The situation in relation to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing quickly and each day presents a new challenge. This information hub is a place where Carey families and our broader community can be kept up-to-date with Carey’s response to the evolving situation. 

To find out more information about the COVID-19 disease and the latest updates from the Victorian Government, visit the Department of Health and Human Services coronavirus information page. Please also refer to Section 200 of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic) for the government's Stay Safe Directions in Victoria, which includes details specific to COVID-19 and mask-wearing guidelines.  

Please explore the following pages for more information:

    • To see answers to helpful and commonly asked questions, see FAQs 
    • For contact details of key Carey staff and for student mental health advice, see Support 
    • For links to more information and resources you might find helpful in navigating the current situation, see Useful resources.
Latest update (24 January 2022)

Dear Families,

Following the Premier’s announcement yesterday, I am delighted to confirm that we are able to welcome all students back to school on Friday 28 January. We have undertaken a great deal of preparation ahead of the student return and it is our objective to prioritise face-to-face learning opportunities for all our students along with a full co-curricular program including camps and sport.

We will be adopting all the recommended public health measures including mask wearing for all staff and all students Year 3 and above, occupancy limits and good ventilation to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spread. We will have a COVID plan in place for all activities which will be modified where necessary to accommodate safe participation for our community.

We are very clear about the importance of the face-to-face schooling, and our experience last year highlighted that the associated impacts of COVID-19, such as the mental health impacts on children and the strain that home learning placed on families were significant. As a result, we have seconded Allan Griffin, Head of Student Development, to a new role for 2022 to support us in our proactive response to these issues. Allan will work with our Deputy Principal – Wellbeing, Peter Robson, Heads of House and Mentors to support students with a range of programs throughout the year ahead.

Support with Vaccinations
The booster shot or third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is now compulsory for all staff and we will be working with staff to achieve this over the weeks ahead.

The medical advice to parents is to have all children aged five and up vaccinated. We are advised that there are many appointments now available in the state run clinics for families to book. We have been able to secure a small number of vaccinations for students aged five to 11 which we will be offering to families for delivery at the Kew Junior School on Saturday 29 January. If you have not yet been able to get a booking for your child, you are invited to register your interest on this booking form. Vaccinations will be allocated on a first-in-first-served basis.

All families are encouraged to ensure that students are vaccinated with first, second and, when due, third shot to protect each individual and the community more broadly.

Rapid Antigen Tests
The new measures announced on Sunday outlined the use of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to provide proactive screening of the student and staff population. This will take place twice per week at home for all students and staff. The RATs will provide another layer of reassurance for us all but the critical step that every family can take is to keep children at home if they are at all unwell.

Once we have the RATs we will contact you with a schedule as to when they can be collected from the School.

Parents onsite in the first month
As we navigate through the first month of school and determine the extent of any absences or disruption, we are asking parents to minimise their presence on campus to essential activities.

  • We will advise you once RATs arrive and provide you with a collection schedule.
  • The Campion book on site collection day is confirmed for Thursday 27 January. This will be located in Metcalfe Hall. Please refer to section communication regarding details of pick-up times. Please ensure you attend the site at the time suggested by Campion to avoid unnecessary queueing.
  • Swap Shop will be open during the week commencing 24 January and hours have also been confirmed on CareyLink. Opening hours alternate on each day of opening, either as a morning or afternoon session. Swap shop will not be open on Friday 28 January.
  • After school care (OSH Club) will operate from Monday 31 January and the school canteen will be open for normal services for students and staff only from 31 January.

We ask all adults attending campus to be fully vaccinated, to sign in with QR codes, observe queue management and room density limits, utilise hand sanitation and wear masks. Please check information provided to you carefully to avoid long wait times and large crowds. Parking is limited around the School as all staff have returned. Please go direct to the areas advertised and leave once you have completed your pick-up.

Parent and community events which cannot be effectively transferred to an online setting will be deferred until later in the term when we are able to safely invite the community back onto campus. This includes parents’ welcome events and the Commencement Service.

Management of positive cases
We ask you all for patience as we work through what is expected to be a complex few weeks ahead as we anticipate we will have several students and staff away on any given day in the first weeks of school.

When an individual student tests positive, we ask that they stay home for the required 7 days and return only after registering a negative test and their symptoms have dissipated. Families are required to report positive cases to the Department of Health via COVID-19 Positive Rapid Antigen Test Self-Reporting Form or call centre on 1800 675 398. Please also advise your Head of School as soon as a positive result is received or if you are a household close contact. Please see the Department of Health Checklist for further information.

Notifications of positive cases in the school community will be done via Daily Messages.

Learning materials will be provided online for students to access if they are well enough to do so during this period.

Managing staff shortages
It is our intent to continue running a normal program until we are unable to in any section of the School due to staff shortages. Should a staff member fall ill, they will be covered as would normally be the case, and in the instance of a significant staff shortage we are ready to group students differently to accommodate any staff shortages. We have anticipated the need for staff cover and have engaged several additional teachers who are ready to back fill as required. However, there may come a point at the peak when we are not able to offer parts of the program or at its worst, we may need to ask a class, year level or section of the School to stay home. We will all work as hard as possible to avoid this.

The year ahead
Despite our current focus on dealing with the Omicron wave we are extremely hopeful and optimistic about the year ahead. On the back of some of the best VCE and IB results in many years for our school, we continue to build a culture of striving for excellence across the entirety of the educational program. The work of our staff continues to support our innovation agenda, and we look forward to launching our future strategic direction statement later in the year which will reflect the aspirations of our community, as gained through the Appreciative Inquiry which we undertook in 2021.

We look forward to seeing all students on Friday 28 January and we know how important it is for our offering to be presented in its fullest form possible, with students having fun, connecting with each other and teachers and experiencing all the elements of a great Carey education.

Further detailed information will be sent from school sections in the days ahead.

With best wishes

Jonathan Walter