COVID-19 Information

At The Friends’ School, the safety, health and welfare of our students, staff and parents remain our highest priority. We are also committed to continuing to provide our students with an engaging and purposeful learning program, albeit not necessarily through the traditional classroom model.

We ask our school community to show compassion and kindness towards those nearby as well as others in our society, while also caring for their own health. We also ask people to proactively remain connected to others in the community to provide support and care for one another.

Here you will find information and guidance about The Friends’ School’s response to the current outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This is a rapidly changing situation, so please visit this page or the link within SEQTA for regular updates.

It is always important to refer to the Department of Education, Skills, and Employment COVID-19 landing page, along with the current COVID-19 Facts Sheets.

Community Updates

The Friends’ School continues to follow on a daily basis the guidelines of the national and state public health authorities with respect to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and is committed to keeping you regularly informed.  The School has considered and adopted a number of health and safety measures in the interest of our students as detailed in the regular communications below.  Please also refer to weekly notices in What’s On.

Return to On-Campus Teaching and Learning – 13 May 2020
Update from Principal Nelson File – 12 May 2020
Update from the Board of Governors and Principal Nelson File | 29 April 2020
Welcome to Term 2 from Principal Nelson File | 24 April 2020
Update on Distance Learning | 7 April 2020
COVID-19 Update | 24 March 2020
COVID-19 Update for Boarding Families | 18 March 2020
COVID-19 Update | 16 March 2020 PM
COVID-19 Update | 16 March 2020 AM
COVID-19 Update | 12 March 2020
Coronavirus Update | 3 February 2020
Coronavirus Update | 30 January 2020
Coronavirus Update | 28 January 2020

COVID - 19 Support Advice

With our transition to distance learning, it is important to remember to follow the public health advice regarding social distancing and personal hygiene. It has been shown that some of the simplest public health measures are also some of the most effective including:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water regularly and thoroughly; this means for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or into a clean tissue, then throw the tissue in the bin
  • Stay 1.5 metres away from others.
  • Unless it is absolutely necessary, please stay at home.

If you’re feeling sick or showing symptoms of coronavirus, you should call your GP for advice — they will tell you if you need to get tested.
For more information and tips to help improve your safety and wellbeing, visit the Federal Government’s official advice website.
Now that we are transitioning to distance learning, it is hoped that students and families will follow social distancing measures as much as is practicably possible.

Support for Student Mental Health

The School Psychologists have put together a referral and resource webpage to support students with the current COVID 19 issue and more general health concerns.

Distance Learning

Distance learning commenced at Friends’ from Monday, March 30. If you want to see your child’s timetable, use the left-hand navigation bar to select Timetable.
You might need to click forward a week to get to a full “distance learning” week (first full week starts Monday, March 30).

A Parent Information email has been sent. You can also read the information here.

Here is a brief video that shows Morris parents how to use SEQTA to find out what their child/children should be doing.

Here is a brief video that shows 7-12 parents how to use SEQTA to find out what their child/children should be doing.

Headspace has provided a valuable resource for families with information and tips to support the balance of online schooling and working from home.

School Supervision

Parents/guardians with occupational requirements that prevent them from caring or supervising their children at home during distance learning, may submit a request for the School to supervise their children for half or the full day.  During term time and school hours, please submit these requests to your child’s school campus offices:

Morris – Friends’ Primary Years Office – 6210 2228  |  morrisadmin@friends.tas.edu.au

High School Office – 6210 2235  |  hsoffice@friends.tas.edu.au

Clemes Office – 6210 2255  |  clemesreception@friends.tas.edu.au

COVID-19 Emergency Fees Relief Fund

The Friends’ School was founded in 1887 by Quakers, centered on their values which underpin our continuing care, concern and support for the community and those less fortunate. The recently established COVID-19 Emergency Fees Relief Fund directly supports those families who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.  This fund is open to applications from any family in the School experiencing financial hardship as a result of the wider effects of COVID-19 to assist with the continuing enrolment of their child during 2020.

If any parent/guardian would like to enquire about the application and assessment process for this fund, please contact our Enrolments Manager, Jen Scharkie via email or on (03) 6210 2224.

Should our community members be in a position to support our School families, you might consider a donation to this Fund. Whilst donations to this Fund are not tax deductible, any contributions will be greatly appreciated by families who have been significantly affected during this crisis and are unable to pay all of their fees at this time.

Donations to this Fund, or to one of the School’s tax-deductible Funds, can be made on our Online Donation Form.

Information on School-Related Events

Decisions have and continue to be made on cancelling or postponing particular school-related events that fall outside the ‘normal day-to-day operations’. Parents and students will be informed by the relevant communication or a Friends’ staff member of such cancellations or postponements. Please stay abreast of these decisions via email and on this information page.

A number of upcoming events or activities have been postponed or cancelled until further notice. These include:

  • School camps (including the Year 10 Icon camps scheduled for the Term 1 break and the Year 9 camps scheduled for the start of Term 2)
  • School sports training and matches with other school teams.  This includes all SATIS sports events (including Head of the River, SATIS and JSSATIS Swimming Carnivals up until the end of Term 1).
  • All Music rehearsals and performances
  • Visiting guest speaker events
  • VET placements external to the Clemes Campus.  This includes placements at Friends’ Early Learning and other industry placements.
  • External venue hire events
  • Face-to-face Parent-teacher discussions
  • Morris Japanese Day (scheduled for Tuesday 7 April)
  • The Whole of School Gathering (scheduled for 24 March 2020)
  • Scholarship Exams (scheduled for Music on 27 March and Merit/Boarding on 28 March)
  • The School-based immunisation project (as advised by the City of Hobart’s Environmental Health Department)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that can cause an infection in people, including a severe respiratory illness. The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

Ten ways to reduce your risk of coronavirus
  • Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with a paper towel or hand dryer
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow
  • Isolate yourself at home if you feel unwell. If you take medication, please ensure you have adequate supplies
  • Phone your GP first if you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do
  • Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep, and now is the time to quit smoking. Call the Quitline 137 848
  • Don’t wear a face mask if you are well
  • Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol
  • Get the flu shot (available April)
  • Shaking hands is not recommended
Have the term dates changed?

No.  The Friends’ School has not altered any term dates. Term 2 commenced on Monday 27 April 2020 and at this stage, the last day of Term 2 will be Friday 3 July 2020.  Please click here for details

Is the School open?

Yes, currently the School is open and is provided distance learning for students, who are off-campus.  Students must seek permission from their Head of School if they wish to come on campus.

What if I can’t supervise or care for my child at home?

Parents/guardians with occupational requirements that prevent them from caring or supervising their children at home during distance learning, may submit a request for the School to supervise their children for half or the full day.  Please submit these requests to your child’s school campus office:

Morris – Friends’ Primary Years Office – 6210 2228  |  morrisadmin@friends.tas.edu.au

High School Office – 6210 2235  |  hsoffice@friends.tas.edu.au

Clemes Office – 6210 2255  |  clemesreception@friends.tas.edu.au

Is Friends’ Early Learning open?

Friends’ Early Learning as an Early Childhood Education and Care provider is currently defined as an essential service provider, therefore it will remain open.

Is Outside School Hours Care operating?

Outside School Hours Care is currently not operating at Friends’. Students who are being supervised at Morris – Friends’ Primary Years can be dropped off after 8am and must be picked up before 4pm.