Dear Boarding families,
What a fortnight we have had in Boarding! We became the first Boarding House in Tasmania to have a COVID-19 outbreak and have been used as an exemplar for ‘how to manage a boarding house through an outbreak’ as sighted in a current four-day course running at the University of Tasmania in managing an outbreak. The staff and students have shown this week how boarding builds resilience and character. This was demonstrated by the way our boarders got on with it, with little fuss. It would be fair to say they acted like typical kids and teenagers, as we still had to remind them to social distance and wear their mask.
I was proud of the way our newest boarders like Aaron from Melbourne (Grade 12), Jack from Smithton (Grade 7) and Hannah from St Mary’s (Grade 7) continued to play games and interact with all the other boarders as we modelled that we can live with COVID-19 in our boarding environment. If you had of asked Nial and Nic as they rode around the campus on their bikes, then nothing was really different.
Watch Aaron playing cricket for Launceston Grammar.
Our little Grade 6s, David and Heidi, were also great at wearing masks to school on our bus run and continued to discuss two ducks who are camped on the side of the road and what their adventures would be for the day. Very funny – the ducks have gone from being friends, to being engaged and then waddling off on a honeymoon, all in one week!! Got to love the imagination of our juniors.
As we end this fortnight, I can report that we have had five confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one unfortunate case of close contact, all complete a seven-day isolation period and have re-entered the school system. We managed minimal disruption to our boarders learning and were able to maintain an open boarding house throughout this period.
We start the week in Stage 3 (Stand Down) where we have recorded no now cases in seven days since our last positive case. We continue with our system and watch and act for any signs and symptoms.
Please ring me if you are still having issues with REACH.
Finally, on COVD-19, A big shout out to the work Zoe and TJ did with their teams to manage our space and support your child through this unusual period. All staff stepped up and responded well, with some even being touched by the virus at different stages throughout the fortnight period. Another thank you goes out to Jenny, our Resident Nurse, who stood up when it counted and was flat out transitioning between day students and boarders to ensure all student needs were met. At one point I was witness to Jenny in full gown, gloves, mask and face shield supporting a child from the day school with an asthma attack on her way to attending to one of our COVID-19 isolated student’s needs. The grass outside of her medical centre was looking like a triage area!
I wish everyone a safe and happy fortnight and look forward to catching up with you if we cross paths around the Boarding House.
Head of Boarding