COVID-safe Term 1 2022: Message from the Head MasterPhilippa Lowe
A summary of the Head Master’s communication regarding return to School in a COVID-safe way.
Broadly, there are minimal restrictions on schools at the start of 2022 compared to restrictions in place in 2021. The emphasis is on each school to plan for business as usual in a COVID-safe way by implementing risk assessment processes and risk mitigation strategies to enable continuity of education and to provide parents, staff and the broader community with a level of assurance.
The basic risk mitigation strategies are straightforward and well-understood. They include:
- Staying home if symptomatic, and getting tested
- Masks – mandatory indoors and on buses for secondary students, recommended for primary students
- Physical distancing
- Knowing who is onsite and minimising the opportunity for contact
Information as to how Trinity will continue to implement these strategies will appear on our dedicated COVID-webpage. Please bookmark and check regularly.
Most of these strategies are consistent with our approach towards the end of 2021. However, there are some new elements in the Government’s approach to keeping schools open in 2022.
Any student or staff member who tests positive to COVID-19 is required to follow NSW Health requirements under the Public Health Order for testing positive and self-isolation. Currently, the requirements are:
- isolate for 7 days following the positive test
- leave isolation after 7 days if no symptoms (sore throat, runny nose, cough or shortness of breath)
- if there are symptoms after 7 days, then remain in isolation until 24 hours after symptoms have resolved. Note: if a person continues to have symptoms, they are able to leave isolation after 7 days with a medical clearance.
- Anyone who returns a positive RAHT result must register it on the Service NSW app or service.nsw.gov.au website as soon as possible.
- Students who receive a positive PCR or RAHT result must inform the School as soon as possible through the Trinity app. If you are uncertain on how to set up the School app, please read the detailed instructions here.
- All students are required to have a Rapid Antigen Home Test (RAHT) twice per week for the first few weeks of term.
- Parents/carers are required to administer these tests at home. Negative tests do not need to be reported to Service NSW or to the School.
- The RAHT kits will be sent home with the boys on the first day they attend School in Term 1. There is no requirement for boys to do a RAHT before the first day of school.
A household contact is a person who lives with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19. Household contacts are also required to isolate for seven days (unless that person has previously tested positive to COVID and ended their isolation for this in the past 28 days).
If a student is a household contact, he is not able to attend school during the seven-day isolation period, even with negative RAHT results. Parents should notify the School through the app if a student is absent because he is a household contact; this notification needs to include the date on which the confirmed case tested positive.
Support for isolating students
The School’s expectation is that all students will attend for face-to-face learning from the start of term. The public health advice, the government’s policy, our own experiences over the last two years, and education research are all unambiguous in affirming the importance of students attending school as much as possible. Recognising that some students will be absent at points because of the requirements to isolate, the School will provide basic support of maintaining learning through Canvas and SeeSaw, but it will not be a full remote-learning model.
The School’s goal will be to run its usual activities as much as possible, applying appropriate COVID-smart risk mitigation strategies. With this goal in mind, the School expects activities such as sport, music ensembles, and cadets to proceed. More information about School activities will be provided via the School’s COVID-safety webpage in due course, as the School has opportunities to consider public health advice and plan.
Visitors to the School
As a general rule, parents and other non-essential visitors are not permitted on school sites for the time being. Exceptions may be made for events outside school hours, orientation events and special occasions. Information about the exceptions will be provided through the respective Heads of Campus and updated on the COVID-smart webpage. Parents should avoid gathering outside of school gates and remain in their vehicles for the drop-off and pick-up.
Staggered School hours at Summer Hill
As initially piloted in 2021, the School will stagger arrival and departure times in the carpark at Summer Hill. In 2022, the following arrangements will be in effect. Families are strongly requested to adhere to this schedule.
Years 7-12 – Arrive by 8:15am for an 8:25am start
Years 3-6 – Arrive by 8:30am for an 8:30am start
Years K-2 – Arrive by 8:45am for an 8:45am start
Years K-4 – Pick-up from 3:00pm
Years 5-6 – Pick-up from 3:15pm
Years 7-9 – Dismissed at 3:30pm
Years 10-12 Dismissed at 3:40pm