COVID-19 in Term 4 – 25 September Update

New health advice, ongoing precautions and COVID-19

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COVID-19 in Term 4 – 25 September Update

New health advice, ongoing precautions and COVID-19

Updated NSW new health advice: important updates for the Trinity community

25 September, 2020

The Premier and NSW Health released information on the 24 September about the relaxation of public health directions as they relate to schools. Please carefully read our updated COVID-19 protocols and all instructions found on this page. The following updates are to do with:
  • co-curricular activities
  • music
  • sport
  • assemblies and large gatherings
  • overnight camps

Please note:

  • Non-essential adults are still not permitted on school grounds or at school events
  • This includes parents except for face-to-face parent/teacher meetings that are essential
  • Parent/Teacher meetings or any other contact with staff will be conducted through electronic communications or videoconferencing
  • Parents who need to attend meetings at School must do so by appointment only and sign in via the appropriate campus reception

 

Co-curricular activities

All inter school co-curricular activities will recommence in Term 4 with appropriate COVID-19 Safety plans.

Cadets will recommence with Meriden School.

Music

Music will continue for students and all ensembles will recommence in Term 4 with appropriate COVID-19 Safety plans.

There will be group and solo choral activities to a maximum of 5 people as per the guidelines.

Peripatetic and individual music lessons will continue with parent consent in appropriate venues, incorporating physical distancing.

Sport and Spectators

All sporting activities will recommence in Term 4 with appropriate COVID-19 Safety plans.

The Fitness Centre will open for small groups of up to 20 students.

Parents may attend sporting fixtures such as Saturday sport as per guidelines, but not events that take place during the normal school day.

Our COVID-Safe sport page is essential reading for parents planning to attend Saturday sport and other sporting fixtures.

Assemblies and large gatherings

During Term 4, Weeks 1 to 5 the School will conduct outdoor assemblies of less than 15 minutes and House and Half House meetings on occasion as needed of less than 100 people, in appropriate venues, incorporating appropriate physical distancing.

Chapel will take place in a variety of venues as per the COVID-19 Safety plan.

The School will not conduct any assemblies or any other large-scale indoor gatherings, apart from year group presentation assemblies with the appropriate COVID-19 safety plan.

Overnight Camps

All overnight camps and activities will recommence from the start of Term 4, with the appropriate COVID-19 safety plan.

All excursions may recommence with the appropriate COVID-19 safety plans from the school and offsite providers.

Only Incursions that are essential for the delivery of curriculum will be available in appropriate venues, incorporating appropriate distancing and hygiene requirements.

External educational support providers will be able to conduct their sessions with parent consent in appropriate venues, incorporating physical distancing.

ONGOING COVID-19 SAFETY MEASURES

What do parents now need to do if a student is symptomatic or taking a COVID-19 test?

NSW Health requires students and staff with even mild symptoms of COVID-19 to be excluded from school and to be tested. Students and staff are not to return to school until symptoms have ceased, a negative test result has been received, and proof of the negative result has been provided to the school.

Parents are to notify the School if a student is being tested for COVID-19, and to provide the negative test result through the relevant absentee email address before the student returns.

In situations where a parent/carer is unwilling to allow their child to undertake a COVID test or provide the school with a negative COVID-19 test result, the student is to be excluded from school for a 10 day period.

Additionally, the student must have been symptom free for at least 3 days before returning to school.

How will the School manage suspected cases of COVID-19?

Any student who is unwell or displays symptoms potentially associated with COVID-19 must not attend School.

NSW Health recommends anyone with symptoms should be tested.

Any Student who has been tested must not attend School while waiting results and adhere to isolation/quarantine protocols.

Any student who, while at School, becomes unwell or displays symptoms potentially associated with COVID-19 must immediately inform his teacher and report to the Health Centre.

If required, parents will be contacted by the School’s Nurse to collect their son and seek appropriate medical attention.

The School will be notified by the NSW Public Health Unit of any Student who is confirmed COVID-19 positive. Return to School will not be permitted until formal release has been received from the local public health unit or treating physician.

What happens in the event of a shutdown because of a confirmed case of COVID-19?

The School will contact you using the Trinity School App and Email. We have a comprehensive plan for an orderly departure of students from the campus if NSW Health contact us during the School day. It may take up to 2 hours for an orderly departure from the campus. Our advice remains that the risk to children and young people remains low. Please review the School’s In Event of Closure FAQ page.

Will the School be maintaining its cleaning arrangements to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus?

As well as the provision of soap and hand-sanitiser, there will continue to be a rigorous cleaning regime across all campuses, as per AHPPC guidelines, including:

  • clean and disinfect frequently-used high-touch surfaces such as benchtops, desks, doorknobs, taps, and hand rails at regular intervals throughout the day
  • clean and disinfect frequently used objects such as computers, photocopiers and sports equipment
  • provide bins in every classroom and empty them regularly throughout the day
  • thoroughly clean frequently touched points in bathrooms after each recess and at the end of the day

Are the boys being encouraged to practice good hygiene?

Boys will be required and reminded to practise good hygiene as directed for COVID-19. Please support the School in reminding your sons to support these practises:

  • wash hands regularly (before and after eating, using the bathroom, etc)
  • use provided hand sanitiser
  • cover coughs and sneezes with elbow or tissue
  • place tissues straight in the bin
  • avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • do not share food and drink
  • do not share personal equipment or stationery
  • do not use mobile phones while at school
  • initiate non-contact greetings
  • limit physical contact in the playground

How is the School managing appropriate physical distancing requirements?

The greatest risk of transmission in the school environment is between adults. Staff and parents alike will be required to maintain physical distancing and the School has made the following changes to a number of arrangements:

Arrival and departure from school

  • Parents should not park and leave their vehicle to access the School premises or access the School via pedestrian gates for the purpose of pick-up and/or drop-off
  • Students being transported to School by private vehicle may only exit/enter the vehicle at designated drop-off and pick-up areas. Parents are not permitted to leave the vehicle
  • Students should, where possible, maintain physical distancing when arriving or departing School and waiting for transport (private and public)

How is physical distancing being managed for students?

Boys will be required and reminded to practise physical distancing. Please support the School in reminding your sons to adhere to the following practises:

  • avoid close-proximity queueing (on entering and leaving classrooms),
  • space out in classrooms as much as possible from other people
  • maintain 1.5m physical distancing from academic and support staff
  • maintain physical distancing when moving between classrooms or activities
  • limit the use of shared equipment or resources
  • limit physical contact during activities
  • submit work electronically for feedback where practicable

Is physical distancing being followed at recess and lunchtime?

Boys will be required and reminded to practise physical distancing. Please support the School in reminding your sons to adhere to the following practises:

  • maintain physical distancing and follow directional markings and signage when queueing
  • not to congregate in common areas during recess and lunch
  • bring an individual water bottle to School for use as water bottle refill stations will be open, however water fountains /bubblers will be closed

Is the cafeteria open at lunchtime?

The Cafeteria and Canteen will be open and is now cashless. Lunch orders may be placed and pre-paid according to the usual process. Purchases made during the day can be paid for in the cafeteria and canteen using either their student ID card which is linked to the family Flexischools account, or now through an EFTPOS transaction using a debit card. Cash will no longer be accepted.

When using the cafeteria, Middle and Senior students are expected to maintain physical distancing and follow directional markings and signage when queueing

For the Preparatory and Junior Schools, lunch can be pre-ordered through Flexischools. Cash payments will not be taken during this time.

Does the instruction not to share food and drink extend to sending in celebratory food to share with my son’s friends, like birthday cake and party bags?

Regretfully, yes. Distributing and sharing food, even on wonderful celebrations like birthdays, is an unnecessary risk in our current climate. Due to our protocols concerning hygiene, boys are not able to celebrate birthdays by bringing items to distribute (eg. cakes, donuts, lolly bags) for the time being. We will advise if and when this restriction is reconsidered.

How will physical distancing be managed during teaching and learning?

  • Smaller classes will be maintained, where possible
  • Avoid close-proximity queuing – enter and exit with 1.5m distancing
  • Student work to be submitted on-line for review rather than physical provision, where practical
  • Where appropriate, some lessons may be conducted outside
  • Class rooming will be reviewed to place larger classes in larger rooms

How will you be managing meetings between parents and Trinity Staff?

Parent/Teacher meetings, or any other required contact with Staff will be conducted through electronic communication or video conferencing. If it is not possible to prevent in person meetings, Parents must follow the physical distancing guidelines and NSW Public Health orders in and around the School premises.

Have any staff or students at Trinity been diagnosed with COVID-19?

Thankfully, no. If the School is notified that a member of staff or a student is diagnosed, and if they have potentially attended school whilst infectious, the School community will be notified and we would expect to be closed for one or two days to enable contact tracing and thorough cleaning.

Will students and staff be required to wear face masks to school?

No. Advice from the Commonwealth Department of Health, NSW Health, and the AHPPC is that face masks are not recommended for general use in the community or in schools. Apart from use by health care workers who are in frequent contact with sick people, face masks are of benefit to people who are sick so they don’t cough on others. Trinity’s approach is to require people who are sick not to come to school. However, students and staff members who feel strongly about wearing a mask can do so and the School accommodates this choice.

Will the School be checking students’ temperature?

Based on AHPPC advice to schools, good hygiene practices and environmental cleaning are more important for reducing risk. AHPPC advice is schools should not conduct wide-scale temperature checking of students as there is limited evidence to demonstrate the value of such checks. If your son is sick or has a temperature, he must not attend School.

Will staff and students be required to download the COVIDSafe app?

The strong recommendation of public health authorities and government is that people should download the COVIDSafe app. The decision whether or not to do this rests with individuals.

What if I am not comfortable to send my son to school for face-to-face learning because I have general concerns about COVID-19?

The School understands and has some sympathy for those concerns; we have all experienced some anxiety during this time. However, by way of reassurance, it is important to note that the public health authorities, the government, and educators all recommend that students attend school. In addition, Trinity has put into place extensive strategies to manage the risks associated with COVID-19, which are detailed on this page. The School will continue to monitor the risks in the weeks and months ahead. Given the likelihood that the coronavirus will be active in Australia for many months to come, holding a child back from school because of general concerns is not sustainable.

What if my son is absent because he is deemed high-risk or vulnerable to COVID-19?

If your son is:

  • high-risk or vulnerable to COVID-19, or
  • living in a household with someone who is vulnerable, or
  • required to self-isolate because of close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19

please make contact with the respective Head of School in the first instance, so we can work out how best to support your son using a separate, case-management approach.

As we have consistently demonstrated, the School will always go over and above to support those boys with particular needs or vulnerabilities.

What if my son is absent because he is sick (unrelated to COVID-19)?

This category of absence will be managed as it always has been; the student’s main responsibility is to recover, and he will then be supported to catch up on work missed. The usual processes for documenting and verifying student absence will take place.

Will ongoing remote learning be available?

Since students should attend school unless unable to do so (see above), the School will not support ongoing remote learning as a parental choice once face to face learning has resumed.

Helpful Links and Information

COVID-19 National Principles for School Education: https://www.dese.gov.au/covid-19/schools/national-principles-for-school-education

The Australian Government has a dedicated COVID-19 Health Information Line, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 1800 020 080

Symptoms of COVID-19: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/symptoms-and-testing

Information on the COVIDSafe app: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/covidsafe-app

 NSW Health FAQs: Do face masks protect against COVID-19? Which face masks?

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/frequently-asked-questions.aspx#2-3

The NSW Health websites provide up to date and accurate information in both English and Mandarin.

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-resources

NSW Health FAQs:  https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx

Guidance on Home Isolation: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/hubei-contacts-and-travellers.aspx

Federal Government Guidance: https://education.govcms.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19

The World Health Organisation’s advice for the public can be found here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation, funded by the Australian Government Department of Health offers information and advice for maintaining health and wellbeing, as well as coping with stress. Visit: https://headspace.org.au/

COVID-safe examinations

Trinity is committed to ensuring that the upcoming HSC and IBD written examinations operate in line with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and NSW Health Advice. We have asked our parents to proactively work together with us to ensure the best possible examination period for our students. A communication from the Academic Dean was provided at the end of Term 3. The information is available on our COVID-safe HSC and IBD examinations page.