letter.pdf

I thank SA Health, the Association of Independent Schools SA and Lutheran Education for their assistance in providing these directives to you.


Return to school Canteen Protocol

From 14 February all students from Years 4 to 12 will be able to access the Canteen face-to-face, however, our preference is to order online through the QKR app . Years R  to 3 continue to order online through the App.

Please note that covid safe practices will be in place for those students visiting the Canteen: 1.5m distance inside the canteen and in the line (marked with an X on the ground), hand sanitiser at the entry point and requirement of mask-wearing inside.

Due to social distancing, only 6 students will be allowed inside the canteen at any one time. This will impact the time it will take to serve students and so it is strongly recommended that families pre-order their lunches via the QKR app before 8:30am. These lunches will then be delivered to the Year Level areas for collection at the start of lunch.

Place an online lunch order via the QKR app.

I wish your child a warm welcome on Monday and look forward to a productive and happy return to studies.

May God continue to grace you with peace, gentleness and love in the weeks ahead.

Blessings

Noel Mifsud
Principal

 

UPDATE: Friday 28 January 2022


Dear Parent/Caregiver 

It was a source of great happiness this week to welcome back staff and assist them in their preparations for your child’s return to school next week.  

Please find the following return to College arrangements for 2022:
 

Students of Essential Workers Supervision 
Monday 31 January and Tuesday 1 February  

We welcome children of essential workers who have registered attendance via the online survey. The arrangements are as follows: 

  • Dress neat casual - wide brim hat or school hat for SunSmart breaktimes 
  • Hours of operation 8.40am - 3.20pm 
  • Junior Students. Parents, please drop off children in Junior School drop off area where staff will collect children and take them to the classrooms that will be their base for Week 1 and 2 
  • Middle and Senior Students report to the library 
  • We ask all parents not to enter College grounds and to wear masks if alighting from vehicles please. 
  • Please bring recess, lunch and a water bottle  
  • Students will be supervised by College staff  
  • No canteen will be available. Bus services will not be operating 


Years 8-11 New Student Orientation (attendance optional) 
Tuesday 1 February   9am-11am   

  • Dress neat casual 
  • Meet outside of College Gymnasium 
  • Bring your laptop 
  • Parents, please drop off your child but do not enter College grounds due to COVID19 precautions. 


Year 6 New Student Remote Learning Orientation (attendance optional) 
Tuesday 1 February   2:45 - 3:30 pm  

  • Dress neat casual 
  • Meet outside the Junior School Activity Centre 
  • Parents, please drop off your child in the Junior School kiss and drop zone but do not enter College grounds due to COVID19 precautions. 


Students in Years Reception, Years 1, 7 and 12 return face to face 
Wednesday 2 February  

  • Reception Parents or carers may walk children to the door of the classroom- masks are essential for parents. 
  • Year 1 parents please drop students at Junior School kiss and drop zone 
  • Students in years 7 and 12 please bring and wear face masks  
  • Dress in College PE uniform, including school hat for SunSmart breaktimes 
  • Bus services will run as normal.  
  • The canteen service has some slight adjustments: 
  • R-11 students must order their food online though the Qkr! App prior to 8:00am on the day 
  • Year 2-6 online orders will be delivered to Activity Centre. 
  • Year 8-11 online orders will be delivered to the Library.  
  • Reception, Year 1 and Year 7 online orders will go to their classes. 
  • Only Year 12’s can access canteen at recess and lunch time while socially distanced 


Students in Years 2-6 and 8-11 online learning until Friday 11 February 
Wednesday 2 February (anticipated face to face learning commences Monday 14 February) 

  • Our Year 8 students are returning online unlike Government schools who have, as yet not made the full transition of Year 7’s to Secondary School. Consequently, they do not have the online resources to facilitate the safer option of limiting students onsite in the peak of COVID transmission. 
  • Year 8-11 library books will not be collected prior to face-to-face learning commencing. Teaching staff will be uploading information and resources on their SEQTA program for students to access their learning. 

We welcome children of essential workers who have registered attendance via the online survey who will receive supervised online learning at the College.  

  • All children are to wear the College PE uniform. 
  • Children should arrive between 8:20am and 8:30am. Junior School students will assemble outside the Activity Centre. Middle and Senior School students should go to the library. Children cannot be dropped off any earlier than 8:20am. Parents should not come on site but farewell their children off in the kiss and drop zones. OSHC is open for those who are booked in with Camp Australia for before and after school care. 
  • At the end of the day, children will be supervised in the kiss and drop zone between 3: 20 and 3:40pm for collection. All students must be picked up by 3:40. Children registered with Camp Australia will be taken to the OSHC room at 3:20pm. 
  • All Junior School students will access the remote learning program via Seesaw. A College staff member will supervise the children. Any questions students may have about their learning will be addressed through the comments section on Seesaw as per all students learning at home. Students will need to bring their charged iPad, pencil case, take-home pack, recess and lunch, school hat and water bottle. 
  • Students arriving after 8:40am must be brought to the main reception office. Students needing to leave early are to be collected from the main reception office and contact needs to be made with the main reception about these arrangements. 


Students Absentees (face to face or online) 


Parent Resources 
Learning from Home Guides 

Click on the link to access Years 2 – 6 Learning from Home Guide >

Click on the link to access Years 8 – 11 Learning from Home Guide >

A newsletter will be sent to you next week introducing new College staff, celebrating photos of the newly furbished playgrounds and Year 5 and 6 classrooms, and sharing key teaching and learning arrangements for 2022.  

Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher for clarification on any of the above or contact PrincipalCOVID@tatachilla.sa.edu.au for any COVID19 related questions. 

It will be a blessing to welcome all families back to the College and especially to hear the sounds of children once again in our playgrounds and in physical and online classrooms. 

I offer God’s joy and grace for the 2022 academic year at Tatachilla Lutheran College. 

Yours Sincerely 

Noel Mifsud 
Principal 

 

UPDATE: Tuesday 25 January 2022


Dear Parent/Carer

Re: Reporting Student Positive COVID-19 Cases, Student COVID Testing, Isolating.

SA Health and the Department for Education has provided guidance on how to manage cases of COVID-19 in schools. There are new mandated “classroom contact” arrangements in education from 31 January 2022, please note these are different to close contacts that occur outside of schools.  The new arrangements recognise the importance of providing quality education and care for our students while minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Schools will remain open if there is a case of COVID-19 under the new arrangements.

You may be also aware that there is proposed national industrial action by education unions to ensure staff protection in the current COVID-19 climate. Tatachilla staff will not be striking and we are working collaboratively with staff to ensure their safety and wellbeing and that of our community. I remain deeply proud of our staff and their commitment to providing a continuity of high-quality education and care for your child.
 

If your child tests positive for COVID-19:

If your child tests positive for COVID-19, you are required to notify the College immediately and your child must isolate for 10 days. To notify the College of your child’s positive COVID-19 test please complete the details on the COVID Notification Form. This this link is also found on the Tatachilla website under the COVID page
 

If another student in your child’s class tests positive for COVID-19:

If a student shared a classroom or interacted with someone (Teacher, SSO, ancillary staff or another student) who has tested positive for COVID-19, they will be deemed a classroom contact and the following will occur:

  • All parents of the cohort will be notified of the positive case via email. Please note that we will not communicate the name of the student to protect their privacy.
  • All students without symptoms can continue attending school. No rapid antigen testing will be required.
  • If your child develops any symptoms (even mild) please keep them home from school and have them tested as soon as possible.  

Any student who has worked 1:1 with a COVID-19 positive staff member (for more than 15mins, indoors, in close proximity and where face masks are not able to be worn) will be asked to complete 7 days of rapid antigen testing (‘test to stay’) each morning before attending school. Students that test positive must not attend school.

Alternatively, if you don’t want your child to complete the 7-day testing, they can quarantine for 7 days. The Department of Education is developing online learning resources for students in Years Reception to 10 which can be completed during quarantine, in addition to some Tatachilla Lutheran College resources.

The Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) has recommended that classroom contacts should avoid the following for 7 days following notification by the College:

  • Attendance at OSHC where possible
  • Attending extra-curricular-based activities (such as camps, excursions, interschool sport, combined choir etc). Please note most of these activities have been suspended within the College until the end of week 4.

The CPHO advises classroom contacts should do the following to minimise risk to others, when outside of the school between days 1 to 14 of exposure:

  • avoid high risk settings or COVID Management Plan events
  • wear a surgical mask around others (where age appropriate) and outside your home
  • avoid contact with vulnerable people outside of your workplace or family, where possible
  • avoid non-essential activities where possible (e.g. where there are lots of people, inside, in close contact)
  • avoid shared spaces and maintain physical distance.

 

Our staff will also undergo 7 days of rapid antigen testing (‘test to stay’) if they are in a classroom with a student or colleague who tests positive.

It’s vitally important that you please:

  • keep your child/ren home if they are:
    • unwell
    • experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms
    • any other member of the household has COVID-19
    • they are a close contact for a person who has COVID-19 and are required to quarantine
  • notify us asap if your child/ren tests positive for COVID-19 via the COVID Notification Form
  • let your child (if in Years 7 to 12) know that they will be required to wear a face mask while indoors at school. Masks are strongly recommended for children in Years 3 to 6 when indoors. We will have limited supplies (including child sizes) for students to wear if they forget or lose their masks, however, our supplies are limited.

These new requirements will be in place until the end of Week 4 of Term 1. However, with the rapidly changing nature of the pandemic, this may be reviewed or changed if and when needed. As always, we must remain flexible and responsive.

I understand you may have a lot of questions about this information. This information is also subject to change. We’ll continue to provide you information as soon as we have it.

Thank you for your understanding and support in implementing these temporary measures as we continue to adjust to this rapidly changing pandemic.

If you have any further COVID related questions please refer to the most up to date information on COVID page on the College’s website or email principalCOVID@tatachilla.sa.edu.au.

Regards,

Noel Mifsud
PRINCIPAL

 

UPDATE: Friday 21 January 2022


Dear Parent / Caregiver,

Since I last wrote to you the College has further progressed in our planning for the return of students in light of mandated COVID-19 conditions. Whilst the start of the year has changed radically; providing an exciting, faith-inspired, productive, and safe educational experience for your child, remains our priority. We look forward to welcoming you and your children in the safest possible way.  

Moments ago the Premier of South Australia released new COVID-19 contact tracing and close contact arrangements in education effective 31 January 2022.  I will share specific details with you next week in greater detail.

The new arrangements have been put in place in recognition of the importance of providing quality education and care for children and students while minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Under the new arrangements, schools, preschools and ECEC centres will not be required to temporarily close if there is a case of COVID-19. Mask use will be a critical factor in the ability of schools to stay open.

These new arrangements will be in place until at least Week 4 of Term 1. However, with the rapidly changing nature of the pandemic, the proposed arrangements may be reviewed or changed if necessary.

Where there is a significant outbreak of COVID-19 at a site, SA Health will work directly with the school, preschool or ECEC setting and may put in place additional controls or restrictions to minimise the transmission of the virus.


Back to School Arrangements

The following COVID arrangements will apply until Monday 28 February

  • Entry to the College will be confined to essential workers only. Parents of Reception students may drop off their child to the classroom door on Wednesday 2 February. Your child will be collected by staff from  the Junior Years carpark thereafter.
     
  • School sports, other than Physical Education classes, and other extra-curricular activities, camps, incursions, excursions, and other gatherings (e.g. Ensembles, Choirs etc) will be postponed.
     
  • Assemblies, Chapel Services and Parent Information Evenings, will be conducted online.


Stationery

Any Year 7 students who have not collected stationery and textbooks as yet, may collect their materials when they return to face-to-face learning on campus. Years 8 - 9 parents are asked to collect materials in person at the gymnasium Tuesday 25 January 8am – 4pm.
 

Clarification of Bus Services for 2022

31 Jan and 1 Feb - NO bus services

2 Feb – 11 Feb - Bus services will be in operation as per the 2021 timetables – 2021 transport Information Booklet

* Students who are booked-in (including new students) and would normally use the bus service can do so during this time, no need to re-book. For safety purposes please ensure you use the Busminder app on entry and exit of the bus.

14 Feb onwards - Bus services will resume normal operations as per the 2022 bus services timetable.

* Additional information will be made available to families on the new 2022 timetable by email next week. 
 

Key Dates

Wednesday 2 February – Students commence studies

  • Face-to-face learning: Reception, Year 1, Year 7 and Year 12 students (any Year 11s who are studying a SACE Stage 2 subject, please contact Mr Chris McElligott, Head of Middle and Senior Years).
  • Remote learning: Years 2 to 6 students and Years 8 to 11 students.


Children of essential workers (and vulnerable children) attending between February 2 and 14 will be supervised in their online learning by college staff (31 January and 1 February will be supervision only, without online learning). Please advise the College of your child’s in-school attendance (extended survey closing time to 2pm today)  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WZXDGGM

The anticipated date of return of face-to-face learning for all year levels is Monday 14 February  (to be confirmed).
 

COVID-19 Risk Management

Ensuring the safety of our community is a priority. Recommendations from our comprehensive air flow audit of the College are in the process of implementation. New air conditioners have been installed and air filters arriving soon. We are also training staff in classroom ventilation considerations to minimise risk of contagion.


Resources

COVID19 information page on College website via:  https://www.tatachilla.sa.edu.au/news/coronavirus-covid-19-news

PrinicipalCOVID@tatachilla.sa.edu.au service provides an opportunity for families to ask any questions related to COVID19.

A simple flowchart of Tatachilla’ s COVID safe measures  are available at https://sites.webtemplate.com.au__files/d/9668233/COVID-19_Safe_Start_Flyer_for_Families.pdf


Welcome

Once again, I look forward to your child’s safe return to the campus in 2022. Following is a link to the new canteen menu for 2022  __files/f/9644165/Rorys_2022_Canteen_Menu.pdf

I extend God’s blessing and grace to you and your family.

Kind Regards,

Noel Mifsud
Principal

 

UPDATE: Monday 17 January 2022


Dear Parents/Caregivers

We look forward to seeing your child at the start of 2022.


SA Government Recommendations

The Premier, the Hon Steven Marshall, and the Chief Public Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier, have announced a range of changes to the start of the 2022 school year in order to help minimise the peak of COVID-19 cases in South Australia and undue strain on the SA Health system.

Consequently, in line with arrangements being adopted by SA Independent Schools, there will be a staggered return to Tatachilla Lutheran College over the first two weeks of term.

Face-to-face learning has been prioritised for our youngest learners, students in key transition years and SACE Stage 2 students. Remote learning will be provided for all other year levels.

The following 2022 arrangements will apply for Tatachilla Lutheran College:


Dates for the start of Term 1:

Monday 31 January and Tuesday 1 February– staff preparation day for remote learning.

Children of essential workers attending on either of these days will be supervised by College staff. No formal learning programme will be offered on these two days.

Wednesday 2 February – College returns

  • Face-to-face learning: Reception, Year 1, Year 7 and Year 12 students (any Year 11’s who are studying a SACE Stage 2 subject please contact Mr Chris McElligott, Head of Middle and Senior Years).
  • Remote learning: Years 2 to 6 students and Years 8 to 11 students.

Children of essential workers (and vulnerable children) attending between February 2 and 14 will be supervised in their online learning by College staff (31 January and 1 February will be supervision only without online learning). Please advise the College of your child’s in school attendance via the following survey link to assist with planning, bus services and staffing. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WZXDGGM

Monday 14 February – The anticipated return of face-to-face learning for all year levels to be confirmed.


New Students to Tatachilla

Students new to the College in Years 8 -11 are invited to attend school on Tuesday, February 1 from 9 -11am to meet key staff and familiarise themselves with the College’s remote learning approach. Students are asked to report to the College gym with their laptop (in casual clothes). This is not a compulsory event. Parents of children attending are asked to drop off their child at the gym entrance and not access school grounds as a COVID safety precaution.


Your child’s wellbeing is paramount

The health and wellbeing of members of the school community; including students, families, and staff, is paramount. We also respect that parents/caregivers may not want their child to attend school for a range of reasons at this time of COVID uncertainty.

If you choose to keep your child at home, or if they are required to isolate, learning resources will be available via https://www.education.sa.gov.au/our-learning-sa and further supported by the College’s online learning platforms, SEQTA (7-12) and Seesaw (R-6).  

Out of school hours care will continue as normal.


Minimising the spread of COVID-19

Based on SA Health advice, the following measures will be put in place to minimise the spread of COVID-19:

  • Please keep your child home if they are unwell, even mildly
  • Masks are required for all adults when indoors (except if it is hindering our staff’s ability to communicate effectively while teaching)
  • Masks are strongly recommended for students in Years 3 to 12 when indoors
  • Natural ventilation will be maximised by leaving doors/windows open, continued use or air conditioning (set to fresh air intake where available and fans where possible).
  • Outdoor learning will be in place where appropriate
  • Physical distancing requirements will be maintained where possible
  • Student intermingling will be minimised indoors, for example across class groups
  • Non-essential visitors will be limited on site. We will work with parents of students who are starting preschool or school to make sure you are able to come on site to be part of your child’s transition (in a COVID safe way).
  • There will be a temporary postponement of the following activities (until at least week 4 of term):
    • camps, excursions, and incursions
    • interschool sport trials and competitions
    • large gatherings such as chapels, assemblies and choirs.

We are currently auditing college practices regarding ventilation. Additional safety measures will be augmented by air purifiers, open doors and windows and outdoor learning spaces.


Further Advice

We appreciate that you may have some questions about these changes. For further information or concerns, please contact principalCOVID@tatachilla.sa.edu.au

It is recognised that the return to school could lead to anxiety for members of the school community, including students. We also recognise this may be a challenging time for many families and staff. We suggest the following external resources to support families deal with immediate stress or anxiety during this time:


We look forward to seeing your child in 2022. We remain blessed and deeply committed to providing quality education and care for your child/ren.

UPDATE: Thursday 5 August 2021


Dear Parents/Caregivers

I write to provide an update on COVID-19 and its ramifications to College activities.


Important Date Change

In respect to onsite learning time lost during the recent state lockdown, the planned two day (September 2-3 2021) student free day will be reduced to only one day Friday, September 3 (Staff Retreat Day). Thursday, September 2 will be a normal school day.  Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s home class teacher if this arrangement is problematic and we will assist.


Safety

Please be assured all College decisions regarding College activities and access are based on maximising educational benefit to students without compromising community safety. We continue to prioritise normal class schedules and activities usually timetabled as part of the curriculum. Our decisions also respect the State Government’s intent to minimise the risk of further COVID-19 outbreaks by limiting higher COVID-19 risk activities.

It is reassuring to note the resumption of assemblies, events, co-curricular (after school sports, dance etc) and extra-curricular activities (e.g.instrumental lessons).  We are also working with external providers to ascertain alternative dates to make up for cancelled camps and activities.

College COVID-19 risk mitigation strategies continue to be mandatory including physical distancing and hygiene measures, QR code entry for staff and visitors, minimising entry of all non-essential adults on campus, keeping children away from school if sick and the wearing of masks as outlined in my previous communication. Please see the SA Health website for full advice. https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au

Some requirements such as mask-wearing may be temporary decisions. Currently mask use (for all over 12 years of age) is one way of reducing the spread of COVID-19. It is being put in place to keep your child safe. In encouraging your child to wear masks we are playing our part as we come out of lockdown. We’re being asked to do this so that we can come out of lockdown successfully and not have to go back into lockdown again. Our aim is for the College to remain open and students on site.


School Sport

Indoor sports

Entry to the College gym for all non-school adults is subject to strict  COVID Safe check-in (players/coaches/ team managers/scorers)
Masks must be worn upon entry but can be taken off when competing or officiating or coaching. If scoring or timekeeping, a mask must be worn.
No spectators (at this stage) will be allowed at these indoor sports; parents/carers please drop off and collect after games have finished.
Teams to arrive as close to their game time as possible to allow a reasonable warmup but without congregation with other teams.
Communal food or drinks are not allowed.

Outdoor sports

There is no need for coaches, officials and players to wear a mask when involved in their sport
Physical distancing requirements are to be met by spectators– approximately 1.5-metre distance from other spectators (1 person per 2 square metres)
A face mask must be worn by spectators
For all external sports, there is no need to COVID safe check-in at those venues.
Communal food or drinks are not allowed.  Food and drinks must be consumed while seated.


Message of thanks

I continue to be humbled by the full support of our entire College community as we navigate the pandemic and its implications on student learning and wellbeing.

Our College staff are to be congratulated on the seamless transition to our second state COVID-19 lockdown. The quality of online teaching and learning was a joy to witness as was the on-campus education of children of essential workers.

I participated in both online and onsite learning during lockdown. I witnessed staff engaging professionally and competently in online teaching delivery. I watched with deep pride as teachers wore funny hats, provided creative online tasks and introduced their pets on screen to add joy and laughter to learning. I was humbled by the work of staff, onsite who went out of their way to assist student learning and also made the lockdown fun by making scones and snacks to add cheer to the day.

I am reminded of the sacred words in Scripture, John 10:10 I came that you may have life and live it to the fullest (abundantly). Our staff continue to ensure that their education at Tatachilla Lutheran College is a full and rich experience- rigorous in content, faith inspired and blessed by God.


Wellbeing

The SA Government has provided a lengthy list of resources and helplines for parents/families to access for wellbeing and counselling support during COVID19. The list is up to date and comprehensive and can be found at the following link:

https://aifs.gov.au/media-releases/coronavirus-response-resources-families

Our Pastor, College Counsellors and Youth Worker continue to be available as are all staff to serve the wellbeing of your child.

Tatachilla Lutheran College is truly blessed to be in partnership with you and your family during and beyond this pandemic. Please be assured of my ongoing prayer and support.

UPDATE: Tuesday 27 July 2021


Dear Members of the College Community

The Premier has announced that the South Australian Lockdown ends midnight tonight 27 July 2021.

We are once again blessed to welcome back the sounds of children in our classrooms and play areas on Wednesday 28 July 2021.

Words are inadequate to convey the pride I have in the Tatachilla Lutheran College Community’s care of each other and seamless transition to uninterrupted learning during the second State lockdown.

I pay special tribute to all staff, students and families who ensured quality online learning at home or at school for children of essential workers.

Please find the following practical advice (subject to change) in regards to student return tomorrow:


COVID19 return preparations

The following arrangements will apply for the remainder of this week.

  • All Parents asked to kiss and drop and not enter College grounds.
  • QR code entry is mandated for all adults entering beyond the College boundaries.
  • Students are asked to wear the correct uniform for their usual timetabled activities.
  • Extra cleaning around the College is continuing and additional cleaning supplies are provided in classes.
  • No whole school assemblies/devotions/activities will take place this week.
  • The College Canteen and Bus Service will be operating tomorrow.
  • The Uniform Shop will be open Thursday (please check the College website for details of Uniform Shop opening times)
  • All off site College camps and excursions this week (including Year 11 Camp) have been cancelled and/or postponed.
  • Sports training can resume this week but weekend sports commences next weekend.
  • Music rehearsals and lessons. All music rehearsals and instrumental lessons will remain cancelled for this week and will be reviewed with a view to commencing next week if possible.
  • Externally provided Dance and EFM Fitness classes provided by external providers on College grounds require social distancing of 1 person per 8sqm. Please contact providers directly for information on program availability.
     

I will advise all parents later in the week on the status of activities for the following week ( 2-6 August 2021).


Face masks

Masks for students only in Years 8-12 is mandated in all schools including Tatachilla Lutheran College as of tomorrow:

Face masks must be worn by students in Year 8 and above (Year 7 is optional). Students (Years 8-12) should carry a mask at all times and wear it indoors – and where congregating (ie canteen); and

  • wear masks on school buses and public transport

Adults are asked to wear masks while indoors, except when teaching; and

  • in meeting rooms when present with other adults, but not whilst eating and drinking
  • All adult visitors to all College areas must wear masks.
     

The following exemptions from face mask use apply:

  • Junior School students
  • Staff when teaching or engaging with students
  • During PE lessons
  • All staff and students when outside
  • Students or staff who have a medical condition, such as problems with their breathing, a serious skin condition on the face, a disability, or a mental health condition.

If students require to collect a mask at school tomorrow, they can see their relevant Year Level Coordinator in the following venues;

  • Year 7: Year 7 Courtyard (optional)
  • Year 8: Year 8 Courtyard
  • Year 9: Year 9 Courtyard
  • Year 10: upstairs Year 10 Corridor. Mrs Phair 
  • Year 11: upstairs Year 11 Corridor. Mrs Naylor
  • Year 12: in Senior Centre 


Support for the community

I am pleased to be able to offer the following College support for your child on their return:

  • Counselling from College counsellors is available for all students.
  • Staff and family counselling is available from ACCESS 1300667700.
  • Parents who require any assistance please contact:
    • Your child’s teacher via email for learning support
    • Heads and Assistant Heads of School for any serious child protection/mental health or other serious matters.
    • College Finance Department for school fee or financial concerns.

Prayer support is offered to all members of our community. We continue to offer prayer to all members of our community. Let us pray especially for our sisters and brothers beyond our College community who may be especially lonely during COVID-19 or who are marginalised, voiceless or resident in countries unable to fully support its citizens.

Please note Church services in SA will go ahead this Sunday but strictly masked and 1 person/4 sqm and no communal singing is permitted.


Teaching and Learning Support

  • Students in quarantine (if you have visited hotspots and are on 14 days isolation) can access learning via SEQTA online.
  • Please email your teachers if you require additional support.


Senior School

  • Learning Leaders and SACE Coordinators will monitor individual student/staff learning/teaching and advise on modifications/extensions etc
  • The SA Certificate of Education (SACE) have advised no additional provisions or extensions to exams/assignments at his stage.
  • VET/TAFE courses conducted on site by College staff will continue as normal from tomorrow.
    • Cert III Fitness will be conducted online with students at school.


Middle School

  • Lunchtime support classes will be available to assist students with additional academic support if required
  • Students have an opportunity to resubmit formative and summative  tasks undertaken during lockdown.


Junior School

  • Opportunities will be provided to students to re-establish social connections and classroom community.
  • Classes will celebrate Remote Learning achievements this week.
  • Time will be provided by teachers for students to re-establish learning routines.
  • Parents are asked to return 'Take-home' packs and the loan iPads and chargers (Reception students)

We are currently obtaining feedback regarding successes and areas for improvement in Remote Learning from staff, students, Board and parents. Let us pray we do not require another lockdown, but if this is the case we will use valuable lessons from SA Lockdown #2 to assist planning into the future.

Please do not hesitate to contact the College for any questions regarding the return to College after COVID-19 lockdown. I am available at PrincipalCOVID@tatachilla.sa.edu.au

I offer the blessings of a graced College community for your child’s return to us tomorrow.

UPDATE: Monday 26 July 2021


Return from COVID19 Lockdown

Premier Stephen Marshall is suggesting that we may be ending lockdown on Tuesday 27.7.21 night. I will confirm this as soon as a decision by SA Health has been made. If this is the case we need to prepare to see our students return to face to face teaching on Wednesday 28 July in Winter uniform.

Due to the continuing threat of contamination and the seriousness of COVID19 spread in the Eastern States, the SA Government will gradually ease restrictions.

When/if students return Wednesday 28.7.21 Tatachilla Lutheran College will abide by the following strict guidelines:

  • Parent/community access onsite will be restricted to essential/emergency visits only. Masks will be required for any parent visitors but not students/staff.
    • Junior School Parents will be asked to ‘kiss and drop/collect’ and all R-12 parents/caregivers are asked not enter school grounds.
       
  • All camps, swimming, sporting activities (other than in school time PE/Dance lessons) and excursions will be cancelled for this week- and subject to SA Health advice the week after. The Year 11 camp is definitely cancelled and Parents will be advised as to the status of the Year 10 camp as soon as possible.
     
  • Students currently subject to 14 day isolation,  is a close or casual contact of a confirmed COVID-19, currently undertaking COVID-19 test/s and awaiting results or have tested positive for COVID-19 are asked to stay in self-isolation until cleared by SA Health. Parents of students isolating are asked to please advise the Principal via PrincipalCOVID@tatachilla.sa.edu.au  of your child’s absence. Your child will be provided work online via SEQTA.
     
  • In the case of a power outage students are advised to continue with work. A small number of McLaren Vale residents may be affected by possible outage to some households.


Vote of Thanks

Thank you to our community for your kind messages of support to our staff on social media for the way they have seamlessly educated your children online during lockdown. It was so heartening to join some of the online lessons and see staff teach and reassure your children that life goes on. I was humbled to see staff with their pets on line, staff teaching with funny hats and using other humorous prompts to make online learning fun.

I was also proud of the skeleton staff onsite providing school ‘as normal’ for our children of essential workers. We trust our education and care of your children, resonates our deep commitment we have in educating your child , couples with the admiration we have for our front line workers who are ensuring South Australians remain safe during the Pandemic.


Reflection

I came across the following anecdote on social media recently which reminded me of our role as teachers and parents/caregivers in supporting children’s ongoing well rounded education.

'somehow I've lucked out and have a 8 year old who thinks secretly reading under the covers past her bedtime is an act of rebellion, and it hasn't yet occurred to her that her flashlights never seem to run out of batteries'.

As a father of two school aged children myself I know the importance of balancing screen time with play time and reading time. Online learning has called for a greater reliance on devices to enable quality learning. As we move back to our preferred face to face mode of learning may we encourage our children to make the most of outdoor exercise, meals in conversation with friends and family around a table and quality time with social interaction and yes a good book!

I remain humbled to serve a community of generous and talented staff, students and families who are strengthened in adversity through tenacity, hard work and the love of God.

UPDATE: Wednesday 21 July 2021


I remain humbled by the manner in which parents, students and staff have responded to Premier Marshall’s sudden news of a COVID-19 state lockdown.

I also voice my deep appreciation of College leadership and members of staff and the College Board for their indomitable professionalism and support.

Staff will continue to reassure your children that we live in the safest place on earth, are well supplied with groceries and have some of the brightest minds on earth to work through this pandemic.

As always the most helpful source of information regarding COVID-19 is available via SA Health https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au.

All community members are asked to fully abide by SA Health and College COVID-19 precautions and guidelines.

Please take note of the following:

  • Children of essential workers/vulnerable children (only) attending school over the lockdown period are reminded to wear their PE uniform and bring a hat, device, water bottle, lunch and afternoon tea.
     
  • Counselling and support for children is available via Kids Helpline 1800551800 or the College Counselling team counselling@tatachilla.sa.edu.au.
     
  • All students and families (except essential workers) are to remain home until advised otherwise. Please do not visit the College to pick up forgotten items or visit the College. The Premier of SA has instigated a total lockdown as law.
     
  • Any families who do not have internet access at home to please email narelle.mistiades@tatachilla.sa.edu.au.
     
  • Absentees during lockdown (if absent from remote learning) to please follow normal absentee procedure by calling absentee line +61 8 8329 4444 or email absentees@tatachilla.sa.edu.au.
     
  • Please refer to individual emails from teachers/sub school leaders for specific remote learning expectations.

I offer all families my blessings and support. We miss the sound of children in our playground and students in class. We look forward and pray for your presence once again at Tatachilla Lutheran College.

UPDATE: Tuesday 20 July 2021


Further to my email this morning the South Australian Premier, the Hon Steven Marshall, has announced that the State will enter into a 7-day lockdown commencing at 6pm tonight.

All lessons and teaching will continue through today to the end of School. Tomorrow the State Government has called a pupil-free day. There will be no learning taking place tomorrow allowing staff time to finalise online learning. All camps/activities have been cancelled for the duration of lockdown. Year 11 Camp in Week 3 is definitely cancelled. Photo Day scheduled for Thursday 29 July has been cancelled. We will move to R-12 online learning from Thursday 22 July. All students are to attend online learning in PE uniform (or school uniform if PE is not available).

Children of Essential Workers only will be eligible to attend school for supervised activities/study tomorrow and learning for the remaining period of lockdown. It is essential for staffing to pre-book your child’s attendance via the following link  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F9KNFKF  The survey needs to be completed by 6:00pm today to assist the College with planning (one survey per family). 

In an online Principal’s student briefing today I asked all Middle School and Senior Schools students to take home all materials needed for learning for the next 7 days. You will not have access to the College after 6pm tonight. If your child was away sick today you have until 6pm to collect their equipment from school.

We have prepared resources for you and your child. Please click on the links at the top of this page to access the Remote Education Resources.

UPDATE: Tuesday 20 July 2021


Please read the following paragraphs (courtesy of The Association of Independent Schools SA AISSA) carefully and ensure full COVID19 compliance. News changes daily and I will keep you updated as soon as details are confirmed by SA Health and AISSA.

Please visit and read carefully the latest SA exposure site on the SA Health website www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/  and abide by all quarantine restrictions. If in doubt about isolating err on the side of caution and we will support you as a family with your child’s learning at home.

As you are aware the Premier, the Hon Steven Marshall, has announced that new Level 4 restrictions came into effect from midnight last night. Please find below interim SA Health advice to assist you while the directions are being finalised. 
 

COVID-Safe check in

It’s vital that all staff, contractors, and visitors, including parents, COVID-Safe check-in whenever entering the College. 
 

People entering the College

Access to the College will be limited to staff, students, and essential services. Essential services include professionals who support the learning and wellbeing of students and staff, such as allied health professionals. Construction, facilities and maintenance workers will be allowed on site. 

Parents are encouraged not to enter classrooms or school buildings. Junior School parents please use the kiss and drop zone on California Rd. You must always observe social distancing rules when doing so. Extra staff will be on duty before and after school to supervise children using this option.

All R-12 parents/families please limit College entry for urgent and essential business only- once again please observe social distancing rules very carefully.
 

Singing and dancing

Singing and dancing lessons will continue for music classes as advised by SA Health.
 

School sport

All extra-curricular and interschool sport competitions, training and trials are postponed until further notice. Physical education classes will continue as part of the curriculum.
 

School events

All school events involving parents/carers/guests (such as concerts and musicals) planned for Week 1 are postponed.
 

Intrastate travel – camps and excursions

To minimise travel, all school excursions and camps planned for Week 1 of this term are postponed. Further postponements beyond this date may occur.
 

Interstate travel

All interstate camps/travel for work is not recommended at present, noting there are many border restrictions in place across all states and territories making travel high risk.
 

Masks

Masks are not currently mandated in schools, however, the direction, once written, may recommend (though not mandate) them in school settings. Clarification will be provided as soon as possible.

It remains essential that staff, students, and others do not come on the school site if they are unwell and that they get tested for COVID-19 if they have any of the following symptoms, even if mild:

  • fever or chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • shortness of breath
  • loss of taste or smell
  • diarrhoea and vomiting.
     

AISSA is working closely with all schools and will provide further advice and clarification as soon as it is available.
 

Uniform Shop
The uniform shop is closed due to COVID19 resitrictions until further notice.

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