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:
- Information for Schools and Early Childhood Centres
- Australian Government COVID-19 Health alerts
- SA COVID-19 Clinics
If you have any questions relating to Covid-19 these should be directed to the Principal at PrincipalCOVID@tatachilla.sa.edu.au
Remote Education Resources
UPDATE: Thursday 5 August 2021
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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).
Masks for students only in Years 8-12 is mandated in all schools including Tatachilla Lutheran College as of tomorrow:
- Students/Staff to bring own face masks (but masks will also be provided by school).
- Please ensure any masks with logos are school appropriate logos.
- Masks will be distributed by Year Level Coordinators tomorrow (using gloves) for children in Years 8-12 who do not have them.
- Students in Year 7 are encouraged to bring masks but not required by government directives. One mask per Year 7 student/week who would like masks will be provided.
- Masks are to have students names written on them.
- Non-disposable masks are preferred. Please note the government link on how masks must be made for COVID19 protection. https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/how-to-make-cloth-mask
- Masks will need to be worn on buses for students arriving at school tomorrow and from then onwards
- Parents please speak to your child to prepare them for staff wearing masks on entry to school - your reassurance will assist students.
- For further information on how to wear masks correctly please visit https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/conditions/infectious+diseases/covid-19/about+covid-19/protecting+yourself+and+others+from+covid-19/face+masks
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Mr Noel Mifsud
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.
- 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.
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 email@example.com.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Absentees during lockdown (if absent from remote learning) to please follow normal absentee procedure by calling absentee line +61 8 8329 4444 or email email@example.com.
- 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.
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.
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.
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 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
- 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.
The uniform shop is closed due to COVID19 resitrictions until further notice.
UPDATE: Thursday 1 July 2021
Last Year on November 23, 2020 I wrote to parents thanking you for your positivity, support and understanding over the rapidly changing COVID-19 restrictions.
I reminded the College community that we live in the safest place on earth, enjoy abundant grocery supplies in supermarkets and are led by world authorities in Health, Policing, Education and Government. Both South Australia and Tatachilla Lutheran College are well prepared for any COVID-19 related contingency, however we should not be complacent.
I ask families who have travelled from hotspots interstate to observe all state entry requirements including full compliance with testing and isolation requirements. You are asked not to enter the College if unwell or waiting for COVID-19 test results. Social distancing for parent interactions at Assemblies and events is set at I person per 2 sq m.
Yesterday Premier Stephen Marshall declared SA would not be entering into a lockdown. We are requested to wear masks in public and restrict home gatherings to 10 people.
I encourage you to continue to reassure you child(ren) in this time of uncertainty. Find time to share a meal around the table, free from devices, where you can listen to the concerns, views and thoughts of your child in these challenging times. I pray you will find some time this holiday to go outdoors and gather as a family to laugh and enjoy quality family time.
QR Code Use
Parents are reminded that QR Code check in remains a critical part of SA’s prevention and detection strategy. All parents/visitors are asked to abide by our expectations.
Hard copy sign in is also readily available.
Wearing masks is not required in the school or office setting. Students and staff members may choose to wear a mask. The Chief Public Health Officer is encouraging people to wear masks in public.
Singing as part of an educational program, including Assemblies and Chapel services, will continue. Indoor seated performances such as school Assemblies can go ahead and parents (if in attendance) may choose to wear a mask.
Staff and students should not attend school if they are unwell and should get a COVID-19 test if they have relevant symptoms. Hand hygiene remains an essential part of the health strategy.
Students are asked to take home laptops and books required for ongoing study in case of a snap lockdown.
I offer every blessing to our College community for a well-earned break. I look forward to seeing all students return on Tuesday 20 July.
UPDATE: Monday 23 November 2020
Thank you for your positivity, support and understanding over the past week. It is a joy to see your children return to the College this morning.
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. Please join staff in discussing the events of the last few days with your child, to support their wellbeing.
Due to the risk of COVID contamination- parents, volunteers, and non-urgent service providers are asked to refrain from entering the College until further notice.
If you need to pick up children outside of normal school hours:
- Junior School – Report to Junior School office but do not go to classrooms to pick up children- a staff member will do this for you. Masks would be appreciated
- Middle/Senior School- Parents report directly to Middle School office (do not move around school yard), complete a COVID form, pick up your child and return immediately to vehicles. Masks would be appreciated.
Important Safety Message
Some parents today were not complying with our request that all adults (except College staff) do not enter school grounds (unless as per above). This behaviour places the safety of our community at risk and will not be accepted. I do not make requests such as these lightly and they are based on the advice of both SA Government and Educational advisors. Please comply fully with all staff directions.
Assemblies, ceremonies and special events
Assemblies and ceremonies will continue, provided they comply with state directions and physical distancing, sadly however the directive to all schools is that all events in 2020 will be staff/student only. I appreciate how disappointing this is for all in the community. The College will live stream events where possible and will advise you if state directives change.
We are planning an alternative date for Valedictory in 2020 – Tentatively, Thursday December 3 has been set aside, but this is subject to change. More information will be provided asap. The event will be staff/students only with live streaming. Staff will supervise students after the event with activities to provide time for parents watching live stream with additional time to pick up their children.
- Reception visits cancelled.
- Junior School musical red carpet cancelled.
- Final Junior School Assembly on Tuesday (live streamed).
- Friday Lesson 1 Junior School Nativity Chapel (live streamed).
- Junior School transition visits for students to 2021 classrooms will take place with class lists issued by email later in the day. Parents are asked to drop children at designated drop off point and not enter school grounds.
- Final Junior School Chapel with Christmas presentation by Year 1 students will take place – staff and students only – (live streamed).
- Wednesday Year 9 Graduation Ritual has been moved to Tuesday week 8.
- Wednesday Lesson 1 7-11 Chapel cancelled.
- All after school Junior School family picnics cancelled.
- Year 6 graduation will take place – staff and students only (live streamed).
- Year 6 dinner- to be advised.
- Junior School Fun Day to take place as planned.
- Year 6 Big Day Out is cancelled, but they will join in the fun with the rest of the Junior School.
- Tuesday Lesson 1 7-9 Ceremony for Year 9s graduation to senior school (live streamed).
- Tuesday Lesson 6/7 Year 6 graduation (live streamed).
- Week 8 Friday R-11 Final Assembly and Christmas Chapel combined (live streamed).
- Years 7, 8 and 9 Final Fun Days will go ahead with adjustments.
- Year 10 and 11 Activity Day will go ahead with adjustments.
- Transition Programs in the Middle and Senior Schools will go ahead.
SAPSASA and interschool sporting events and carnivals will be cancelled. Sport and physical education classes confined to our site will continue.
While not mandatory, it is recommended that all adults wear masks when dropping off your child to school. Further information is available on the SA Health website regarding how to wear a mask. https://www.health.gov.au/resources/videos/how-to-wear-a-mask
- https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/ SA COVID regulations updated daily
- https://wycliffe.org.au/connecting-with-gods-word/19-scripture-based-prayers-for-covid-19/ Prayers for COVID
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
Please keep the College in your prayers. Thank you for your ongoing cooperation
UPDATE: Friday 20 November 2020
The following media report stated that as of Midnight Saturday the current state wide lockdown will cease. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-20/coronavirus-australia-live-news-covid19-update/12901894
Tatachilla Lutheran College will commence face to face teaching as of Monday November 23rd. The Canteen and OSHC will be open Monday and all school buses will be running. At this stage staff and students do not need to wear masks travelling to/from school or in school hours. Students are to wear their usual summer/PE uniform. All students are reminded to bring their hats and water bottle.
We will not be offering an alternative home-based learning program.
As the Chief Public Health Officer said, just because the hard lockdown is being lifted does not mean that the risks associated with COVID-19 have passed. As a result we will minimise the number of people coming and going from the College.
Wherever possible, please drop and collect your child at the gate and maintain the appropriate physical distance from other adults.
More information on excursions, events and sporting activities, and Valedictory postponement will be available soon.
Thank you to all members of the community for your patience and understanding during the past challenging few days.
UPDATE: Thursday 19 November 2020
I remain proud and humbled by the manner in which parents, students and staff have responded to the sudden news of Premier Marshall’s COVID state lockdown.
I also want to communicate my deep admiration and pride of College leadership and members of staff for their indomitable professionalism and support in the past two days.
When the news was announced, Principals were advised that schools would be subject to two days' closure, followed by two pupil free days. We sought clarity around the meaning of these terms and have been advised accordingly of the following arrangements adhered to by most schools in SA.
Thursday 19 and Friday 20 November- Schools in SA are closed to all staff and students (except for children of Essential Workers and including vulnerable children). Vulnerable children are those where there are circumstances of vulnerability determined by a government agency, school, funded family or family violence service, and education or care outside the family home is considered necessary.
Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 November are pupil free days to allow teachers to prepare online learning- which may be delivered on Wednesday 25 November if the lockdown continues.
A separate letter will be sent to Year 11 students outlining these arrangements for students at our College advising them to continue studies on Monday and check with teachers via SEQTA to ensure work submission/completion. Year 10 examinations have been cancelled and end of year results will be derived from work submission.
I have spoken to all children via Zoom in their classrooms yesterday and in a letter today reassuring them that SA remains one of the safest places in the world to be during this COVID crisis. Please ask your child to share the contents of my letter to them and use some of the points raised as discussion topics with your children.
Please take note of the following:
- Children of essential workers/vulnerable children (only) attending school over the next three days may wear casual clothes and are reminded to bring a hat, water bottle, recess and lunch
- Counselling and support for children is available via Kids Helpline 1800551800 or the College Counselor Mrs. Rona Spicer firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ms. Ellie Brewer College Youth Worker is supporting children of essential workers who are at school during the lockdown.
- The Out of Hours School Care service remains available for children of essential workers only.
- 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.
- Our Hampers program to support Lutheran Community Care is now closed. Please do not deliver any more items to the College.
- R-12 Casual Day tomorrow. Students, whether at school or at home, we encourage you to still dress up in the Christmas theme and send your photo to email@example.com . We will be sharing these photos on our College’s Facebook page.
I take this opportunity to farewell Mrs Marylyn Marshall who has led the Senior School with intelligence, academic rigour and professionalism for the past four years. The College community extends our blessing, gratitude and prayers for the journey ahead. Please direct any senior school enquiries from next week to Mrs Margaret Naylor Margaret.Naylor@tatachilla.sa.edu.au .
Finally, I offer all families my blessings and support. May you and your families go forth with love and courage. May our loving God hold you gently in His loving care. We miss you and your children. We miss the sound of children in our playgrounds and students in class. We look forward and pray for your presence once again at Tatachilla Lutheran College.
UPDATE: Wednesday 18 November 2020
Premier Steven Marshall has just announced SA is moving to a hard lock down of the state from midnight tonight for 6 days followed by possible further restrictions for 8 days.
School buses will run as normal this afternoon.
Students have been asked to take home school laptops/devices, books and anything they need to continue their learning from home should the school closure continue.
SA schools are operating under the following conditions (subject to change)
- Thursday 19 November – school closure day (children of essential workers only onsite)
- Friday 20 November – school closure day (children of essential workers only onsite)
- Monday 23 November – pupil free day (children of essential workers only onsite)
- Tuesday 24 November – pupil free day (children of essential workers only onsite)
Teachers will use the 23 and 24 November closure dates to plan for remote learning should the school closure continue.
Essential workers only are asked to lodge a request for your child(ren) to attend school during school closure/pupil free days via https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6Z92G6K . Students are encouraged to bring masks if possible and please bring fruit, lunch and recess. School transport information is included in the survey. Camp Australia (OSHC) will also operate for Essential Workers children before and after school.
Year 10 examinations have been cancelled and Year 11 examination arrangements will be advised.
A reminder that a new email address is available for any member of the College community with urgent or serious enquiries in relation to this email at PrincipalCOVID@tatachilla.sa.edu.au.
At 2.45 pm this afternoon I addressed all students via Zoom (in their classrooms) to provide information and assurance. Your child’s education, wellbeing and mental health remains our highest priority.
I offer all families the love and courage of the risen Christ.
UPDATE: Tuesday 17 November 2020
The College continues to provide a calm, faith centred, informed and responsible approach to managing College activities during COVID19. Our College has a dedicated COVID19 Management Team who together with College staff have been active all year, in ensuring the continued quality education and wellbeing of your child during pandemic.
Please find the following arrangements for this new wave of COVID19 in SA. All decisions have been informed by the Association of Independent Schools in SA, Lutheran Education and SA Government.
I request you follow all directions provided by the College and consult the following link for updates and further information https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/ .
College wellbeing support is available to all staff and students. Please click on this link for additional wellbeing assistance for students and families __files/d/5337130/Wellbeing_Remote_Education_Plan_-_Parents.pdf .
A new email address PrincipalCOVID@tatachilla.sa.edu.au has been established. All COVID related enquiries are to be directed to this email address for timely response. Please note this is for COVID enquiries only.
For all student absence advice, please use the usual process either via email firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone 8329 4444 .
The College remains a safe place for the continued education of your child. Unless your child exhibits COVID19 symptoms, she/he is requested to attend school. We are however, asking all adults and non-enrolled siblings to refrain from visiting the College for the next two weeks.
Hand sanitiser continues to be available in all rooms for all staff/students. Continued reminders are provided to remind students of the importance of remaining at home if showing symptoms of COVID19 as well as the appropriate behaviour for cough/sneezing etiquette.
All student examinations will proceed as planned.
In the event of a positive COVID19 case in an independent school, SA Health will make direct contact with the affected school and will work with the school (and those in the vicinity) to assist it to undertake all necessary measures.
Should parents decide that students remain at home, we request that the College is contacted through the absentee procedure – for JS students, please contact the Class Teacher for home learning materials. Middle and Senior School students can access their programs on SEQTA.
Please note the following cancellations/modified events for the next two weeks 16-30 November.
The following events are cancelled in their entirety:
- Junior School Music Red Carpet Event
- Year 6 Climate Day excursion
- 2021 Year 6 Parent Transition session
- Year 8/9 recycling excursion to skating rink
- Year 9 Bowland excursion and Dinner
- Year 10 Outdoor Education excursions
- Valedictory Dinner
- All School Sports, Army Cadet program
- Aspire Choir tour to St Paul’s Church
- St Paul’s Lutheran Church Principal Morning Tea
Events to be modified
School events will only have staff/board attendance. All College events will be held in accord with our COVID safe plan. Staff will be limited to ensure 4 sq m social distancing and hand hygiene will be observed by all participants.
- Some College chapel sessions will be held online
- Junior School Student Transition Visit – parents to drop and collect students from kiss and drop.
- Reception Transition Visits- Parents to escort children to/from Reception area then leave immediately.
- Valedictory The event will occur for staff and students only and be live streamed to all others. A separate email to parents with links for live stream as well as student drop off/collection information will be issued asap.
- Year 9 Chapel Ritual The event will occur for staff and students only and be live streamed to all others.
- Junior School final assembly- No parent/visitors please.
Events to be advised
- Year 8 public speaking competition at Immanuel College.
- Student Leadership Day - by virtual conference.
- Week 8 events to be advised.
The College is aware that the cancellation or modification of key end of year events and rites of passage are deeply disappointing and sad for the whole community. Where possible we host events for students only and livestream events for parents/ grandparents and community members.
Please join staff in reassuring your child and talking about how to cope with disappointment. Encouraging communication, allowing your child to grieve, brainstorming creative/alternative ways to celebrate and focusing on the positives, finding purpose and being present are all important strategies recommended by https://www.childrens.com/health-wellness in these challenging and uncertain times.
I reiterate that the education and wellbeing of your child remains our highest priority. Please rest assured that as your Principal, our much loved staff are being cared for and supported in their work.
Please continue to pray for peace and healing in our College community, families and the world at large.
Do not hesitate to contact me or a member of the College COVID Management Team at PrincipalCOVID@tatachilla.sa.edu.au for further assistance.
UPDATE: Friday 31 July 2020
We are all aware of media reports regarding the growing incidence of COVID-19 cases in the Eastern States, which reminds us not to be complacent in South Australia. I wrote to members of staff today, to assist them to plan, prepare and pray for our community during this time.
My key messages included:
- Role modelling and ensuring best practice rather than complacency in terms of COVID-19 social distancing, hygiene and safe practices.
- Embedding wellbeing and mental health care into the curriculum.
- Praying for you and your families.
Tatachilla Lutheran College is well supported by College Council Chair Mrs Sarah Anthoney and the College Council, Lutheran Education and the Association of Independent Schools of SA who are most generous in sharing resources and updates for schools regarding COVID-19. The College COVID-19 committee will be meeting in the coming days to review and improve current practices based on this advice.
The College has installed hand washing an sanitising stations around the College. We have cancelled events requiring large gatherings, implemented new requirements for forms which have to be completed and tightened entry restrictions and conditions for all visitors. We thank you for your understanding.
Mandatory COVID-19 test required every 7 days for essential travellers
The South Australian Government now requires all essential travellers entering the state to have a COVID-19 test every 7 days.
This includes students aged 16 years and over.
If you and your child cross the border to attend school, you will need to be tested as soon as possible.
Evidence of a COVID-19 test, or a COVID-19 test result must be provided to an authorised officer (on request) relating to a test undertaken in the previous 7 days. You will then need to continue being tested every 7 days until further notice.
A referral for this test is not required, and a list of South Australian COVID-19 testing sites can be found online.
If you are based in Victoria, there are no dedicated testing sites within the 40km zone. The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services recommends contacting your doctor, local health service or local hospital for assistance. More information can be found on the DHHS testing information page, or call 1800 675 398.
You can also call the government’s coronavirus health information line on 1800 020 080. The line operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Please find the following COVID-19 update regarding Emergency Management (Cross Border Travel): Emergency Management Cross Border Travel Information
UPDATE: Friday 24 July 2020
Please find the following COVID-19 update regarding clarity from State Government in relation to children and other family members of people who are required to self-quarantine, for example, due to travel back to South Australia from NSW, ACT or Victoria. The State Government has indicated that, regardless of whether the child/ family member has travelled with the person required to self-quarantine, they will also be required to quarantine if they enter or stay at the home of the person required to self-quarantine. This means that students in this situation are not able to physically attend school.
Further information from SA Health on the quarantine arrangements is provided below.
You can only leave self-quarantine to obtain urgent medical care or medical supplies, to get tested for COVID-19, or for any other emergency situation.
You must ensure no one else enters or stays at the place you are self-quarantining unless:
- they usually live there and you need to provide care/support to them, or receive care/support from them, or
- they are also self-quarantining, or
- your place of self-quarantine is appropriately set up so you do not have contact with others.
- Because we need to minimise the number of people you are in contact with, you may need to make arrangements for yourself or other household members to stay somewhere else.
Testing of arrivals (effective from 12:01 am Sunday, 19 July 2020)
If you enter South Australia as a non-essential traveller from the ACT or NSW, or as a returned resident from VIC, you will be required to take a COVID-19 test:
- on your first day in SA (the day you arrive)
- again, on your twelfth day in SA.
- This applies to anyone who has arrived in SA on or after Wednesday, 8 July. It is mandatory for anyone 16 years or over, and strongly recommended for children under 16.
UPDATE: Monday 20 July 2020
We have been advised that the following activities may resume as long as government health advice and physical distancing requirements are strictly followed:
- parents, volunteers, departmental support and other service providers can enter College and preschool grounds. All external service providers and volunteers should complete a COVID-19 site access form on entry
- college assemblies
- class photographs
- all intrastate camps and excursions
- all college sport competitions, sports days and carnivals, including inter-school competitions (use of shower facilities is not permitted)
- inter-school choirs, bands and other performing art activities
- college formals, socials and discos
- playgroups and occasional care
- larger face-to-face professional learning activities.
- Local and interstate camps, (currently excluding Victoria, ACT, NSW).
Whole College Restrictions
Parents are requested:
- to maintain 1.5m physical distance between themselves and other adults (parents and teachers) at all times, including school drop off and pick up and the general public should not access the College playgrounds or play equipment.
- not to enter classrooms before and after school unless a meeting has been arranged with the class teacher.
- to note physical contact (even between students) will continue to be limited and non-physical greetings will be encouraged.
Junior School Restrictions
Junior School parents are requested to abide by the following directives for Term 3 and beyond:
- use the kiss and drop zone, or to collect their children from the eastern side of California Road. Parents may park on California Road and wait for their children in their car. Teaching staff will be on duty on the California Road footpath to supervise children before and after school.
- abide by the social distancing measure of 1.5m between adults, and to not linger in the Junior School grounds after collecting their children.
- Junior School playgrounds will be closed after school.
COVID-19 and SACE
As we begin Term 3, please be aware that SACE have released a second You Can Ask That! video available on https://www.youtube.com/watch? to provide updates on the ATAR, end-of-year exams, special provisions and VET. Visit the SACE website to stay up-to-date on how the SACE Board is supporting students and schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please note SACE examinations, including oral exams, will go ahead as scheduled, with the same dates and arrangements in place. SACE have worked with the other curriculum and assessment authorities to ensure there is a nationally-consistent approach to the timing of exams.
COVID-19 and Travel
A range of information is available on the State Government COVID-19 website including the latest Travel Restrictions for people (including minors) entering or re-entering South Australia, Emergency Declarations and Directions, and Frequently Asked Questions. For more information go to https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/restrictions-and-responsibilities/travel-restrictions This site also contains information regarding COVID-19 safety measures for students travelling on public transport to school, part time work or sport. The College bus services are subject to special COVID-19 cleaning regimes and drivers have been briefed accordingly.
Students are required to attend College unless they:
- are feeling unwell
- have a chronic medical condition or compromised immune system and are not able to attend school on advice from their medical practitioner
- live in a household with others that are deemed vulnerable to COVID-19 and are not able to attend school on advice of their medical practitioner
- have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been required to self-isolate by SA Health.
We will continue to provide support for students not able to attend school on advice from their medical practitioner.
Additional COVID19 information
The Prime Minister has announced a JobTrainer Skills Package. The program is intended to provide up to 340,700 extra training places, so school leavers and job seekers can access courses at low or no cost to develop skills in industry growth sectors. The package also includes an additional $1.5 billion to expand the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy (SAT) to help keep apprentices in work and is intended to build on the initial $1.3 billion package which was announced earlier in the year. Further information on the package is expected to be provided on the Department for Education, Skills and Employment website once it is available.
COVID and student wellbeing
Mental Health professions from the Black Dog Institute states:
It’s not just grown-ups worrying about the Coronavirus and the changes happening day by day. As parents it is important we listen to the questions coming from our children and that we offer clear and honest answers. It’s also OK to admit we don’t know the answers. Much better to do that, than pretend we know the right response. Remember, our children will be picking up information from their peers, the media, and what they are observing in the streets and shops. It is our roles as parents to make sure we don’t unnecessarily add to their anxiety and tailor information to t