Fahan School Actions Regarding COVID-19

26 March 2020

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alumni, parents, staff, students

Since the World Health Organisation’s pandemic declaration on 11 March, the School Board and our Senior Leadership Team have been planning contingencies in light of COVID-19’s rapidly evolving and escalating landscape.

From Friday 13 March, this landscape has continued to shift daily in Australia with a series of recommendations regarding social distancing, strict hygiene measures and now severe travel restrictions. All of these measures, particularly social distancing were amplified even further on Tuesday evening by the Prime Minister and Chief Medical Officer.

At Fahan, we have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your daughters, and we remain free from any cases of COVID-19. This is directly attributable to the careful cooperation of our Community and the unstinting work of every member of staff at our School. Thank you all.

Yesterday afternoon, the Fahan School Board met to assess the situation as experienced by our School particularly. Matters for discussion included student, staff and family health and wellbeing considerations, the impact of growing numbers of student absences on the delivery of classroom teaching, and the need to respond more comprehensively to the containment of COVID-19. The decision was taken to move to the delivery of curriculum remotely and online for all students from Kindergarten to Year 12 for the remainder of Term One.

From here the following will occur:

  • Together with Pastoral Care teachers and Class Teachers in the Junior School, I will be speaking to the girls and explaining the move to e-learning this morning.
  • Face to face teaching will cease for Term One on Friday 27 March at the end of the school day for all students. 
  • Monday 30 and Tuesday 31 March will be student free days and these will be made up at another time during the year to be advised. Students of parents who work in essential services and Boarding students may attend the School campus on these days and they will be supervised. They should wear neat casual clothes on these days.
  • Teachers will use Monday 30 and Tuesday 31 March to consolidate the delivery of remote and online learning at Fahan School.
  • Remote and online learning for students from Kindergarten to Year 12 will commence on Wednesday 1 April and will continue from that date with Term One concluding on Thursday 9April.
  • Parents and carers whose occupations prevent them from caring for or supervising their daughters at home from this Monday 30 April are asked to complete the attached online request for school-based supervision as soon as possible.
  • Please communicate with Lady Gowrie Tasmania (LGT) directly regarding Vacation Care programs
  • Decisions regarding arrangements for the commencement of Term Two will be communicated to families in the second week of the Term One holiday break.

Our parents will receive important information from Deputy Principal Mr Jack Machin, and Head of Junior School, Mrs Amanda Evans, as well as teaching staff regarding the specific details of how this home-based learning program will proceed for the remainder of this Term.

We acknowledge that this decision will cause disruption to some families and thank you for your understanding and flexibility. We also understand that this means that you will be working closely with your daughter as she learns to ‘work from home’. To support you, our teaching and IT staff will be available to assist you as we navigate this new path together. Further trials will take place on the student free days and we will be building quickly to the delivery of a rich and diverse learning program for your daughters, and they will all have plenty to do from Wednesday 1 April. We will stay socially connected with the girls through a variety of measures, and our pastoral care program and counselling services will all be available for students and their families. The wellbeing of our students is paramount and all staff are committed to supporting all girls at this very difficult time.

And lastly, thank you. Thank you to the Board for their support and leadership, and to all staff for their generosity, kindness and patience throughout Term One. Thank you to parents - we have been encouraged, heartened and motivated beyond measure by your messages of kindness, courage and support. And thank you to our incredible Fahan girls for the laughter and joy they bring to the work we do. We know that this is a challenging time for all schools, all families and indeed all Australians. As a supportive community, we will work together to find solutions that best meet the needs of our students and families while adhering to the values of our School – resilience, integrity, excellence, participation and inclusion.

Thank you for your assistance and patience moving forward.

With every best wish,

Penny Curran-Peters                            Charles Badenach
Principal                                                Chair

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