Frequently Asked Questions

Updated March 2020

The Principal and our Senior Leadership Team at Al Siraat College have put in place a plan to manage a situation should it arise in relation to a case of COVID-19 at the College.

Information about the virus is ever changing and we appreciate there is community concern. We hope the following information assists with queries and questions. Please check this page regularly for updates.

Has anyone at ASC been diagnosed with COVID-19?

We have not been informed of any positive diagnoses. In the event that a diagnosis is made and notified to the College, there will be official communication from Al Siraat to the community.

Should I keep my child/children at home because I am worried about COVID-19?

The current advice from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is that there is no reason why students who have not travelled to affected areas, or had close contact with a confirmed case, should not attend school.

What can I do to protect my child/children from COVID-19?

The best advice is to practice good hygiene, particularly in washing hands regularly and thoroughly. Soap is available throughout the College, as are signs reminding the students about proper hand-washing techniques. Teachers and all staff have also been asked to remind students to use soap and to refrain from touching one another.

When should I keep my child/children at home from school?

If your child/children have travelled overseas, they should be kept home from school for fourteen days of self-isolation since arriving back in Australia as required by the Australian government. If your child/children have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, they should be kept home from school for fourteen days of self-isolation since their last contact with the confirmed case of COVID-19.

Should my child come to school if they have cold and flu symptoms such a runny nose, fever or a cough, even if they have not had contact with an infected person?

Your child/children must not attend school or school-related activities, on or off campus, until they are well. If your child becomes unwell at school, they will be sent to the nurse, who will check on their symptoms. Depending on the severity in normal circumstances, they will be able to recuperate and then return to class.

At the moment, students who present with a fever and other flu like symptoms are kept in the health centre and parents are asked to collect them to see a doctor for checking. As always, if you are concerned about your child/children’s health, please see your doctor.

Are co-curricular activities and sports continuing as normal?

We are closely monitoring the situation and the advice provided by the government. At this stage, many activities at Al Siraat are continuing as normal. Other events scheduled to take place have also been cancelled, such as:

  • Annual Sport Carnival
  • Year 9 Leadership & Sports Program
  • Year 9 Interfaith Ambassadors: Cinespace Workshop
  • Science Works and Melbourne Museum excursions
  • all interschool sports competitions, like tennis, T-ball, volleyball and basketball
  • visit to Lalor Library

At the College, we have also cancelled the daily Primary School assemblies in the mornings. Students are required to go straight to their classrooms at 8.20am.

Should any other modifications to the calendar, events or activities become necessary, information will be provided.

How do I let the College know that my child will be absent for health reasons or because of self-isolating?

You should report all absences in the usual way. If your child is self-isolating, please also contact the Head of School (Ms Summer for Primary or Mr Vis for Secondary).

Does my child need a Medical Certificate when returning to school after a period of self-isolation?

The advice from DHHS is that a medical certificate is NOT required following a period of self-isolation because of travel to affected areas or close contact with a diagnosed case of COVID-19.

Please note that this does not apply to all VCE students who are required to present a Medical Certificate for attendance in all cases.

Does my child need a Medical Certificate when they are ready to school having been formally diagnosed with COVID-19?

Yes. Please take your child/children to your GP at the conclusion of their 14th day of incubation and obtain a statement from the doctor outlining:

  • The date of the visit to the doctor;
  • the date of the return to Australia OR the date of last contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • confirmation that your child appears to be in good health and does not show any symptoms of COVID-19.

What should I do if my child has other health concerns that may have implications for susceptibility to COVID-19?

Please seek advice from your child’s health specialist regarding their individual circumstances. Please make sure that the College is informed of any of these matters so that we can ensure we are aware of your child’s medical needs.

If my child travels overseas during the approaching holidays and returns without cold or flu symptoms, can they return immediately to school?

Any person who travels overseas is required to self-quarantine by staying at home for 14 days after landing in Australia. Therefore any student MUST NOT ATTEND SCHOOL for 14 days from the date of return travel. This also applies to family members and friends, who must not visit the College before the 14-day self-quarantine period has passed.

Do school fees still apply if a student is self-isolated without cold or flu symptoms, can they return immediately to school?

Yes. The situation is similar to a child missing school because he/she is sick; no discount on fees applies in such a circumstance. The College will continue to work with students to enable them to continue to progress with their learning if they have been required by DHHS to self-isolate. The means and extent of this support will vary depending on the age of the students. If parents have concerns about the learning that is provided during a time of self-isolation, they should make contact with the College in the usual ways.

Is there a risk that the College could be closed because of COVID-19?

There have been examples where VIC schools have been closed to enable the DHHS to confirm whether there is a case of the coronavirus amongst the students or staff at that school. It is possible that this could happen at Al Siraat College. At this point the government has not indicated that widespread or lengthy closures are planned for schools in general.

If there is a College closure, how will classes and learning continue?

The College has plans to ensure the continuation of students’ learning and access to teachers during school hours. Particular attention is being given to the needs of VCE students in Years 11 and 12. Staff and students are encouraged to ensure that they are taking their digital devices home with them each day. More details will be provided if and when it becomes necessary.

What will happen if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at Al Siraat?

In the event that a member of the ASC community is diagnosed with the coronavirus, the College will follow the direction of DHHS. The health and wellbeing of each person in the College community is paramount at all times. Al Siraat will be in contact with parents through the usual channels of SMS, email and the website and newsletter with regular updates. It is likely that the College will require parents to keep students at home until we are advised by the Department that they can return to school.

What is "close contact"?

According to DHHS, a ‘close contact’ is someone who has been face to face for at least 15 minutes, or been in the same closed space for at least 2 hours, as someone who has tested positive for the COVID-19 when that person was infectious.

What is "self-isolation"?

Self-isolation is intended to remove direct contact with other people, in order to ensure that the virus is not transmitted. If self-isolating, people should limit their activities outside the home, not go to school or to public areas.

What is happening in relations to school events?

Though at this stage, schools are being advised NOT to close, the advice is that we should restrict the amount of mixing that students do with those in other year levels and with other schools.

This means widespread cancellation of events and activities. Like you, we find this incredibly disappointing but we must act in the best interests of everyone’s health.

Staff involved with various co-curricular activities will advise the girls accordingly, and make contact with parents where required.

Where can I find out more?

The links below are very helpful. In particular, the VIC Health websites provide up to date and accurate information in both English and other languages.

We will continue to review and update our advice as new information becomes available.

Useful Links

The Australian Government has a dedicated COVID-19 Health Information Line, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 1800 020 080

For other useful Links, please click here.