Montessori International College continues to monitor the ongoing worldwide situation with COVID-19 with the health and wellbeing of our MIC community our top priority.
Montessori International College confirms that as at October 13, 2020 there are currently no known cases of the novel coronavirus at our school and we are taking all necessary safety and hygiene measures in line with government regulations.
One MIC parent was diagnosed with coronavirus in late March after returning from a family holiday to the United States. That parent was already in isolation with her family when diagnosed and the entire family stayed in isolation until receiving the all-clear from Queensland Health in April. No members of the family attended school or had contact with any member of the MIC community during that time.
e-learning at MIC
All MIC students undertook e-learning for five weeks – from the start of Term 2 on April 20, 2020 until May 22, 2020 with children of essential workers and vulnerable children supervised at school while e-learning.
MIC’s e-learning program used Google Classroom with lessons delivered live by MIC teachers, using interactive video technology. Students connected and collaborated with staff and each other in real-time.
On May 4, 2020 the Queensland Premier and the Minister for Education announced the steps allowing Queensland children to return to school. Kindy, Prep and Years 1, 11 and 12 returned to school on Monday, May 11. All remaining students returned to school on Monday, May 25.
Actions at school
MIC has always paid careful attention to hygiene and this is reinforced at school on an ongoing basis as an aspect of self care and practical life. In light of recent events we have also staggered playtimes to limit the number of children at play at the same time; installed additional hand sanitiser dispensers throughout the College; increased the cleaning of bathrooms to twice per day; introduced steps to minimise adults on campus; and children at school are learning to adopt rigorous hygiene practices, including hand washing. They have also adopted an alternative to our routine morning and afternoon handshakes, the Namaste gesture, which is a customary Indian greeting.
Any student or staff member with cold or flu-like symptoms is required to stay home until symptoms resolve.
As part of MIC’s issues management processes, an Outbreak Management Plan has been developed and will be activated should there be a confirmed case of COVID-19 at MIC.
All camps, excursions, incursions and MIC events were cancelled in Terms 2 and 3 of 2020. As the current situation is now quite positive in Queensland with few active cases, and none on the Sunshine Coast, a number of excursions and camps will be reinstated in Term 4. Decisions on these will be made on a case-by-case basis, dependent on the type of event and the availability of COVID-safe practices. Families will be advised by the school directly if their child is to take part in an excursion or camp this term.
MIC is committed to working with all of our families through this very complex time. MIC’s priority is to provide as much stability as possible for families and in addition to providing a comprehensive e-learning program for all students, has continue to provide supervision to children of essential workers and vulnerable children.
MIC is also committed to providing flexible and confidential financial assistance through our COVID-19 Temporary Fee Assistance Package for MIC families in need. This will aid parents in managing school fee commitments in Terms 2 and 3 this year.
Actions families can take
Queensland Health is urging parents and carers to be alert to the symptoms of the coronavirus in their children and themselves. These include:
- a cough
- sore throat
- runny nose
- body aches and pains
- shortness of breath
- loss of taste
- loss of smell.
If parents or children are unwell and displaying any of the above symptoms, no matter how mild, Queensland Health urges you to stay home and call your doctor or 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84) to seek advice on testing. Alternatively, here is a list of Queensland fever and respiratory clinics families can visit. Before visiting your doctor, call ahead and tell them about your symptoms so they can prepare for your visit.
The best way to protect yourself and others from infection is to follow the following Queensland Health advice:
- Stay home if you are sick.
- If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, seek medical advice and get tested if advised to do so.
- Stay 1.5 metres away from other people – think two big steps.
- Wash your hands with lots of soap and water, or hand sanitiser.
- Sneeze or cough into your arm or a tissue. Then put the tissue in the bin.
MIC families are encouraged to stay abreast of advice from the World Health Organisation, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Australian Government’s Department of Health and the Queensland Government’s Department of Health.