Page Last Updated: March 28, 2022
Montessori International College closely monitors Queensland Health for updates and recommendations regarding current COVID cases in our community. The health and wellbeing of our MIC community is our top priority.
Montessori International College is taking all necessary safety and hygiene measures in line with government regulations.
Because of the nature of the global pandemic, MIC continues to develop contingency plans to ensure that no matter where health regulations and guidelines stand, the College is ready and prepared. We remain fluid so that our staff, students, and families enjoy MIC’s generous education in the safest manner possible. Whether we conduct classroom learning, remote learning, or a hybrid, MIC students are equipped to continue their education safely and successfully.
New dates for start of the 2022 school year
As per the Queensland Government announcement that the start of the 2022 school year was delayed by two weeks, with school commencing:
- Year 11 and 12 – Remote online learning commenced on January 31, 2022
- Early Learning – On-campus learning commenced on January 24, 2022
- Prep – Year 10 – On-campus learning commenced on February 7, 2022.
Current Operational Status – COVID Normal
Since March 4, 2022, Queensland schools have been operating under COVID normal conditions. This means:
- Masks are no longer required in schools, including for staff, students and visitors. If individual staff or students wish to wear a face mask while at school, they are more than welcome to do so.
- School assemblies, camps and excursions are now permitted.
- Restrictions on parents, carers and visitors to schools have now been eased. (Volunteers and workers at schools are still required to be vaccinated.)
- Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) staff and children who have symptoms of COVID-19 are now able to access RATs as a priority group.
Schools can continue to supply RATs to staff and students who become symptomatic while at school throughout Term 1. The current arrangements for symptomatic staff and students who record a positive RAT result remain in place, based on current health advice.
Anyone who is working or volunteering at a school is still required to be fully vaccinated. Schools are also still required to seek proof of vaccination for visitors and are recommended to continue using the Queensland Check-in app to do so.
For more information, visit the Queensland Government website here.
COVID safe actions at school
The most recent advice from Queensland Health is twofold. Firstly, it is to encourage vaccination. There is not a vaccination requirement for students to attend school. However, workers at schools are required to be vaccinated.
Secondly, we are operating under our COVID Safe plan, which includes a range of measures to ensure MIC stays open for student learning wherever possible while also reducing the spread of COVID infections.
COVID Safe measures for Term 1 2022 currently include:
- hygiene and cleaning protocols (carried over from 2020 and 2021, including two daily cleans on campus by MIC’s cleaning contractors)
- advanced HEPA filtration air purifiers for classrooms – all classroom purifiers are now installed and operational
- ensuring face masks are worn indoors by workers and students over 12 years of agen when required by public health direction
- staggered pick-up times
- if a member of the MIC community is sick with COVID-19 symptoms and has tested positive for COVID-19 or is a close household contact of a positive case, that person needs to isolate at home and follow the current Queensland Health guidelines for isolation
- if a child is in isolation and not experiencing symptoms, the College will provide home learning packs for pick up or downloading coupled with the regular Google Classroom activities posted by the Primary Guides each week
- if an adolescent is in isolation and not experiencing symptoms, the adolescent will log in and join virtual daily lessons via Google Classroom
- plans in place for the continuity of teaching and learning during an outbreak, including a bank of relief staff and online learning
- use of the check-in app by parents, visitors and contractors
- self-assessment at home by all family members so that unwell children and parents stay at home
- minimising group gatherings on campus
- staff working from home where possible.
The latest advice from Queensland Health is that a school will not be asked to close by the local Public Health Unit unless in exceptional circumstances.
- If staff or students are sick, do not attend school.
- Staff and students should attend their local Queensland Health testing clinics where they will be prioritised to receive a RAT.
- If a staff member or student develops COVID-19 symptoms while at school, they will be able to access free RATs from their school.
- Parents/carers will need to collect their child and administer the test at home.
- If parents cannot be contacted, the College will call emergency contacts to confirm pick up as quickly as possible.
- Students who have been identified as a close contact or who live with a close contact are unable to attend school during the isolation period as per the requirements provided by Queensland Health.
Parents/carers on school grounds
The restriction of parents and carers on school grounds was lifted at 6pm on Friday, March 4 – from that date parents and visitors are permitted on school sites, however, anyone who is working or volunteering at a school is still required to be fully vaccinated.
Parents visiting the campus must check-in at administration. However, parents volunteering, for example, reading, cleaning classroom shelves etc, can only do so if they are vaccinated. Visiting and volunteering parents need to check-in at administration.
MIC parents are asked to make sure they are contactable, are up to date with Queensland Health mandates for mask-wearing, and check-in with their child’s health each morning.
Revised drop-off and pick-up times
** Early Learning is open from 8.00am for families who need to drop off earlier.
In Term 1, 2022, the Years 7-10 Odyssey and the Year 11-12 Horizon experience planned were postponed, as well as the Senior Primary camp and the Chinese New Year Lion Dance. Montessori+ activities will not proceed in Term 1, however, the Instrumental Music Program was reinstated from March 4, 2022. MIC will continue to provide advice to families regarding other group activities, excursions, and extra-curricular activities.
Sushi and the Adolescent Cafe recommenced in Week 7 of Term 1, however, there was no Sushi in Week 9 due to the Coffee House event that day.
Our Term 1 Learning Conferences are being held online via Google Meet.
Learning at Home
Students returned to in-class learning on Monday, February 7, 2022. However, MIC is also ready to reactivate its Learning at Home programs if required.
MIC’s Learning at Home program uses Google Classroom with lessons delivered live by MIC teachers, using interactive video technology. Students connect and collaborate with staff and each other in real-time.
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 current Queensland Health advice.
MIC families are encouraged to stay abreast of advice on the Queensland Government COVID-19 website for updates including recent exposure sites and changes to restrictions.
Q. Will masks be actively promoted by MIC staff?
A. From 6pm on Friday, March 4, 2022, face masks are no longer be required to be worn by staff or students in schools. From that date, mask-wearing at school will be the personal choice of staff and students and all members of the MIC community are encouraged to be respectful of the choices of others.
Q. What happens if a child displays COVID-19 symptoms at school?
A. If a child displays COVID-19 symptoms at school, they will be isolated and parents contacted to collect their child as soon as possible.
Q. Will MIC staff use Rapid Antigen Tests to test children at school?
A. No. Children will not be tested at school. If a student develops COVID-19 symptoms while at school, parents/carers will need to collect their child and administer a RAT test at home. The Queensland Government is making a limited number of RATs (10) available to parents for free and these will be provided to MIC fortnightly to pass on to parents as required.
Q. What is the process if the Rapid Antigen Test is positive, or the child has symptoms but the test is declined?
A. Families will need to follow the Queensland Government guidelines for quarantine and isolation. Details available on the Queensland Government website.
Q. What is the process if the Rapid Antigen Test is negative?
A. Families are asked to continue to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and stay home if unwell. It is important that if students are sick, they do not attend school.
Q. If my child has to quarantine or isolate, can they choose to access Learning at Home?
A Yes, Primary Guides have learning packs for Primary children to access online or pick up. The adolescent community will invite adolescents to connect to their usual day-to day lessons in real-time online.
Q Are there Energy Levy opportunities that don’t require parents to come on campus?
A. Yes, contact your class Guide or Advisor to enquire about Energy Levy opportunities that can be completed remotely. Parents can also access the MIC Community Energy Levy Opportunities document via the Schoolzine app.
Q. Will the school vaccinate without parental consent?
A. No, MIC does not administer any COVID-19 vaccinations and would not vaccinate any child without prior parental consent.
Last page update: March 28, 2022