COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information Centre

News | COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information Centre

Posted 29 May 2020 by Catholic Education in News

Welcome to the Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) COVID-19 Information Centre

Last updated 29 May 2020

Latest News

CEDoW Students HAVE RETURNED TO school full time 

Students at all CEDoW schools returned to classrooms full time from Monday 25 May 2020.

Ensuring our schools continue to be “COVID-safe”

Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, our mission has not changed. We are still focused on the integral formation and growth of each of our students—and the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and school community remains our first priority.

Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong has always been committed to making decisions in accordance with the advice of health authorities. Our rigorous hygiene, cleaning and social distancing measures will remain in place, to ensure our schools continue to be “COVID-safe” in line with health directives from the Commonwealth and State Governments. 

Please see the section 'What you need to know' below for more detail about the hygiene and other safety protocols in place at CEDoW schools.

If your child is unwell, please do not send them to school. Students or staff showing signs of being unwell will be sent home.

Remote learning arrangements

Remote learning will no longer be provided. If your child needs to remain at home for medical reasons, please complete this form so that your school can discuss with you options to support your child’s wellbeing and continued growth in faith and learning during this time. Please note that any unexplained absences will be followed up as per standard procedures. 

Preparing for the possibility of a temporary school closure

While every reasonable step has been taken to ensure our schools are safe, we are prepared for the possibility that one of our schools may need to close temporarily as a result of a confirmed case of COVID-19. You will receive timely updates if this occurs. If we are required to close during school hours, supervision will be available for students unable to return home, with reduced interaction between students.

There is still some way to go before we reach the other side of this pandemic. But as a Catholic community we can find hope even in the most challenging circumstances. Our faith has allowed us to respond effectively and with love so far, and it is this same faith that will continue to guide us, as together we light the way through COVID-19.

Key Information

About This Page

This page contains a regularly updated overview of the systemic response by Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, including:

  • Measures being taken by CEDoW schools to keep our school communities safe and to minimise disruption to learning

  • Advice for parents and carers to help you stay safe and prepared

  • Advice regarding cancelled or postponed excursions and events across CEDoW schools

  • A range of COVID-19 resources, provided in multiple languages

Information and updates specific to each school community will continue to be provided directly to parents and carers by school principals. 
 

What You Need To Know

MEASURES TO SUPPORT FAMILIES THROUGH COVID-19

Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong is conscious of the significant financial impact many of our families may be experiencing as a result of COVID-19. We have put a number of measures in place to support our Catholic school communities at this time. Read more

Keeping students and staff safe

We continue to receive advice from the Commonwealth and NSW Governments to ensure our processes and plans are in line with best practice and the latest expert advice.

A range of measures are in place to ensure a smooth and—most importantly—safe transition back to full face-to-face learning for our students, including:

  • Continuing to follow our established Incident Response Plan to keep students and staff safe in the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19, in line with NSW Public Health Unit direction

HYGIENE AND SOCIAL DISTANCING PROTOCOLS
  • Increasing cleaning to meet enhanced NSW Health standards, including:

    • Introducing an onsite cleaner to wipe down bathrooms and high touch surfaces during the day in addition to the current cleaning practices

    • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently used high-touch surfaces such as benchtops, desks, doorknobs, iPad sign-in, taps, and handrails at regular intervals throughout the day 

    • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently used objects such as computers, photocopiers and sports equipment 

    • Cleaning and disinfecting play equipment at the end of each recess and the end of the day

    • Cleaning staff and student toilets after each recess and at the end of the day

    • Providing bins in every classroom for used tissues, and emptying them regularly throughout the day

    • Cleaning and disinfecting First Aid/Sick Bay rooms, common rooms, dedicated counselling rooms and meeting rooms at regular intervals throughout the day

  • Requiring all students and staff to practise personal hygiene, including regular and thorough washing of hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser (with appropriate support provided to students to ensure they are practising good personal hygiene)

  • Adhering to social distancing requirements for teachers and school staff, in line with Government health advice

  • Encouraging increased physical space between students (e.g by arranging furniture to leave as much space as possible between students, maintaining smaller class sizes)

Advice to families when a student is unwell at school

The first symptoms of COVID-19 and flu are similar, in that they both can cause fever, cough, sore/scratchy throat and shortness of breath.

Throughout this period, students are not to attend school if they are unwell. In the event your child presents unwell during the school day, the normal processes apply: Your child will be cared for at school in the sick bay by a qualified first aid officer, while they await collection from an appropriate parent/guardian/carer.  

Schools have Personal Protective Equipment in order to support students and staff:

  • The student will be provided with a medical mask to reduce the risk of transmitting droplets or respiratory fluids.
  • The first aid officer who is assisting the student will also be wearing a medical mask and gloves.
  • The student’s temperature will be taken using a non-contact thermometer to assess severity of presenting symptoms (note that regardless of the child’s temperature, all students who present unwell will be sent home). 

When the parent/guardian/carer of the student collects their child from school, a letter will be provided to them, which outlines the steps required for the student to be able to return to school. These steps include gaining a medical clearance certificate and only returning to school once the student has fully recovered.  

CEDoW is advising parents and carers of these measures in advance so that they may discuss them with their child/ren so they are prepared in the event this situation arises.

 

ENROLMENT INTERVIEWS
  • All enrolment interviews may proceed, as long as COVID-19 hygiene measures and current social distancing guidelines are being implemented or they can be conducted by phone or video

Excursions, school events and travel
  • All school excursions are cancelled until further notice, including camps.

  • All external activities, including arts and sports events, are temporarily ceased, including whole-school sporting events and inter-school events.

  • No students are to visit hospitals or aged care facilities as part of an organised school activity.

Principals, teachers and other school staff will continue to receive new information and support as it becomes available, to ensure they are positioned to protect the health and wellbeing of all students in our schools.
  

Minimising disruption to learning

All CEDoW schools are currently providing remote learning for all students. This will continue for the initial phases of our transition back to full face-to-face learning. For CEDoW student, parents and carers, and teachers, this means:

  • Remote learning will continue in Term 2. While scheduled attendance days have now commenced, all CEDoW schools will continue to deliver remote learning for students until full-time face-to-face learning is reintroduced.

  • Parents and carers have the option of keeping their children home or sending them to school (NOTE: the AHPPC has stated that sending children to school is safe).

The safety and wellbeing of all members of our school communities remains paramount. Right now, the focus of Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong is:

  • Supporting parents and carers to continue working by providing them with the option of sending their children to school.

  • Ensuring the safety of vulnerable members of staff and students’ households (including elderly relatives, the immunosuppressed, and others vulnerable to COVID-19) by providing the option for students to access learning material from home.

  • Minimising the impact on student learning, by continuing the delivery of remote learning for as long as it is required.

School Closures

We are prepared for the possibility that one or more CEDoW schools may need to close temporarily as a result of a confirmed case of COVID-19, and we will ensure parents and carers receive timely updates if this occurs. If a school is required to close during school hours, supervision will be available for students unable to return home, with reduced interaction between students.

We have implemented hygiene and social distancing standards in our schools and offices, and have ensured that appropriate cleaning will take place in response to any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.

NAPLAN CANCELLED FOR 2020

NAPLAN exams will be cancelled this year.

HSC INFORMATION AND UPDATES

HSC 2020 UPDATE FROM NESA (15 MAY 2020)

NESA has announced further changes related to the timetable for the 2020 HSC:

  • Written exams will start five days later commencing 20 October 2020.
  • HSC results will be released on 18 December.
  • Language oral exams will now commence on 15 August 2020.
  • There will be no changes to dates for HSC practical and performance exams.

All 2020 HSC students can access their personalised exam timetables via their Students Online account. The 2020 HSC written exam timetable is also available on the NESA website.

For the latest HSC information, please visit the Catholic Schools NSW HSC hub.

What You Can Do

Protecting yourself, your child and your school community

If you have COVID-19 symptoms

If you or a member of your family experiences COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and seek medical care as soon as possible. Symptoms include:

  • fever
  • flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue
  • shortness of breath

If you have reason to believe your child is vulnerable to COVID-19 because of a pre-existing medical condition, please contact your school to discuss your circumstances.

Preventing the spread of COVID-19

The most effective thing you can do to protect yourself and your family is to follow the advice of government and health officials:

  • Stay at home if you are unwell
  • Stay at home, unless shopping for essentials, travelling to and from work (where you cannot work from home), going to school (where students cannot learn remotely) and exercising

  • Keep visitors to your home to a minimum
  • Practise good hygiene (washing hands well with soap and water or sanitiser; coughing and sneezing into your elbow or tissue, disposing of the tissue straight away and then washing your hands)

  • In outdoor spaces do not congregate in groups
  • Maintain 1.5 metres distance from other people wherever possible

  • Avoid unnecessary travel and gatherings of any size

  • Limit contact with people most vulnerable to COVID-19 symptoms, including the elderly and people who are immunosuppressed

The Australian Department of Health has produced a series of videos to help Australians stay safe:

The Federal Government has released new ways to stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 information. The Coronavirus Australia app is available for download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Preparing for school closure or self-isolation

The most important thing to remember is this is not cause for panic. We are taking every reasonable step to protect the health of students and staff in our schools, and to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. 

It is a good idea to be prepared for the possibility that your school may be required to close temporarily. If this applies to you, you may wish to consider the following:

  • Who will pick your child up from school in the event of a sudden closure?

  • Is someone available to provide supervision while your child is away from school?

  • Can you share responsibility for supervising your child with a relative, neighbour or friend?

  • If your child is required to stay home (because of a school closure or direction to self-isolate), how will you limit their exposure to public places?
     

Cancelled and Postponed Excursions & Events

CEDoW SCHOOL Excursions and EVENTS 

For a full list of excursions and events that have been cancelled or postponed, please contact your school

For any cancelled excursions, school activities or events, CEDoW will apply any payment(s) received as an adjustment to school fee accounts.

Further details about payments/refunds and other impacts will be discussed between schools and parents/carers.

CSNSW Sports Suspended

For the latest information on suspended Catholic Schools NSW Sports events, please visit the CSNSW website.

Multilingual Resources 

Please find below, COVID-19 information and resources in a variety of different languages. 
 

Australian Government COVID-19 Resources
https://www.health.gov.au/resources/translated?f%5B0%5D=field_related_conditions_disease%3A9669
Including in: Arabic, Chin Hakka, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Greek, Hazaragi, Italian, Korean, Kurdish, Persian, Spanish, Vietnamese
  

NSW Health COVID-19 Resources
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/covid-19-resources.aspx
Including in: Arabic, Assyrian, Bahasa/Indonesian, Bangla, Burmese, Chinese, Dari, Farsi, Filipino/Tagalog, French, Greek, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Mandarin, Macedonian, Mongolian, Nepali, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Thai, Tibetan, Urdu, Vietnamese
Also includes: Aboriginal health resources ("COVID-19: Keep our communities healthy" flyers)
 

SBS COVID-19 factsheets and news items in 63 languages
https://www.sbs.com.au/language/coronavirus
Including in: Arabic, Assyrian, Bangla, Burmese, Chin Hakka, Dari, Filipino, French, Greek, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Karen, Khmer, Korean, Mandarin, Macedonian, Malayalam, Nepali, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Thai, Tibetan, Tigrinya, Urdu, Vietnamese
 

SBS videos explaining coronavirus in your language
https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/coronavirus-explained-in-your-language
Including in: Arabic, Cantonese, Filipino, Greek, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Pashto, Persian, Punjabi, Spanish, Tamil, Vietnamese
   

Ethnolink COVID-19 resources translated in 50 languages
https://www.ethnolink.com.au/covid-19-coronavirus-translated-resources/
Including in: Arabic, Assyrian, Bangla, Burmese, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Chin Hakka, Dari, Filipino, French, Greek, Hazaraghi, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Karen, Khmer, Korean, Macedonian, Nepali, Oromo, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Thai, Tibetan, Tigrinya, Urdu, Vietnamese
  

Red Cross posters on reducing the risks of COVID-19
https://www.redcross.org.au/coronavirus
Including in: Arabic, Amharic, Dari, Farsi, French, Kurdish (Kurmanji), Malay, Nepali, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Tibetan. Also in Hazaraghi, Karen, Lingala, Tigrinya, Oromo, Chin Hakka 
 

Mental health resources in a variety of languages
https://embracementalhealth.org.au/community/multilingual-information
Including in: Amharic, Arabic, Assyrian, Chinese, Croatian, Dari, Dinka, Farsi, Greek, Italian, Khmer, Korean, Krio, Macedonian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish, Vietnamese

Questions or Concerns

Thank you for your understanding and patience during this time. This is a community issue and we are taking a community response, ensuring that all CEDoW schools are supported to keep their communities safe and minimise disruption to learning. 

We know that many of you may be feeling concerned for the safety of yourself and your family. By continuing to remain calm and following the advice of health officials and government, we will get through this together. 

If you would like more information about COVID-19, please visit the NSW Health website.

If you have any questions not answered on this page, please contact your school 


  


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