Firbank Grammar School will provide rapid Covid-19 testing and will shortly be offering on-site booster vaccination doses.
Starting on Thursday, October 14, 2021, all people who enter the Senior School site will be tested twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays). Testing will be administered by qualified medical personnel from TLC Healthcare and supervised by the school's medical staff. All tests will be provided free of charge and with the consent of parents and guardians.
With VCE students already on-site and preparing for exams, the school feels it must protect students and community after the world’s longest lockdown in Melbourne.
With remaining students scheduled to return to on-site learning on a phased basis set by the Victorian government and increasing cases of community transmission, Principal Jenny Williams says the regime is crucial.
"If there were to be an outbreak in a school, we would need to close and clean the school immediately. It makes sense to reduce as many risks as we can, to prevent harm to our community and the long-term futures of students. We do not want our students to miss their final examinations when they have worked so hard over the past two years.
"While we cannot eliminate all risks, we can follow our principles to do the best we can to flourish, especially in the most challenging times. If we all step up, get vaccinated, follow the rules, and do our best to keep safe, we can get to a 'new' normal way of life sooner," said Williams.
VCE student Mackenzy Muller, who, as a student boarder, relies on the school to be safe to complete her studies, says that it's a relief to know that the school is doing all that it can to protect her during this critical time in her education. "It's a worrying time, exams, future choices and COVID-19; anything that we can do to keep us safe is a relief in possibly some of the most stressful times I can think of," she said.
The school has previously organised appointments for the entire student and staff body to be vaccinated and was the first to make vaccinations mandatory for staff.
Firbank stresses the importance of not coming to work or school feeling unwell. Once at school, COVID-safe measures like airflow testing for all the classrooms and the use of purification devices have been set in place.
"We all need to work together with the ever-changing rules and guidelines. We have learned more than ever how to be agile in our school, and we were ahead of the game when it came to online learning; we are leading the way now with on-site safety," Williams said.