COVID-19 Information

At The Friends’ School, the safety, health and welfare of our students, staff and parents remain our highest priority.

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

The Friends' School COVID-19 Protocols and Measures

The Friends’ School COVID-19 Protocol
Please carefully review and read over The Friends’ School COVID-19 Protocol

This protocol explains how the School will coordinate a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.  It covers the key principles and the protocol is regularly updated.  Parents/guardians are asked to speak to their children before they return to school about the possibility of having to put a mask on if they are sick and report to the office.

 

Preventing the spread of  COVID-19
Please carefully review and read over The Friends’ School COVID-19 Risk Reduction Measures

There has been considerable work undertaken to enable a safe environment for our staff and students and this will be monitored and reviewed regularly over the coming days and weeks.  These measures have been put in place in line with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) guidelines and we seek your support in adhering to these procedures. First and foremost, it is crucial that your child is to stay away from School if feeling unwell.

 

Are you feeling unwell?
Please carefully review and read over the ‘Feeling Unwell, Stay at Home Flow Chart’

This flow chart has been developed to assist students and staff with the steps they should take if they are feeling unwell and may have COVID-19 symptoms. If a parent/guardian contacts a school office to notify that their child is unwell, could they please advise if their child has cold or flu-like symptoms.

Do I need to Quarantine?
Please see our Home Quarantine Query Chart 

This flow chart answers the question: Can students or staff come to The Friends’ School when a member of their household is in home quarantine post returning to Tasmania?

COVID - 19 Support Advice

With students and staff on campus, 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.

Term 3 Sport COVID-19 Protocols

As part of the Return to Sport Plan, the following guidelines are in place at our school sports venues. Other schools and venues will have similar expectations in place.

The Friends’ School Venues – Bell Street Ovals and WN Oats Centre

Your compliance with the expectations below is essential during Term 3 to support safe student sport participation.

Some important requirements for students and parents/guardians:

  • If you or your child have a fever, cough, sore throat, flu symptoms or shortness of breath please stay at home and we strongly recommend you consult the COVID-19 hotline.

  • All students and spectators are required to sign in at the venue for COVID -19 tracing purposes. There will be a compulsory check in point at WN Oats Gym and Bell Street entrances. 

  • A Friends’ School COVID-19 Safety Officer will be at each game venue and is responsible for collating attendance. These records will be kept in a secure location and destroyed after 21 days.

  • Hand sanitiser stations will be located at both venues and are to be used when before and after games

Ground Entry

  • Entry to Bell Street – main oval and top oval – via main gate (Queens walk)

  • Entry to WN Oats Gym via Commercial rd or Carr st.

  • Both locations will be continued to be signposted with COVID-19 related hygiene signage.

The Tasmanian Government has recommended that spectators be kept to a minimum.

  • Students should be ready in their playing uniform.

  • No non-essential persons permitted in change rooms.

  • Players and Officials to wash hands or use sanitiser prior to and after training and games.

  • Observe advertised protocols at all venues.

  • Spectators are to practice social distancing at all venues.

  • Sporting equipment such as balls and cones will be sanitised after use.

  • Each individual student will need their own labeled drink bottle. 

  • No sharing of drink bottles and towels.

External venues may have protocols in place regarding meeting points and pick-up/drop off zones. This information will be communicated prior to the game.

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 or information from a Head of School.

Returning to campus information – 20 May 2020
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

Support for Community 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.

 

A Tasmanian Lifeline

Lifeline Tasmania has set up a new service for Tasmanians, specifically to deal with the need for information, advice and support due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Lifeline’s 13 11 14 crisis line continues to be available for those with significant and ongoing mental health issues, including those having suicidal thoughts.

 

Headspace

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

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
  • School sports training and matches with other school teams.  This includes all SATIS sports events.
  • 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
  • The School-based immunisation project (as advised by the City of Hobart’s Environmental Health Department)

Quaker Meetings for Worship

To reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus, we have made the difficult decision to stop worshipping together in Tasmania until further notice. This includes all worshipping groups. We ask you to consider joining one of the many existing on-line Meetings that are available.

If you would like information about online meetings, please contact Maddy Walker.

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, the School has returned to on-campus learning as at the 25 May 2020 for K-6 and Years 11 & 12 students.  High School (Years 7 to 10) students returned to campus on 1 June 2020.

Is Friends’ Early Learning open?

Friends’ Early Learning as an Early Childhood Education and Care provider is currently defined as an essential service provider and has remained 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.