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Coronavirus Update (COVID-19) – Mon 16 March 2020

Dear parents and carers

While the situation regarding the COVID-19 continues to evolve, the Department of Education sector has established plans and a team to support schools. It is important that as a school community we all apply common sense, factual information and a practical approach to COVID – 19. As you know recent information regarding Mass Gatherings, International travel and school closures were announced yesterday by the Prime Minister. We have had recent communication from the Director General of Education WA and have met as a staff to form a response team to proactively lead the school through the changing nature of this landscape.

School Closure:

If a WA school has to close due to a confirmed case, it will be on advice from the WA Health Department’s Chief Health Officer based on school or community spread. I can reassure parents that over the recent weeks, no member of staff or any student at Fremantle College has been confirmed to have the virus so we will be fulfilling our educative role in a calm and positive manner every day.

There are however a few measures we are putting in place in order to be compliant with Department guidelines and in the community spirit of practicing social distancing where we can.


As of today, several key extracurricular events have been cancelled or postponed.

Please see below for the following list and don’t hesitate to get in touch with the organising teacher in charge if you have specific queries.

  • Specialist Expo 16 March – Cancelled
  • Year 11 River Cruise – Postponed/Reassess Term 4
  • Parent Teacher Learning Interview Nights Wed 1 April, Tues 7 April – Postponed/Reassess Term 3
  • All Sports carnivals inc Interschool – Cancelled (Commencing this Wednesday 18 March)
  • All other excursions, gatherings and camps for Term 1-Cancelled
  • Several Gifted and Talented Activities – Cancelled
  • College Ball: As a school we have decided to go ahead with the College Ball planned for this Friday 20 March. This “excursion” falls within the acceptable student limits outlined in the policy, with only 150 students and staff attending. We have booked the Grand Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Hotel which is designed to hold 550, and is therefore large enough to increase social distancing of tables etc. There are no other functions on at the venue on this night thus no increased exposure to risk than at school during the day. We have chosen to place only 8 students on tables designed to fit 12 students, thus increasing social distance.  Hand sanitisers will be available throughout the venue, with students encouraged to use sanitiser at the beginning and end of the buffet table. We will be briefing the students this Wednesday and providing tickets, at the briefing we will be covering hygiene on the evening and the availability of sanitisers.

Any student feeling unwell on Friday will be asked not to attend and will be provided with a full refund. Any student or staff member who chooses not to attend due to their concern re COVID-19 will also be offered a refund.

Communication with the college:

Due to the changing nature of this crisis, it is important at this time that you are receiving all email correspondence from the college. If you are not receiving this information, please get in touch with reception on 9338 8900 and ensure these details are updated. We would also like to encourage all parents to switch on their notifications through Connect to alert them when work, or class information is coming home. We do not know how we might need this in the future.

We also encourage all parents to email teachers directly to gauge their child’s progress, in the light of the Parent Teacher Learning Interview Nights being postponed. Teachers are expecting this and happy to communicate with you personally.

How to minimise the spread of COVID-19

  • Frequently washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or using an alcohol based hand gel
  • Refraining from touching mouth and nose
  • If coughing or sneezing, covering your nose and mouth with a paper tissue or flexed elbow
  • Dispose of the tissue immediately after use and perform hand hygiene
  • Avoiding close contact with anyone if you, or they, have a cold or flu-like symptoms (maintain a distance of at least 1 metre).

We have been communicating these hygiene measures to students and working to increase their understanding of COVID-19, social distancing and the need for careful hygiene around this time.

Who cannot attend school – advice as at 16 March 2020

The Prime Minister has introduced measures placed on international arrivals into Australia. This means a mandatory 14 day self-isolation requirement will be placed on all international arrivals into Australia.

Students or staff who have been tested for COVID-19 should follow the advice of the WA Department of Health and stay away from school whilst awaiting results. Please notify the school if your child undertakes any testing for COVID-19.

Students or staff also need to self-quarantine if they have been informed by public health authorities that they have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus. They must isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case. Please notify the school if this is the case.

We understand that this crisis is evolving and many families are concerned about it at school. We are working as a community to ensure all proactive measures are taken, and our students understand carefully, and without panic, the actions they can take to reduce their and community risk.

Thank you for your patience at this time, please continue to check for further updates as they arise.