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.

From Wednesday 20 April, to ease the isolation requirements for close contacts:

  • Students and staff who are close contacts and have no symptoms can continue to attend school if they follow NSW Health guidelines
  • Staff and students who have had confirmed COVID-19 in the last 12 weeks are not required to self-isolate or test unless they develop new COVID-19 symptoms.

Feeling unwell

Please remember that staff and students are not to attend school if unwell, even with the mildest of symptoms. They must stay at home and get tested with either a PCR (nose and throat) or RHAT (rapid home antigen test). If symptoms continue, your child should stay at home and take another PCR/RHAT within 24 hours. If the test is negative, your child may return to school.

COVID-19 Positive Cases

If your child has no symptoms and there is a positive case in their class, year, or other grouping, they can continue to attend school in line with NSW Health advice.

Staff and students who get a positive test result, must register it on service.nsw.gov.au or the Service NSW app and tell the school as soon as possible.

Vaccinations

All staff on school sites are to be fully vaccinated. We strongly encourage all students and families to be vaccinated. Children 5-11 years of age can now get vaccinated.

Ventilation

Sydney Catholic Schools as part of the COVID-19 Safe Return to School Strategy have begun placing 4,000 high quality portable air purification units and 160 handheld air quality sensors in all 150 Sydney Catholic Schools.

For further information, follow the link.

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 a COVID-19 test and not return to school until they have completed their isolation period and are no longer experiencing symptoms.

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 7 days self-isolation quarantine as advised by NSW Health. A list of News & Updates is available from NSW Health, we ask our communities to follow any advice or guidelines given there.

Facemasks
Face mask rules have changed.

  • Masks will no longer be mandated for primary and secondary students or staff indoors. Any student, parent, staff member or visitor who would like to wear a mask can continue to do so.

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 9 May 2022