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COVID-19 Updates

 
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Update 26.03.2020

Today the State Government announced that schools as of Monday 30 March will not operate as normal. From Monday, schools will be functioning in a Student Free Day environment. As mentioned in my last update, we had planned for this eventuality and outlined our operations which haven’t changed as a result of this announcement. 

We are already working online and will continue to do so tomorrow. After Friday this week, we will not be providing lessons to students until the start of term 2.

For students of essential workers we will be providing supervision only for your young person.

I thank you for trusting Southport State High to educate your young person and wish you all a safe school break.

In the days leading into Term 2 we will communicate with students, parents and the community about how to reengage in school and online learning and we look forward to returning to school full time in the future.

Nigel Hughes

Executive Principal


Update 25.03.2020

As of tomorrow, we will be transitioning to a 100% online learning model. This decision has been made due to equity, as we currently have a greater percentage of the school population learning from home than those attending regular lessons on campus. 

Due to this, we will postpone all examinations until further notice. This includes Year 12 Essential Mathematics and Year 10 Block Exams. Students are still expected to meet due dates for assignments, as per our Assessment Policy.

For parents who send their young person to school, we will run an alternate program. These students will be in classrooms and supervised by a teacher. They will be working through an online lesson delivered via the Learning Management System (LMS).

For those parents who are choosing to keep their young person at home, they will be able to access the lesson content from 9:00am each day.

We will continue this practice until such time as the school enters the holidays.

Let me reassure parents that our staff and students are well positioned to move to distance learning (online learning). We have been utilising this system in the school over the last 4 years and students are familiar with it, as they use it in class every day.

Our LMS is designed not only to support continuity in student’s education but also to provide some structure, normality, interaction and stimulation, in what is a challenging time for many families.

How has the school prepared for this decision? 

This week:

Teachers have role-modelled practice to ensure students are aware of how to access online learning from home.

This involves students accessing the Learning Place, our online learning platform, with class specific resources. Students have been using this system throughout 2020 and in previous years.

Teachers have made sure work is provided to students, based on their timetabled classes.  Parents can access all work requirements through their young person’s Learning Place account (using their usual username and password that they use for all digital access).

Teachers will ensure a lesson introduction is available on the Learning Place in order to explain the lesson and the work that students need to engage in.

Parents are asked to be aware that students may need to use phones to video and send evidence/practical demonstrations to teachers, in order to be assessed and provided with feedback.

What do we need to consider as Parents/Carers?

As we will be working online, please assess your data plan to ensure it can handle online learning. Most internet providers are providing extra data to its customers at this time. Please contact your provider for details of how to get the extra data or upgrade your plan, if necessary.

We understand that some families do not have internet access in their own home. We encourage you to look into ‘Hot spotting’ off your phone (most telecommunications providers are also providing extra data to its customers, free of charge). Given libraries and the school would not be available if school closures occur, parents without internet access are asked to let us know now. We can then make plans and provide alternate arrangements for the learning of your child.

How do we see Online Learning working at Southport State High?

Students are expected to access lessons on the day they are timetabled, complete the lesson and all formative assessment. We will be monitoring engagement and supporting students who experience difficulty engaging.

Any resources or materials required to complete the work will be accessed via the LMS.

Teachers will provide feedback to students on their learning, through a variety of online feedback channels.

A School YouTube Channel will be established and information will be given to all students on how to access the LMS, as well as online conferencing software.

Student Support

Our Deans and Guidance Officers will be available to provide support as required. Deans and Guidance Officers will be available via phone or email in the event of school closures.

Reporting

Reporting will happen as normal. An ‘N’ grade will be given to any student who has not completed the assessment or sufficient work to report on.

Southport State High is waiting on advice from the QCAA in relation to Years 11 and 12 assessment and processes that are to be followed in the event of school closures.

What is Online Learning?

At present, Southport State High has over 230 courses across the schooling areas.

Each student is enrolled in a specific course for each of their scheduled classes on our LMS, eLearn.

Each course is a private Virtual Classroom; a secure platform for online Teaching and Learning. This takes place on eLearn (elearn.eq.edu.au), where students will logon, using their current EQ username and password.

What do our courses consist of:

  • Lesson activities and Units of Work
  • Homework
  • Collaborative projects
  • Discussion and feedback
  • Online formative and summative assessments

Each learning content area is broken into three sections, with descriptions below:

  • Get Ready
  • Must Do
  • Give Me More

‘Get Ready’ Section:

During the ‘Get Ready’ phase, students are preparing to learn. To do this, they will engage with a ‘Get Ready’ activity to build their understanding of core lesson content, activate prior knowledge or connect with the curriculum.

‘Must Do’ Section:

The ‘Must Do’ learning experiences are ones that all students are expected to engage with, to meet key learning outcomes. As a learner at Southport State High, students need to complete the tasks in this section.

‘Give Me More’ Section:

The ‘Give Me More’ learning experiences are extension activities designed to help students extend and improve their knowledge and skills. As a learner, students should engage with these resources when they have completed the ‘Must Do’ activities, or as directed by their teacher.

We will continue to share resources with stake holders but encourage you to engage with your students courses to become more familiar with how learning is supported through our LMS- eLearn platform.

Accessing eLearn

eLearn is best accessed on a web browser and we do not support the use of blackboard apps.

Supported WebBrowser:

  • iPad and Mac - Safari
  • Windows - Google Chrome

To Access:

1) Navigate to elearn.eq.edu.au

2) Enter current Education Queensland (EQ) Username and Password

3) Navigate to specific course within the ‘My Courses’ option on the right hand side

How to Access eLearn videohttps://youtu.be/WITYI4iDbdg

For more information please see the following links below:

The Learning Place

https://learningplace.education.qld.gov.au/

The Learning Place Parent and Carer Information:

https://learningplace.education.qld.gov.au/sdes-and-parents

Information about compatible web browsers:

https://learningplace.education.qld.gov.au/contact-us/system-requirements#elearn

We thank you for your continued support during these uncertain times.

Nigel Hughes

Executive Principal


Update 23.03.2020

As you are aware, the federal and state governments have continued to mandate that schools continue to operate as normal and as such, Southport State High continues to be open.

We are receiving a large volume of calls and emails and aim to respond to all communication.  Please work with us as we get back to parents.

This update is to provide information about what is happening at school to ensure that we are practicing behaviours as close to those expected of us as citizens outside of the school, as well as providing an update on learning.

As we enter week 9 and another week of Coronavirus can I ask that we all work together to keep everyone calm and on task.

We are:

Continuing to practice Social Distancing by:

  1. Separating desks as much as possible in every room

  2. Spacing out students in each room

  3. Actively supervising and reminding students to Social Distance in the playground

  4. Encouraging staff members to also Social Distance. 

Handwashing

  1. We are reminding students at the end of each lesson to wash hands at the start and end of each break

  2. Staff are doing the same.

Announcements

  1. Before each class we are doing announcements to remind students to wash hands before coming to class

Canteen

  1. There is a system to increase the social distancing at the canteen as of this morning. Juniors and Seniors have different times to access the canteen.

As for what to do if your young person cannot attend school. All students have access to the schools Learning Management System (LMS). Each lesson is on it and it has the Learning Intent, Success Criteria as well as the activities for the lesson. Students are aware how to access this. If you or your young person needs assistance with this, please email the teacher.

If the school was to be closed down, we will move to all learning to occur through the LMS system. Students will be able to access three lessons per week for each of their timetabled classes. There will be designated times to engage online with teachers with access to IT support and learning support if and when it is required.

All assessment is going ahead as planned at this stage. Students that are unable to attend school should still submit assignments electronically by the due date. As for exams, students who do not attend will be required to sit the exam on their return to school at this stage.

We are working hard to ensure that we provide a safe place for all our students and staff as well as preparing for school closures if they occur.

Regards,

Nigel Hughes

Executive Principal


Update 19.03.2020

Thank you to those of you who have reached out to our school for further information around assessment, should your child be absent from school due to illness, or self-quarantine after receiving medical advice. These are uncertain times and our priority is ensuring continuity of learning and assessment for all students.

Please find below the considerations that have been given to ensure learning continues for students in Years 7 - 12. Please note the following, for your information:

Please follow all attendance processes, as usual, for your child:

As Southport State High is still operating as normal, students will need to meet the due dates for all Assignments and Examinations, unless an extension has been sought and approved.

  • Students in Years 7 - 9 should apply for an extension, if necessary, through the relevant curriculum Head of Department.
  • Students in Years 10 - 12 should apply for Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustment (AARA), if necessary, through the Senior School Guidance Officer, Mr Josh Neumann.
  • Where an extension is not required, assignment work should be submitted through The Learning Place, or by emailing the teacher by 3.30pm on the due date.

Exams in Years 7 - 10:

  • If your student misses an exam this term, a Not Rated (NR) mark will be recorded for that assessment item. The student will then sit the exam upon returning to school.

Exams in Years 11 - 12:

  • If your student misses an exam this term, please complete the AARA application on the school’s website and email the application and supporting documentation to office@southportshs.eq.edu.au

Students who are absent from school are encouraged to continue their programs of instruction, by regularly accessing their class Learning Place sites, which contain lesson notes and resources.

We thank our families for their support during this time.

Regards,

Nigel Hughes

Executive Principal


Update 18.03.2020

As a result of the directive from the Queensland Government concerning gatherings of large groups, we have made the decision to cancel our Senior and Junior School assemblies that would have occurred during Period 4 on Wednesday, 1 April 2020 (Week 10, Term 1) and Wednesday, 22 April 2020 (Week 1, Term 2). 

During these assembly times our teachers are involved in Professional Learning Teams that enable them to plan and strategise for student improvement in collaboration with their colleagues. To enable this important activity to occur, students will be released from school on these two occasions at 1.15pm.

Students who are unable to be collected from school, or where supervision needs cannot be met, are able to remain at school. We will have several locations where these students will attend during period four and will be supervised by school staff until 2.55pm.

Please do not hesitate to contact the school should you have questions regarding these arrangements.

Please see below for a list of school events that have now been cancelled.  We will provide updates regularly regarding calendar changes into the future.

Week 8

Thursday 19 March

Somerset Litefest Year 8 Ace Excursion - Cancelled

Year 11 VJC Excursion – Cancelled

Chirn Park Walk - Cancelled

Friday 20 March

Somerset Litefest Year 9 Ace Excursion - Cancelled

Soccer Independent schools cup rd 2 - Cancelled

Week 9

Monday 23 March

P&C AGM – Occurring

Wednesday 25 March

GC Debating - Cancelled

GIPSA trial round 1 - Cancelled

Thursday 26 March

Kids Lit Quiz Competition - Cancelled

Ace Excursion to TSS – Cancelled

Chirn Park Walk - Cancelled

Friday 27 March

STEM Ambassador conference - Cancelled

Week 10

Monday 30 March

Touch – STL Year 7-10 - Cancelled

IM Strings - Cancelled

Year 11 Chemistry forensic Incursion - Cancelled

Tuesday 31 March

Year 12 AQP SeaWorld Excursion - Cancelled

Wednesday 1 April

Year 11 Headspace - Cancelled

Year 12 Insights mental health presentation - Cancelled

GC Debating - Cancelled

Thursday 2 April

Year 11 ACP marine biology excursion - Cancelled

Netball- Bond University – Cancelled

Chirn Park Walk - Cancelled

Friday 3 April

Naplan practise test – Occurring

We appreciate your support in these challenging times.

Regards,

Nigel Hughes

Executive Principal


Update 16.03.2020

I am writing to further update you on the changing situation in response to COVID-19.

Mass Gatherings

As you would be aware, the Australian Government has announced that all organised, non-essential mass gatherings attended by more than 500 people must be cancelled from Monday 16 March 2020. 

While the announcement was very clear this does not apply to schools, and that there is no need for mass school closures, it does include activities such as school fetes, fairs, concerts and the like where they involve more than 500 people. 


Our school is in the process of reviewing our forward activity schedule and will postpone our participation in any activities that meet this criteria until further notice.  

As our response to COVID-19 is all about containment, I continue to ask all families to pay extra attention to health and hygiene measures employed at home with your children, particularly the use of soap and, if soap is not available, hand sanitiser. You can be assured we are reinforcing this message at school.

These directions are all about supporting a national effort to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19.  Each one of us, and our school, play a vital role in this effort and I ask for your continued support in this containment effort.  Students must not attend school if they are unwell.

International Travel

I also draw your attention to the Australian Government’s announcement that all people arriving in Australia must now self-isolate for 14 days on their arrival back to Australia. The Department of Education banned all staff and student international school travel last week – this ban now also includes any travel to New Zealand.

Continuity of Teaching and Learning

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, our school continues to prepare for continuity of learning and teaching.

The Department of Education has many resources available to us and our teachers will seek to minimise any disruption to student learning should our school be impacted by the virus. 

Ongoing Planning 

As we have already seen across the world, this situation is likely to continue for some time and is evolving. As such, as a school and as a community, we must all prepare over the short, medium and long term. 

I ask that you continue to take all necessary local actions to support your child’s, and the school’s, health and hygiene and act in a protective and preventative manner to help limit the spread of coronavirus.

I will continue to provide communication as Australia’s response to COVID-19 evolves. Thank you for your vigilance in helping us manage this public health issue.

Regards,

Nigel Hughes

Executive Principal


Update 13.03.2020

I wanted to take the time to update you regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and Southport State High’s actions as we navigate through this situation.

Our school always follows the advice of Queensland Health and we have regularly sought information from the Department of Education to update our procedures to minimise risk to all members of the school community.

The process for identification is as follows if you suspect that you and/or your child has come into contact with the virus or are showing symptoms, please call 13health and email or call the school. We would ask that you keep your young person at home until you have been cleared.

The school currently has no confirmed cases that we are aware of.  We will advise community immediately if we are informed of a positive case of either a staff member or student.

This is the process being followed across the country, we will see many parents and students get tested across the coming weeks if they come into direct contact with a person carrying the virus. The best advice as stated before is to contact 13health if you have any questions or concerns.

We ask that you speak with your child about posting rumours or speculation on social media as this can cause undue stress to other students in the school community and their families.

The safety and wellbeing of your child is at our utmost priority and we will continue to communicate with families regarding all information that we have been provided.

In the meantime, we ask that you continue to speak to your child about practising good hygiene. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school. 

Regards,

Nigel Hughes

Executive Principal


Update 10.03.2020

I am writing to you regarding the evolving situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Queensland Health and the Australian Department of Health are working tirelessly to manage and contain the impact of this virus for Australians and Queenslanders alike. They are regularly updating travel advice (https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/) as new information emerges.

The Department of Education continues to work closely with Queensland Health to monitor the situation and identify and manage any impacts on schools and early childhood centres. You can be assured that we have been preparing and stand ready to act should the need arise.

I wanted to also provide you with some more information about the approach that our school might need to take if a COVID-19 case is identified in our school.

If a case is identified in our school, the Department of Education and Queensland Health will work closely with us in managing our response and our actions will be taken with community health at the centre of our decision making.

If there is a confirmed case at our school, it is likely our school will need to close for a period to allow Queensland Health to assess the situation and to perform contact tracing as required to identify people and students who may have come in contact with the COVID-19 case. You may have already seen this happening in other states where confirmed cases have been identified.

The Department of Education will then work with our school to conduct any specialised cleaning of our facilities as required to ensure our school is safe for students and staff to return when clearance is given. A closure is likely to include any on-site services such as outside school hours care (OSHC) and other facility hirers.

Continuity of learning is extremely important to us and, as in other disaster and emergency events, the department has online learning materials and virtual classroom capability that can be used by teachers to support your child’s learning.  The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) also has procedures in place to support senior secondary students.

If your child develops flu-like symptoms, please:

  • keep your child at home;
  • avoid close contact with others such as touching, kissing or hugging, or any mass gatherings, especially those involving other children;
  • see a doctor or contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) immediately;
  • seek medical advice if your child has other underlying medical conditions; and
  • call ahead to the medical centre or doctor’s surgery, advising of your child’s symptoms and the closure of the school.

It is also important to continue to encourage your children to:

  • wash their hands regularly with soap and water, particularly before and after eating, and after going to the toilet;
  • use alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap is unavailable;
  • cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of their elbow; and
  • dispose of tissues in the bin immediately.

Further advice and information about the coronavirus is available on the Queensland Health website: http://conditions.health.qld.gov.au/HealthCondition/condition/14/217/838/novel-coronavirus

As a community, during this preparation phase, it may be timely for families to consider their own family and care arrangements should school closure be necessary.

Again, while you can be reassured that the Department of Education and Department of Health are taking all necessary measures to contain COVID-19, it is important for me to keep information flowing to parents and caregivers to ensure we are all informed and prepared as a community, should this public health issue come into our school.

In addition to our in-school health-first approach, I have also today been advised that the Department of Education has issued a school travel ban directive until further notice for all student and staff travel to international destinations other than New Zealand. 

I thank you for your support in managing this event and supporting student awareness of the additional need for strong health and hygiene practices.

Regards,

Nigel Hughes

Executive Principal


Update 06.03.2020

I am writing to further update you about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

As you may be aware, today the Australian Government has advised that South Korea has now been added to the list of travel restrictions, alongside China and Iran, and self-quarantine requirements now apply. In addition, travellers from Italy will face advanced screening on entry to Australia. These extended measures again serve to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission in Australia.


As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, it is important to remember that effective hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against viruses and can help prevent the spread of illness.

Lead by example and encourage your children to:

  • wash their hands regularly with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet
  • use alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap is not available
  • cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of their elbow
  • dispose of tissues in the bin immediately
  • if they’re unwell, stay at home and avoid contact with others such as touching, kissing or hugging.

Regards,

Nigel Hughes

Executive Principal


To keep up to date with our latest information consider following us on social media:

SSHS Facebook page

SSHS Instagram page



For more details please visit the Australian Department of Health website here.

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Last reviewed 27 March 2020
Last updated 27 March 2020