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, particularly regarding online learning and School-based supervision arrangements.
UPDATED: Friday 8 May 2020
The Premier and Minister for Education have announced a phased operating model for NSW schools during COVID-19. The new model will see students being reintroduced to some face-to-face learning on campus starting from Week 3.
In light of the latest advice, Inaburra will be adopting the following phased operating model:
PHASED OPERATING MODEL
From Week 3
Our goal is straightforward and twofold – to bring as many students back on campus safely, while at the same time providing students with learning spaces that are large enough to meet (or be close to meeting) the social distancing guidelines that exist in the wider community. Given our intent to do everything we can in relation to social distancing, it is not possible for us, at this point in time, to have all students in the Senior School back onsite. Our priority, however, must be our Senior Students who are preparing for the HSC examinations this year and next year. Our plan, therefore, is to use the following model to bring students back onsite from Week 3 onwards.
Year Group Staged Returns
Year 12 will be back five days a week, with all classes timetabled as per the current timetable. Students unable to attend will have opportunities to access these lessons remotely and through tools such as Google Classroom.
Year 11 will also be back five days a week.
Year 10 will return for three days a week of timetabled lessons. These days will be Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Lessons scheduled for Tuesday and Friday will continue to be taught online.
Year 9 will return for two days a week of timetabled lessons. These days will be Monday and Thursday. Lessons scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday will continue to be taught online.
Year 8 will also return for two days a week of timetabled lessons. These days will be Tuesday and Friday. Lessons on Mondays, Wednesday and Thursday will continue to be taught online. Year 8 will have one period a week devoted to sport during Weeks 3 and 4. We will review this in Week 5.
Year 7 will return for the same two days as Year 8 students.
Junior Students – All students in the Junior school will be back five days a week from Week 3.
How long will it be before students are learning face to face at school rather than just online at school?
This will be up to individual classroom teachers to determine how best to utilise different teaching strategies to support the learning of their students. There is a significant number of parents for whom their primary concern relates to how quickly it will be possible for all students to return to face-to-face teaching. Some have asked about whether students would be receiving face-to-face teaching on their designated days. In answer to this concern, students will be in classrooms with their regular teacher on these days, although some of the learning activities may have online components.
When will bands and ensembles be running again?
All Junior School ensembles will be commencing in Week 3 and some smaller Senior ensembles will be commencing in Week 3 (students involved in these ensembles have been notified). All other Senior School ensembles will look to launch from Week 4, and in the meantime will continue with their online tutorials.
Will Learning Support be available to students who need it?
Yes. All of our learning support staff will be available to assist students as per usual.
Will tutors be accessible online as part of the After-School Study Centre?
Tutors who regularly attend the After-School Study Centre will continue to do so in person from Week 3 onward. However, they will also be checking in with requests made by students online for specific help. A reminder that the After-School Study Centre runs Monday-Thursday from 3:00pm to 4:30pm.
Will students (eg siblings) who attend school on non-designated days in the Senior School still have the support and space they currently have?
Yes. We will still have spaces and staff assigned to supervise students who attend schools on non-designated days. Our current plan is to use the MPH for this purpose and provide some additional furniture in that space to make it more welcoming for students.
The School is open for all students on every day. If you wish to send all your children to school, even though it is not one of their designated days, you have the option to do so. As has been the case since the beginning of the pandemic, parents are free to either send their children to school or keep them home depending on which option they feel is best for them.
How will assessments be managed going forwards?
In-class assessments will be conducted at school under conditions designed to maintain the validity of each task. For some subjects, students who are learning from home may have alternative assessments which can be completed at home under the supervision of their teacher online.
School Reports will be distributed this term following a similar timetable to last year.
What will happen with Parent Teacher nights?
Parent Teacher nights will not be taking place in Term 2. We are investigating the possibility of running these evenings in Term 3, should there be a further easing of restrictions on social gatherings. If you have any concerns relating to the learning of your child throughout the duration of Term 2, please contact their classroom teacher directly to arrange a meeting which can take place either online or in person.
Are excursions, incursion, Global Ed or Year 10 Work Experience happening?
In Term 2, there will be no excursions where students are taken offsite or incursions where organisations are coming onsite to present to our students. It is highly unlikely that there will be excursions or incursions in Term 3 or 4. As such, our work experience program for Year 10 students will not be taking place in Term 3. Parents and students who wish to organise work experience are encouraged to do so during the break either between Term 3 and 4 or at the end of the year. As well, the Global Education program will not be running in Term 4. The current circumstances (in which it is not possible to travel overseas) prevent us from organising new domestic alternatives in time for the end of this year. We are therefore investigating rescheduling the Global Education program for our current Year 10 students in 2021.
TEACHING AND LEARNING ARRANGEMENTS
UPDATED: Friday 8 May 2020
Are Senior Students following their normal timetable?
Lessons in Week 3 and 4 will follow the same revised timetable in Senior School that has been in place for Weeks 1 and 2.
Download a print friendly version of the timetable.
Trains and School buses will continue to operate according to their current schedules.
Trains are likely to be relatively empty when students begin to return to school. Buses have also cordoned off some sections and are planning to take fewer passengers. However, there is a risk of students touching surfaces on public transport which are not disinfected. It is recommended that students travelling on public transport take their own hand wipes or hand sanitiser. Students will also be able to use hand sanitiser which will be made available to them when they arrive at the Billa Road gate or the Bodalla Road gate.
Students will still be able to be dropped off and picked up at the front of the school. Staff on car lines are taking extra precautions in terms of personal hygiene.
The Sick Bay in the Junior School and Senior School will be operating for all students in the school.
The Canteen will be open but will have limited capacity and point-of-sale this week. Until further notice, the Canteen will only be preparing hot food and sandwiches to order in a bid to minimise waste. Students can order online from Flexischools (orders must be placed by 9.00am). Senior School students please be aware the full menu is still available on Flexischools (not just sandwiches).
From Wednesday 29 April, the Uniform Shop will resume its regular trading hours:
- 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
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
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES AT INABURRA
UPDATED: Friday 8 May 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 travelled overseas within the last 14 days
- 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, your child may stay home from school if you choose. Whether your child is at school or at home, they will be engaging in online learning.
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 or given a written medical certificate from their GP.
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.
- From Week 3 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 will be 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.
The number of daily new cases in NSW remains low and the risk is obviously less than it was at the end of March. However, 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.
What are the arrangements 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. As it will get progressively busier as more children return to school, 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.
Social distancing on campus
Schools are not required to meet the 4 square metres per person guideline provided to other workplaces and businesses. However, we have reviewed classroom spaces in light of these guidelines and many of our spaces provide sufficient space. Classes have been re-timetabled, and, in some cases, two rooms have been combined to provide teaching and learning spaces large enough to accommodate students with distancing.
In the Junior School, the existing classroom spaces are either large enough without any change to existing practice (such as the Stage 3 Learning Centre) or are very close to meeting this guideline should all students be present. In these instances (for example, in Stage 2), teachers will also have opportunities to use balcony spaces, breakout rooms and outside areas as well as other teaching and learning spaces to enable students to learn at a safe distance from other students.
Junior School break times (recess and lunch) will be staggered to reduce the number of students in the playground at any time. In the Senior School, with only two thirds of students onsite on any particular day, it will be possible to have students spread out across the different spaces available. Teachers on duty will be encouraging students to keep a safe distance from one another.
Has the School cancelled events or activities in light of the COVID-19 situation?
Yes. All excursions and incursions have been cancelled or postponed until further notice.
Meet the Principal – has now become ‘Meet the Principal Online’. Dates are on the School Website.
Senior School Musical Production – ‘Matilda’ has been postponed.
Inaburra Open Day and Fete has been postponed.
Junior School Cake Days – cancelled until further notice.
What is happening with sport?
All inter-school sporting fixtures and training have been cancelled until further notice.
GENERAL CONCERNS RELATING TO THE VIRUS
UPDATED: Friday 8 May 2020
I have vulnerable members in my family. What if my child brings the virus home?
There is a concern about the potential of a child bringing home the virus which could then have a debilitating impact on a member of their household. If parents have concerns about the safety of their children or a member of their household, their child will continue to have the option of learning at home. As indicated previously, this could involve the student accessing learning tasks through Google Classroom or SeeSaw, or using Zoom or Google Meet to be present online during a face-to-face lesson.
If the number of COVID-19 cases rises again, will the school have to close down?
It is possible that this may happen, but will be dependent on the health advice and directives of governments. We are ready, if necessary, to return to online learning for all students.
Is the school moving too quickly towards students being back onsite?
At the moment, our assessment is that risk of an infection in our community is very low, but it remains a risk that we must respond to and mitigate where possible. In our planning, we have sought to balance the management of this risk with the desire to see as many students as possible receive the benefits of being back onsite to learn and connect with other students and their teachers. This is a delicate balance, generated in our particular context, being aware of the nature of our facilities and the concerns of our community. Our plans for the moment extend up until the end of Week 4. Beyond that, we expect to continue to revisit our plans in the light of the case numbers in NSW, the guidelines provided by health experts and government bodies and the anxieties and concerns of our school community. We have contingency plans ready to be implemented, but we will wait until it becomes clearer what the guidelines and advice may be at that time.
ONLINE LEARNING OPERATING GUIDELINES
UPDATED: Friday 8 May 2020
ICT Usage Agreement
The new ICT Usage Agreement must be completed by students and parents/caregivers by the end of Week 2. This will include reference to the use of new online tools, the different learning situations in which learning takes place online as well as requesting permission for your child to receive counselling services (where necessary) online.
Home-based online learning supervision
For Junior School students in particular, parental supervision where possible is recommended to ensure that online behaviour is monitored and appropriate. This level of supervision occurs at school on a daily basis; however, as many students are not in the physical school environment, we are unable to provide this level of care and in turn are asking for your support in this area.
Keeping safe whilst learning online:
- Filtering Content – monitoring and filtering inappropriate content on your students’ devices is important.
- Location – Select where your children work on their devices – this must be in a public or common area of your home where you can see and have access to student’s devices and their screen content at any time – no devices in bedrooms!
- Search history – Check your child’s internet search history regularly – once a day helps to remind them of being respectful in their use of ICT and promotes integrity and transparency
- Breaks – Taking a break from the screen is crucial for young bodies, brains and eyes – staying physically, emotionally and spiritually fit are all important aspects of the journey we are embarking on together.
- Remember – no online chats or meets / video calling of any kind unless initiated by a teacher – if students want to chat with a friend please supervise them either via an app such as Facetime or via the good old-fashioned telephone.
Printable Resources to help with Online Learning
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:
Guidance on Home Isolation:
Federal Government Guidance:
The World Health Organisation’s advice for the public can be found here:
The Australian Government has a dedicated COVID-19 Health Information Line, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 1800 020 080