20 March 2020

First, thank you to everyone in our community who has sourced hand sanitiser for us! It seems people have a number of pharmacy connections, and it has been a great response.

Thank you too for the many messages of support, flowers, cake and cards we have received. All are in the staff room. This has been a lovely boost to everyone’s morale for the end of a busy week. Our staff remains enthusiastic and professional.

The children have also been brilliant and are calm and happy.  One of the most heartening messages that we get every day is how disappointed children are at the idea of not being at school as they love coming here.

My announcements today are:

NAPLAN 2020 has been cancelled by Education Ministers

I have employed an additional cleaner for two hours a day

We have postponed our year 6 camp scheduled for May to November 23-27

Our school canteen is taking online orders only, no counter service

We have discontinued parent help in classrooms

Staff are no longer attending off site meetings

Today the government is recommending four square metres per person in an enclosed space however this does not apply to schools.

The school is very quiet at drop off and pick up times now, as parents do their bit to avoid coming into our high traffic areas. Many thanks for your support on this.

Today 98 children (23%) are absent from school. To my knowledge no Richmond student or parent has yet tested positive.  Many are staying home as a precaution due to normal colds and I thank you for not sending sick children to school.

Principals need to report to the Education Department all positive confirmed COVID-19 cases in the community (parents/carers/siblings). Please could you let me know of any relevant information.

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.

The Chief Health Officer will, if there has been a positive COVID-19 test result at a school, close that school temporarily while assessment and tracing of exposure is conducted.  A thorough clean will then be carried out to make the school safe for the return of students and staff.

Here is a calm and factual message for parents from Dr Chris Blyth who is head of infectious diseases at Perth Children’s Hospital:  https://www.youtube.com/embed/LOwAXpIOWPw

In other news, Chelsey our chaplain has decided to focus on full time study.  We are very sorry to see her go as she had forged strong relationships here, but we hope to see her again at some stage.  Good luck with your degree Chelsey. Youthcare will appoint another chaplain in due course.

My last update crashed our website with well over 1000 hits.  I am humbled by this and thank you for your readiness to keep up to date with what we are doing at Richmond.

We really appreciate your support of us, which has been unwavering.

Lisa Dentith