COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information Centre

News | COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information Centre

Posted 8 April 2020 by Catholic Education in News

Welcome to the CEDoW COVID-19 Information Centre

Last updated 8 April 2020

Latest News

Internet Device Enquiry Line

Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong have secured limited resources to support remote learning options for students without internet access at home. 

Parents and carers can register for one of these remote access devices by calling the Parent Internet Device Enquiry Line on 1800 512 370 during the registration period (9–23 April 2020).

Operators will ask a range of questions about the students in the home, what devices they have access to and what internet access you have. Parents and carers will be able to opt out of the call at any time. At the end of the call, the operator will explain what will happen next. The information collected will only be used to assess the needs of each family who registers to ensure the appropriate allocation of modems.

If the line is busy or the call is out of hours please leave a message with your contact details. This will be forwarded automatically to the service desk system and logged.

By registering to access a device, parents and carers accept that one of the solutions we are providing includes small modems that contain internet sim cards. These devices WILL NOT be filtered, which means students using them will have the same access to the internet as a typical home internet connection. As a result, monitoring students’ internet use by parents and carers is essential. 

During the registration period (9–23 April) we will be collecting information to determine the support needs of families who apply. In the following week, we will assess the responses and determine what support we can provide to which families. Parents and carers will receive an email during the week of 27 April informing them of the outcome.

IMPORTANT DATES:

  • LINES OPEN: Thursday 9 April 2020 at 09:00am
  • LINES CLOSE: Thursday 23 April 2020 at 17:00pm
  • Decision Announced / Modems Shipped: Week of 27 April 

Updates regarding year 12 and the hsc

  • The Education Council has agreed a set of national principles related to senior secondary arrangements and university admissions, including that Year 12 students will be able to achieve a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education this year, which will facilitate access to university, further education and employment.
  • NESA has published advice with respect to the 2020 HSC practical examinations for Dance, Drama and Music to ensure the health and safety of students. The advice can be found here: NESA Creative Arts Performance Projects.

 

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

Latest advice from Government RELATING TO SCHOOLS

Current advice from the NSW Government for parents and affected staff:

  • Students and staff who have entered Australia from overseas from Monday 16 March are required to self-isolate for 14 days and are excluded from child care services, school and work during this time.

  • Any confirmed case of COVID-19 will be excluded until they are medically cleared to return.

  • Close contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19 will be excluded for 14 days since last contact with the confirmed case.

  • Students and staff who have returned to Australia and have shown no symptoms during the 14-day home-isolation period are able to return to school or work afterwards.

NEW 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, Catholic Schools NSW (CSNSW), and other agencies to ensure our processes and plans are in line with best practice and the latest expert advice.

We have established a dedicated COVID-19 Incident Management Team, and the following directives are currently in place in CEDoW schools:

Hygiene and preventative measures
  • Students or staff showing signs of being unwell must be sent home ASAP. If unwell with respiratory illness, students or staff must stay home until symptoms resolve and seek advice from a medical practitioner.

  • Students and staff who have returned from overseas from Monday 16 March are not to attend school until their 14-day self-isolation period is complete.

  • Good hygiene must be practised and enforced throughout the school, including regular and enhanced cleaning for high-touch surfaces; washing hands regularly and thoroughly; and sneezing into your elbow or tissue (disposing of the tissue straight away and then washing your hands).

Meetings and Gatherings of students and staff
  • The number of students and staff in a single room should be kept to a practical minimum, and wherever possible social distancing must be enforced (this includes keeping 1.5m between people and providing 4m2 per person).

  • 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.

  • Face-to-face meetings, including with parents and carers, should be minimised and replaced with video/teleconference options where appropriate.

  • Staff must avoid arranging or attending conferences or seminars in person.

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

  • All external activities, including arts and sports events, to be 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.

  • All work-related interstate travel is to be placed on hold.

Where these directives have an impact on students, parents and carers, and others in the school community, specific communication will be provided at the school level.

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

As advised on Monday 23 March 2020, all CEDoW schools are progressively moving towards the provision of remote learning for all students. For CEDoW student, parents and carers, and teachers, this means:

FOR STUDENTS
  • Parents have the option of keeping their children home or sending them to school (NOTE: the medical advice on schools has not changed—sending children to school remains a safe option according to Australia’s Chief Medical Officer).

  • Students will progressively have access to learning experiences and resources via Google Classroom or equivalent between now and the end of the day Friday 3 April 2020.

  • In Term 1, remote learning will be limited to the provision of learning experiences and resources to students, with minimal direct instruction from teachers.

  • All students will have the same learning opportunity, regardless of whether they are accessing learning material from home or at a school. Students at school will be supervised by school staff to access the remote learning materials, but will not participate in traditional classroom learning.

  • The final day of the school term will remain Thursday 9 April 2020 and the school holiday period remains unchanged. However, Monday 6 - Thursday 9 April will be staff development days at all CEDoW schools. No student is required to undertake remote learning during this time, however schools will remain open for students who require supervision until the end of the day on Thursday 9 April.

  • Unless advised otherwise by government, we are planning to provide students with a more developed remote learning experience from the start of Term 2 (Monday 27 April 2020).

FOR TEACHERS AND SCHOOL STAFF
  • Teachers and other school staff will continue working until the end of Term 1 (Thursday 9 April 2020), with a focus on preparing for remote learning, and providing supervision at school for students of parents/carers unable to provide care at home.

  • Unless advised otherwise by government, teachers will continue delivering remote learning from the start of Term 2 (Monday 27 April 2020).

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 implementation of our plans for remote learning delivery.

We are prepared for the possibility that one or more CEDoW schools may need to close temporarily, as others have in recent weeks, 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 taken steps to ensure that hygiene standards in our schools and offices are maintained, and 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 TO GO AHEAD IN 2020

At its meeting on Tuesday 24 March 2020, the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Board confirmed that the 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 situation continues. Read more on the NESA website.

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.

The government is also encouraging everybody who owns a smartphone to download WhatsApp and visit aus.gov.au/WhatsApp on their mobile browser to gain access to a messaging service specifically focused on COVID-19 information.

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. 

All parents/carers have the option of keeping their children home from school, as per the latest direction from the Prime Minister and NSW Premier. However, if your child(ren) are currently attending school in person 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. 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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