New South Wales along with the other states in Australia are allowing the China virus to control every facet of life. Now, with the schools going back for a new year the hysteria is occurring all over again!
‘Being together in a classroom is the most effective way for students to learn and grow.
Since COVID-19 remains a relatively mild illness for most children, the NSW Government is committed to return to school safely in 2022 and will support this through the following measures:
Watch for symptoms
If your child is unwell – even with mild symptoms – you must keep them home and get them tested.
If children have any symptoms, they should take a PCR (nose and throat swab) test or rapid antigen test (RAT).
If symptoms continue your child should stay home and take another RAT or PCR test in 24 hours.
If that test is also negative, your child may return to school if another diagnosis is confirmed such as hay fever.
All staff on school sites must be fully vaccinated.
The NSW Government strongly encourage all students and their families to get vaccinated.
Children aged 5 to 11 can now get vaccinated. Parents are encouraged to book their child in for a vaccination at the first available opportunity.
Once eligible, all adults are encouraged to get booster shots.
Before the start of term 1
All staff and students are asked to take a rapid antigen test and get a negative result before attending school.
Rapid antigen tests will be provided to all staff and students through their schools. Schools will inform parents on how these kits can be collected.
At the commencement of term 1
For the first 4 weeks, students and staff should take a rapid antigen test twice a week before attending school. Test kits will continue to be supplied by schools.
Students who are household close contacts must isolate at home for 7 days.
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 rapid antigen test must register it through Service NSW as soon as possible.
Staff and students who receive a positive rapid antigen test must tell their school as soon as possible and follow NSW Health advice.
Schools will regularly communicate to parents about the presence and impact of COVID-19 in their community.
Parents should expect to be provided with any impacted year groups or cohorts.
Fresh air is the most effective form of ventilation to minimise the risk of transmission.
All learning spaces in public schools have been checked to ensure appropriate levels of ventilation and air purifiers have been provided where needed.
Using outdoor spaces will continue to be encouraged.
All primary and secondary school staff will be required to wear masks indoors.
No vented masks or cloth masks should be worn. If required, surgical masks will be available at schools.
Secondary school students are required to wear masks.
Primary school students are strongly recommended to wear well-fitted masks indoors.
COVID-19 will be considered in all risk assessments. Guidance will be provided to schools on applying appropriate safeguards across a range of activities.
Parents will be made aware of the risk of exposure and will need to give their permission for participation in extra-curricular, out of school hours or off-site activities.
Schools will continue to use cohort arrangements and consider staggered drop-off and pick ups, break times, playground and canteen access.
Depending on the school, cohort size and timetables, cohorts may be based on classes, years or stages.
Visitors on school sites should be kept to a minimum to support essential school activities or student needs.
Visitors will be required to wear a mask indoors and will be encouraged to wear a mask outdoors if they cannot maintain physical distancing.
Schools are advised to allow a maximum of 2 parents or carers per student on to school grounds for kindergarten orientation or year 7 transition.
Keeping schools open
Parents are asked to respect the rules at their child’s school to help keep the community safe.
Schools will do everything they can to maintain continuity of face-to-face learning including the use of more casual staff.
Schools will need to make localised staffing decisions to ensure appropriate supervision can be maintained.
Schools will not be able to guarantee particular staff for any cohort and students may not have their regular teacher for a class.
Learning from home
The NSW Government will continue to monitor the situation and where face-to-face learning is not possible, learning from home options will be supported for short periods.
School or childcare centre closure
Some schools may need to close occasionally to deal with COVID-19 outbreaks, deep cleaning or other emergencies like floods or fires.
The NSW School Updates app sends parents and carers notifications about school closures.’https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/stay-safe/advice-for-parents-students?utm_source=servicensw_consumer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2022-01-21_sfmc_647_con_covid_newsletter&utm_content=01_covid-smart_measures&utm_term=see_all_covid-smart_measures_button#toc-term-1-2022-covid-smart-measures-for-schools
Will the children be better off for all this?