School Policies


The purpose of this policy is to outline how our school will be managing risk relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) during key interactions between students, parents and staff in Term 3, 2020.

Frankston Special Developmental School (SDS) is committed to providing a safe learning and working environment for our students and staff. We ask that the whole school community follow this policy to enable us to provide the safest possible environment during this time. We all have a role to play in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Victoria.


Frankston SDS is following the advice from the Department of Education and Training (DET) which can be found on the Department’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) website


This policy applies to everyone in the Frankston SDS community: all members of staff (principals, teachers and education support and allied health staff), all families who interact with the school and all students. It also includes all visitors and volunteers to the school.


Attendance on-site

The Department of Education and Training (DET) advises that:

Unwell staff, children and young people MUST remain at home.

Whilst the risk of transmission of the virus is very low, staff or students most at risk of severe illness should individually assess appropriateness for onsite attendance at this time with support from their medical practitioner.

As the main risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the school environment is between adults, it is important that visitors to school grounds are limited to those delivering or supporting essential school services and operations.

This means that at our school:

  • All unwell staff and students MUST stay home.
  • Families of students with complex medical needs (including those with compromised immune systems), should seek advice from the student’s medical practitioner to support decision-making about whether on-site education is suitable, noting that this advice may change depending on the status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Victoria. This is in line with the DET Health Care Needs policy.
  • Visitors to school grounds will be limited to those delivering or supporting essential school services and operations. These are: Biala therapists, long standing volunteers who are deemed integral to students’ learning and a limited number of people completing teacher placement.
  • Additional staff, including parent volunteers, are discouraged from attending school at this time.
  • Where possible, meetings will be conducted remotely using platforms such as Webex, Microsoft Teams, Zoom or by phone.
  • All interschool activities that involve onsite attendance by students from other schools will be cancelled.
  • School assemblies will be conducted via Webex/Microsoft Teams.
  • Excursions, camps and other non-essential large gatherings will be postponed.

School arrival and departure

DET advises that:

As the main risk of introducing coronavirus (COVID-19) to the school environment is from adults, close proximity between adult members of the school community should be avoided, particularly during school drop-off and pick-up.

This means that at our school:

  • We require staff and family members to observe physical distancing measures by not congregating in areas inside or around the school
  • Parents will drop students at the KISS & GO area, where they will be required to pull up at the kerb at which time a FSDS staff member will conduct a temperature check of the child before assisting them out of the car.
  • Parent drop-off times will be after buses have departed: 9.10am and 3.10pm.
  • The school reserves the right to refuse entry to visitors who are unwilling to keep the school community safe by complying with entry guidelines.
  • To minimise interaction of students and adults within the school and at entry points we:
    • Encourage non-contact greetings.
    • Provide a staggered drop-off and pick-up for students not arriving on buses.
    • Discourage family members from entering the school. If in the event that this is not possible, family members must wear a mask before entering and at all times whilst on school premises.


DET advises that:

Everyone can protect themselves and prevent the spread of coronavirus by continuing effective hand hygiene.

At our school:

  • All staff and students will undertake regular hand hygiene, particularly on arrival to school, before and after eating, after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing or using the toilet, and exiting and entering the classroom. This will be directed or supervised by staff where required and will involve hand washing with soap and water and/or the use of hand sanitiser.

  • All staff, students, volunteers, and visitors will have their temperature taken upon entering the school each morning and apply hand sanitiser.

  • All staff must wear a face covering at school. Exceptions to this are during face to face teaching. See Department of Health and Human Services DHHS for guidance on face coverings.

  • Where soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitiser will be made available.

  • Students must bring their own water bottles to school for use (and refilling). It is recommended that students do not drink directly from drinking fountains at this time.

  • Staff and students will be reminded to clean their mobile phones/iPads regularly.

  • Sharing of food is not permitted.

Specific arrangements for teaching and learning environments and break times

DET advises that:

Maintaining a physical distance of 1.5 metres will not always be practical in education settings. Physical distancing is most important between adults.

Reducing mixing between different cohorts (departments) is recommended as a precautionary measure to minimise risk of spread of transmission and aid containment in the rare event of a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) on site.

At our school:

  • Staff will maintain physical distancing as much as practical across all environments.
  • Ventilation via open windows and/or doors will be maximised in all areas of the school
  • Staff and students will largely remain within their learning environments where practical. This means that juniors will play in the junior playground, middles and seniors will remain on the oval.
  • Staff will wear masks whilst on-site. This will apply in the classroom if/when practical.
  • Students above the age of 12 will be encouraged to wear a mask where practical.

School offices and staff facilities

DET advises that:

As the greatest risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the school environment is between adults, close proximity between staff will be avoided where possible and especially in offices and staff rooms.

At our school we will:

  • Ensure all staff have access to a designated staffroom.

    • Main staffroom: Juniors, administration, ICT room, therapists
    • Homecrafts room: Middles
    • BER: Senior staff
  • Utilise the gym or multipurpose room for small group meetings such as the leadership meeting and weekly wellbeing meeting.
  • Conduct whole-school meetings either in the junior courtyard where social distancing rules can be maintained or via an online platform such as Microsoft Teams of Webex.

Cleaning and facilities management

DET advises that:

Environmental cleaning, coupled with regular hand hygiene, remains important to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission.

At our school we will:

  • Continue extension of routine environmental cleaning, including progressive cleaning throughout the day to ensure that risks of transmission are reduced for high-touch services. See Department information about Access to cleaning supplies and services.

Sport and recreation

DET advises that:

In line with community advice, reasonable precautions are still advised to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission in the context of sport and recreation.

  • Playground equipment can be used. However, students will be assisted to practise hand hygiene before and after use.
  • Wherever possible, outdoor facilities will be used for physical education and recreational play. Where indoor facilities are used, we will limit the number of students.
  • Swimming and aquatic facilities will not be used.
  • We will encourage non-contact sports at this time. Hand hygiene will be practised before and after use of any sporting equipment.
  • Bikes can be used, however these must be wiped down by the supervising classroom staff after use.

Provision of routine care and first aid

DET advises that:

Physical distancing is not practical when providing direct care. In this situation standard precautions, including hand hygiene, are important for infection control.

At our school:

  • Standard precautions as per DET Infectious Diseases policy will be followed when providing first aid. For example, we will use gloves and an apron when dealing with blood or body fluids/substances.
  • Hand hygiene will be practised before and after performing routine care or first aid.
  • A number of masks have been handmade by FSDS staff member for use at school if staff would like one. In addition to this, 1500 disposable masks are available to all staff.
  • Additional personal protective equipment (PPE): gloves, eye shields and full body suits will be provided in order to assist with routine personal hygiene care or first aid for students who are well.

Management of an unwell student or staff member

DET advises that:

It is important that any staff member or student who becomes unwell at school is sent home. While it is unlikely that a staff member or student who is unwell with flu-like symptoms will have coronavirus (COVID-19) there are some sensible steps schools can take while a student awaits collection by a family member as a precaution.

This means that at our school:

  • Staff and students experiencing compatible symptoms with coronavirus (COVID-19), such as fever, cough or sore throat or cold-like symptoms, will be isolated in an appropriate space with suitable supervision and collected by a family member as soon as possible. Urgent medical attention will be sought where needed.
  • If the care of an unwell child or young person is to be prolonged (for example, because it will take some hours for a parent to collect a child) and maintaining distance is not practical when providing direct care, gloves, gown and eye protection will be considered if available.
  • If a staff member is unsure whether a student is unwell in the first instance we will contact the family to discuss any concerns about the health status of the student, and we will take a precautionary approach, requesting the family member collect their child if concerns remain. A first-aid trained staff member may take the temperature of the student, where appropriate, to support decision-making. Gloves will be worn for the purpose of taking a temperature.
  • Staff or students experiencing compatible symptoms with coronavirus (COVID-19) should be encouraged to seek the advice of their healthcare professional who can advise on next steps. A medical certificate is not required to return to school after a period of illness, however staff and students should not return until symptoms resolve.
  • If a student spreads droplets (for example by sneezing, coughing or vomiting), surfaces will be immediately cleaned with disinfectant wipes (and using gloves).

Managing a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19

DET has comprehensive procedures in place with the Department of Health and Human Services to manage suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in schools.

  • We will contact the Department of Health and Human Services on 1300 651 160 to discuss what to do next if a student or staff member:
    • is a confirmed case
    • has been in close contact with a confirmed case
  •   We will inform the Department by making an IRIS incident alert.
    DHHS defines ‘close contact’ as someone who has either:
  •   had at least 15 minutes of face-to-face contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  •   shared a closed space for more than two hours with someone who is a confirmed case.
  •   The school will follow DHHS and DET guidelines in the event of a school closure



Links FSDS Policies: Visitors, Duty of Care, First-aid
Author Assistant Principal
Reviewed May 20, July 20
School Council Approval Distributed to school council
Next review date As advised by DET
References DET School Policy Advisory Guide:

Department of Health and Human Services Coronavirus hotline – 1800 675 398 (24 hours, 7 days a week)

How to enroll your child at Frankston SDS

How to enroll your child at Frankston SDS

Enrolment at Frankston SDS is based on specific eligibility criteria. Should you wish to discuss eligibility please feel free to contact the school. We look forward to your call.