Skip To Main Content

Coronavirus Updates

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.

 


 

Guidelines for Returning to School

7 May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

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.

James Boyd
DEPUTY PRINCIPAL

Download Return to School Guidelines


 

Staged Return to Campus

30 April 2020

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.

Safety Procedures

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.

Individual Circumstances

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.

Calendar Revisions

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.
 

Dr Andrew Parry
PRINCIPAL

 


 

Term 2 commencement update to the KWS Community

23 April 2020

A video message from the Principal, Dr Andrew Parry

Loading from Vimeo...

 

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. 

Boarding 

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. 

Fees 

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 principal@kws.nsw.edu.au. 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 aryan@kws.nsw.edu.au

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
Principal

 


 

Useful links for the School Community

Where can I find the latest health information on COVID-19?

The Department of Health has posted several publications here: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-resources

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

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

Where can I find advice on supporting my child through this event?

For parents and carers:

For young people:

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.

The World Health Organisation has developed a handout on helping children cope with stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Reach Out
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.

Beyond Blue
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.

For younger students:

 

School TV Wellbeing Checklists

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.

For primary students:  https://schooltv.me/wellbeing_news/special-report-wellbeing-checklist-primary

For secondary students: https://schooltv.me/wellbeing_news/special-report-wellbeing-checklist-secondary

Click here to go to information on the School's Remote Learning Program
 


 

Previous Updates