MLC School moved to Flexible Learning on 24 March to facilitate the continuity of girls learning during these current times. 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. Last updated Tuesday 24 March 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the School currently open?
The School is open. From Tuesday 24 March, the School commenced the roll out of a Flexible Learning model for all students. This decision recognised the heightened level of concern amongst our parents as well as the general health advice from the Premier on Monday 23 March that parents consider keeping their children at home. Care and supervision at the School is available for those who cannot keep their daughters at home. These students will also undertake the Flexible Learning program.
Has anyone at MLC School been diagnosed with COVID-19?
The School has not been informed of any positive diagnoses. In the event that a diagnosis is made and notified to the School, there will be official communication from the School to the community.
Should I keep my daughter home from school because I am worried about COVID-19?
The current advice from NSW Health 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 daughter from COVID-19?
The best advice is to practice good hygiene, particularly in washing hands regularly and thoroughly. Soap is available throughout the School, as are signs reminding the girls about proper hand-washing techniques. Teachers and all staff have also been asked to remind the girls to use soap and to refrain from touching one another.
When should I keep my daughter home from school?
If your daughter has travelled overseas, she 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 daughter has been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, she should be kept home from school for fourteen days of self-isolation since her last contact with the confirmed case of COVID-19.
Should my daughter come to school if she has cold and flu symptoms such as a runny nose, fever or a cough, even if she has not had contact with an infected person?
Your daughter must not attend school or school-related activities, on or off campus, until she is well. If your daughter becomes unwell at school, she will be sent to the nurse, who will check on her symptoms. Depending on the severity in normal circumstances, she 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 her to see a doctor for checking. As always, if you are concerned about your daughter’s health, please see your doctor.
Are co-curricular activities and sport continuing as normal?
No, all events, excursions, sport and co-curricular activities in the immediate future have been cancelled o maintain social distancing.
Should any other modifications to the calendar, events or activities become necessary, information will be provided.
What is happening in relation 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.
The following are examples of the types of activities that are impacted by our approach to social distancing:
- All multi year group assemblies, devotional, Chapel services etc will not take place until end of term at least
- All excursions, overseas tours, events, activities, interschool contact, music ensembles, dance, drama, IPSHA and IGSSA sport have been cancelled until end of term at least
- Parent information sessions, meetings and on campus social events have been cancelled until end of term at least
- Night of Nights: Lumiere Fantastique will not proceed on the dates as planned - staff are currently reviewing alternative dates and approaches
Staff involved with various co-curricular activities will advise the girls accordingly, and make contact with parents where required.
One on one lessons observing social distancing practices will continue but the following ensembles have been suspended:
- Symphony Orchestra
- Symphonic Wind band
- Concert Band
- Intermediate Concert Band
- Stage Band
- Junior Orchestra
- Chamber Orchestra
- Senior Choir
- Chamber Choir
- Junior Jazz
- Jazz Ensemble
- Bella Voce
A full list of cancelled and suspended events can be found here.
How do I let the School know that my daughter will be absent for health reasons or because she is self-isolating?
You should report her absence in the usual way. If she is self-isolating, please also contact the Head of School.
Does my daughter need a medical certificate when she is returning to school after a period of self-isolation?
The advice from NSW Health 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.
Does my daughter need a medical certificate when she is ready to school having been formally diagnosed with COVID-19?
Yes. Please take your daughter to her doctor at the conclusion of her 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; and confirmation that your daughter appears to be in good health and does not show any symptoms of COVID-19.
What should I do if my daughter has other health concerns that may have implications for susceptibility to COVID-19?
Please seek advice from your daughter’s health specialist regarding her individual circumstances. Please make sure that the School is informed of any of these matters so that we can ensure we are aware of your daughter’s medical needs.
If my daughter travels overseas during the approaching holidays and returns without cold or flu symptoms, can she 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 School 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 she return immediately to school?
Yes. The situation is similar to a child missing school because she is sick; no discount on fees applies in such a circumstance. The School will continue to work with students to enable them to continue to progress with their learning if they have been required by NSW Health 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 School in the usual ways.
Is there a risk that the School could be closed because of COVID-19?
There have been examples where NSW schools have been closed to enable the NSW Department of Health 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 MLC School. At this point the government has not indicated that widespread or lengthy closures are planned for schools in general.
If there is a School closure, how will classes and learning continue?
The School has plans to ensure the continuation of girls’ learning and access to teachers during school hours. Particular attention is being given to the needs of girls 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 MLC School?
In the event that a member of the MLC School community is diagnosed with the coronavirus, the School will follow the direction of NSW Health. The health and wellbeing of each person in the School community is paramount at all times. The School will be in contact with parents through the usual channels of SMS, email and the My MLC School portal with regular updates. It is likely that the School will require parents to keep students at home until we are advised by the Department of Health that they can return to School.
What is ‘close contact’?
According to NSW Health, 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. NSW Health provides more information here.
Where can I find out more?
The links below are very helpful. In particular, the NSW Health websites provide up to date and accurate information in both English and Mandarin.
We will continue to review and update our advice as new information becomes available.
*This information was issued on Thursday 12 March, 2020.
The Department of Health has posted several publications here
NSW Health FAQs
Guidance on Home Isolation
Federal Government Guidance
The World Health Organisation’s advice for the public can be found here
The Australian Government has a dedicated COVID-19 Health Information Line, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 1800 020 080