Covid-19 Update

8/8/21 COVID Update from the Principal

Our school has been advised by NSW Health that an additional student at our school has tested positive for COVID-19.

Our school will be non-operational effective immediately for the on-site attendance of students, staff and visitors.

All staff and students are asked to self-isolate until you receive further advice.

NSW Health has requested anyone who has been unwell or if you develop any symptoms such as a fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of smell/taste, muscle/joint pains, diarrhoea, nausea/vomiting or extreme tiredness to be tested at one of the COVID-19 testing clinics.

Further information about COVID-19 is available on the NSW Government website.

Our school will continue to work closely with NSW Health to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff is maintained.

The safety and wellbeing of our staff and students is of paramount importance to us at all times. As such we will continue to work closely with NSW Health to ensure that all necessary health advice is adhered to.

While we recognise this will be disruptive and inconvenient for families, it is important that we follow NSW Health advice and take all necessary precautions to minimise the risk of further transmission to support our community.

 

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Geoff Peet

Principal

 

 

COVID Update from the Principal to our School Community

Dear MCS and ACC families,

 

What a big couple of days we’ve had. Not the week that we had planned, but not a week that took God by surprise. Thank you for your patience and grace as we’ve worked through what we each have needed to do in the last couple of days.

 

Thank you for your prayers for our school and the students directly impacted by COVID. We value your ongoing prayers for good health and safety for all of our students, staff and broader family members at this time. Below is some information worth sharing.


  • Caring for your child

  • Caring for our community

  • Getting back to school

  • Ongoing Communication and Support

Caring for your child

Overnight, all of our families were emailed with specific advice for each of their children pertaining to our current context. Please follow the instructions in the email you received for your child, noting the header of the email as to the authenticity and accuracy of what you’re being asked to do.
Great care, an enormous workload, and many, many hours have been invested in ensuring the best overall care for all members of our community. I’d like to acknowledge the team who have worked tirelessly since we received the news on short notice on Thursday morning that our schools needed to close.

 

That team has involved a small group from our staff and several key agencies who have pulled significantly long hours, being available to assist both day and night to get things right for everyone involved. A special shout out to Mrs Janette Mott for her role in working tirelessly throughout the process and right through the night last night to get these emails to you (yes, she was sending them at the time you received them in your box and praying for every family as they went out).

Caring for our community

During this time, there is a lot of anxiety, concern and differing views. It is so important as a community that we come together and support one another. The Christian walk is one of grace. Grace is what God gives us when we don’t deserve it. It flows from His eternal goodness. Therefore, in our loving response to Him, He asks us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.
We ask for respect and care for all families. This includes those that may have a different perspective to another, the School or any other member of the Maitland community. The only way to stop the polarisation and division that is happening in our society is not to be dividers and polarisers. Remember, if you disagree with the person or even their actions, be gracious and kind in your response. They are a person like you with feelings. It’s easy to assume without knowing the story of others and the ‘why’ of their actions. Even if we do, unkindness is not a fruit of our walk with God. We need to pray for others before we jump to criticise them.
We encourage and support all families to have direct contact and discussions with us on all matters and respect the right of all families to have an opinion. So many comments on social media have been positive and encouraging. Thank you for taking the time to do that and to use social media well.
Please continue to use our social platforms and any other communication methods to encourage one another. We value and appreciate all our parents and families and understand this is a trying time.

 

Getting back to School

Across the weekend, the school is undergoing a deep COVID clean to have it ready for operation next week. This clean will continue through Monday, and the school site will remain closed on Monday to all staff and students. Please ensure you have care arrangements for your children on Monday. There will be no online learning on Monday.
With the ongoing threat of lockdown looming, staff have been busy preparing for online learning to commence if required this term. With the area in lockdown, online will commence this coming week but slightly differently for High School and Primary School students.

 

High School

High school classes will commence on Tuesday morning (10/08), with pastoral care groups commencing at 8:30 am. Zoom links to allow this to occur will be sent to students on Monday. Having used online learning last year, we’ll be bringing a lot of what we learned last year and our feedback from that time to deliver improved protocols in this space. These protocols will be communicated to students on Monday as well.


Year 12

Year 12 Trial HSC Exams will be paused as we wait to see the length of the lockdown. The NSW Education Standards Authority is well aware of the challenges for the 2021 HSC and has put several measures in place to assist students and schools. We will be in further contact with Year 12 families next week in regard to this. Year 12 should be prepared to commence their usual timetable on Tuesday morning (10/08), joining their homeroom at 8:30 am.


Primary K-6

K – 6 students will have a class-based Zoom time on Tuesday (10/08), with the times for these Zoom sessions communicated to families on Monday. These sessions will be staggered on Tuesday to assist with technology sharing at home until we can get access to the School site to roll out extra iPads as we did last year. This rollout will be complicated by the need for the School to safely support all community members impacted by a change to online learning and particularly stay at home or isolation orders.
Primary learning activities will be available through Seesaw for the second half of next week. K-6 classes will commence online learning on Monday, August 16, once we’ve had a chance to access and then distribute all of the resources required to begin learning in this format. Thank you so much for understanding the extra time needed to get this up and running in our unique circumstance this time around.

 


Essential Workers

Essential worker children will be able to return to school on Tuesday, subject to them abiding by the relevant health advice received from NSW Health. We ask that only essential workers who have no other option send their children to School. Our onsite capacity will be a little stretched over the next two weeks, and minimising community interaction at this time will be helpful. High School students of essential workers who come onsite will be required to wear masks if they are attending school in person under the essential worker provision.


Arise Students

Arise Christian College students will commence onsite learning on Wednesday (11/08) for all students. Those not attending onsite will have work provided to complete at home but will not be fully synchronous with onsite learning.



Ongoing Communication and Support

Our teaching, ICT, property and admin teams have been very busy working across the last two days to manage the safety, care and learning continuity for our students. We appreciate your ongoing patience as we put plans in place for next week and beyond.

 

Again, our commitment during this time is that no child at either of our schools would go backwards in their learning, due to the changes we are experiencing. But school is about so much more than just academic learning. So, an overall balanced approach in caring for student wellbeing will also be a focus as well.
Last year, we showed that together as a staff, student, parent, and broader community, we can manage a change like this and do it very well. We don’t just want to do it well, but want to do it in a God-honouring way and for His glory.  This flip to online learning will involve some extra changes from what we faced last year, but we will do this well together in God’s grace and strength.
Please reach out to us directly if you have any concerns or you need any support. We are reminded of Christ’s words “to love one another as He loved us”. “We love because He first loved us”. May that be the basis of how we work through with excellence, the uncertain journey we face in this time.


Warm regards,

Geoff Peet

Principal

 

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

NSW Health Advice – School closed until further advice

Our school has been advised by NSW Health that two students at our school have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Our school will be non-operational effective immediately for the on-site attendance of staff and visitors to allow time for contact tracing and cleaning. 

All staff and students are asked to self-isolate until you receive further advice.

NSW Health has requested anyone who has been unwell or if you develop any symptoms such as a fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of smell/taste, muscle/joint pains, diarrhoea, nausea/vomiting or extreme tiredness to be tested at one of the COVID-19 testing clinics.

Further information about COVID-19 is available on the NSW Government website

Our school will continue to work closely with NSW Health to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff is maintained.

The safety and wellbeing of our staff and students is of paramount importance to us at all times. As such we will continue to work closely with NSW Health to ensure that all necessary health advice is adhered to. 

While we recognise this will be disruptive and inconvenient for families, it is important that we follow NSW Health advice and take all necessary precautions to minimise the risk of further transmission to support our community.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

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