75 Pioneer Street, FOSTER, VIC 3960
03 5631 6000


COVID 19 News and Updates

26th November 2020

The Department of Education and Training has announced that:-

School visits

Limitations on who can visit school premises no longer apply from the Last Step.

This means parents are welcomed back on site, for example for school drop-offs and pick-ups.

Activities involving parent volunteers can also resume.

Graduation ceremonies can take place with parents on site

Subject to public gathering limits, parents can also now attend student graduation ceremonies. Graduation ceremonies and other large gatherings on school site involving external guests are subject to gathering limits for ceremonies; total venue cap (including students, staff and visitors) of 150 indoors or 300 outdoors.

Drinking fountains

The use of drinking fountains in schools is now permitted.

 Students with underlying conditions (such as hay fever or asthma)

If a student has persistent symptoms due to an underlying condition such as hay fever or asthma, the student should still be tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) if they develop symptoms that are different to or worse than their usual symptoms.

Parents/carers should also consider getting a medical certificate from the child’s treating GP to confirm that it is safe for them to attend school with persistent symptoms that may overlap with some of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) such as cough or runny nose.

Young children with persistent mild symptoms

For younger children (in grades Prep to 2) who have had a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test that was taken after they developed symptoms, the decision about return to school should be made in conjunction with the child’s treating GP. If the GP is satisfied the child has recovered from their acute illness, is otherwise well, and does not need a repeat coronavirus (COVID-19) test, the child can return even if they are not completely free of symptoms. Any worsening of symptoms will require review and repeat coronavirus (COVID-19) testing, if considered appropriate by the doctor.

Students with a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test whose symptoms have completely resolved do not need a medical certificate to return to the school.


3rd August 2020

Dear Families,

Premier Daniel Andrews has just declared a State of Disaster and a move to Stage 3 restrictions in Regional Victoria. What this means for you:-

Monday, 3rd August is a normal school day
Tuesday, 4th August is a Pupil Free Day (NO students to attend on site)
Wednesday, 5th August we move to Remote Learning. This will be the same Wellbeing Wednesday.schedule as previously.

On Monday we will be calling families to see who will be in attendance during remote learning and to see who requires a device/ internet support. Books etc.,will be sent home with children on Monday afternoon. If you do not hear from us on Monday and feel you meet the requirements for your child’s attendance or internet/ device support please contact the school on Tuesday.

On Tuesday we will be tweaking our ‘Remote Learning’ Program to make it easier to manage for parents/ students than previously. We will be spending all of Tuesday getting ready for this. No students to be onsite. We will be distributing devices on this day by appointment only.

Vulnerable children and children of essential workers will be allowed on site on Wednesday and will be continuing the same remote learning as other students under supervision of a teacher/ teachers.at school.

These are indeed very challenging and rapidly changing times. I thank you in advance for your continued support. We have many resources listed on our school website for both adults and children should you feel you need greater assistance.

Kindest regards, Lorraine


31st July 2020

Dear Families,
As many of you are aware, Premier Daniel Andrews announced yesterday that mask wearing will be compulsory for everyone 12 years and over as of Monday.
At Foster PS all staff/ visitors on site will be wearing masks as of today.
If children younger than 12 feel happier/ more secure, they are more than welcome to wear a mask too. The children are very aware and very inquisitive and asking great questions which we are responding to sensitively.
Again, we are continuing with the high level cleaning throughout the day (including playgrounds), each and every day and children are asked to wash their hands and sanitise frequently throughout the day.
We are so extremely fortunate to have no cases in Foster and are working hard to keep it that way!
Remember, if your child is unwell, please keep them home, contact your GP to see if they need testing and if they do, please keep them home until results are in.
We are working hard to maintain a sense of normality and offer great educational programs to keep our students engaged and motivated. Students’ academic progress is always being monitored, with educational intervention programs in Maths and English in place for those students who need it and extension work for those students who need a stretch. Remember, if you have any questions, queries or concerns please feel free to contact your child’s classroom teacher.
Kind regards,  Lorraine



24th June 2020

Youth Support During COVID-19


16th June 2020

Bass Coast & South Gippsland Shire COVID-19 Supports Available


5th June 2020

Dear Parents/ Carers,

Here is an update regarding our return to school for ALL students next week:-

  • Monday June 8th is a PUBLIC HOLIDAY – no school
  • Tuesday June 9th ALL Grade 3-6 students now return. We are all so very excited about having all our students back with us. If your child is unable to return due to a medical issue or if you do not wish your child to return at this stage, please call me.
  • Adults are currently not allowed onsite. We have created two drop off zones for parents if you wish to come onsite with your child. The P-2 area is near the Junior playground/ painted cow. The 3-6 drop off is next to the staff car park. This minimises adult contact and maximises social distancing. Remember, students on their own, can access any gate which is the safest for them to use.
  • If you wish to speak with a teacher or the principal, please call/ email to make an appointment first.
  • If your child is late and you need help in getting him/her into school, please call the front office and we will come out to help you.
  • Please remember – ALL children need a drink bottle which they can fill at the water fountains.
  • We shall be calling parents/ carers to organise a drop off time for all borrowed devices on Tuesday 9th June.
  • Importantly – If your child is unwell – please do not send them to school. If your child presents as unwell at school we shall have to call parents/ carers to collect them.

Teachers Update:

  • As of Tuesday next week, Ms Thurgood will continue to be 3/4 T’s classroom teacher until the end of term. Mr Davis will be returning next term.
  • Ms Prior will continue to be 5/6 P’s classroom teacher until the end of this term and for part of next term.
  • Ms Duggan will be working remotely for the remainder of the term and Mrs Pyke will be 3/4 D’s classroom teacher.

Programs Update:

  • Due to COVID restrictions, we are unable to offer Kitchen sessions to our students at this stage. We do not have the necessary space, equipment or resources to offer individualised cooking sessions this term. Garden classes will remain and the equipment (as with all equipment)  is being sanitised between use by different classes.
  • Given the nature of this pandemic and the uncertainty of how things may unfold, I am taking a proactive approach to support and maximise our students’ learning into the future. Next term I am employing a teacher to work with Nat, our Kitchen Specialist, and the 3/4 students to deliver a practical, hands on Science curriculum with Kitchen, sustainability and the environment as its focus. We will work towards integrating cooking as soon as we can. This will continue for the remainder of the year.
  • Due to these COVID restrictions, next term, I shall also be employing a teacher to offer a practical, hands on Science, Design and Technology program for our 4/5 and 5/6 classes in place of the Kitchen/ Garden program for the remainder of the year. We will be offering students in these grades opportunities for cooking special menus/ garden maintenance work/ buddies over the year to develop their leadership capabilities and maintain the connection with our Kitchen Garden program.
  • Next term, for our Prep -2 students we shall be offering specialist Art classes and French will become more immersive and ‘Language Play’ focused.
  • These additional, specialist offerings are all in addition to the quality Music, PE and French (Language Play for Juniors) that we currently offer.

The last few months have been challenging for all of us. I am extremely grateful to all our parents/ carers for their incredible support and to our teachers for the quality programs and support they have offered our students and families during this difficult time.
We are having to think differently and rise to challenges and come up with creative solutions at each and every stage. I am so very fortunate and grateful  that I live and work in this remarkable corner of the world with such incredible people.

Thank you for your ongoing support. If you have any questions or queries, please, please call and have a chat!

Lorraine Gurnett



2nd June 2020

Useful department website with return to schooling information

Dear Parents/ Carers,

The department has several resources about the return to schooling and COVID available which you may find useful. The link is here. We do have many more supports listed on our school website too.


Preparing your child for the return to school – simple tips

Dear Parents/ Carers of students in Grades 3-6,

As we move ever closer to our older students returning to school, here is another simple resource for parents/ carers to help you prepare your child for the return to school.



22nd May 2020

Transition Back to School Information for Parents/Carers


20th May 2020

Return to School – Practical Information

Dear Parents/ Carers,

As you are all aware students in grades Prep, One and Two are returning to school on Tuesday, 26th May. We are looking forward to seeing all their lovely smiling faces again!

Monday 25th May is a PUPIL FREE DAY. No online or onsite teaching will be happening on that day as we will be preparing for the return to school. We will also be telephoning parents/carers of Prep -2 students to book a time for adults to return borrowed devices to school.

We will not be staggering the school start and end times at this stage but will be making other changes to minimise interactions.

For Junior children next week, to support them with their transition back to school, a teacher from the Junior area will meet the children at the main front gate on Pioneer Street in the allocated pick up/ drop off zone IN the school grounds. They will then take them into school when you/ they are ready. This gate will remain the  main entry point for Prep – Twos’ for the remainder of the term. If you are coming in from the school crossing over the creek, we ask that you pick up/ drop off by the play house/ play equipment by the creek.  We ask that parents do not enter the main school grounds (unless absolutely essential) at this stage as per Department requirements. If you need to talk to a teacher, office staff or myself please email or telephone the school (56822370) to make an appointment first.

Onsite supervision will still only be available for children in Grades 3-6 for those students who cannot be supervised at home or are vulnerable. An attendance form must be completed by Friday each week, for the following week. Grades 3-6 will return on the 9th June, following the Queen’s Birthday on the 8th June. More information will be sent out nearer the time for the returning Grade 3-6 children.

We ask that students bring their own water bottle (which they can fill at the drinking taps) but students will be unable to drink from the drinking taps.

In order to keep your children safe and well, our school will be undergoing extra cleaning of high touch/ use areas and also of the playground throughout the day, as well as the regular cleaning. Children will be washing their hands before eating, before and after playtime and at any other time that is appropriate. We also have hand sanitiser available in every classroom as well as surface disinfectant and will be minimising the sharing of equipment as far as possible. All shared outdoor play equipment will also be removed for the time being.

In all instances, please do not send your child to school if they are at all unwell.

All of the above measures are being taken in line with departmental requirements to keep your children, parents/ carers and our staff safe. It will feel very strange for a while as we adapt. Again, we appreciate your feedback as we tweak our practice in order to continually improve the learning experiences for our students.

Thank you so very much for your support and efforts in helping us transition to remote learning and thank you in advance for your support in transitioning back to onsite learning.

Kind regards,
Lorraine Gurnett



20th May 2020



Dear Parents and Carers,

Important dates to remember;
Monday 25 May will be a pupil-free day, to support all school staff to prepare for returning to school.
Tuesday 26 May – P/1/2 classes resume

We understand that some families may feel anxious about this move back to classroom teaching and learning. I can assure you that this decision has been taken on the basis of the best health advice available to our state.

  • Some students will be feeling very excited about returning to school, others will be feeling apprehensive. Students will react differently when coming back to school – some will be loud and active whilst others will be reserved and quiet. Both reactions are normal, and teachers will cater for all responses.
  • The teachers will be using the first few days for the students to debrief about their time remote learning, spending time on social and emotional wellbeing, and reintroducing expectations.
  •  Allowing students time to reconnect to their peers and re-establish friendship groups will also be an important element of the first week back.

Helping your child to transition back to school
We can help our children by encouraging them to express how they feel about going back to school, and validate their concerns. Children’s anxiety expert Karen Young suggests a conversation opener such as: “It’s a big thing going back to school and it’s OK if you feel a bit worried. That’s really understandable and normal.”
After validation comes strength: where we tell our kids it might be a bit hard at first but it’s going to be OK, and we know they’re going to get through this. “This is very different to saying there’s nothing to worry about,” says Ms Young. “They don’t buy that anyway, and it also just increases their anxiety because they feel the person they have turned to for support doesn’t get it.”
For more information on returning to school please see the recent article that was published in The Age  https://www.abc.net.au/life/helping-kids-with-the-transition-back-to-school/12247052

Thank you for your continued support and patience during this time. We look forward to welcoming our Prep, One and Two students back to school on Tuesday.

I shall also be sending out some practical information shortly about how the return to school will look like so that everyone can be kept safe and happy.

Warm regards,
Lorraine Gurnett

14th May 2020

Following advice from the Victorian Government on Tuesday 12 May, some students will be returning to school from Tuesday 26 May.

The Victorian Chief Health Officer has advised that it is safe for Victorian school students and teachers to return to on-site schooling in a two-staged approach:

  • Stage 1 – from Tuesday 26 May

Early years students (Prep to Grade 2) and senior secondary students (Year 11 and 12) undertaking the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL), and all specialist school students will return to on-site schooling. All staff will attend on-site.

  • Stage 2 – from Tuesday 9 June

Grade 3 to Year 10 students will return to on-site schooling, subject to health advice.

The Department’s latest advice on can be found at www.education.vic.gov.au/coronavirus


12th May 2020

Dear parents and carers,

Thank you for all your support during these past few weeks of remote and flexible learning.
Following advice from the Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has advised that schools can begin a phased return to on-site schooling.
In the first stage, students in Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2, senior secondary (Year 11 and 12 VCAL and VCE) students and all students in specialist schools will return to school from Tuesday 26 May.
Year 10 students undertaking VCE studies, including VCE VET studies, should also attend school for those classes where practicable. If this is not possible for your child/children, our teachers will make sure the work provided to students attending at school is also provided to your child/children.
To support all school staff to prepare for this transition, Monday 25 May will be a pupil-free day.
In the second stage of our return to on-site schooling, all other year levels will return to school from Tuesday 9 June.
For those students who cannot be supervised at home and vulnerable children, the existing model of on-site schooling will remain in place during the two-week period from Tuesday 26 May to Tuesday 9 June. The current process that we are using to enable parents and carers to indicate the days or part-days for which on-site schooling is required will continue for this two-week period.
All other students in these grades and year levels will continue learning from home until Tuesday 9 June.
Once a year level has returned, all students will be expected to attend school as normal. This means if  you choose to keep your child/children home after their year level has returned to on-site schooling, we can no longer support their learning from home.
This does not apply to children who need to be absent for health or medical reasons. For those families, please contact us so we can make an appropriate plan.
This same approach is being taken by all government schools in Victoria.
To support the health and wellbeing of all our students and staff, our school will continue an enhanced cleaning routine and will encourage frequent hand washing.
If you child is ill or is feeling unwell, they must not attend school. They must remain home and seek medical advice.
While the Chief Health Officer has advised that students will not be required to maintain physical distancing at school, there will be a number of important changes to our school operations, consistent with health advice to all schools. This will apply until further notice. I will provide more detail about our local school context as soon as possible, but it is important to note that changes will include:

  • adjusted arrangements for drop off and pick up, including staggered school start and finish times for non-bus travellers;
  • restrictions on access to the school site for anyone other than immediate school staff and students;
  • the way we conduct parent-teacher meetings and interviews

We understand that some families may feel anxious about this move back to classroom teaching and learning. I can assure you that this decision has been taken on the basis of the best health advice available to our state.
More information about the return to school and coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on the Department’s website, which will continue to be updated:
Thank you for your continued support and patience during this time. We look forward to welcoming our students back to the classroom.
Yours sincerely,

Lorraine Gurnett

12th May 2020

Dear Parents/ Carers,

I am sure that many of you watched the announcement by our Premier, Daniel Andrews and Education Minister, James Merlino this morning.In summary:-
May 25th  Pupil Free Day
May 26th  Prep, One and Two Students will return to school
June 9th   Grades Three, Four, Five and Six will return to school

I am sure there will be much more information coming out over the coming days and will endeavor to get this to you as soon as I can..

Thank you so very much for all your support in helping your children and our teachers over the last few weeks in delivering the remote learning. We have certainly missed you all and are looking forward to starting this next new phase.

Kind regards,

Lorraine Gurnett

22nd April 2020

Dear Parents/ carers,

We have received guidance from the Department re: Use of school playgrounds and drinking water supply
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), strategies to minimise risk must be considered for school facilities such as playgrounds and drinking fountains.

School playground equipment
Schools with play equipment accessible to the public outside of school hours should remain closed to students during school hours. Principals are advised to close play equipment accessible to the public where possible, or alternatively tape up the equipment.
Drinking water
It is recommended that students don’t drink directly from drinking fountains at this time and instead bring their own water bottle for use (and refilling) at school.
We shall therefore be following the recommendations as outlined by the Department and taping off our playgrounds and drinking taps. If your child is attending school, please send them with a water bottle until the recommendations change.
Kind regards,

Lorraine Gurnett

17th April 2020

Coronavirus Information for Parents, Carers and Guardians

15th April 2020.
Please see attached letter from the DET regarding at home learning.

15th April 2020.
We, the Homelessness Team at The Salvation Army Leongatha want to let you know that we are still open and here to provide housing support and rental assistance over the phone to those who may be struggling during this time financially due to job loss, reduced hours of work, loss of income etc.

We encourage local residents to call us on 5662 6400 for a chat or email us at iapgippsland@salvationarmy.org.au if they are struggling to pay rent. We can also link them into other services which may assist such as Financial Counselling or limited Emergency Relief (access to food etc)

We look forward to hearing from you to answer any questions you have.

Kind Regards