The school is taking precautionary steps to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This page will be kept up to date with the latest information from the school.
10 August 2020
On 3 August 2020, the NSW Government updated their advice on the use of masks in high-risk settings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This advice has been supported by the AISNSW and further information on the advice can be found here.
Whist not mandatory, the use of masks is highly recommended:
- in indoor settings where physical distancing is hard to maintain, such as on public transport or in supermarkets
- in indoor settings with a higher risk of transmission, such as for the staff of hospitality and customer-facing venues i.e. cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs
- during attendance at places of worship.
In line with the School’s mitigation strategies, we have asked that all staff within the Kitchen (Wolaroi & PLC), Canteen, Health Centre and Bus / Duty Drivers to begin using masks.
NSW Health has issued some general guidance on cloth masks: click here.
As a reminder, masks are not a substitute for any of the School’s guidelines that are already in place:
- stay home if unwell and get tested
- maintain physical distancing
- maintain good hand hygiene.
A reminder regarding testing protocols. If a member of your household has been tested for COVID-19 and has not received a test result, we ask that you do not attend campus until notification of the result. This is in place to protect the School community given the nature of our ‘high-risk’ setting as a Boarding school and the increased possibility of community transmission.
Consider when and how you travel
NSW Health recommends that the community avoids non-essential travel at this critical time. If you do need to travel, think about how you may adapt your travel habits to help keep you and the community safe.
Venues of concern
NSW Health continues to update the list of venues of concern. Check here for the latest locations:
If you have been to any of the listed places on the dates and times indicated, you must self-isolate and get tested immediately.
We continue to monitor the situation closely and adjust our mitigation strategies accordingly.
Many thanks for your support, understanding and patience.
Term 3 Return to School Guidelines
20 July 2020
The Deputy Principal has issued guidelines to parents, students and staff for a safe return to campus in Term 3. In particular, there are special requirements for those who have travelled to Victoria during the holidays. Details are provided in the PDF link below:
As per earlier communication from Dr Parry, we have been busily planning the reintroduction of our co-curricular programs for Term 3. Whilst we will have a slightly altered program as well as additional protective measures in place to manage the safety of our community, we are so pleased to be resuming the majority of our co-curricular programs next term. Details are in the PDF link below:
We have recently worked to develop and implement a contingency plan for school closure in the case of a confirmed COVID-19 case at school (or another State or local shutdown).
We would like to share our communication plan and decision-making process should we need to close the campus.
NSW Health will advise the Principal if a confirmed case of COVID-19 has an impact on our school. All other confirmed cases are a personal matter for those involved and they will be managed directly by NSW Health. People assessed as being a ‘close contact’ of a member of the community are identified and contacted by NSW Health and given appropriate advice. Schools are bound by obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW) to not disclose the identity of a person with COVID-19 except to authorised people.
Immediately following notification of a decision to close the campus, as per advice from NSW Health, the communication protocol will include:
The Principal will be notified by NSW Health.
Communications will go out to all faculty, staff, students, and parents regarding campus closure via SMS and email.
Parents and students will be provided with specific instructions for student departure if this occurs during a school day.
Communication of the process and status of the campus closure will continue via sms, email and the school website until we return to normal face-to-face operations.
Campus Closure Process
Throughout any closure, the steps taken by the school will be under the guidance and advice of NSW Health. If the school is advised of a positive case of COVID-19 during a school day:
Day students will need be collected by parents. Please make sure that you know your child’s day house and collection point (contained in this document).
Boarding students will return to their boarding houses immediately and will be temporarily quarantined or sent home depending on the circumstances.
Parents please adhere to these guidelines to minimise traffic delays as best as possible. Following the official closure of the campus, we will sanitize all areas of the school.
Pick up zone and details
Senior School Bus Bay
Enter via Bathurst Rd Gates, exit via Cox Ave South Gate
Allenby Road Gate
Cox Avenue South Gate
Please do not block the gate
1st Gate to Wolaroi Boarding House
Cox Avenue North Gate
Please do not block the gate
Weymouth Boarding House Gate
2nd Gate to Wolaroi Boarding House
Junior School pick up area
Enter at Cox Ave South Gate, exit at Cox Ave North Gate
Junior School pick up area
Enter at Cox Ave South Gate, exit at Cox Ave North Gate
Pre-Kinder pick up area
Closure of a Boarding House (or Houses) – if deemed necessary – will be completed within 24 hours of the notice for campus closure. Boarding families have been encouraged to prepare a plan for this circumstance. Parents please adhere to these guidelines to minimise traffic delays as best as possible.
The transition back to remote teaching will happen 24 hours after the announcement of school campus closure. Information regarding timetables and commencement will be sent to students and parents via email.
FAQs How will I be informed if there is a school closure?
The School will send a notification via SMS and will send a follow-up message via email.
Where do I collect my children?
Junior School children will be collected from the normal pickup zone while Pre-Kinder will be collected as normal from their room. Senior School pickup areas are detailed above and in the map below.
What if I have to pick up children from Senior and Junior?
Pre-Kinder and Junior School students will be collected first. Siblings in the Senior School will be able to travel home with them.
Will the children be prepared to know what to do? Yes, we will be conducting a practice in Week 6.
How soon do I need to be there?
Junior School parents should collect their children within 1 hour of receiving the SMS. Senior School parents will be advised a slightly later time for collection.
Will there be a bus service?
No, there will be no School bus services running and students will not be able to use public transport.
Will there be supervision until I can get there?
Yes. Senior day students will be supervised in the DPA until 6pm while Junior School students will be supervised in Room 52 adjacent to the pick-up area until 5pm.
What if my child is a Boarder?
Mr Curran will be sharing specific information for the process for our Boarding students.
What if my child drives to and from School?
Students who drive to School can drive home and take their siblings but cannot take other students home.
Can my child go with someone else if I am unable to collect them from School?
Supervision will be provided and children will need to be collected by their parents or their authorised emergency contact.
How soon will we have information on who the infected person has been in contact with?
Contact tracing is expected to take approximately 48 hours.
If we suspect our child has been in contact with the sick person, what should we do?
If your child is identified as a close contact you will be advised by NSW Health. If you need advice or have questions, call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.
Will the children be sent home with everything they need for learning?
How will the school keep us up to date?
There will be regular communication via email.
How soon will the school reopen?
The School will be guided by NSW Health on this and information will be shared as soon as possible by Dr Parry.
Can we take Boarders home?
Boarding students will return to their Houses and be collected by their parents.
If your child is kept home and is displaying any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, sore/scratchy throat, shortness of breath, loss of smell, loss of taste, runny nose, muscle pain, joint pain, diarrhoea, nausea/vomiting and loss of appetite then please ensure they are tested for COVID-19. Please inform the School’s Health Centre email@example.com about the test and notify them of the negative result when it comes through. This will allow the Health Centre to monitor those being tested and will assist the School and NSW Health with contact tracing if a positive test was to occur.
Year Group Locations for Week 6
Year 7 Quadrangle
Between Bennett / Science and Music Area
Maths / Bennett Quadrangle
In front of DPA / Amphitheatre
Between the Canteen and Health Centre, above the oval
I am very aware that our students and their families - indeed families all over the nation - are greatly missing their co-curricular sport and activities. Following for your information is an update on our current situation.
We are carefully following Government guidelines to inform our School practices around the resumption of Co-curricular activities. While there are a range of restrictions around sporting and recreational activities currently in place, we are not in a position to offer formal co-curricular sport training or games this term. Some of the rules around community sporting activities have recently been relaxed, but the current restrictions will still prevent us from running regular training sessions or games for the remainder of the term. This will also apply to Cadet home training and Performing Arts ensemble rehearsals.
We are currently looking at options for the resumption of some of our activities for Term 3. These are exceptional circumstances, and we must acknowledge that Co-curricular programs cannot proceed as normal. Whilst we highly value these experiences as part of the holistic educational offering at KWS, we must consider the associated risks that resuming our regular program next term would expose the School community to. We have a duty of care to protect the health and wellbeing of the KWS students, staff and community and this is central to all of our decision making processes.
Our regular Winter sporting competitions involve close mixing and contact with members of the local Orange community, and communities further afield. Sports such as Girl’s Football and the ISA Rugby competition also involve extensive travel. These elements of our regular competitive programs have the potential to expose the KWS community to risks which we must consider for our School context.
A number of my fellow Independent School Heads have concerns regarding the resumption of competition sport. Next Friday I will be meeting with the ISA Board where we will discuss the future of 2020 Rugby competition. Each school has differing contexts and particular challenges and our regional location, lengthy travel and large boarding school environment present a number of risks that must be carefully considered.
In the coming weeks we shall also need to make decisions concerning our involvement in a number of Orange-based sporting competitions.
We do not know what the next few months will look like, and can only plan with the information we currently have at our disposal. Whilst we understand that there may be considerable disappointment from within our community if we are unable to participate in some activities and competitions, we must consider the risks that are presented and understand all our decisions will be based upon the health and wellbeing of students, staff and community. Unfortunately, the disruptions caused by COVID-19 have seen many around the world miss opportunities this year - our Olympic athletes readily spring to mind.
We will apply the same parameters of managing risk around the resumption of Cadet training and Performing Arts ensembles. A decision about these activities for Term 3 will be made in the coming weeks.
With very best wishes,
Dr Andrew Parry
Useful links for the School Community
Where can I find the latest health information on COVID-19?
During these difficult times, maintaining positive wellbeing may be challenging. Relying on news from mainstream media or social media which may be sensational or exaggerate issues can further increase stress and anxiety. It is important to seek information from trusted sources. Below are some resources available to support all children and young people with their wellbeing.
Head to Health
It’s natural to feel stressed, worried, anxious, bored or depressed as the Covid-19 pandemic impacts our mental health and wellbeing. This page covers facts about the outbreak as well as tips for maintaining good mental health and how to access mental health services. Psychological tips for coping can help you with managing anxiety and worry about Covid-19.
Self-care can help you feel a little better and can give you a sense of control in a very uncertain time. Here is a list of self-care activities that you can do from home.
When children and young people are able to self-manage their emotions their emotions, they feel more confident, capable and in control. Helping children and young people manage their emotions is important for fostering positive mental health and wellbeing.
Student Wellbeing Hub
The Student Wellbeing Hub is a place for educators, parents and students to build safe, inclusive and connected communities that promote wellbeing and learning.
Kids Helpline KHL provides free, confidential support and counselling for children aged 5-25.
Headspace Headspace provides mental health services for aged 12-25 including information and resources, as well as online and telephone services. This factsheet is to support young people with Covid-19 related stress.
In this Special Report, adult carers will be provided with a checklist that can be used as a guide in determining if there is any cause for concern. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.
If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.
Below is a link to download our parent and student guidelines in preparation for our staged return to campus from Monday 11 May. These guidelines have been produced in line with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and their recommendations for schools. It is important that all parents and students read through this information so they are aware of the requirements as we strive to keep our community safe.
There will be further communication with each year group as they return to campus. This will afford us the opportunity to provide them with up-to-date information and instructions regarding their transition back to School.
It goes without saying that there will inevitably be modifications to these guidelines as guidance from the relevant authorities evolves. Weekly updates will be provided to ensure you are kept abreast of developments. We are all hoping to see a relaxation of the systems that have been put in place when it is deemed safe to do so.
This week you will also be sent a survey link for your feedback on our Remote Learning. Although we are currently learning from home, our School's goals remain the same — ensure that your children progress in their learning, and that they stay safe and well in the process. Completing this survey will help us understand how your family is doing during this period when all of us are still adapting to the new remote learning arrangements and distance collaboration. That way, we will be able to support your child and your family better if / when remote learning becomes our main mode for delivering teaching and learning again.
We are all looking forward to seeing our students again. While they have adapted remarkably well to online learning, we know however that our students learn better in classrooms, mentor groups, playgrounds, co-curricular activities and boarding houses, with their teachers, staff, coaches and peers. Seeing some of our Year 12 students on campus this week as they attend the supervision sessions, it is very clear that they are looking forward to seeing their friends and being able to engage with the people who make KWS special for them.
As always, thank you for your continued support, flexibility and understanding during this period of challenge and change. I know the days and weeks ahead may present further obstacles for us all but I am confident that we will be able to handle them together.
Recently there have been new recommendations made by the Federal and State Governments in regard to social distancing in schools and the staggered return of students. Over the last few days revised guidelines have been published by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and the Department of Health (Guidance for Boarding Schools) that make us feel safe in moving forward with a staggered return to campus. There has also been a significant change to the Governments’ medical advice concerning management of COVID-19 cases in boarding houses, indicating that a ‘lock down’ would not be required but would be replaced by individual quarantine measures.
We have been working carefully to develop a thorough plan for the weeks ahead which is unique to the circumstances and learning environment at Kinross Wolaroi. It is important to note that the needs of our diverse community are unique, and that the approach taken by government schools and other non-government schools may be different to our approach.
Considering Australia’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and this positive new Government and medical advice, we will embark on a staggered return to face-to-face teaching and boarding, to be undertaken over the coming weeks. Based on expert advice and our particular school context, the most workable solution to get all students back on campus in Term 2 is a phased return by year group.
In summary, we will continue with online education for Weeks 1 and 2, and then gradually bring year groups back on campus between Weeks 3 and 5. As each year group returns, their mode of education will move from online to face-to-face. This phased approach is logistically manageable for teachers, gives students a consistent mode of education and gives day and boarding parents clarity about their child’s learning program. It also enables us to monitor the school environment carefully and make adjustments as necessary before greater numbers of students arrive on campus.
In returning to face-to-face mode, we will be making every effort to provide the safest possible environment for everyone on campus by adhering to all health and social distancing requirements. We continue to be in constant contact and discussion with NSW Health and the NSW Association of Independent Schools who have been advising and assisting us on our protocols and procedures. Specific logistical detail on this will follow shortly. This is a very dynamic environment, so please understand that we may need to reassess and possibly change what we are doing or proposing to do as we navigate through the term.
Senior School Return Schedule
- All year groups continue with Remote Learning for Weeks 1 & 2
- Supervision of children of Essential Workers continues for Weeks 1-4 (ending Fri 22 May)
- Week 3 - Years 11 and 12 return to campus for face-to-face teaching. This is because our Senior HSC students must be a priority. Year 11 and 12 boarders return.
- Week 4 – Year 7 commence face-to-face teaching on campus and Year 7 boarders return.
- Week 5 – Years 8, 9 & 10 commence face-to-face teaching on campus and Years 8, 9 & 10 boarders return.
- Week 5 - ALL STUDENTS return to face-to-face learning and remote learning concludes. Original timetable resumes.
Junior School Return Schedule
The following proposal ensures equity for all year groups; all Years will be on campus for a total of five days over a two week period in Weeks 3 and 4. When a year group is not on campus they will continue with remote learning. The timetable is detailed below:
- Pre-Kinder will follow a similar approach after consultation with parents regarding family need.
Supervision for day/boarding siblings
For all families who have siblings in different year groups (K-12) we understand that a staggered return might be quite inconvenient, especially for boarding families who would be travelling considerable distances. To this extent siblings in other year groups may return as well, and we will provide supervision during the day for these students. For our Boarding families this will also involve overnight supervision within our Boarding Houses.
The school will undertake a detailed Risk Mitigation Strategy for both School Operations and for Boarding. The detail of this will be communicated to you in the near future so that you can have comfort in your children returning to school.
We fully understand that some students will be unable to return at this stage due to personal or family circumstances. Learning programs will be arranged to ensure every student has academic support.
Please take note of the following changes that have been made to the Term 2 school calendar as a result of these changes:
· Friday 5 June is no longer a Pupil Free Day with staff training, it will be a regular teaching day.
· Monday 18 May will be a regular teaching day (this is an update on previous advice).
· Monday 8 June remains a Pupil Free Day – Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday.
· Friday 26 June will be a normal teaching day and not Subject Selection Day.
Our hope is that the risk of transmission will diminish as the weeks pass and the government’s suppression strategy plays out. We are all looking forward to the return of the students to school as Term 2 unfolds. Despite our optimism, we will remain cautious and considered in all we do. The safety and wellbeing of our school community in a focussed learning environment is our priority.
As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me.
A video message from the Principal, Dr Andrew Parry
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Dear Parents and Carers,
Since our last communication to you, much thinking and planning has been undertaken by various teams at Kinross Wolaroi. The Senior Management Team has worked together closely since the close of Term 1. This period has also included a number of extraordinary meetings of School Council.
The safety, health and wellbeing of our students, staff and their families remains our primary concern.
Kinross Wolaroi School continues to take a precautionary approached based on the latest and best medical advice available to us from the Australian Government Department of Health, NSW Health, the school’s risk management partner and medical advisors.
Our decision-making has been contemplated deeply, and with due consideration of what is in the best interests of our community, especially given its unique, predominantly residential context as one of Australia's largest coeducational boarding schools, with students from all over NSW.
Term 2 Commencement
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to rapidly evolve, as do the associated State and Federal Government guidelines and advice. Following the NSW Government Announcement on Tuesday 21 April, we are now able to confirm arrangements for Term 2.
Focussing on the safety, health and wellbeing of our students, staff and their families, the School has prioritised a sustainable and effective delivery of our learning programmes for Term 2 with the continued provision of Remote Learning from Tuesday 28 April.
Commencing Week 1, Term 2, video conferencing will also be utilised to support the remote learning program for most year groups and a revised daily timetable for Senior School students has been implemented in response to feedback.
As Term 2 unfolds, we will continue to work purposefully and proactively towards the resumption of on-campus learning. In undertaking this work, we will continue to seek the guidance and advice of medical experts and develop plans which identify, manage and mitigate the risks unique to our context and relevant to our students, staff and wider School community. Until then, we are striving to provide the best remote learning opportunities we can.
We continue to take a proactive and highly precautionary approach to Boarding. Boarding schools have been identified "a high-risk setting" by the NSW Government and, as a residential facility "with an elevated risk of community transmission" of COVID-19 by the National Cabinet. The School will not knowingly place students or staff in a position of risk unless such risk may be reasonably mitigated. In parallel to preparation for Remote Learning, the School continues to model and scenario plan ways of mitigating risk in residential environments once NSW Health can advise it would be appropriate to do so, and as soon as we can access sufficient resources (such as testing kits) to enable safe practice.
Year 11 and 12
We remain especially mindful of the impact on the academic pursuits of our Year 11 and 12 students. Teams of senior staff continue to plan specifically to meet their needs and to advocate on their behalf with relevant authorities. Whilst their pathway thus far this year was not anticipated, we are striving to make the most of the new opportunities that have arisen and remain fully committed to supporting our learners to access preferred pathways beyond their Kinross Wolaroi education.
NESA has announced that all HSC students will receive a Higher School Certificate this year, and has given principals and system authorities the power to determine the number, type and weighting of tasks for HSC and Year 11 school-based assessment. Further updates are expected soon from their COVID-19 Response Committee who have advised that a Technical Advisory Committee of assessment experts and stakeholders is working on a fair and equitable way to calculate a mark for cancelled components of the HSC.
We are continuing to research the details underlying each announcement and will provide further information as we are able to do so accurately.
Given our sensitivity to the many complexities and uncertainties caused by COVID-19, we have reviewed the best way to support our families with regard to the payment of fees.
The School will be providing deductions to the tuition element of the fees. This is to take into account the economic burden of COVID-19 on our community, the disruption to Term 2 and the additional time and expense being incurred by you to support your children learning at home. They have been structured to reflect the more significant impacts on the Junior School.
Reductions for Term 2 will be credited to your next account as follows:
Years K – 2: 20% of the Term 2 tuition fee
Years 3 – 6: 10% of the Term 2 tuition fee
Years 7 – 12: 5% of the Term 2 Tuition fee
As you are aware, the following charges have already been witheld from your school accounts: - Pre-kinder fees
- Boarding fees - Transport levy - Curriculum levy
In light of the employment and economic impact of COVID-19 the school continues to offer fee payment options that include deferral of payments or periodic payments, depending on the individual situation.
As we are able to provide more of the Kinross Wolaroi experience the fee structures and billing cycles will be reviewed and revised until we return to our normal fee structure and billing cycle.
Supporting each other
We know that so many within our community are under financial stress and are worried about the future. However, there will be many who will, despite this pandemic, be largely unaffected financially. Given that the cost structure for tuition is largely unchanged for Kinross Wolaroi, and our income is significantly impacted due to the inability to provide boarding, it would be very much appreciated if families who are able to pay 100% of tuition fees continue to do so. Alternatively, we can credit the amount of your discount to the School’s Scholarship Fund as a donation from you. The Scholarship Fund holds Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status, and so any voluntary donation made (over $2) will be tax deductible. If we can work together to build this fund it will help us provide bursaries to support other KWS families in need.
If you would like to make a donation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be initiatives such as these that will help us get through this unprecedented period together.
Based on the expectation that we’ll be providing online education for at least the short-term, we have been working over recent weeks to improve the school’s delivery of this program.
We have developed a restructured learning timetable for Senior School students, aimed at having periods away from the screen where students undertake directed learning activities. We will also be introducing video conferencing, or ‘virtual classrooms’, across most year groups to provide greater engagement and to make things more manageable for parents and more rewarding for students. Both Junior School and Senior School parents will be sent information tomorrow regarding these further improvements to Remote Learning delivery.
On Campus Supervision of Remote Learning
As determined by the NSW Department of Education on 21 April, "Schools will be open and operational for students that need to attend but where practical, parents are encouraged to keep their children at home".
The School will be providing on campus appropriate adult supervised access to our Remote Learning for both Junior and Senior School students (K-12) from Tuesday 28 April, from 8.30 am until 4:30pm, Monday to Friday.
Please take note of the following changes that have been made to the Term 2 school calendar:
Friday 5 June is no longer a Pupil Free Day with staff training, it will be a regular teaching day.
Monday 18 May will be a Pupil Free day instead.
Monday 8 June remains a Pupil Free Day – Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday.
Friday 26 June will be a normal teaching day and not Subject Selection Day.
Communication and Planning
We continue to actively monitor State and Federal Government guidelines and advice. In this rapidly changing context, our planning cycle will be shaped around a two-week timeframe. As such, further information will be provided at least every 10 days and added to this page. Please be mindful that this page is refreshed regularly; we encourage you to check this site frequently.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
On Campus Supervision of Remote Learning in Term 2
9 April 2020 (Updated 23 April 2020)
Dear Parents and Carers,
At the School Council meeting held on Tuesday 7 April it was unanimously agreed that the School will offer on-campus supervision for students in Term 2, 2020.
As determined by the NSW Government "Schools will be open and operational for students that need to attend but where practical, parents are encouraged to keep their children at home".
The school will retain a physical classroom environment for the children of parents who may not have a choice of keeping children at home. These might be the children of essential front line workers who, in the absence of a classroom option, are forced to make the decision to stop working in our essential services.
Students in Years K-12 who choose to attend will be supervised at school from 8.30am until 4.30pm on normal school days. After school care will not be available.
Details regarding this service are as follows:
Supervision will take place in age / stage appropriate groups, in locations such as the library and classrooms to ensure minimum social distancing measures are in effect.
Staggered drop-offs will take place at the vehicle drop zone beside the DPA - no parents will be allowed to access other parts of the campus. Collection will be staggered to ensure that social distancing measures are adhered to – including staying in your car when dropping off and picking up your child/children.
School uniform is to be worn.
No canteen facilities are available - students will be expected to bring their own recess, lunch and water bottle.
Health checks will be undertaken upon arrival in the morning and at lunch.
Students must bring to school each day their device (laptop/iPad) and all materials required for the day’s lessons.
Headphones will be required to be able to access online lessons.
All students must attend for the whole school day; the usual protocols in regard to absence will apply for students whose parents have indicated they will attend school.
To ensure safe social distancing, there will be staggered recess and lunch breaks.
Hand sanitation stations will be available on arrival on campus and at key entry points to buildings for pupils and staff.
For more information about on campus supervision, please contact Mr Andrew Ryan at email@example.com.
Winter Uniform Purchases
Student who require winter uniform items will be able to access the Uniform Shop BY APPOINTMENT ONLY between 10am and 4pm on Friday 24 April and Monday 4 April to purchase necessary items. To comply with COVID-19 guidelines, only two persons will be allowed to enter the shop at any one time. To make your appointment please email Mrs Sharron Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your appointment. Please wait for a return email to confirm your appointment time before attending the Uniform Shop.
After Monday 4 April, please email Mrs Ryan to determine when you will next be able to access the Uniform Shop.
As you are aware, we are currently navigating a new paradigm for Kinross Wolaroi School with the transition from on-campus learning to online delivery of learning as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic. The wellbeing of our students, staff and community always remains our priority, as does our commitment to provide your children with an outstanding educational experience despite the current disruption.
In monitoring the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our community, the School Council and Executive have made a number of important decisions regarding Term 2, which are detailed below.
Campus Closure - Term 2
Having reviewed predictions being advanced by Government and medical authorities, as well as international experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the School campus will remain closed for Term 2 and teaching and learning will continue to be delivered remotely. This action is in line with the great majority of independent schools across the nation.
Over the next week we will be utilising student and staff experiences to undertake a review of the timetable with a view to optimising our students’ on-going remote learning experience.
Review and Improvement
Students and staff are being surveyed today to provide vital feedback on their remote learning experience over the past two weeks. This information will assist us in improving our model so that the learning experience is engaging, stimulating, manageable and very importantly, sustainable over the nine weeks of Term 2. We are greatly appreciative of all the constructive feedback we have received thus far.
We have also received some very positive feedback on the video conferencing trials that were conducted with a few classes this week. This addition to our learning program will see our students benefit greatly from the interactivity and social connection video conferencing provides.
Pre-Kinder to Cease Remote Learning
We believe that the provision of a remote learning experience for Pre-Kindergarten is not a sustainable option for our families due to the young age of the students.
Therefore, during the campus closure no fees will be charged for this offering, however our staff will continue to maintain connection and provide some learning experiences for the children. We very much look forward to welcoming back all our families when our campus reopens.
With confirmation that the School campus will remain closed for Term 2, the following fees and levies will be not be charged for the term:
· Curriculum Levy
· Transport Levy
· Boarding Fees (Residential & Food)
· Pre-K Tuition Fees.
We are aware of the significant financial hardships being faced by many of our School community members as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes off the back of already challenging economic conditions caused by the ongoing severe drought conditions and the recent bushfires. During these periods, the School has attempted to balance the delivery of an outstanding educational product with the need to support our families through difficult times.
Like all businesses, the School has been monitoring and assessing its financial position during the COVID-19 Pandemic. It is clear the road ahead for the School is a challenging one. Our business model is based on ensuring that families receive a first-rate educational experience, which is delivered at 60 percent of the price of our metro-based competitors. This means that our School runs on a relatively small margin; it invests heavily in its people - almost 80 percent of costs are related to employees - and is reliant on tuition and boarding fees to maintain the high standard of education in which you have all chosen to invest.
The Kinross Wolaroi School community has a passionate commitment to excellence in education. We are dedicated to navigating this period together. We ask for your continued support of the School during these trying times, as difficult financial decisions must inevitably be made.
The School is keen to ensure that no family needs to leave our School community due to this temporary disruption. If you are experiencing financial uncertainty as a result of the ongoing pandemic, please do not hesitate to contact the School’s Business Manager, Mr Trevor Delbridge, by email to email@example.com to discuss possible fee deferral arrangements. Within the School’s own financial constraints, we will do the best we can to support you.
We wish you a very happy Easter and some special time with your loved ones.
It is at such times of challenge and adversity that we come to appreciate those things of real importance in life. We must be grateful for our health, our families and our wonderful School.
Mrs Christine McIntosh - Chair of Council
Dr Andrew Parry, Principal
Mr Trevor Delbridge, Business Manager
Nobody alive today has experienced the measures being enforced across the country. These situations can be worrying, even frightening. This is particularly so for schools, with the transition to distance learning, cancellation of all events and activities, changes to assessment procedure for the HSC and uncertainty over return dates. Many in our community will have deeply-held concerns and fears for the coming months.
My message is that this time of adversity is not forever, and it will pass. We don’t know how long it will take yet, but things will improve, and our lives will slowly return to normal.
It is important to keep that knowledge to the fore and to deal with our current, challenging lives in manageable parts, day by day - reaching out for help if it is needed - just as we always tell our students to do with their studies.
Such times call for creative and courageous response. The tightly woven fabric of our community will ensure we overcome the chaos and uncertainty of the present.
The necessity now for remote learning will bring breakthroughs in the use of technology in education, though I also believe it will make us appreciate the phenomenal value played by human engagement and socialisation in the teaching and learning experience. Creativity in how we teach and of how we learn is now demanded by us all. We are constantly working on how we best deliver lessons, and how we can deliver our continued togetherness.
Term 2 will continue with remote learning
We will not be returning to teaching at the school campus in Term 2, but will continue with learning at home, as will schools across the nation. Should there be a significant change to government advice on this matter, we will review the situation.
Our remote learning is progressing extremely well. While we have experienced some of the anticipated glitches due to the load on our internet and IT infrastructure caused by everyone moving online, we are getting lots of excellent feedback from you – for which we are very thankful – and the vast majority is wonderfully positive. We will be conducting surveys among students, staff and parents to help refine our teaching and learning offering. Our staff are constantly working to improve the experience for our students.
Live video lessons
We are trialling online video conferencing with a view to commencing these lessons during Term 2. Adding this tool would significantly improve our online offering. In introducing this option, we need to be certain that we can provide appropriate child protection measures, and this means that parents need to provide a separate approval to the school for their children to participate.
This should have already arrived in your email inbox. Expectations for student behaviour will be the same as if they were in a real classroom, and they will be provided with guidelines for responsible use of the technology. If we move ahead with live video conferencing, there will be many positives. We feel certain students will benefit greatly from the interactivity and social connection video conferencing would bring back to their learning experience.
HSC Update from NESA
Chair of the NESA Board, Professor Peter Shergold today announced a number of key decisions about the 2020 HSC made by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) COVID-19 Response Committee.
Effective immediately, the Committee has agreed to:
give Principals and system authorities the power to determine the number, type and weighting of tasks for Year 11 school based assessment, in line with the decision communicated last week for HSC students
lift the requirement for VET students to undertake NESA work placements
cancel mandatory group performance exam in Drama and the mandatory ensemble performance exam in Music Extension.
modify other performance exams that breach social distancing requirements.
The Committee will meet next week to provide advice on major projects for Visual Arts, Design and Technology, Industrial Technology, Textiles and Design, English Ext 2 and Society and Culture.
Professor Shergold said today’s decisions and every future decision made by the Committee will prioritise the adoption of arrangements for the 2020 HSC that are practical and do not disadvantage any student. This year’s HSC students will be able to continue with the next chapter of their lives, whether that’s university, an apprenticeship or TAFE.
A Technical Advisory Committee of assessment experts and key stakeholders is currently working to establish a fair and equitable way to calculate a mark for each of the cancelled components of the HSC. NESA will communicate this process as soon as it is finalised.
Stay home for the holidays
With Term 1 ending this week, it is a slightly longer break than usual for this time of year. Parents will need to have a plan for keeping children occupied while maintaining the social distancing regulations that are protecting our community.
The Prime Minister has reminded parents that they need to take responsibility for children who are home from school, and I remind families that our students should not be out together shopping or gathering in parks, and should not be having play dates, sleepovers or parties. It has been made very clear by the authorities that even visiting friends and relatives should be avoided unless essential.
So, what can they do? Some younger students might try setting up a tent and camping in the backyard or living room, they can read, do arts and crafts, play board or video games, do puzzles, play cards, build Lego, learn to cook, or even try gardening. There is so much amazing content available online: They can visit virtual museums, see live zoo and aquarium webcams, you can learn how to do just about everything on YouTube, listen to music or learn about cinematography. Our students can still exercise and take small breaks from their home, but it is important to make sure this is done safely. The threat to our community is still significant and we must do everything we can to protect our friends and families.
You could also consider this a time for our busy and ‘fully timetabled’ children to learn about stillness. In our fast-paced world, stillness is a rare experience, for all of us. Children’s hearts, minds and bodies are always racing. Consider giving them time to be bored: To take the time to focus on whatever they are doing with full attention and no deadlines; to find and explore new interests.
Finally, in 2020 we will all be celebrating an unusually solitary Easter. The resurrection of Jesus reminds us that in the face of suffering and sorrow we should share in hope and joy. We are called to love our neighbours, live in peace and embrace justice and inclusion. We are seeing this loving spirit shine brightly in the amazing medical practitioners and support staff who are giving so much of themselves to their communities during this crisis here at home and all over the world. They are role models and genuine ‘heroes’ who should inspire our students. At Easter, please take this opportunity to point them out to your children and to have a discussion about the important values they embody.
Times such as these give us cause to reflect upon what is truly important in life. We must all be grateful for our health, our families and for our wonderful school.
Please over the coming weeks – be safe – but also be brave and be confident in the future – for we will emerge, and we will thrive.
And please remember those who are less fortunate than we are.
My thanks to all who are working tirelessly to help us through these most difficult times.
I wish everyone of you the very best and a lovely Easter break.
I am immensely grateful to our community for your willingness to support the School as we navigate through these very uncertain times. I have also been greatly encouraged by the powerful endorsement of so many of our Medical Practitioners.
These unprecedented circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic are causing major disruption and anxiety around the world. Even here in the Central West we are witnessing irrational behaviour in our supermarkets.
Our proactive move to shift to remote learning is precautionary and has been undertaken because Kinross Wolaroi School is in a unique position compared to the great majority of schools, housing over 300 boarders from all over NSW on an integrated K-12 site. Current Government advice regarding school operations is quite different for boarding schools particularly ones such as ours. This has a been clearly articulated by the State’s Chief Medical Officer and yesterday by the Prime Minister when he noted the ‘high risk of transmission’ in boarding schools and that boarding schools should assess their own context. This is precisely what we have done in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our students, staff and broader regional community. We will continue to carefully monitor the evolving situation as we carefully consider our next steps.
Please see below an official statement from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee issued on 18 March following the Australian Government’s announcement.
“Boarding schools are at high risk of transmission of COVID-19 due to close and shared living arrangements and higher frequency of face-to-face contact. An outbreak in a boarding school would present a difficult management issue including potentially the isolation of the entire boarding school as all students and staff would be defined as close contacts following a confirmed case. Depending on the structure the boarding school may be unsuitable for isolation procedures.
Should a boarding student from a rural or remote community be diagnosed with COVID-19, they may not be able to return home if there is not sufficient health infrastructure to support them, or support their isolation.”
To continue to deliver teaching and learning it has been necessary for our full school population to transfer to remote learning. With our boarders making up 40 percent of our Senior School students, it would be untenable and unfair to expect our teachers to simultaneously teach half of their students face-to-face and half remotely.
In addition the wellbeing of our students, staff and community must be our first priority. While there is some indication that children experience a milder illness than adults, we must also care for our staff’s wellbeing. Regional areas such as ours have more limited medical resources than larger centres.
Our role at Kinross Wolaroi is to make decisions that are in the best interests of our students, staff and community. As parents, you have elected to educate your children in an independent school, in part based on those principles. We believe our action to transfer to remote learning at this point in time is in the best interests of our community.
We are acutely aware of the disruption experienced by our students this year. There are many experiences and opportunities that have been cancelled or remain under review, such as our student exchanges, tours and trips, sporting and music activities, and local competitions just to name a few.
This disruption will be of great concern to our senior students whose academic programs have been affected. This will be experienced by all students in NSW and NESA, the National Education Standards Authority will advise us how assessments will be modified in the near future.
Understandably, our students will be anxious about school assessments, HSC exams and ATAR rankings. A student’s ATAR ranking is determined by their performance in school assessments and their HSC exams. Their school assessments are moderated to the HSC exams and it is their performance relative to their own KWS cohort that is important. As the entire KWS cohort is in the same position the impact on school assessments will be minimal. In terms of the HSC exams, all students in NSW will be impacted and we will be following NESA guidelines and closely monitoring the developing situation. Rest assured Year 12 students will be provided with a full academic program through our Remote Learning platform that will be comprehensive in terms of content and feedback as well as providing academic support through this challenging time.
In a further testament to the disruption in schooling we are experiencing, Education Ministers met today and decided that NAPLAN will not proceed in 2020.
All our students have many challenges to manage but rest assured our staff will continue to support them as they learn new skills and become agile and independent learners.
We all know about challenge and adversity and recent years have seen many of us face the ravages of drought, bushfire and flood. Fortunately, experience teaches us that in time these obstacles pass and new opportunities appear.
I believe it to be important we give our students a sense of hope about the future. Research has shown hope is critical to so many other positive outcomes, including academic achievement. Our Mentors and Heads of House, together with our staff will continue to provide support and encouragement to our students over the weeks ahead.
We have a tremendous staff here at KWS. I am immensely proud of the way they have pulled together to ensure they are well prepared for remote learning.
I have sat in with a number of our faculties over the past two days and it was fabulous to witness their enthusiasm and positivity as they learnt new skills and explored new opportunities to assist our students with remote learning. It has also been wonderful to see our younger ‘tech savvy’ members of staff sharing their knowledge and skills with
others. This challenge has drawn Faculties together and seen collaboration, support and teamwork thrive. Our staff are genuinely excited by how this challenge may enhance their teaching in the future.
This disruption to our usual teaching and learning presents exciting challenges for us all to grow and learn new skills. A key focus of contemporary education and indeed of our Strategic Plan for Best Practice learning is to develop independent and agile learners. Both of these qualities are highly important skills for employers and are essential for our students as they experience a rapidly changing world and work environment.
The modern world demands that our students have the capacity to keep learning so that we can adapt to change and for some working from home will be a reality. This disruption provides an outstanding opportunity for us all to develop these skills.
As educators we thrive on the energy and personal engagement that schools provide when our students are undertaking their usual classes and co-curricular activities. We are all going to miss our face to face interactions over the coming weeks and it is going to be important we maintain connection with friends and colleagues via our digital platforms. These challenging times will pass and we will emerge stronger and better equipped for the future.
Our Leadership team and School Council are in total alignment that this is the best decision for Kinross Wolaroi at this point in time. We very much look forward to returning to the joy of a vibrant campus as soon as is safe and practical.
Wishing you all the best.
Dr Andrew Parry
Principal – Kinross Wolaroi School
At times like this we need to encourage our students to be creative and we, as parents, will no doubt learn to use alternative communication methods during this period. We should be encouraging our students to stay in touch with their friends via SMS, FaceTime, WhatsApp and even a phone call.
As ever, it is important to focus on what is within our control during this time. We are all able to make strong health and hygiene choices. Whatever our age, the following steps are recommended:
• Meticulous hand washing;
• Avoiding touching the face;
• Eating nutritious foods; and
• Prioritising sleep.
Illness during remote learning
Illness during this period should be reported via the Main Reception email to firstname.lastname@example.org . The Reception team will then contact your child’s Head of House to inform them of the illness. If any assessment task is either missed or disrupted due to illness, then an email must be sent to Mrs Lucy Collett, Director of Studies, email@example.com
The School grounds should not be accessed during the campus closure and facilities will not be available for use.
While the Coronavirus has brought about some significant ramifications, it is teaching us some lessons that will be increasingly valuable in the years to come. An enabling mindset is so important and being alert to these lessons is the most productive and helpful way we can respond to the situation we are facing.
We recognise the extra pressure and challenges faced by our families and thank you for your support during this difficult time. My thanks also go to the students and staff for responding in a calm and mutually supportive way yesterday following the news of a transition to remote learning.
Stay well and we will keep in touch over the coming weeks.
Since the World Health Organisation’s global pandemic declaration on 11 March, School Council and our Executive and Leadership Teams have been scenario planning in light of COVID-19’s rapidly evolving and escalating landscape. On Friday 13 March, this landscape shifted in Australia by the recommendation to take advanced measures regarding large gatherings, together with the growing evidence of community transmission.
Today, we took the decision to cease teaching on-campus and to move to remote learning. We deem this to be a timely judgment with a highly precautionary emphasis.
Given our location in a regional centre, we are instigating an intentional and proactive staged closure of the School campus. A key consideration in the decision is the fact that we are unique in having an integrated K-12 campus with more than 300 boarding students, one of the highest proportions of boarders in any school community in Australia. Our social responsibility to play a role in protecting our wider community also is an important influence.
This approach will enable an orderly return of students into the care of their families. The following will occur:
· Classes will cease on Tuesday 17 March at the end of the school day and the School campus will be closed for student learning and activities until further notice. This closure will include both Senior and Junior Schools as well as Pre-Kinder.
· Boarding residences will close by 4pm on Wednesday 18 March.
· Remote learning for Year 12 students will commence on Monday 23 March.
· Remote learning for Pre-Kinder to Year 11 will commence on Wednesday 25 March.
· Teaching will continue for Weeks 9 and 10 of Term 1, with Term 1 concluding on Friday 3 April.
As we currently remain an infection free site, this decision gives families time to prepare calmly for collection of their children and prepare for learning at home. Prior to the end of the teaching year, it is our intention to recover the lost teaching days which will occur over the forthcoming week.
Our teachers and support staff will remain onsite until Friday 20 March. Students will undertake remote learning facilitated by their class teacher, along with assigned homework. Academic work will be monitored and feedback provided.
The assessment of our commencement timing for Term 2 will be ongoing, and as ever, we will endeavour to provide families with timely advice. If the pandemic intensifies during the holiday period, remote learning will continue from Tuesday 28 April.
Our decision-making has been contemplated deeply, and with due consideration of what is in the best interests of our community, especially given its distinctive regional characteristics. Other leading independent boarding schools, such as Geelong Grammar School, have taken this approach.
The health, wellbeing and safety of students and staff remains paramount.
Further specific details about these measures will be communicated over the next 48 hours. In the first instance, please direct any queries about closure arrangements to: Head of Senior School, Mr James Boyd; Head of Junior School, Mr Rob McLean or Head of Boarding, Mr Matt Curran.
We would encourage students to attend school tomorrow, as crucial information will be delivered on remote learning, wellbeing programs and this will also allow your child to collect textbooks and their technology.
We are mindful that the commencement of the year has brought multiple challenges and intense uncertainty. Our children have had to face drought, bushfires and now the threat of Coronavirus. This can be especially unsettling for young people in their formative years. Age-appropriate, transparent communication is recommended to support the needs of children and adolescents. We recognise that the decision to close the campus may be disappointing for some of our students, who are working towards certain activities and outcomes. We also regret any inconvenience caused.
As ever, it is important to focus on what is within our control. We are all able to make strong health and hygiene choices. Whatever our age, the following steps are recommended:
· Meticulous hand washing;
· Avoiding touching the face;
· Maintaining social distancing;
· Eating nutritious foods; and
· Prioritising sleep.
By keeping all of us well, we will be able to manage during this period. This calls for parents, carers and educators to be knowledgeable and measured in their conversations with young people. While it is probably not possible to shield children from media reports about the virus, it is prudent to encourage them to focus on other interests and not to consume too many news stories. Equally, it is also helpful to role model how we can live well and positively with uncertainty.
Stay well and thank you for your understanding and support as we navigate complex times.
The School is committed to keeping you up to date about the actions we are taking and the preparations we are making for the potential disruption caused by the spread of COVID-19 in Australia.
The situation has shifted from containment aimed at preventing an epidemic in Australia and elsewhere, to the status of a global pandemic as declared yesterday by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This requires Kinross Wolaroi and other organisations to take measures to slow down the spread of the virus so that our health services can direct their efforts to the small proportion of the population who become seriously ill.
To date our School has had no COVID-19 infections but there is certainty that it will make its way to our region in time. To date, a number of schools in Sydney and Melbourne have had to be closed; a significant number of students across the State are in self-isolation; and city schools are suspending events and excursions to avoid the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
The focus of the School’s Council and Senior Management Team is to:
maintain our duty of care to students and staff;
keep the School open during this time;
provide continuity of education to all students; and
behave in a socially responsible manner towards our wider community.
The School considers that we should now take further steps to promote ‘social distancing’ for the protection of students, staff and our community by restricting contact between students, other schools and the outside community.
NSW Health advice is that close contact with an infected person is regarded as two hours of exposure in an enclosed space or more than 15 minutes of face to face contact.
As a result, the School will suspend until further notice all non-essential teaching and learning events, including all activities that involve having students and staff in close contact with others, particularly for longer than two hours or in large numbers. This includes:
All excursions to destinations outside the local area will be postponed until further notice.
A number of co-curricular activities have been cancelled as per below.
Most local excursions and all local sport will continue as normal but will be subject to ongoing review.
All supporter group, sport presentation and community events planned to be hosted at the School between Thursday 12 March and the end of Term 1 will be postponed.
Weekly Assemblies and Chapel will not be conducted, alternative arrangements will be communicated as soon as possible.
All off-campus Teacher Professional Learning and non-essential School related travel domestically is suspended until further notice.
All Term 2 events are under review.
Below is an initial list of events which will be affected.
Cancelled co-curricular activities:
Canberra Park Head of the Lake and ACT Championships
AICES Tennis Cup
CIS U16 Hockey
2020 Music Camp
ISA Touch Football Trials
Royal Easter Show TREE Teams
Year 12 Retreat
1st & 2nd XV Rugby Camp
Camps Week Year 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Postponed excursions & incursions:
Year 12 Advanced English – The Crucible
Senior Visual Arts Excursion to Cockatoo Island
Year 11 Ancient History Lake Mungo
Brainstorm Productions The Flip
Year 8 Poetry Performance
Central West da Vinci Decathlon
Ski Trip 2020
Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange Visit
Postponed events & gatherings:
KWS Rowing Dinner & Presentation
TREE Community Information Session on Climate Change
Open Day 2020
Junior School International Women’s Day Mothers’ Breakfast
Senior Students’ International Women’s Day Morning Tea and Panel Discussion
Cricket Club Presentation
Touch Football Presentation
Rugby Information Evening
The following activities are still under review and a decision regarding these events will be made imminently:
Australian National Rowing Championships
KWS Rugby Camp
Coonabarabran Equestrian Expo
Rowing NSW Pathway 8+ Selection Trials.
Further information regarding alternative arrangements for Camps Week will be circulated as soon as possible.
Our Teaching and Learning team have begun preparing for potential disruption to student learning. We are monitoring the situation closely and developing strategies to address potential impact on HSC, NAPLAN and other major education requirements. Our plans and processes are being reviewed regularly to incorporate the latest available information.
The School is in the process of communicating with service providers about these cancellations including whether any refunds may apply. In relation to any deposits that have been paid, the School will provide further information to affected parents as the position becomes clearer.
We understand that students and families may be disappointed by these cancellations but the School believes that these steps are required in the current circumstances.
We appreciate the support that the School has received from members of the School community as we work through this difficult situation. The health and wellbeing of our students, staff and community remains our priority at this challenging time.
Dr Andrew Parry
Principal – Kinross Wolaroi School
If a student chooses to visit or transit* through China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Mongolia, or Singapore**, and returns without cold or flu symptoms, can the student return immediately to the School?
No. It is compulsory for any student who went to or transited through the countries listed above, and returned to Australia on or after 14 February, to self-quarantine by staying at home for 14 days after landing in Australia. This also applies to family members and friends, who must not visit the school before the 14-day self-quarantine period has passed.
*Transit means your flight landed in any of the countries listed above.
**Please note this list of countries is current as at 9 March, 2020. Other countries may be added to the list if the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) imposes further travel bans or additional countries are added to the countries considered to pose a risk of transmission as identified by the Commonwealth Department of Health.
If a student has had close contact with people who visited or transited* through China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Mongolia, or Singapore **, does the student need to self-quarantine?
Yes. Students must remain at home for 14 days after the last day of contact with a person who has visited or transited through the countries listed above, on or after 14 February, even if no symptoms are present.
Why has the School added countries that are not on the DFAT travel ban list?
The School is monitoring the situation closely and has added countries considered to pose a risk of transmission as identified by the Commonwealth Department of Health.
What is the best way to contact the School if students can’t attend?
What medical documentation is required for a student returning to the School after a period of self-quarantine?
Please take your child to your doctor at the conclusion of the 14th day of quarantine and obtain a statement from the doctor outlining:
· the date of the visit to the doctor
· the date of your return from, or transit through, the countries listed above**
· that on this day the student appears to be in good health and does not show any of the symptoms of COVID-19.
Do students still need medical documentation even if they have no symptoms after 14 days of self-quarantine?
Yes. Please see above.
If a student has a cough/cold or flu symptoms but hasn’t had any contact with a potentially-infected person, can the student still come to School?
No. As per normal procedures, your child must not attend the School or school-related activities, on or off campus, until they are well. If the student has cough, cold or flu symptoms, the student needs to rest and recover at home. If you are concerned about your child's health, please see your doctor.
Can parents obtain credit for missed co-curricular activities if their child is self-quarantined?
No. The School will not provide credits for students who miss activities while the COVID-19 health and safety advice is in place.
Do School fees and Boarding fees still apply if a student is self-quarantined?
Yes. The School will continue to provide access to learning materials for Day students and Boarders who are in self-quarantine as a result of choosing to travel while the COVID-19 health and safety advice is in place. It is the responsibility of the student or parent to contact their teacher/s to arrange access to online learning materials during a period of self- quarantine.
How does this advice affect students in boarding schools?
If a boarding student is in a group recommended for exclusion, NSW Health advises that appropriate steps must be taken to isolate the student while at the school. The parents will be contacted and the student will be accommodated in an alternative location until collected. If for any reason collection is not possible the student will need to remain isolated until the 14 days period has expired.
If a student develops a fever, a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath while at school they will be immediately isolated from other people. Processes for infection control will be followed. If available, the student will be provided with a mask.
The parent or carer will be contacted and arrangements made for the student to receive medical assessment from the local GP or an emergency department as soon as possible.
Are camps, sport and other pre-arranged excursions affected?
Yes. More detail can be found on this page in the articles 'COVID-19 and International Travel' and 'COVID-19 and Domestic Travel'.
How will a school closure or individual exclusion affect my child’s HSC?
Should a closure or exclusion occur, the school will prioritise support for HSC students to minimise disruption to their studies. Parents should reassure students that any impact of the Coronavirus will be taken into account by NESA. While there are not yet specific policies or procedures regarding the impact of Coronavirus, the usual Illness and Misadventure provisions will continue to apply. The School is in regular contact with NESA regarding this.
What if parents wish to keep their children at home due to fear of contracting COVID -19?
In line with the medical advice there is no reason why those who have not travelled should not be at school. NSW Health advises where students have not returned from travel to the countries listed above, or have not been identified by NSW Health as a close contact, that students should attend school as usual.
How will the school record the absence of students who remain at home?
Students who are absent due to exclusion or diagnosis of COVID-19 will be recorded as such and will not negatively affect attendance records.
What sources has the School used to answer FAQs and establish guidelines?
The School continues to follow the most recent advice from the Department of ForeignAffairs and Trade, NSW Health, the Department of Health, the World Health Organisation and other authorities to make decisions in the best interests of the health and welfare of our students, staff and families. We are also in close contact with other schools and are making decisions in the best interests of our community. We will continue to review and update our advice as new information becomes available.
Where can I find the latest health information on COVID-19?
In recent days there has been an escalation of the COVID-19 situation globally and closer to home in NSW. As a result, our current advice for all who access our campus is as follows:
Any person who travels to or through, or lives with a person who has travelled to or through the following countries (including in transit) must self-quarantine for 14 days after landing in Australia:
Any person who has been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID- 19, or is suspected of having COVID-19, must self-quarantine as outlined above and notify the School.
All international tours and student exchanges scheduled have been postponed until further notice.
We advise all parents and students to consider carefully the ramifications of a two-week absence from classes and co-curricular commitments before choosing to travel, particularly students in Years 11 and 12.
If you have any queries about whether you should be attending the campus, please err on the side of caution, do not attend the School and contact us to discuss. In the first instance please contact Hayley Newport at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As this is a rapidly changing situation, the School will continue to update you and place updates on this page as required.
Please also be advised that unwell students must not attend school or any school-related activity on or off campus. If your child presents at school or an activity when they are ill, you will be contacted to collect your child and take them home as soon as possible.
We are educating the students on best hygiene practices for all students K-12. Further information regarding additional preventative measures at the School can be found below.
More information can be found in our Frequently Asked Questions above.
We understand that many in our community are concerned about COVID-19 and we want to assure you that our senior executive team and Council are responding to the situation as it evolves. We are continuing to evolve a School contingency plan and ask you to start thinking about how further escalation of COVID-19 may affect your family in the event that there is a more considerable outbreak locally, if a member of our community were to be diagnosed, or if schools were to close temporarily.
On Monday 2 March 2020 the Department of Education advised all schools in NSW to place all overseas excursions on hold until further notice. As a result, the Kinross Wolaroi School 2020 International Student Exchange Program, the NZ Netball Tour scheduled for September and all other international travel will unfortunately need to be suspended until further notice. This includes both travel by our own students and visits from overseas students.
There has been growing concern about the number of cases of the virus in Asia, USA, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and in Australia, and this is affecting travel across the globe. Schools have now been closed in China, South Korea, Italy, France and Japan, and travel has been banned between Australia and both China and Iran.
There are a number of issues which also contribute to the decision to cancel the exchange program this year: - The School is unlikely to be able to obtain insurance for participants.
- Families may be unable to recoup the cost of airline tickets if travel is cancelled.
- There is considerable risk to our students of being stuck and quarantined in a foreign country.
- The School has a Duty of Care to ensure our students’ safety.
On balance, there is unacceptable potential for a range of negative consequences to occur if the School chose to send students overseas or to accept students from other countries.
This is a very disappointing outcome for our students and families, as well as the School as a whole. While the international outlook will continue to be reviewed during 2020, it is highly unlikely that there will be any change to this position. I sincerely hope that our international programs will be able to resume as normal in 2021.
The coordinator of our exchange program, Mrs Catherine Litchfield, has been in touch with all students who applied for our exchange program this year to further explain the situation and to answer questions. As always, the School can provide support for students who are upset or worried by these events.
At Assembly on Wednesday 4 March, Mr Boyd spoke with all students regarding the Coronavirus, and we encourage our parents to continue this conversation. Resources for parents and students can be found in the item below.
We appreciate your continued patience and support as we navigate this fluid situation.
As we have seen on the news, the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak continues to evolve rapidly, with the World Health Organisation officially declaring the outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. While only a small number of COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in NSW, Australia has experienced its first human-to-human transmission this week.
As always, the wellbeing of our students, staff and community is of prime concern. As a School, we continue to monitor daily the guidance from the NSW Department of Health, AISNSW and other agencies. With this information in mind, we continue to assess the situation and the potential ramifications that may impact us. Members of the School’s Senior Management Team are ensuring that there are appropriate actions plans in place for each response stage in line with the Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza model. It is important that we have a clear and coordinated approach in place.
As necessary, we will communicate with all families about changes to the situation and will continue to update you with information as it becomes available.
Given this virus is spread through person-to-person contact, special care must be taken to protect the very young, elderly, immunosuppressed, or those taking certain medications. It is also vitally important that clear guidance and support is given to our students. Our students are aware of what is happening around the world and many of them can navigate social media with greater dexterity than us, as adults. I will be speaking with them in assembly this week and I will be reminding all of community of a range of ways to protect themselves and others. Good personal hygiene practice is vital and includes good handwashing technique, trying not to touch your face, using tissues to blow your nose and disposing of them in the bin, and sneezing or coughing into your elbow. Of course, this guidance is timely as we move towards the normal Australian flu season.
Further guidance for our students will occur in Wellbeing with their Mentors. The focus this term is on ‘self’ and this presents an appropriate opportunity to encourage self-efficacy by talking about hygiene, responding to potential disruption and reaching out for help in handling a situation. It is important that a balance is struck between important teenage questioning and adult information overload.
In the Junior School age appropriate discussions will take place focusing on the need for personal hygiene. The ABC program Behind the News has already presented some news stories about the virus which some of our students have watched and are likely to have more updates in the following weeks.
If you have any concerns then please do not hesitate to contact your child’s Head Mentor or Head of Boarding House.
As we continue to review the available information and obtain advice from the relevant health authorities regarding the Coronavirus, we are writing to further update our protocols for the protection of the health and safety of our students, staff and community.
As current health information suggests a two week incubation period for Coronavirus, as a further precaution, and there is uncertainty about the period during which a person with Coronavirus may be contagious, we are implementing the following protocols:
If a student or other family members/carers have recently travelled to any affected region in China or other affected areas, we ask that you /they refrain from attending the School campus for 14 days from the date of return to Australia. An updated list of affected regions/countries is available on the NSW Health website. https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/alerts/Pages/coronavirus-faqs.asp.
If you are not sure whether this applies to you, please contact the School to discuss.
If any student or other family member/carer has been in contact with a person confirmed as having Coronavirus they should not attend school for 14 days after the last contact with the infected person. The School must be immediately advised if you become aware that a student or other family member/carer has been in contact with a person confirmed as having Coronavirus. Please contact KWS Reception on (02) 6392 0300.
Following a period of absence from School required by 1. or 2. above, please ensure that your child does not attend school until they have received a medical clearance from a doctor. The medical clearance should note that the examination has cleared the student in respect of coronavirus. Once a medical clearance has been obtained, please contact the School's Health Centre to make arrangements for your child's return.
If your family has not recently visited any affected region, however your child is experiencing flu-like symptoms, as with any other virus, please seek appropriate medical care and keep your child at home until they have recovered.
If your child is precluded from attending school due to these protocols, we will provide access to academic materials to support their learning during this absence. Please liaise with the Head of Teaching and Learning, Mrs Serena Lewis, regarding the absence and arrangements for academic support during this period.
The School will also be implementing its health action plan which will include an additional focus on precautionary hygiene practices. Parents are also encouraged to remind students of the importance of hygiene practices prior to the return to the School.
As always, the School will continue to monitor this situation closely. Should NSW Health or any other relevant health authority issue new guidelines or information, we will provide any necessary updates.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Deputy Principal, Mr James Boyd.
I write to provide you with information concerning the 2020 NSW Higher School Certificate published yesterday by NESA. The press release is very reassuring and affirms their commitment to ensuring that the 2020 HSC will go ahead and Year 12 students will get a HSC certificate this year.
There will be more information to follow and we will be monitoring developments closely.
The key message for our students is that it is important for them to stay focussed on their studies and continue with their learning as we all adapt and find our way through these unprecedented times.
Statement from NESA - 24 March 2020
At its meeting yesterday afternoon, the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Board confirmed that the Higher School Certificate (HSC) is going ahead in 2020, along with a commitment to providing clear and regular advice to the community about the HSC as the COVID-19 outbreak continues.
To this end, the NESA Board established a COVID-19 Response Committee to address developing issues as a matter of urgency.
Following the meeting, Chair of the NESA Board Professor Peter Shergold said he had three important messages for HSC students:
We know you are worried. While we recognise we are facing an unprecedented situation, we want to assure you that you will be able to get a HSC certificate this year, and that the certificate will facilitate access to university, further education and employment, as it has for students over the past 50 years.
Keep learning, do your assessments as advised by your school, make progress on your major projects where you can and, most importantly, look after yourself, whether you are at school or at home. Reach out to family, friends and your teachers if you need to.
If you get sick, your school and NESA have provisions to ensure you are not disadvantaged.
Effective immediately the Board is giving school principals or system authorities the power to make decisions about the number and weighting of HSC formal assessment tasks for their school in 2020. The Board affirms its complete trust in principals and teachers.
“This action provides schools with the flexibility they need to support their students in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak,” Professor Shergold said.
NESA will provide specific advice to principals about this delegation of authority later this week.
The NESA COVID-19 Response Committee is aware of and will urgently provide advice on the following issues:
work placements for VET students
students working on a group drama, dance or music performance
students completing projects and major works.
Professor Shergold said the situation faced by schools was unprecedented and that in this situation the Board recognises above all else that the health, safety and welfare of students and teachers is paramount.
“The Board discussed at length issues of disadvantage, dislocation and social isolation.
“Decisions and advice will be based on the principles of fairness and equity that have always underpinned the internationally recognised HSC credential,” Professor Shergold said.
The COVID-19 Response Committee includes representation from each of the three school sectors who are committed to working together. It will meet at least weekly, but more frequently if needed, to address issues as they arise and provide clear communication to schools and principals.
These are indeed challenging times. I thank you for your support as we work together to best support our students. It is important that they focus on what they can control and try to find positives in the situation that we all find ourselves in. Please encourage them to stay socially connected with their friends via digital platforms for personal and learning support.
We will keep you updated as more information regarding the HSC comes to hand.
With very best wishes,
Dr Andrew Parry
Principal – Kinross Wolaroi School