Dear Parents, Students and friends of Hallam Senior College,
The uncertainty of the Covid lockdown continues to restrict the approaches we can take in developing options for all students. This week the Department of Education announced the following:
- A limited number of VCE Units may provide access to the school setting where essential assessments are practically based. These units are performance based and only at a VCE Unit 3/4 study level. For Hallam Senior College this means VET Music performance.
- Attendance onsite is restricted strictly to those participating in essential assessments for these studies where they cannot be conducted remotely.
The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority is aware of the significant challenges and acknowledge the practical requirements in other studies and plans to progressively add studies with practical assessment requirements that can only be completed onsite as soon as possible. We will provide this information to students once we have received this advice. We expect to have further updates later this week.
For students undertaking practical assessments on site from Monday, 30 August 2021 to Wednesday, 1 September 2021, the preference is for students to have a COVID-19 test prior to attending on site, if possible. If this is not possible, students must be tested immediately after being on site (and no later than 48 hours after).
- For students with assessments on site from Thursday, 2 September 2021, students must be tested in the 72 hours before attending on site for assessments.
- Evidence of a negative test result is not required before the assessment but must be provided to the school on request. Students can attend the assessment with their test result still pending but must advise the school immediately if they subsequently receive a positive result. This asymptomatic, surveillance testing approach is one currently used during outbreak periods and as such, students are not required to isolate after they get tested while they wait for their result.
The daily checking in process will continue over the next weeks. It is important that students check in with their Advocate staff member each day. This can be via email, webex or text message. By checking in the student is identifying they are ready to learn and therefore can be marked as present.
Covid Vaccine Eligibility – from the Department of Education.
As part of the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out, all school staff and all students aged 16 and over are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The Victorian Government aims for all final year students to be vaccinated by the time they sit their end-of-year exams. In addition to this, the Government is aiming to provide at least one dose for children aged 12 and older by the end of the school year, subject to the available supply of vaccines and advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advice of the vaccination of children aged 12 to 15.
Final year students are therefore strongly encouraged to make an appointment to receive a vaccine either with their General Practitioner, or in one of the state vaccination hubs. Staff that will be attending and/or invigilating end-of-year exams are also urged to immediately make an appointment.
People aged 18 to 39 who have already booked for their first vaccine dose of AstraZeneca at a state vaccination centre will be offered the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. They do not need to rebook or change their existing vaccine appointment at a vaccination centre. People aged 18 to 39 who have already received a first dose of AstraZeneca and not experienced any serious side effects are strongly encouraged to get their second dose when it falls due.
All Victorians are eligible to be vaccinated through participating general practices, pharmacies and state vaccination hubs. Victorians aged 16-59 are all now eligible to receive Pfizer vaccine, and 60+ are eligible to receive AstraZeneca vaccine. It is important that all staff are vaccinated, both for their own protection and for the protection of the community, colleagues and students.
We strongly encourage Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) teachers to get vaccinated as soon as possible as this will support the safe conduct of the VCE examinations this year. Secondary schools should also encourage exam invigilators to get vaccinated.
School based employees are not required to access unpaid leave to access COVID-19 vaccination services. Principals should put arrangements in place that maximize the opportunity for all employees get the vaccine.
All students aged 16 and older can now book a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at state vaccination centres and from 30 August through their local General Practitioner or Pharmacist. Students can book their own appointment and consent to vaccination themselves if the health professional assesses them to be a mature minor. Again, it is important that all students aged 16 and above get vaccinated, but we strongly encourage all final year students in particular to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Eligible students and their parents or guardians should speak to their doctor or pharmacist if they have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and their health.
How to book an appointment
School staff and students can book or change a vaccination appointment at a state vaccination centre through the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 vaccine online booking system. From 30 August, people aged 16-39 can get your COVID-19 vaccine at a doctor’s clinic, pharmacy or community health service. You can find a participating doctor, pharmacy or community health service through the Australian Government Eligibility Checker. You can book your appointment online or by calling the vaccine provider nearest to you.
Our Community at Hallam Senior Secondary College
The recent events in Kabul have challenged our local community and especially our students and their families with immediate and extended family and friends in Afghanistan. We would like to take this opportunity to express our dismay at events and highlight our concern for our students and families. We want you all to know that we are here to support you. Our staff have been reaching out to students and families to support them in any way we can. Please contact us if we can help.
We know that many in our community are also struggling with the effects of time in lock downs. Our wellbeing team are high trained professionals who can work with students to support them in navigating these difficult times. The college resources are available to assist families/ students in dealing with the issues confronting us.