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 email@example.com. It will be initiatives such as these that will help us get through this unprecedented period together.
Remote Learning and Remote Wellbeing
Across the break, we have been evolving our approach to Remote Learning. We invite you to review the Remote Learning Parent Summary, which was circulated in Term 1. We have similarly developed a Framework for Remote Wellbeing.
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.
For more information about on campus supervision, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Changes to the Term 2 Calendar
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.
Dr Andrew Parry