COVID-19 School Response
If your child is showing symptoms consistent with the coronavirus please do not send them to school. Please call (not visit) your GP or ring the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
Frequently Asked Questions
Remote learning will start on Monday 19 July and will continue until at least Friday 30 July.
The Association of Independent Schools (AIS) has advised schools that the current regulations require learning from home; however, schools will remain open for families who are unable to supervise their children at home.
Advice from NSW Health is that parents and carers should not send children to school if they are unwell, even if they have the mildest flu-like symptoms. The school is obliged to send students home if they have symptoms.
Remote learning in the Junior School can be accessed via the Junior School Hub for Prep to Year 2 students and by accessing the Class Google Classroom for Years 3-6. Class teachers will send parents of children in their class an email with links and other helpful information. Junior School parents should contact their child’s class teacher by email in the first instance if they have questions or concerns about their child’s learning. Please bear in mind that it could take a teacher several days to reply to parent emails.
Prep - Year 2 will need a device to access remote learning activities posted on the Junior School Hub. The device could be a smart phone, tablet, iPad or computer. They will need access to the device at various times throughout the day to watch videos and access work. Unfortunately the school is unable to provide a device for P-2 at this time.
Years 3 - 6 will need to use a device. The arrangements for parents who wish to come to school to pick up a school Chromebook will be sent in a separate email. If families need to pick up a school chromebook to use at home, I have been advised that parents are allowed to travel to school for this reason.
Teachers have prepared resources that can be collected from school. An email will be sent soon to explain pick up arrangements.
Remote lessons will occur according to the usual Secondary School timetable, with a small modification to round off the period times. Friday “bell times” will be the same as Monday to Thursday. The school has created a Secondary Learning at Home poster to help parents and students make the most of remote learning – the daily period times are listed here along with guidance to students for accessing their lessons. If you have a home printer it would be helpful to print this out and put it up in your child’s workspace.
As outlined in the poster, students will begin each period by going to Google Classroom for their subject and clicking the link to Zoom, where teachers will mark the roll and begin the lesson.
Due to the demanding nature of remote learning, it is important for students to take regular breaks throughout the day from the screen. Teachers will incorporate downtime into the end of each period to allow breathing space between the lessons.
If parents have a concern about their child’s learning in a particular subject, they should send an email to the teacher of that subject. If parents have a more holistic or welfare based concern for their child, they should contact the child’s pastoral care teacher or year coordinator. Students experiencing technology difficulties should put a helpdesk ticket in or email email@example.com.
Mr Stonestreet sent an email to Year 12 parents and students on Monday 12/7 and will continue to keep them informed regarding HSC trial exams, major works, HSC practical exams and other issues specific to Year 12 students.
The AIS has advised that schools should have minimum staff on site to oversee one unit of learning.
Secondary School students who attend school onsite will be supervised in the library or a classroom where they will complete the same remote learning program outlined above. Students are asked to come prepared with their Chromebook, relevant workbooks, headphones and their laptop charger (as Zoom video has a large drain on the battery).
Junior School students will complete the same work as the students learning from home. They will be supervised by Junior School and Learning Support staff.
Students who come to the school site should wear normal school uniform. Students learning remotely should wear modest daytime clothing.
The AIS has advised schools that non-essential visitors are not permitted on school sites. Anyone who comes to the school must wear a mask and check in using the Service NSW QR code and sign in at the front desk.
P-12 drop off arrangements - Parents should drop off their children in the bus bay from 8am. Please do not walk your son or daughter into the school unless they are unable to manage on their own. If this is the case, please only walk as far as the breezeway doors and check in using the Service NSW QR code.
K-2 pick up arrangements - Please come to the front gate, check in using the QR code that will be fixed to the fence. Wait on the oval near the front entrance wearing a mask. Please practice physical distancing.
3-12 pick up arrangements - If possible, please wait in your car for your son or daughter to come to you. Before your child leaves for school in the morning, please let him/her know roughly where you will park the car in the afternoon. If this is not possible, please come to the front gate, check in using the QR code that will be fixed to the fence. Wait on the oval near the front entrance wearing a mask. Please practice physical distancing.
Shire Prep arrangements - Parents are asked to:
- Use the drop off zone in the morning. We will have a Prep staff member greet your child at the school drop off zone in the bus bay.
- Wait on the front oval at the end of the day. Your Prep child will be brought to you at 2:35pm with Kindergarten students.
- Wear a mask and practice appropriate physical distancing while waiting.
Transdev have advised that there will be no school bus services running until the end of July. Premier Charters (Helensburgh & Stanwell Park bus services) will continue to run their school buses as per the normal timetable.
Camp Australia will continue to provide before and after school care and will communicate with regular users separately. Camp Australia has asked that families re-register for this service.
All students from Year 7 to Year 12 will be required to wear a face mask on public transport and in all indoor settings e.g. classrooms. Staff are not required to wear a face mask where it may affect the ability of students to hear or engage with them. Early childhood staff are exempt from wearing face masks when working directly with children.
Staff and adult visitors are required to check in using the QR codes.
No. Any uniform items ordered online will not be available for collection until remote learning ends.
The school has arranged for additional cleaning of surfaces during the school day. Teachers will encourage the use of hand sanitiser.
The AIS has advised that all non-core curriculum related activities are to cease. Therefore, no excursions or extra-curricular activities will take place until further notice. PIPE, the Junior School music performance evening, is scheduled to take place in Week 5 of Term 3. While the school would dearly love to run PIPE as normal with an audience, this currently seems unlikely. The school will be in touch with you about what will happen with PIPE and other extra-curricular activities as soon as we know.
Learning in a particular subject -Class teacher
Welfare needs - Junior School class teacher, Secondary pastoral care teacher or Secondary Year Coordinator
Overall coordination of remote learning - Junior School - Mr Carter, Secondary School - Mrs Bluhdorn
Transport and logistics - Junior School - Mr Carter, Secondary School - Mr Richardson
Because most staff will be working from home, please send a brief email to the most appropriate person in the table above. Teachers will do their best to respond to parents quickly, although the demands of remote learning may mean that teachers could take longer than they normally would to reply to parents. To reduce the risk of phishing, emails have not been provided on this document. To email a teacher through SEQTA, go to the section called “timetable” then tap the relevant class (eg. 9 Science), then tap the envelope icon. If parents are unable to email a teacher they can phone reception.
- Friday 23 July (Video message: Junior School remote learning reminders)
Here is a short video message with some helpful reminders, as we continue remote learning into next week.
- Friday 23 July (Email to Secondary School Parents: Secondary School remote learning reminders)
We are one week down into remote learning! Congratulations on surviving the week! Read more
- Tuesday 20 July (Email to Junior School Parents: Welcome to Week 1 of Remote Learning)
We hope that your child has been able to access Remote Learning and is able to navigate through the various online learning platforms that we are using, such as Seesaw, Google Sites and Google Classroom. Read more
- Monday 19 July (Email to Parents: Premier Charter Buses - Helensburgh & Stanwell Park)
We have been advised that Premier Charters (Helensburgh & Stanwell Park bus services) will continue to run their school buses as per the normal timetable.
- Monday 19 July 7:45am (SMS to Parents)
We have just received notice from Transdev that there will be no school bus services running until the end of July. All public transport is running on a Sunday timetable. We apologise for the late notice and any inconvenience that this has caused this morning.
- Wednesday 14 July (Email to Parents: From the Principal: Term 3 to commence with remote learning)
The NSW government has decided to continue with the lockdown of the Greater Sydney area. Therefore, Shire Christian School will commence the term with remote teaching and learning. Read more
- Monday 12 July (Email to Parents: Term 3 Arrangements)
While still to be confirmed, it seems likely that the current COVID lockdown will continue next week, resulting in our school returning to remote learning. Should this occur, the school will write to parents by the end of this week to outline arrangements. The Association of Independent Schools (AIS) has advised schools that the current regulations encourage learning from home; however, schools remain open for families who need to send their children to school. Read more
- Monday 12 July (Email to Year 12 Parents and Students: HSC Trial Exams Start Date)
The school will delay the start of the HSC trial exams for at least a week. When specific guidance on the HSC trials is received, the school will advise parents of a future start date for the exams. Read more
- Thursday 24 June (Email to Parents: Updated COVID-19 Restrictions)
As we come to the end of a terrific term at school, the recent changes to COVID-19 restrictions will have a few impacts on the final two days. Read more
- Monday 21 June (Update)
Students travelling to and from school by bus or train are again required to wear masks. This includes during school excursions when travelling by public transport or by chartered transport services. The NSW government has advised “children 12 years and under are exempt but are encouraged to wear masks where practicable.”
- Monday 10 May 12:30pm (Email to parents: COVID-19 restrictions to remain in place until 17 May)
Most of the new COVID-19 restrictions announced last week will remain in place until 12:01am on Monday 17 May. Therefore, students over the age of 12 must continue to wear a mask when travelling to and from school and during school excursions by public transport or by chartered transport services. More information can be found on the NSW advice for families webpage.
- Thursday 6 May 4:00pm (Email to parents: Masks required on school buses tomorrow)
Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced temporary COVID-19 restrictions for Greater Sydney, which include making masks compulsory on public transport.
Therefore, students travelling to and from school by bus or train should once again wear masks tomorrow. The NSW government has advised “children 12 years and under are exempt but are encouraged to wear masks where practicable.” At this stage the restrictions apply until 12:01am on Monday.
More information about how the updated public health order applies to schools can be found here.
We will advise parents of any changes or announcements as they become available.
Our school will continue to care for students by following health advice, while maximising opportunities for students to thrive.
- Thursday 1 April 4:00pm (Newsletter)
Our school will continue to strive to maximise parent and student involvement, while maintaining compliance.
The most recent changes to the regulations effectively mean that we can begin operate almost as we were pre-COVID, while continuing increased hygiene practices. There are still some regulations surrounding social distancing which will influence how we do parent related events and possibly some excursions. We will communicate these changes as events arise.
- Friday 12 March 2:15pm (Email to parents: From the Principal - Transport concerns and COVID update)
I am pleased that we are able to start welcoming back parents to our school site, although with some requirements to ensure we comply with the health guidelines. While we were unfortunately unable to have parents attend our Junior School assembly which was indoors this morning, from next Friday, 19 March, parents of award winners will be welcome to attend our weekly outdoor Junior School assemblies. All visitors to the school site are required to sign in (parent volunteers check in at reception, parents attending an assembly or classroom via the QR codes in the breezeway). Details about parent attendance at other events will be communicated separately. The current pickup and drop off arrangements will remain in place and will be adjusted as communicated by class teachers.
- Friday 5 March 11:00am (Update)
The School Executive will meet early next week to consider the updated COVID-19 regulations and will provide parents and carers with more information by Friday 12 March.
- Thursday 21 January 4:00pm (Email to parents: From the Principal: Welcome to 2021)
This week the NSW Government published guidance for families on how COVID-19 regulations apply to schools. Every student who is 12 years of age or older is legally required to wear a face mask when travelling on trains and buses. Read more
- Monday 18 January 2021 (Update)
Information about the return to school and updated COVID guidelines will be sent by email to parents and posted here by Thursday 21 January.
- Tuesday 25 August 9:00am (Reminder: COVID-19 Negative Test Results)
Any person who displays symptoms of the coronavirus must not attend the school site. Please use the symptom checker to determine if you should be tested. Students cannot return to school until symptoms resolve and a negative test result is received and is provided to the school.
- Wednesday 19 August 3:00pm (Email to parents: A message from the principal: COVID-19 Update)
On Monday the NSW Education Department announced updated requirements for schools to help ensure safety during the COVID environment. Shire Christian School is committed to working within these requirements to plan meaningful and enjoyable activities for our students. Read more
- Thursday 23 July 12:45pm (Email to parents: School Reports and COVID-19 Guidelines)
Our leadership team is investing a significant amount of time to minimise COVID-19 risks to members of the school community. I would like to provide you with some updated information and some important reminders. Read more
- Thursday 2 July 2:10pm (Email to parents: A letter from Principal Brett Hartley)
While I would obviously dearly love for parents, and other adults who have a connection with our school community, to one day be as involved as they were before the outbreak of the pandemic, we still need to take reasonable precautions based on the advice we receive. Read more
- Friday 12 June 3:00pm (Action Plan: In event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 on the school site)
After a successful return to face-to-face learning the school has developed an Action Plan to ensure the school is well prepared in the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 on the school site. If this were to occur parents would be immediately advised by email and SMS and asked to read the planned student exit arrangements.
- Monday 4 May 4:00pm (Video message to parents)
- Friday 1 May 4:15pm (Email to parents – Return to face to face learning plan)
Our leadership team has carefully consulted staff and a substantial number of parents, representing a range of year groups, to determine the best way forward for our school as we transition back to face-to-face learning from Week 3 this term. Read more
- Tuesday 23 April 11:45am (Email to parents - Term 2 arrangements)
I write to remind you of the arrangements for the beginning of next term and also to share with you our considerations for a safe and orderly return to normal face-to-face learning. On Monday 27/4 and Tuesday 28/4 we would prefer that parents only send their children to school if they are not able to make alternative arrangements to look after them at home. From Wednesday 29/4 the remote learning program will continue. The school will increase the number of students coming to school from Week 3 i.e. from Monday 11/5. I will write to you again by no later than Thursday 7/5 to let you know our plan. Read more
- Thursday 9 April 1:15pm (Email to parents)
Thank you for your encouragement and support in what has been an extraordinary term. Staff, students and parents have all worked positively and cooperatively to transition to remote learning. I appreciate the many words of encouragement to our teachers, who have invested countless extra hours to try and create meaningful and engaging lessons. Read more
- Friday 3 April 4:00pm (Video message to Junior School parents)
- Thursday 26 March 12:00pm (Email to Secondary School parents)
To support parents and students we have developed a learning at home poster that I encourage you to have visible in the room where your child is doing their schoolwork. Please note that the period times are slightly different than what is published in the student diary to make it easier to remember when a lesson starts. From next Monday, synchronous online learning will occur where students and teachers will be online at the same time, following these specific times according to your child's timetable. Read more
- Thursday 26 March 12:00pm (Useful links)
The school has developed posters to help students learn at home.
Junior School Poster
Secondary School Poster
- Tuesday 24 March 10:00am (Email to parents - School Attendance Record)
As I communicated in my email to you yesterday, the NSW Premier has encouraged parents to keep their children at home from today if possible. Our parents can choose to send their children to school or have them learn from home. Students will be completing the same school work, regardless of whether they are supervised at school or at home. My email yesterday gave guidance as to how students can access our online learning programs. I’m confident that the innovative lessons our teachers are preparing will ensure your child continues to receive a quality, caring Christian education. Read more
- Monday 23 March 2:00pm (Email to parents)
Following the Premier's press conference, the school executive and the chairman of the school board met to discuss how our school can continue to provide high-quality learning and care for our students. Read more
- Monday 23 March 10:00am (Update)
Our Principal Mr Brett Hartley intends to send an email to all school parents by 1:00pm today to provide further clarity on how our school will proceed in coming days. This email will take into account the Prime Minister's comments late last night and the NSW Premier's comments at a press conference at 8:00am this morning.
- Sunday 22 March (Email to parents)
You may be aware that the National Cabinet is meeting tonight to discuss further measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), including the likely closure of NSW schools from Tuesday. The information provided today is substantially different to the advice they provided to us at the end of last week. This afternoon our executive staff developed a plan based on the assumption that the government will close schools from Tuesday. Read more
- Friday 20 March 3:30pm (From the Principal: A Christian Response to COVID-19)
As we face the challenges of risks to our health, risks to our employment security and finances and as we carry the burden of caring for those close to us, what does the Bible teach us about facing these challenges? Read more
- Friday 20 March 3:30pm (Newsletter - Online learning in Secondary School)
Teachers are continuing to provide meaningful engaging lessons, catering for students who are working remotely and also preparing for the likelihood of a school closure at some point in the future. Every class should now have a Google Classroom that your child has been invited to join and where students will find coursework to complete. Read more
- Friday 20 March 3:30pm (Newsletter - Managing Online Learning in Junior School)
We are certainly in unusual and challenging times. As a learning community we are finding ourselves planning and implementing for a situation that we have never done before. At the moment, our teachers have been working really hard to prepare and teach effective lessons at school as well as post work online and prepare for online learning for future weeks. There’s been new things to learn and we are doing the very best we can to cater for all learners in these circumstances. Please be patient with us as we work together to deliver an engaging online Christian education. Your child’s health, wellbeing and academic progression is important to us. Read more
- Friday 20 March 10:30am
If you haven’t already advised us that your child/children are staying at home at the moment because of risks posed by the coronavirus, please advise us using this google form. Students who are learning at home can access learning through the Junior School Hub or subject specific Google Classroom sites. Because teachers’ workloads have increased substantially as they continue to teach children who come to school, provide work for those who are at home and prepare for a possible school closure, teachers will not be able to send personal emails to parents providing work for students who are self-isolating.
- Monday 16 March 7:00pm (Email to parents)
The Federal Government's strategy to manage the public health threats posed by the coronavirus include safe hygiene practices, social distancing, stating that gatherings of more than 500 people should not occur and requiring anyone arriving in Australia to self-isolate for 2 weeks. The school received formal advice from the NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Chant, last night that schools should remain open. In response to that advice, and other reliable sources of information, the school executive met for a substantial amount of time this morning to determine how the school will respond to the challenges the coronavirus has placed on us. Read more
- Monday 16 March 8:00am (Useful links)
- The latest Department of Health information
- Information for schools and early childhood centres, students and parents
- If a community member suspects they, a family member or someone else has coronavirus they should call (not visit) their GP or ring the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
- Friday 13 March 3:18pm (Email to parents)
Our school is referencing reliable information from the relevant authorities to make wise decisions to ensure the health and safety of our school community in relation to the coronavirus (COVID19). We are very conscious of the need for excellent hygiene practices across the school and are reinforcing good personal hygiene habits with our students and staff. If the school did need to close, we are well prepared to operate remotely including using online learning tools such as Google Classroom. We will communicate with parents via SMS and email. Please continue to pray that the virus will be controlled, that those who contract it will recover and the economic impact will not be too great. Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
- Sunday 8 March 9:42am (Email to parents)
In Friday's newsletter article I wrote about the coronavirus and the steps that the school is taking in response to concerns about the virus. I would appreciate all parents reading this article. It is also important that all parents read the most recent advice from the Australian Government Department of Health. I very much appreciate the prayerful, measured and helpful approach our parents have taken to the virus to date. Thank you for your support.
Mr Brett Hartley
- Friday 6 March 4:00pm (Newsletter)
Talk of the coronavirus (COVID19) is widespread in the Australian community. While some people might joke or shake their heads in disbelief that supermarkets have run out of toilet paper, the risks associated with the virus mean that schools need to respond appropriately to reduce the risk of members of the school community contracting the virus when they are on the school site or at a school activity. Read more