As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the health and safety of our school communities and the continued learning of our students remain our highest priority. In accordance with NSW Health, below is a summary of some of the new rules for your information.

Restrictions eased

From Monday, 29 November. students and teaching staff who are a close contact of a COVID-19 case can return to the classroom as soon as they receive a negative PCR test. Close contacts will be required to return negative rapid antigen tests for the subsequent seven days.

From Monday, 8 November, restrictions will be eased to allow for all NSW schools to move to updated Level 3 settings. This will bring school operations more in line with what is allowed in the community and the changes will be as follows:

  • School sports will be allowed
  • Inter-school sports will be allowed outside school hours
  • Outdoor assemblies and presentations will be allowed
  • Outdoor excursions will be allowed
  • Dancing and music classes in cohorts will be allowed (excluding singing, chanting and specified instruments)
  • Graduations and formals are allowed within cohorts, either on school grounds or at external venues
  • Unvaccinated Year 12 students in NSW will be allowed to attend school formals but are required to abide by the public                                                                    health requirements of the venue they are attending
  • Additional fully vaccinated adult visitors will be allowed on site to support curriculum delivery and activities
  • Community use will be allowed (including P&C meetings) in line with public health requirements
  • School masses can be held onsite/offsite but they must be conducted outside on school sites.

HSC exams

HSC exams will begin on Tuesday, 9 November 2021, with NESA providing a revised timetable here. Results to be released in mid-January. For more information, refer to HSC exam advice. For further HSC information, please visit the NESA page.

Special consideration HSC written exams

Students who have experienced significant disruption during learning from home can now apply for special consideration for the written exams.

HSC students whose learning was significantly compromised for six weeks (30 school days) or more must meet strict criteria to be eligible. Schools can submit an application for individual students, or an entire cohort if  in one of the 12 Local Government Areas of concern.

Applications are due by 12 November via Schools Online.

Masks

Staff are not required to wear masks in outdoor settings.

The current Public Health Order requires all persons over the age of 12 to wear a face mask indoors. Under Level 3 settings, masks are required indoors for staff and students in Year 7 and above. Masks are strongly recommended indoors for primary students.

For further information, follow the link.

QR Codes

Fully vaccinated parents and carers are now permitted on site if they are involved, only, in school operations and must check in via the QR code. Certificates of vaccination must be shown at the school office.

Feeling unwell

Please remember that staff and students are not to attend school if unwell, even with the mildest of symptoms. They should not attend a school site until they have received a negative test result and are symptom free.

Sydney Catholic Schools monitors the information about COVID-19 provided by our governments and their departments daily, and we regularly assess our risk mitigation strategies to ensure we have plans in place to protect everyone in our school communities.

Our schools continue to operate with increased vigilance around hygiene. SCS has created quick tips which can be printed and placed around classrooms and homes. The World Health Organisation has produced detailed advice on the prevention of COVID-19.

Flu-like and other COVID-19 symptoms
Any staff member or student exhibiting flu like symptoms or any other symptoms associated with COVID-19 must not attend school. If they exhibit symptoms while at school they are to be sent home. Once symptoms occur any staff and students must undergo and COVID-19 test and not return to school until they can provide proof of a negative test to their school officials.

If a student or family member tests positive to COVID-19 they are requested to contact their school principal as a matter of urgency and they must complete a full 14 days self-isolation quarantine as advised by NSW Health. A list of News & Updates is available from NSW Health, we ask out communities to follow any advice or guidelines given there

Facemasks
Face mask rules have changed. You must wear a face mask at indoor non-residential premises in NSW.
Please follow the current information on masks on the NSW Health advice of face masks.

Continuity of learning
Our schools are committed to facilitating continued learning for students despite interruptions to normal school attendance.
While our schools remain open, rest assured we are working on contingencies should circumstances change.

Parents can access frequently asked questions about remote learning for more information.

Online etiquette
During remote learning situations we ask parents to be conscious of the social protocols around various home learning platforms. It’s important parents remind their children that expected behaviours in the ‘virtual classroom’ are the same as those in the real world.

This guide to Zoom for parents aims to help you maintain the wellbeing of your child while learning online.

As COVID-19 continues to impact our daily lives, we believe it is vital to address any concerns for the mental and emotional health of our school communities. Sydney Catholic Schools has highly effective student support structures and resources in place to help build students’ resilience. These may also assist to alleviate any anxiety or concerns related to COVID-19 and its impact. They include:

  • counsellors who provide skilled, student and family centred support in all primary and secondary schools. CatholicCare counsellors offer much of this support. Plans for the provision of remote services are currently being developed.
  • highly-trained student wellbeing personnel who continue to provide support to our schools.

Children and young people, while not considered to be in a high risk category, may be exposed to news reports, social media and general discussions about the unfolding events. Parent resources are available to help guide the conversation around coronavirus.

Talking to your child about COVID-19
School.tv has released a helpful short video that details how to talk to your child about the pandemic. Other resources to guide the conversation:

For advice on maintaining positive mental health, Beyond Blue, Headspace and Reachout are all reliable sources. The Smiling Mind app is a free tool to promote mindfulness and also includes information on how to support children in times of crisis.

Support is also available through the following phone counselling services:

  • Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636
  • Lifeline – 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800
  • CatholicCare’s Parentline  – 1300 1300 52, and Careline on 13 18 19
  • Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511

General inquiries and translation services
A 24-hour Service NSW hotline is available to help people with any difficulties during the COVID-19 period.
For assistance, phone 13 77 88. For free help in your language, call Translating and Interpreting Services on 13 14 50 and ask them to contact the Service NSW hotline on your behalf.

Remote learning resources

Last updated 4 November 2021