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Latest Update: 9am - 31 January 2022

We return to the 2022 school year with a variety of COVID protocols to ensure the safety of our school communities. From the beginning of Term 1 2022, schools will operate with a number of COVID-smart measures that have been developed with the Department of Education and NSW Health to minimise transmission and keep schools open.

These key measures include:

  • use of rapid antigen tests by students and staff
  • ensuring all staff on school sites are fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • wearing surgical masks indoors
  • using cohort arrangements
  • maximising ventilation
  • encouraging regular hand washing and continuing enhanced cleaning of schools
  • strictly limiting visitors on school sites
  • assessing high-risk activities and applying appropriate safeguards

The NSW Government has supplied students and staff with rapid antigen tests (RATs) to support operations in the first few weeks of term. Use of RATs will be recommended for all students and staff, twice a week, on Monday and Wednesday mornings. Staff working with high-needs students in specialist centres and support units in mainstream settings are recommended to use RATs every school day.

Students and staff will not be required to report their negative RAT results to schools. Positive RAT results will need to be reported through the Service NSW website or app immediately and notify the school as soon as possible.

As always, if your child is unwell, we ask you to keep them at home until a negative COVID test result is provided.

Your continued support in following the advice and guidance provided by the NSW Government is again greatly appreciated. The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remains paramount. 

Please look out for school-specific advice via Compass with any updates specific for your schools and please contact your school principal should you have any questions or concerns in the first instance. 

For further information please visit; https://education.nsw.gov.au/covid-19

 

COVID-19 update 09 November 2021

We continue to follow the Public Health Orders and Roadmap provided by the NSW Government.  From 8 November, all our schools will operate on updated Level 3 settings for the remainder of Term 4. Term 1 2022 settings are under review and will be updated as soon as possible.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remains paramount.  Importantly our schools will continue with the relevant COVID-safety measures such as QR check-ins, mask wearing indoors for Year 7 and above, physical distancing, enhanced cleaning and maximising ventilation; we ask that you respect these measures to keep our communities safe. As always, if your child is unwell, we ask you keep them at home until a negative COVID test result is provided.

Your continued support in following the advice and guidance provided by the NSW Government is again greatly appreciated. 

Please look out for school-specific advice via Compass with any updates specific for your schools and please contact your school principal should you have any questions or concerns. 

 

COVID-19 update 1 October, 2021

Our schools are currently preparing for the return of school next week, with the continuation of home learning. The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remains paramount and we will continue to follow the Public Health Orders and Roadmap provided by NSW Government and keep you updated.  You can read information about the NSW Government's announcements here.

At this stage, home learning continues through to late October when we will have the following staggered return of students to school sites:

  • from 18 October – Kindergarten, Year 1 & Year 12.
  • from 25 October – Years 2, 6 and 11.
  • from 1 November – Years 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

However, where LGAs have come out of lockdown, the above-mentioned Roadmap does not apply and students in these LGAs in the Upper Hunter and Manning areas will return to school for Term Four. Please continue to look out for updated school specific information provided via Compass based on the current circumstances of your Local Government area as these conditions are subject to change.

Our schools will continue implementing COVID-safety plans and enhanced cleaning programs; students over 12 years and teachers are required to wear masks; and our sign-in procedures remain in place. Please contact your school should you have any specific questions or concerns.

 

COVID-19 update 10 September, 2021

As noted in the NSW Government announcements made on Thursday, 9 September the regions in which we work remain in lockdown.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remains paramount and we will continue to follow all advice from NSW Government and Catholic Schools NSW. 
We will continue to keep you updated. You can read information about the NSW Government's announcements here.

 

COVID-19 update 27 August, 2021

The Catholic Schools Office continues to follow advice from the NSW Government and with the announcement that the lockdown has been extended to all of regional NSW until 12.01am on Saturday, 11 September 2021, all schools in our Diocese are now operating with restrictions.

Home-based learning is in place for all students, aside from those requiring supervision eg. children of essential workers.

Please continue to look out for updated school specific information provided via Compass.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remains paramount and we will continue to follow all advice from NSW Government and Catholic Schools NSW. 

 

COVID-19 update 16 August, 2021

The Catholic Schools Office continues to follow advice from the NSW Government and with the announcement that the lockdown has been extended to all of regional NSW until 12.01am on Sunday, 22 August 2021, all schools in our Diocese are now operating with restrictions.

Home-based learning is in place for all students, aside from those requiring supervision eg. children of essential workers.

Please continue to look out for updated school specific information provided via Compass.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remains paramount and we will continue to follow all advice from NSW Government and Catholic Schools NSW. 

 

COVID-19 update 13 August, 2021

The Catholic Schools Office is continuing to follow advice from the NSW Government and with the announcement that the lockdown has been officially extended to 12.01am on Friday, 20 August 2021, the below LGAs in which we operate will remain in lockdown.

  • Newcastle
  • Lake Macquarie
  • Maitland
  • Port Stephens
  • Cessnock
  • Dungog
  • Singleton
  • Muswellbrook

Home-based learning is in place for all students in these LGAs, aside from those requiring supervision eg. children of essential workers. Please continue to look out for updated school specific information provided via Compass.

Schools outside the LGAs remain operational as normal.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remains paramount and we will continue to follow all advice from NSW Government and Catholic Schools NSW. 

 

COVID-19 update 11 August, 2021

The Catholic Schools Office has been advised by NSW Health that a student who attends San Clemente High School, Mayfield has tested positive for COVID-19.

Please refer to the link below for additional information.

CSO Media Statement 

 

COVID-19 update 5 August, 2021

The safety and wellbeing of our community, students and staff remains paramount. The Catholic Schools Office is continuing to follow advice from the NSW Government and currently, the following LGAs in which we operate will be in lockdown with the same restrictions as Greater Sydney for one week from 5pm Thursday 5 August:

  • Newcastle
  • Lake Macquarie
  • Maitland
  • Port Stephens
  • Cessnock
  • Dungog
  • Singleton
  • Muswellbrook

Our schools in these areas are prepared for learning from home and staff will continue to connect with and support students in a remote learning environment.

To note:

  • Schools in these LGAs will remain open for students requiring supervision, from Friday 6 August.
  • From Monday 9 August to Thursday 12 August home-based learning will be in place for all students, aside from those requiring supervision eg children of essential workers.
  • Years 11 and 12 will undertake home-learning and follow their usual pattern of study.
  • All other stages will have Friday 6 August as a Wellbeing day for students and a preparation day for staff to ensure they are ready for online lessons on Monday. 
  • Your school will continue to provide their specific updates via Compass.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remains paramount and we will continue to follow all advice from NSW Government and Catholic Schools NSW. 

If you have any questions, please contact your school directly.

Thank you for your continued support.

You can download our letter to parents here

Catholic Schools NSW information and NSW Government updates can be found here.

We recognise and understand the feelings of anxiety, distress and concern many people may be experiencing in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and offer the following wellbeing advice.

The Australian Psychological Society has advice about maintaining positive mental health during the outbreak.

 

Talking to your child about COVID-19

School.tv has released a helpful short video that details how to talk to your child about the pandemic (suitable for primary and secondary students).

Queensland Government has a range of storybooks to read with younger children, these cover challenging topics such as sickness and natural disasters.

The Child Mind Institute has provided an article on Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus

Psychology Today has an overview on How to Talk to Kids and Teens About the Coronavirus

The Federation of Parents & Friends Association of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has outlined additional online resources here.

 

Other available resources:

Headspace Newcastle is operated by Hunter Primary Care and is designed to provide tailored and holistic mental health support to 12 – 25 year olds.  ‘How to cope with stress related to coronavirus’

eheadspace provides free online and phone support and counselling to young people 12 - 25 yrs and their families and friends. If you’re based in Australia and going through a tough time, eheadspace can help.  You can talk 1-on-1 with an eheadspace clinician via an online chat, email or over the phone. You can also join group chats which cover a variety of helpful topics and are a great way to learn from other people’s experiences.

Kids Helpline  is a telephone counselling support line for children and young people ages 5 to 25 and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Helpful information is available on their website for children and young people, parents and carers, schools and teachers.

Other reliable sources of information for maintaining good mental health include:

  

Online safety

We recommend the following information regarding online safety from the Australian Government eSafety Commissioner

 

Office365

Installing Microsoft Office365