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Lockdown School Information

Dear Parents and Guardians of St. Joseph’s Primary School,

RE: State Wide Shutdown Update

(Copy to St. Joseph’s Staff and Catholic Education Ballarat, DOBCEL)

As you are aware, James Merlino made a safety announcement this morning, stating that ALL of Victoria will go into a Stage 4 lockdown commencing at 11.59  pm tonight until 11.59pm Thursday 3rd June 2021.

As a part of this announcement ALL schools within Victoria will close to all students. Our Catholic system authority has also advised that all Catholic primary schools need to co-operate with the State government announcement and to be closed.

Obviously our main concern is the safety and wellbeing of all members of our school community and supporting the State government requirements. Critical to this care and concern is informing you of the school arrangements and supporting families.

I therefore share the following arrangements for St. Joseph's Primary School.

We will have a very limited resource thus ALL children need to stay at home.

The only exception to the above statement will be for those children where both parents are essential workers and who must attend their work on-site over those three days.

To facilitate safe staffing, we will offer the opportunity for families to apply for possible support.  Parents/Guardians will be required to fill in an application form, stating your place of employment, number of children needing to attend, and hours needed during the school day. This service will be offered from 9am - 3.25pm only over the five school days. Canteen services will be available on these 5 days.

To help with this process applications will close at 6pm tonight (27th May) for tomorrow.  The St. Joseph’s Executive Leadership Team will then assess each application. Families will receive a response by 8pm tonight notifying them of the outcome of the application.

The Warrnambool City Council run After School Care Program will be operating for existing registered families that attend school on that day. 

Tomorrow will be used as a staff planning and preparation day. Learning materials will be shared with you on Sunday for the remainder of this lockdown.  Teachers will contact each student by phone during the week. There will be no video classes at this stage. 

Please also be aware this lockdown may be extended by the Victorian State Government. If this is the case this will be assessed at that point in time and families advised.

Importantly in this Covid environment is our communication and support of our students. This afternoon staff have informed the children in Grades 3 to 6 that school will be closed for the next five days. I invite you to chat with your child so assure them that this is a safety precaution in a Covid Safe world and that their time at home can be productive. Games, fitness activities, research and reading are all meaningful learning activities. 

I also encourage parents and guardians of the younger students to chat also. Discussion at an age appropriate level about safety, what is happening over the next few days and how we can all be together in difficult times will ensure resilience and capacity building. Obviously support will also be available for all as needed.

At this stage 2022 Foundation school tours will be postponed and hopefully re-scheduled for the week commencing Monday 7th June.  This will be confirmed at a closer date.

All other student programs that had been scheduled for any of these 5 days will be postponed and parents will be notified of the new dates as they are set.

As in the past our St. Joseph’s approach of co-operation, support and a calm manner will ensure we are safe, well supported and able to manage change in a productive way for all.

Click here to apply for Onsite Schooling


Matthew O'Brien


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