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COVID-19 Update

ONLINE LEARNING UPDATE

Update: Updated: Monday, 30 March

As we embark on our second week of online learning, I wanted to thank you all for such a productive and positive week. This is a significantly different mode of teaching and learning and you have done a stellar job adjusting to it.

Thank you to our staff and students for the tremendous effort and work they have put into their online lessons. Thank you to our parents and carers for the outstanding work they are doing at home supporting and encouraging the boys to be patient, resilient, industrious and engaged learners.

As mentioned in previous correspondence, our Curriculum teams are continually monitoring our implementation of online learning to address any issues, respond to feedback and investigate new ways to enhance the delivery of quality lessons. Our aim is to provide a balanced pedagogical approach that will be sustainable for our students, teachers and all families.

To that end, video conferencing between teachers and classes will now extend beyond Year 12 and begin operating across Year 5-12 classes. This will form part of our blended online model to complement the existing modes of lesson delivery that we have in play. Please refer to our Video Conferencing Protocols read the protocols.

The challenges we face are unprecedented and unpredictable. We are very appreciative of all your messages of encouragement and gratitude.

Continue to be kind, patient and supportive of one another. Remember we are all in this together.

Kind Regards,

Elizabeth Watson

Deputy Principal – Teaching and Learning

 


HELPFUL LINKS AND INFORMATION

Updated: Monday, 30 March

 

The links below are very helpful. In particular, the NSW Health websites provide up to date and accurate information.

The College is closely monitoring the situation, placing the highest priority on advice provided by NSW Health. The independent school sector is providing additional assistance, and we are also talking to other schools as we determine the best way forward. We will continue to review and update our advice as new information becomes available.

The Department of Health has posted several publications here

NSW Health FAQs 

Guidance on Home Isolation

Federal Government Guidance

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

 


ONLINE LEARNING

Updated: Wednesday, 30 March

Dear Parents, Carers and Students,

I write to congratulate you all on a very successful first day of online learning. Thank you for your support and encouraging messages.

As we transition to online learning, the College’s curriculum team will continue to monitor our implementation and address any issues that become apparent. We are committed to providing quality teaching and learning and will work diligently to refine and enhance this experience for teachers, students and families.

To further assist our staff and students, access to Clickview Exchange will provide students access to thousands of educationally relevant feature films and TV documentaries that they can review safely and securely from home. All content in Clickview is protected by Australia’s ratings system, and free of ads, pop-ups and comments.

Our online learning program will continue to evolve over the coming days and weeks as we investigate additional modes of delivering quality learning. Parents and students will be updated accordingly. In the meantime, thank you for your patience and trust at this unprecedented time.

Some important considerations for learning from home

  • iAssist processes: Online Learning – iAssist Support (Students/parents)

  • Encourage regular wake up times and morning routines e.g make the bed / glass of water with lime or lemon juice to hydrate / breakfast / exercise / social interaction – are a good way to codify the beginning of the day

  • Workstation location needs some consideration – does his study area provide for quiet and also the ability to interact online with others?

  • An item of school uniform to be worn when interacting on google hangouts to formalise the fact he is at ‘at school’ (virtually).

  • Protocols for recording absence if boys are unable to engage in their learning are as follows:

Please follow our usual absentee processes as listed below:

Junior School

1-2 days leave: Skoolbag form or absentee line 93875022

2 or more days leave: Director of Junior School (gsmith@waverley.nsw.edu.au, 93690769)

Senior School

1-2 days leave: Skoolbag form or absentee line 93690632

2-4 days leave: your sons Head of House

5 or more days leave: Deputy Principal – Student & Staff Wellbeing  (pbrennan@waverley.nsw.edu.au, 9369 0765)

  • Breaks need to be defined and thought given as to how they will be used.

  • External interaction in public places and with numbers of friends is discouraged at any time. Everyone needs to play their part in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

  • As the boys will be using their computers for a significant part of the day, the reduction of social media/any gaming usage, will need to be part of his/our overall strategy. Engagement in physical movement and connection to nature during breaks will be important (whilst social distancing). Therefore, we will have a staggered approach to start including Google hangouts in our overall online learning and wellbeing strategy.

VIDEO CONFERENCING PROTOCOLS

If you are using video conferencing, please take a moment to read the protocols.

Those that can respond favourably to the online environment over the coming weeks will put themselves in a good position when they return to regular routines and demands of school. Last week I spoke to Year 12 as a cohort and encouraged them to not use these current circumstances as an excuse for their HSC study program and preparations. I would encourage boys in all year levels to take the same attitude. Embrace change, adapt and strategise how you can make the best of the situation.

BUSINESS SUPPORT FOR WAVERLEY COMMUNITY

As we enter into a state-wide lockdown, we are all very aware that lots of businesses are suffering. As a school community, we can support each other.

I would, therefore, like to offer Waverley College families the opportunity to advertise within our community at no cost via an online weekly communication. Perhaps there is a Waverley College family offering a service you are willing to pay for.

We are going to standardise the ads so that none is seen as more significant than another.

Here is a fictional sample.

HAMISH’S RESTAURANT: Providing quality Scottish food to your door

Menu available here

Website: www.hamishscottishfood.com.au

Phone number: 0111 111 111

Please send your business details to rball@waverley.nsw.edu.au

We will divide the entries into sections (e.g., restaurants, professional services, cleaning services, health services, etc) Please make clear the nature of your business.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REQUEST

The Federal Government has asked us to distribute the following information to all parents. Quick links to government support for businesses and households impacted by COVID-19.

The Government is acting to cushion the blow from the coronavirus for businesses and households to help them get through to the other side of the crisis as the world deals with the significant challenges posed by its spread.

Below I have set out the quick links to the measures available to small and medium businesses, sole traders and households under the $189 billion economic support package announced by the Prime Minister:

Thank you for your ongoing support and trust at this unprecedented time.

Warm regards

Graham Leddie


IT POLICY

Updated: Tuesday, March 24

Dear Parents and Carers,

Please follow this link for up-to-date information on the College’s IT procedure’s while we are delivering an online mode of learning.

Kind Regards,

Simon Potter, Director of ITC, Campus and Innovation

 


LATEST ADVICE

Updated: Monday, March 23

Dear Parents and Carers,

The NSW Premier has today announced that ‘all NSW schools will remain open, however parents are being encouraged to keep their children at home wherever possible. Schools will move to an online mode of learning’.

In response to these government directives, Waverley College will make the following decisions in the best interests of both care of students, staff and families, and the importance we place upon continued learning of students:

  • Monday 23 March – Face to face teaching will cease at the end of the day until the end of Term 1. Boys will be encouraged to take home their books and any other resources.

  • Tuesday 24 March – Non-teaching day to allow staff time to finalise arrangements for online student learning.

    • Boys that have not already done so, will be able to attend the College to collect their books tomorrow at any time between 6:30am and 12:30pm.

  • Wednesday 25 March – Learning will resume in an online learning mode both on and off-campus for the remainder of the term.

    • Children of parents who are ‘essential workers’ or who cannot be properly supervised at home with off-campus online learning will have the option to do their online learning at school in a supervised setting in line with social distancing protocols.

    • Senior students will be required to first check-in with Ms Suzi Sucur in the Wellbeing Centre at the start of the day. Supervision will be from 8:30am – 3:15pm.

    • Junior students will be required to first check in with Mrs Audrey Coupe at the start of the day. Supervision will be from 8:30am – 3:00pm.

  • Please complete the following survey by Tuesday, March 24 so we can ascertain the number of students who will be physically attending the campus for online learning from Wednesday 25 March. Fill in the survey here.

  • Parents/Carers of Junior School students will receive a separate email from the Director of Junior School today outlining the processes that they will be required to follow.

I seek your support in impressing upon your son that schooling continues until the end of term, albeit in an alternative form. I wish to assure you of our commitment to continue the learning journey of your son. Waverley has invested considerable time and effort to ensure that online learning arrangements are in place.

Please ensure your son is not socialising at this time with other members of the community. For the government’s policy of social distancing to work effectively across the community, all must play their part in slowing down the infection rate and allowing our health system to cope with increased demand and save lives. Maintaining good hygiene practices are now of the utmost importance, please ensure your son is continuing to wash his hands with soap and warm water regularly, uses a bacterial wash when this is not available and that he avoids other human contact.

I ask families who have difficult circumstances to stay in conversation with us. We recognise that these current circumstances are unique and challenging for all. Thank you for your ongoing support, understanding and partnership throughout this time.

Yours sincerely,

Graham Leddie, Principal


INFORMATION FOR YEAR 12

Updated: Monday, March 23

Year 12 Reports

Full school reports with comments and advice will be uploaded to the parent portal on Monday 30th March

Term 1 HSC Assessment Tasks 

Waverley’s HSC Assessment schedule is currently being revised by Heads of Department in accordance with the latest advice from NESA. NESA Update 23rd March. We will continue to monitor and update accordingly.

Week 9 Tasks

Advanced and Standard English tasks scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday 24th March will now be hand-in tasks due on April 28th.

English Studies submission task due on Tuesday, March 24 has a revised due date of Monday, March 30.

All English students will receive a revised assessment notification via email today.

Week 10 and 11 Tasks

Students will be notified directly with a revised assessment notification by the relevant HoD by Wednesday 25th March.

HSC Major Works

Many students are able to continue working on their projects at home. Students who need to work on their projects at school will liaise with their teacher to book in time. They will be supervised in a setting in line with social distancing protocols. Teachers have spoken to their students and have begun making arrangements.

Online Learning

Year 12 will follow their lessons through our online learning mode and work with a ‘flipped lesson’ model via teacher slides, notes and our HSC online platforms of Edrolo and Atomi. They can continue to submit drafts to their teachers and seek help with work via teacher negotiated platforms. i.e. email, google docs, slides etc.

Year 12 Study Plans

Mrs Knowles (Senior Studies and Careers Advisor) has set up individual study plans with each Year 12 and will be monitoring the boy’s progress and assisting them with organisation and submission of tasks. She will continue to send UAC and careers updates.

Year 12 House Google Classroom

Heads of House will invite their Year 12s to join their House Google classrooms to support them in their academic journey and overall wellbeing.

We will continue to provide you with regular updates as more information becomes available. Thank you for your trust and understanding

Warm Regards

Graham Leddie, Principal


LATEST ADVICE

Updated: Thursday, March 19

Dear Parents and Carers,

Further to my correspondence earlier this week (March 16) I write to update you on the College’s response to the evolving developments with COVID-19. Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation in these unprecedented times.

The College will remain open

On Wednesday this week, the Prime Minister reiterated that Health and Education authorities are united in their view that the best possible approach for students, staff and the broader community at this time is for schools to remain open. The health and wellbeing of our students is our priority, therefore, we will continue to follow advice and recommendations from these leading governing bodies.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee considered this week school closures in relation to the community transmission of COVID-19 and advised that school closure was not warranted at this time. This was unanimous advice of all the Chief Medical Officers and senior epidemiologists in every Australian jurisdiction, state and federal based on the following considerations:

  • There being no evidence of school-based COVID-19 outbreaks in Australia and with community transmission also being limited.

  • The rate of infection of children is lying between 0.9% and 1.2% of cases, which is the lowest level of infection of all Australians.

  • There being no evidence to suggest proactive school closures would limit physical distancing, especially among high school students.

  • Data and patterns emerging from China, Hong Kong and other countries, suggests schools are not significant sources of transmission while, in contrast, household clusters of infection have been very common.

  • The virus poses a “minimal” health risk to people younger than 19 and closing schools would, in fact, harm the overall pandemic response.

  • Reactive school closures are more effective in containing outbreaks.

Therefore, based on this advice and in consultation with EREA Australia, and our College Board, Waverley’s three campuses, the Senior School, Junior School and Pre-School will remain open until further notice.

Adapting to changing circumstances

We are continually monitoring new information, expert advice and our own risk assessments. Circumstances will change, so we may also change our response as the situation develops. We are planning for all eventualities and we will keep you informed if we need to move to Off-campus Learning.

We expect it will be necessary to close the College at some point in the coming months and we anticipate that this is most likely to occur in the following circumstances:

Confirmed case of COVID-19 amongst staff or students

  • We are expecting this to occur at some point and probably more than once. In these circumstances, the College will shut immediately for a day or so to allow for tracing and isolation of close contacts. The College will be cleaned and then re-open – as has been the case in other schools in Sydney recently. If we are in close proximity to holidays at that time, we may bring the term to an early end.

General closure of schools

  • As outlined above, this may be applied to all schools across a widespread area to temporarily reduce pressure on hospitals approaching peak capacity. This would likely be for at least several weeks.

A cluster of cases in our area

  • The public health advice is that if a cluster of cases emerges in a particular geographical area, schools may be closed in and around that hotspot. This would be for more than a few days.

As explained, for any closure of more than a day or so, we would move to Off-campus Learning and our plans are well underway to facilitate this.

Absent from school

We appreciate the support of families who have followed our requests to keep their son at home if they are showing symptoms of a cold or flu. We also respect that some families have decided to keep their sons at home to self-isolate.

If your son is staying at home, he can continue to follow class work by accessing the online platform his teachers have set up. An outline of the lesson’s learning intentions, tasks, resources and instructions on how to seek assistance will be available.

If your son needs help organising his home study, please contact his Head of House.

 

Aungier

John McCoy

headofaungier@waverley.nsw.edu.au

9369 0613

Brennan

James Horrocks

headofbrennan@waverley.nsw.edu.au

9369 0614

Conlon

Cathy O’Sullivan

headofconlon@waverley.nsw.edu.au

9369 0611

Green

Scott Coleman

headofgreen@waverley.nsw.edu.au

9369 0610

Lacey

Damien Thompson

headoflacey@waverley.nsw.edu.au

9369 0609

O’Connor

Matthew Barr

headofoconnor@waverley.nsw.edu.au

9369 0612

Quinn

Olivia Kite

headofquinn@waverley.nsw.edu.au

9369 0608

Tevlin

John McCallum

headoftevlin@waverley.nsw.edu.au

9369 0607

If your son is absent from school, please follow our usual absentee processes as listed below:

Junior School

1-2 days leave: Skoolbag form or absentee line 93875022

2 or more days leave: Director of Junior School (gsmith@waverley.nsw.edu.au, 93690769)

Senior School

1-2 days leave: Skoolbag form or absentee line 93690632

2-4 days leave: your sons Head of House

5 or more days leave: Deputy Principal – Student & Staff Wellbeing  (pbrennan@waverley.nsw.edu.au, 9369 0765)

Psychologist Support

This pandemic is a cause for great concern to parents, but it is also very worrying to young people. Many of our parents are wondering how best to discuss this pandemic in a way that will be reassuring to their children, without making them feel more worried than what they may be already. Our College Psychologists have put together some useful information and general guidelines for talking to children about COVID-19 that may help reduce anxiety. View the article here.

Co-Curricular

In the light of the current developments with respect to public health and safety in the context of COVID-19, the CAS Heads has resolved to cancel CAS fixtures and inter-school games until May 31.

CAS members schools will not be participating in trial fixtures against other associations until after that time. The CAS Heads will continue to monitor the situation as further public advice is received and will meet early in term two to review developments. We regret the disappointment that this necessary decision may cause our communities. Mr O’Donnell and respective convenors will email directly regarding fitness programs your son can do to ensure he is exercising regularly. It is important for his wellbeing that he continues to exercise for both his mental and physical wellbeing.

Academic Events

In addition to the communication regarding cancelled and suspended events, the Year 7 – 11 Parent/Teacher/Student interviews due to be held on Tuesday, March 31 will now be cancelled. You will be receiving a Term 1 interim report via the parent portal to replace these interviews.

Working Together

We understand the concerns many parents have at this time and want to reassure parents of our vigilance in monitoring this rapidly evolving situation and the precautionary measures, including improved hygiene and school cleaning that have been implemented. As noted, the College’s position will be revised if the situation within the Waverley community changes, or if the expert health and medical advice changes.

With increased health concerns for loved ones, the closing of borders, international travel ground to a halt, and financial pressures arising from the global economy slowing down, we need to work together to support our community wherever we can. We need to acknowledge difficult news with a proportionate response, and to be as practical and positive as possible.

Thank you for your valued ongoing support, understanding and partnership throughout this time.

Kind Regards,

Graham Leddie, Principal


LATEST ADVICE

Updated: Tuesday, March 16

Dear Parents and Carers,

Over the weekend a number of measures have been put in place by the Federal Government to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These include cancelling static gatherings of 500 or more people, requiring all travellers returning from overseas to self isolate for 14 days and recommendations for social distancing.

The advice from the Commonwealth and NSW Governments is to keep schools open and operational at this point in time. NSW Health may enforce a short-term closure if a student contracts the virus. 

Our planning in the event of a case of coronavirus continues apace and is progressing well. I want to let you know about our overall approach, what we are cancelling, modifying or suspending and how we are preparing for a potential shut down of one or both campuses of the College.

I stress the importance of hygiene as a key way to reduce transmission – washing hands, coughing into your elbow, sneezing into a tissue, and not touching your face. This was reiterated at the College assembly on Thursday. Also, if your son is unwell, and in particular if he is exhibiting any symptoms of a cold or flu, he should be kept at home. It is irresponsible to do otherwise.

If your son begins to show symptoms of a cold or flu while at school, he will be sent to the Health Centre for evaluation. The College Nurse will call parents immediately if your son needs to go home. 

Our overall approach

We are continuing to react proportionately. The wellbeing of our community is our key priority.

Members of the College Leadership Team are meeting daily to make decisions based on the most up-to-date medical advice. We are also consulting widely with other schools, NSW Health, the NSW Association of Independent Schools (NSWAIS) and the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER).

Recent advice suggests that the virus is expected to peak in its impact in Term 2 and that it will impact our society in a significant way for 20-24 weeks, with early to mid-Winter being the peak. The Government’s strategy is to ‘flatten the curve’ of confirmed cases so that our health services can meet the needs of those who require care when they need it. 

Some families have decided to keep their sons at home, we respect parents’ decisions if they wish to self-isolate. If you are taking these measures, please know that remote home learning will not be available unless the College is closed for a period of time. However, course work and assessments can be submitted to the class teacher via the negotiated online platform.

On-campus, in addition to our normal cleaners, we have introduced new ‘hot spot’ cleaners that are doing constant loops of the campus cleaning and disinfecting doors, handrails, classrooms, locker rooms, bathrooms and indoor sport facilities. 

Educational delivery

I recently outlined how we would deliver schooling online if we needed to close the College for an extended period. To date we have:

  • Developed a Remote Teaching and Learning Policy
  • Held a staff briefing to articulate the policy
  • Provided Professional Learning for staff so they are familiar with and ready to deliver lessons online 
  • Added all classes to the online platforms and informed students of the remote learning process
  • Conducted a survey to ascertain home internet connectivity 
  • Will provide an alternative remote learning plan for students without access to online delivery 

Should a student be unable to complete their assigned online working due to sickness or approved leave, the same procedures apply:

Junior School

SkoolBag App Absentee Form or email (acoupe@waverley.nsw.edu.au

Leave of any kind: Director of Junior School 

Senior School

SkoolBag App Absentee Form  – Preferred method to keep phone lines open

Leave up to four days: Head of House

Leave of five or more days: Deputy Principal (Staff and Student Wellbeing) (pbrennan@waverley.nsw.edu.au

Wellbeing

Our College psychologists will still be available to consult via phone or over Zoom. Students who have made scheduled appointments to see a psychologist will still be able to access that support remotely. 

College Psychologist’s contact details:

Junior School

Alexsandra McCredie (amccredie@waverley.nsw.edu.au

Senior School

Tessa Prior (tprior@waverley.nsw.edu.au

Greg Cameron (gcameron@waverley.nsw.edu.au

Gatherings, events and tours

We have looked closely at all College events and activities for the remainder of the term  

and considered the advice from the Department of Education and Catholic Schools NSW. 

At this stage, we are cancelling until further notice all school excursions, major art and sport activities including inter-school events, social justice programs, assemblies and tours.

All co-curricular activities (including training) and Music Ensembles for this week have been suspended. This includes internal trials and CAS Football Blitz on Saturday. We will keep you updated on the outcome of co-curricular for the remainder of the term by Friday. 

Please note, the information below is correct as of 2pm on 16 March 2020. The situation is evolving quickly, and we will provide updates on this web page, via email, and Skoolbag. 

We are also considering the implications for our Term 2 and 3 sports programs and monitoring advice from official channels.

Date Event/Activity Status 
Ongoing Assemblies Suspended
Ongoing House Meetings Suspended
Ongoing  Tours and Immersions Suspended
Ongoing  Houses Masses Suspended
Ongoing  Social Justice and Advocacy Programs Suspended
20 March Cadet Parade  Cancelled
18/23/24 March CAS Rep Tennis  Cancelled
20 March JS Winter Sport Trials  Suspended
20 March  Welcome Cocktail Party  Cancelled
21 March SS CAS Football Gala Day Cancelled
23 March Year 12 Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews Cancelled (Full reports will replace this)
24 March Year 11 Drama Showcase Suspended
31 March Year 7-11 Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews Cancelled (Full reports will replace this)
2 April Cadet Camp  Suspended
17 April Armidale Rugby Tour Cancelled
14 April AIS Rugby Camp Cancelled

 

We feel that as well as a duty to your children and our staff, we also have a public duty to do our part to help minimise and delay the spread. At the same time, we don’t want to reactively cancel everything in sight. We hope the course we are charting is the most justifiable, even if you may not agree with every individual decision.

We also accept that medical and government advice might change rapidly and supersede whatever we do. Where this changes the College’s position, we will let you know as soon as possible. 

Kind Regards, 

Graham Leddie, Principal