Week 3 will see the resumption of face-to-face learning for Kindergarten to Year 6, Year 11 and Year 12. All things going well, Week 4 will see the return of Years 7-10.
The simplest advice provided by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, advice endorsed and applied in each state and territory, for parents, children and teachers, is as follows.
Message for parents: if your child is sick, they must not go to school. You must keep them at home and away from others. Remember to maintain physical distancing from other parents and teachers when attending school, including when dropping off and picking up your children. (At NBCS, we are asking parents to remain in cars at drop-off and pick-up).
Message for children: tell your parent, guardian or teacher if you are feeling sick.
Message for teachers: do not come to work if you are sick or in a vulnerable person category.
Message for all adults: the greatest risk of transmission in the school environment is between adults. It is of utmost importance that teachers and parents alike maintain physical distancing between themselves and each other at school.
The following steps will be in place at NBCS as students return to face-to-face learning on site:
Classrooms, school activities and devices
- We will, where possible, make use of natural ventilation and keep doors and windows open.
- We will rearrange furniture to leave as much space as possible between students, acknowledging that the social distancing requirements do not need to be followed in classrooms and corridors, but should be followed where possible.
- Our classes will not be smaller than they previously were, but regarding class sizes, the average Primary class has 23 students, and the average size classes in each Secondary year are as follows: Year 7 – 23, Year 8 – 24, Year 9 – 21, Year 10 – 21, Year 11 – 16 and Year 12 – 12. This is a natural function of electives and the breadth of subject offerings from Year 9 on. Current class sizes enable us to spread students out within their learning spaces.
- We encourage students to minimise their use of mobile phones during the school day, or to use them after sanitising their hands. Students should not share personal devices.
- Place markings will be provided to avoid close-proximity queuing at the café. Lunch orders are another way to help minimise queuing.
- All excursions, assemblies, external sporting activities (but not PE) and large gatherings (including year meetings) remain cancelled for Term 2.
- PE will take place outside or in large areas where physical distance can be maintained.
- With respect to staggering various elements of the day, there is already a split in some of the times when Primary take breaks, finish lunch and the school day, and we will maintain this. We have generous and separate playground spaces, and students will continue to be encouraged to spread out across the campus in their break times.
- The Year 12 kitchen will be closed.
School drop-off and pick-up
- School drop-off is a time of potential risk, owing to the higher number of adults on site. For this reason, we ask parents to remain in their cars at drop-off and pick-up. This will represent a significant change for some students, particularly our younger ones. Further details of how this will work will be provided to specific year groups.
- As it stands, school drop-off and pick-up is relatively staggered as it is, taking place between 8:00-8:45am, and 3:05-3:45pm. With only students getting out of cars, we will minimise the incidental adult contact that would otherwise create a greater risk. We acknowledge that buses will put students near each other, but recognise the work that transport providers are doing with their cleaning programs across their fleet.
- We will continue to conduct Zoom or phone meetings with parents where possible and ask that parents do not use the café at present.
- Staff remain spread out across the campus to maintain the 1.5 metre physical distance from other adults in staff spaces.
- We will encourage all students to continue with non-contact greetings and non-contact play.
- We will be cleaning bathrooms and play equipment across the day, likewise with shared equipment in practical lessons.
- We will ensure students apply hand sanitiser upon entering and leaving each class.
- As per our cleaning schedule from last term, high touch surfaces continue to be cleaned regularly, on top of our ongoing cleaning program.
- Parents and carers of children and young people with complex medical needs are encouraged to seek medical advice from their health practitioner to support informed risk assessment and decision-making regarding the suitability of on-site education for their child, and to provide the school with relevant management plans or medical recommendations.
- If a student or staff member is unwell, they should not attend school or should leave to go home. If they are a suspected COVID-19 case, they should self-isolate and seek testing.
- Students experiencing symptoms compatible with COVID-19 (fever, cough or sore throat) at school should be isolated in an appropriate space with suitable supervision and collected by a parent/carer as soon as possible. In this situation, where staff or students are experiencing symptoms compatible with COVID-19, such persons should continue to practise hand hygiene and physical distancing.
- Schools and their communities will continue to be supported by state public health units in the event of an outbreak in their immediate or nearby areas. This will include detailed information and specific advice on additional measures to take beyond this guidance.
The linked documents below are for Primary and Secondary students and have been placed in all learning spaces as a reminder to students of things they can do to protect themselves and others.
DOWNLOAD: Help stop the spread – Primary
DOWNLOAD: Help stop the spread – Secondary
We remain grateful for your support, are looking forward to having students back on-site and are committed to ensuring the health and safety of students, staff and families as we work together towards our students’ education, growth and wellbeing.
Psalm 40:11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord; may your love and faithfulness always protect me.