New guidelines from NSW Health deem it now necessary for all students with flu-like symptoms to be tested for COVID-19 and for the test to come back as negative before students return to school. Parents are advised that they can notify the school of a negative result by emailing the school at contactus@inaburra.nsw.edu.au.

We ask that you continue to check the current NSW Government COVID-19 news and updates on hotspot areas and public health orders.

We encourage families to refer to this page as the authoritative source of truth regarding Inaburra School’s response to the COVID-19 situation. It will continue to be updated as new information comes to hand.

UPDATED COVID GUIDELINES FOR TERM 3

UPDATED:  Tuesday 1 September 2020

The NSW government has released updated guidelines for schools which will be in place for the rest of this term. The key points that have led to some changes in our plans for term three (and term four) are as follows:

  1. Choirs and ensembles involving wind instruments will not to be run this term
  2. Where possible, students are to stay in their relevant cohorts (eg, Year Groups or Stage Groups)
  3. Interschool activities can only take place within a local community zone
  4. Parents and non-essential visitors are not allowed onsite
  5. School formals, dances, graduation or other social events are not permitted. Schools may hold a Year 12 assembly at school without parents to recognise the completion of school. Schools may consider delaying events until later in the year.

In cooperation with the NSW government and other schools, Inaburra will be making the following changes to be consistent with these guidelines.

Music program
All choir and ensemble activities will be cancelled for the rest of this term. Families with students in the ensemble program will receive a refund which will be determined by the savings in expenses from cancelling these activities.

Our peripatetic tutors, however, will still be able to run individual lessons at Inaburra.

School Musical
Given the restriction on choral singing and the guideline to keep students in their respective cohorts, we have decided with much regret that we need to cancel the musical Matilda which was planned for Term Four. Those involved in the Musical will be very distressed by this news, but these students will be unable to rehearse this term and there is no guarantee that they will be able to rehearse next term either.

Kindergarten readiness assessments
Due to the restriction on parents being onsite, we will be unable to run our Kindergarten readiness assessments this week. We will look at moving these events to next term if conditions at the time allow it.

Year 12 Showcase Events
Our Year 12 showcase events, which we were planning to run with a small number of parents onsite, will no longer be able to be run in a format that includes parent involvement. We will investigate livestreaming options to make these performances and works of art available to parents to see.

Year 12 Graduation and Formal
We are unable to run graduation events in term three as per the guidelines above. However, I would ask all Year 12 parents and students to keep free the 11th and 12th of November which are the two days straight after the HSC examinations. We have a tentative booking which we hope will allow us to run a graduation for students and parents, but we will be seeking to follow guidelines that are in place at that time. There may also be the option of running a separate event at school for parents and students at that time.

Other changes
The requirement to minimise mixing between different cohorts (which we are interpreting as stages rather than year groups) will have a number of additional impacts.

  1. Groups such as the SRC, Man Up and Flourish will be unable to meet (except when Year groups are separated)
  2. After school study will still take place in the Learning Commons, but students will be required to sit in different areas of the Learning Commons, depending on which Year group they are in. Other rooms may also be utilised.
  3. We encourage students at recess and lunchtime to spend time with people in their own Stage group. For example, K – 2 students will be the only students who can use the sensory playground at recess and lunchtime. Year 7 students are encouraged to remain in their own designated area.
  4. Junior School Dance troupe will continue as it can be broken up into different stage groups.
  5. K – 6 Basketball, however, will not be able to take place this term.
  6. Senior School sport on Tuesday afternoons will continue as year groups are separated out (only Year 9 and Year 10 have sport together).
  7. Students who are travelling on buses are encouraged to wear masks as we are unable to separate out year groups or stage groups on public transport.

While the number of cases in NSW continues to be low, I am sure that we can all appreciate the intent of the government in making these additional requirements on schools. Please keep in mind that there may be additional changes in the days and weeks ahead as we take more time to consider the implications of these latest guidelines. As disappointing as it is to cancel events, together we can make a difference and reduce the risk of this virus spreading further through our community.

TEACHING AND LEARNING ARRANGEMENTS FAQs

UPDATED:  Tuesday 1 September 2020

What are Public Transport arrangements?
Information from Transdev, our main bus supplier for the school, has been provided regarding their services from Week 5 Term 2. In summary, students will not be counted as adults in regard to social distancing on buses. We are also aware that the same rules will apply to trains. Thus, students should be able to continue to travel to school in their normal manner. Realistically, we anticipate there will be some delays in services as schools return to full capacity.

Students are reminded that they need to follow the instructions of transport workers as they look to maximise social distancing in public spaces, such as bus stops and train stations.

Car lines hygiene precautions
Car lines will be operating on the guidelines provided above. Staff on car lines are taking extra precautions in terms of personal hygiene.

Sick Bay
The Sick Bay in the Junior School and Senior School will be operating for all students in the school.

Canteen
The Canteen is offering a full service. Students can order online from Flexischools (orders must be placed by 9.00am). Social distancing is being implemented in the queue zones.

Uniform Shop
The Uniform Shop is open but due to the need for social distancing, and limiting numbers in the Uniform Shop, all parents are asked to please make a booking before attending the shop. Bookings can be made via the following link: Online appointments

Regular trading hours are:

  • Monday 8:00am – 4:00pm (Closed for lunch 1:30 – 2:00pm)
  • Tuesday 8:00am – 4:00pm (Closed for lunch 1:30 – 2:00pm)
  • Wednesday 2:00pm – 5:00pm
  • Thursday 2:00pm – 5:00pm
    The shop does not open on Friday

PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES AT INABURRA FAQs

UPDATED:  Tuesday 1 September 2020

Should my child stay home from school?
Your child must stay home from school if:

  • They have recently had or are experiencing any of the following symptoms: cough, fever, shortness of breath, chills, body aches, sore/scratchy throat, runny nose, headache, diarrhoea or loss of smell
  • They have had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • They have a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • They are awaiting the results of a test for COVID-19

In all other circumstances, you are encouraged to send your child to school. If they are high risk, and you have medical certification to this effect, you may decide to keep them at home. In such instances, they will still be recorded as being on flexible leave.

What happens to students who arrive at school and who are unwell?
While parents can be tempted to send their children to school with minor symptoms, during this time parents MUST keep their children at home if they have any flu- or cold-like symptoms (as described in previous point). Staff are also directed not to come to school if they have any of these symptoms. This is the single most important step that we can take to reduce the risk of the virus spreading within our community.

Students who are found to have any of these symptoms during the day (persistent cough, runny nose, sore throat, etc) will be immediately isolated and parents will be contacted to pick up their child. Students who have these symptoms will not be able to return to school until they have been tested for COVID-19.

What is the School doing about hygiene?
Several steps have been taken to improve hygiene around the School, including:

  • Provision of hand-sanitiser in key locations around the campus and in every classroom.
  • Two cleaners onsite from 8:00am – 3:00pm daily to ensure targeted cleaning of high-contact areas, such as handrails, door handles and surfaces with hospital-grade disinfectant. Cleaners are tasked with ensuring that all surfaces have been cleaned prior to recess and prior to lunchtime every day.
  • Placement of signs in bathrooms regarding the importance of thorough hand washing. Placement of signs in pick-up zones to remind parents to socially distance.
  • Frequent reminders to students through a range of channels about the importance of hand washing, hygiene and social distancing.
  • The temperature of every student and staff member will continue to be checked as they enter the school grounds for as long as this is practical.
  • Antibacterial wipes for practical subject rooms to wipe down shared equipment after each use.

I am concerned about students/staff catching the virus.
Concerns relating to possible infections in our community are legitimate and worrisome given the tendency of the virus to spread rapidly once it takes hold. We cannot afford to be lax in our approach to curtailing this virus and it is everyone’s responsibility to do what they can to mitigate the risk, even if we cannot remove it altogether.

Will the COVIDSafe App be mandatory?
No. However, we strongly encourage people to download this app. While some people have privacy concerns, the quicker the tracing of cases using this app, the more lives that will be saved. Furthermore, should a case appear in our community, faster tracing of cases will reduce the amount of time the school will need to be closed.

Students at Inaburra whose families choose to download the app will be allowed to have their mobile phone turned on (in Silent Mode) when they are onsite in order for the app to work.

Are parents allowed on campus?
No parent volunteers or other adults will be allowed to be present on campus for learning activities. Parents and caregivers are asked not to enter the campus grounds at any time (including pick-up and drop-off). Please see the main school reception with any enquiries.

Do parents have to practise social distancing at afternoon pick-up?
Staff on duty at pick-up time will be encouraging parents to abide by social distancing guidelines of remaining 1.5 m apart while waiting for their child. It is important that parents follow the guidelines about using the pick-up area in the afternoon. Do NOT stay parked in the pick-up zone for longer than two minutes. If you need to, please drive around the block rather than sit in your car waiting for your child to arrive.  Supervision will be provided for your children as they await your arrival.

What will the school do about wet weather pick up?
The Junior School will use the auditorium as the gathering point for students during wet weather pick-up and parents may then report to the PAC foyer, following appropriate social distancing and a staff member will fetch the child. For car lines, staff will use walkie-talkies to call for individual students to come out. Parents must stay with their vehicle.

Will the school inform parents immediately if there is a case of coronavirus?
Yes. If we have notification of a case from the Department of Health, we will evacuate the school immediately and contact parents to come and pick up their children.

In the case of a COVID shutdown

At the end of Term 2, a survey was sent to parents requesting information on how their child would be getting home in the event that the school is shut down midway through the day due to a COVID-19 case. If the advice you provided to the school at the end of last term has changed or needs to be updated, please let us know at contactus@inaburra.nsw.edu.au and include the updated information and the name and Year level of the student/s it applies to.

HELPFUL LINKS AND INFORMATION

The links below are very helpful. In particular, the NSW Health websites provide up to date and accurate information.

The School is closely monitoring the situation, placing the highest priority on advice provided by NSW Health. The Independent school sector is providing additional assistance, and we are also talking to other schools as we determine the best way forward. We will continue to review and update our advice as new information becomes available.

The Department of Health has posted several publications here:
https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-resources

NSW Health FAQs:
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx

Guidance on Home Isolation:
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/hubei-contacts-and-travellers.aspx

Federal Government Guidance:
https://education.govcms.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19

The World Health Organisation’s advice for the public can be found here:
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

The Australian Government has a dedicated COVID-19 Health Information Line, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 1800 020 080