June 17, 2020

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

First of all, I would like to thank all parents for the way in which they have responded to suggestions regarding pick up and drop off at Billa Rd. There has been a significant improvement in traffic flow at peak times due to the willingness of parents to make some small changes which, when combined with the small changes of others, have resulted in large-scale changes for our community and for our neighbours.

Second, I would like to provide you with some additional information in relation to plans for the remainder of this term and next term. Over the last week, there have been a number of public statements released in relation to guidelines for schools at this point in time. I would like to take some time to summarise these statements and provide you with an update of what we are planning for the next few months.

Seven separate statements have been released within the last week. These statements relate to a range of different issues, some of which relate to staff (two relating to NAPLAN and NCCD), while others are of more general interest to the whole community. I will provide you with a brief summary of the three statements of more general interest, the remaining two are media releases which outline these general changes. Please note: a number of these statements have been released by the Department of Education and are only guidelines specifically for government schools. Inaburra has the freedom as an independent school to make its own decisions in relation to these guidelines.


Statement relating to Creative and Performing Arts (Department of Education) (no date of publication)

With regards to music rehearsals, staff and students are encouraged to clean instruments before and after use. Mouthpieces are not to be shared. Physical distancing should be adopted for students in bands and choirs. A distance of 3m from the performers should be maintained for any persons facing the performers.

Drama students can be involved in group performances. Costumes should be cleaned regularly, and minimal equipment should be used (such as props and sets).

 

Statement relating to Sporting activities (Department of Education) (10 June, 2020)

There will be no inter-school sport up until the 30th June. Full contact and semi-contact sports (such as soccer, basketball and netball) are not allowed. Small-sided variations of these sports can be run. Non-contact sports such as table tennis, cricket, t-ball, tennis and volleyball are permitted. Swimming pools can be used from the 15th of June. School carnivals are not permitted. On days where students are engaging in sporting activities, students should come to school wearing their sports uniform to avoid using public change rooms.

From July 1st all contact sports can resume. Please refer to the CSSA Representative Sport update in this week’s newsletter, for more specific information regarding our key associations guidelines to return to sport. These guidelines are evolving each week and we will continue to update the community as it comes to hand.

 

Department of Education and NSW Health Advice (10 June 2020)

Non-essential adults are not permitted into to the school grounds or attend school events.

Physical distancing is not required for children, but all adults must maintain physical distance from one another.

Schools are required to put in place appropriate protocols for infection control and health and safety measures.

 

Activities currently allowed (as of the 10 June)

  • Canteens
  • Library access
  • Essential face-to-face parent meetings (related to discipline or welfare issues)
  • On-site school sporting activities
  • Use of external sporting grounds
  • Allied health programs
  • Practicum programs (final year only)
  • Maintenance and construction work

 

Activities allowed from the 15 June in addition to those above

  • School assemblies of no more than 15 minutes duration
  • Choirs and performing arts
  • Incursions and some excursions to outdoor areas where there are no physical distancing restrictions
  • School photos

 

Activities allowed from the beginning of Term 3

  • Sporting competitions
  • Inter-school events such as debating and sport
  • Parents & Friends meetings
  • Parent/teacher meetings (although prefer them to be online)
  • Practicum students
  • Work experience

 

Activities under consideration for Term 3

  • School camps
  • Excursions
  • Parent attendance at assemblies and other school events
  • Parent volunteers onsite
  • Events involving large numbers of parents onsite

 

You can find a summary of these guidelines in a press release provided by the Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell at https://education.nsw.gov.au/news/latest-news/school-based-activities-further-relaxed

 

In response to these guidelines, I would like to outline what we will be doing at Inaburra for the remainder of this term and next term. At the outset, I would like to emphasise that is not our intention to make changes every few weeks given that we have managed to achieve relative stability and a level of predictability since the beginning of Week 5 this term. For the remainder of this term, therefore,

  1. Our music ensemble program will continue to run including the choir and the concert bands. Social distancing will be carried out to minimise the risk of transmission from one student to another
  2. Our rehearsals for Matilda which have just recently started up again will continue with appropriate social distancing guidelines in place. However, there are situations where students will be in close contact as they rehearse specific scenes.
  3. Our sporting program will continue to be focused on programs involving just our students and there will be opportunities for students to engage in modified sporting events such as the current soccer competition running at lunchtime.
  4. Parent-teacher interviews will be restricted to interviews that are necessary at this point in time to discuss critical issues relating to learning difficulties or welfare issues.
  5. Assemblies will remain online until the end of this term
  6. We will continue to restrict the number of adults coming onsite. There will be no parent volunteers in classrooms, nor will there be any practicum students this term.

In Term 3, we await further advice from the government and NSW Health. In addition to the activities currently taking place in Term 2, our plan is to include:

  1. Sporting competitions and other inter-school activities such as debating
  2. Additional opportunities for parent-teacher interviews
  3. Practicum programs for university students
  4. Assemblies in the PAC (numbers to be determined)

Work experience for Year 10 students will not take place in Term 3. We are investigating moving this to the end of the year to take place during the weeks when the Global Education program was planned (now postponed to next year).

Depending on future communication, we will be considering the possibility of bringing parent volunteers onsite in Term 3 but will wait for additional guidance in relation to parent volunteers.