CLAREMONT COLLEGE

Coronavirus Update

COVID Update for Families Isolating - 26/11/21

Dear Parents and Carers,

FOR FAMILIES CURRENTLY ISOLATING (CLOSE CONTACT)

You may be aware, the NSW Government announced changes to the isolation requirements for students who are deemed a close contact in a school setting. Once again, this has brought some confusion to us all. For our Year 1 and Year 3 cohorts, we have received advice from NSW Health and we have simplified the requirements below;

Before Monday 29 November

  • Continue to isolate over the weekend.
  • Please complete your day 12 PCR test on Sunday 28 November and email the result to covidinfo@claremont.nsw.edu.au 
  • Do not do the RAHT testing Saturday and Sunday.

From Monday 29 November

  • NSW Health has advised us that the ‘close contact’ students continue with RAHT testing Monday and Tuesday morning by 7:30am. No further testing is required from Wednesday onwards. 
  • Your child/ren do not need to isolate on Monday and Tuesday after school.
  • Your child/ren can attend TeamKids, and also catch the school bus if required.

Some Year 1 parents have received a phone call from NSW Health to say that their time of isolation finishes at 12 midnight on Wednesday 1 December. THIS IS INCORRECT. Please refer to the timeframes provided above. 

Please return all spare RAHT kits to the school office on Wednesday at the latest, or you can hand these to a staff member on carlines if you have your name on a post-it note on the box. These will be incredibly important for families should we experience a positive case in the future.

Please read today's newsletter for further information. Thank you for being such a patient, understanding and cooperative parent community. We appreciate you!

Alanna James & Doug Thomas


Latest Update - 25/11/21

Dear Parents and Carers,

Today, NSW Health confirmed that the additional positive case announced on Friday who attended TeamKids on Tuesday 16 November and Wednesday 17 November, is a false-positive

This update impacts:

  • TeamKids close contacts
  • Year 1
  • Year 3 students who attended TeamKids

TeamKids Close Contacts

  • Your child is no longer deemed a 'close contact'.
  • Your child does not need to isolate, UNLESS they are a sibling of Year 1 or Year 3.
  • Your child does NOT need to do the RAHT testing each morning. If they are isolating with a 'close contact' sibling, only the close contact will complete the RAHT.
  • Please return your RAHT kit to the office at your earliest convenience.

Year 1 students

  • Your isolation period will return to the original dates 17 November - midnight 30 November. Please refer to the first communication you received from NSW Health on Thursday 18 November.
  • If you have opted-in for the RAHT program, you will need to continue this each 'school day' morning by 7:15am. 
  • Your last RAHT test will be on Tuesday 30 November.

Year 3 students who attended TeamKids 

  • Your isolation period will return to the original dates 17 November - midnight 30 November. Please refer to the first communication you received from NSW Health on Thursday 18 November.
  • If you have opted-in for the RAHT program, you will need to continue this each 'school day' morning by 7:15am. 
  • Your last RAHT test will be on Tuesday 30 November.

We are pleased to share that the RAHT process has gone smoothly so far, and it is wonderful to have many of our learners back onsite. 

Reminders

  • Please complete your 'close contact' child's RAHT before 7:15am in the morning. ONLY the close contact child/ren complete the RAHT.
  • 7:30am is the cut-off for entering your child/ren's result
  • Please email office@claremont.nsw.edu.au if your child was registered to complete the RAHT and attend school, but will not be attending onsite for whatever reason (eg. unwell).

Thank you again for your ongoing support, understanding and cooperation. 

Alanna James & Doug Thomas

Dear Parents and Carers,

Thank you for your support with the safe collection of our RAHT kits. We are incredibly excited to have many of our students back on campus. We have outlined some important information in regards to the RAHT testing which starts tomorrow for Group 1, and Thursday for Group 2.

If your child has been deemed a close contact and you are choosing NOT to do the RAHT option, have you notified the school? If not, please complete this form

For people who are participating in the RAHT option, please read the following information carefully.

  • Once you log your child/ren's RAHT result in the morning, the school can access that information via the Dep. of Education portal.
  • Please complete your 'close contact' child's RAHT test BEFORE 7:15am in the morning.  Reminder: ONLY the close contact student/s is to complete the RAHT.
  • 7:30am is the cut-off for entering your child's result.
  • From 7:30am our staff will be ensuring that you have completed the RAHT test, as well as checking the results.
  • We have been told that there can be a lag time of up to 30 minutes from when you submit your result on the app to receiving a receipt of your submission. Please do not ring the school with your results, the school can access these almost immediately and we can check our records when you drop your child/ren off. 
  • Please drop your children at your regular gate, either Judge St or Coogee Bay Rd. The staff wearing orange vests on the gates are our COVID check-in marshalls. Please direct your child/ren to them.
  • Today, we conducted a trial with the app and it went well. We are confident that tomorrow will be successful. Please don’t wait after dropping your child off, as this will only block the flow of traffic. We will call you immediately if there is a problem. 
  • As always, we will evaluate the process and let you know if there needs to be any modifications for the subsequent days. 
  • If you receive a positive RAHT result, please email a.james@claremont.nsw.edu.au directly, and I will endeavour to contact you as soon as possible.

For all close contacts:

Reminder, as you receive your day 6 PCR test result (not RAHT result), please email this to covidinfo@claremont.nsw.edu.au

Thank you all for being such a supportive parent community. This RAHT process is a new process for us all, so please remember to be patient and calm as we navigate this together. 

Please take care.

Alanna James & Doug Thomas

RAHT Kits now available for collection - 23/11/21

RAHT Kits are now available for all who require them. Please collect them from the school office anytime between now and 5:00pm today.

RAHT Information Update - 22 November 2021

This applies to the families who will require access to the Rapid Antigen Home Testing (RAHT) Kits.

  • You are welcome to join us on Zoom for an information and Q&A session commencing at 4:30pm
  • Here is the Zoom Link - https://tascmeet.zoom.us/j/872...
  • If you are going to participate in this program, please complete the Opt In link found in yesterday's communications preferably by 4:00pm today (we understand if you are still undecided).
  • The RAHT Kit collection times will be announced tomorrow via an app alert.

RAHT Information - 21/11/21

Dear School Community

Emails have been sent to families who require information about access to the Rapid Antigen Home Testing (RAHT) Program. Please check your emails if this applies to you.

Update Posted - 19/11/21

Dear Parents and Carers,

Claremont College has been advised by NSW Health that an additional member of the school community affecting TeamKids have tested positive for COVID-19.

We are currently undertaking contact tracing and hope to receive the determinations from NSW Health within the next 24 hours. Students who are currently isolating as a close contact, are not included in this process and therefore will not receive any communication from NSW Health.

All staff and students who attended TeamKids on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon of this week, 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

The school will continue to work closely with NSW Health to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff are maintained. Additionally, as an independent service provider, TeamKids operates under the direction of a separate regulator. Therefore, parents who are clients of TeamKids will receive additional communications directly from TeamKids admin office. 

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

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.

Mr Doug Thomas & Mrs Alanna James

Dear Parents and Carers,

After receiving confirmation from NSW Health at approximately 9pm, with our communications ready to be sent immediately to you, we were confronted with a technology glitch that resulted in an ‘outbox freezing’. My team and I have been working into the early hours of the morning to ensure that you receive this information as quickly as possible. I offer my sincerest apologies for the confusion and upset this has caused. As I see a good number of emails coming through to the office, we will do our very best to reply either individually across the day, or collectively through this afternoon’s newsletter.

Yesterday, the school worked closely with NSW Health to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff is maintained. This work included identifying close contacts of the confirmed cases. We have now notified the parents of students who have been identified as close contacts by NSW Health. These students have been informed to self-isolate for the required period.

If you did not receive any specific communication this means your child/ren are not a close contact and can return to school on Monday 22 November. Our school has been thoroughly cleaned and is ready for students who are not isolating to return next week. 

Information for those deemed close contacts:

  • Please follow the directions from NSW Health regarding self-isolation requirements outlined in the email you received this evening.
  • Unvaccinated household members of the students must also isolate, this includes Claremont siblings.
  • For siblings who attend another school or preschool, we advise that you contact the school in order to both inform them of this situation, and to follow their COVID-19 procedures and policies.
  • Fully vaccinated household members do not need to isolate, but must not attend high risk settings: health care, aged care, disability care, early childhood centres, primary school and correctional facilities.
  • Parents/carers do not need to co-isolate with their child i.e. they can leave the home to attend work, but they should not enter a high-risk setting (see above) for the duration of their child/ren’s isolation period.
  • The school is working closely with AIS to explore the use of Rapid Antigen Testing for children in isolation. We will keep you informed as this information comes our way.

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.

Please remember the importance of privacy and confidentiality in this situation. Due to the NSW Health Records Act, the school is not permitted to release any information regarding the cohorts or individuals impacted by COVID-19. Speculation and requests regarding this information are unhelpful at this time. 

Further information on COVID-19 close contacts can be found here and please contact the school if we can further assist you in any way.

Please read tomorrow's newsletter for updates and information regarding the return to school next week. 

Yours sincerely,
Mr Doug Thomas
Principal

Latest Update - 18/11/21

Dear Parents,

We are writing to provide you with an update regarding the positive COVID-19 cases that were reported yesterday evening. 

Today, we have been following all processes and protocols mandated by NSW Health. This has included:

  • Communication with all stakeholders about the positive cases, and the requirements to self-isolate until further notice.
  • Deep cleaning of all learning spaces, offices, stairways and hard surfaces throughout the school. This cleaning process has been conducted according to the standards set out by Work Safe Australia COVID-19 cleaning.
  • A thorough and detailed contact tracing process commenced by NSW Health.

At this stage, we are still waiting for the determinations from NSW Health. Given the uncertainty of the situation, and the need for families to plan, the school will be non-operational tomorrow Friday 19 November. This will allow time for staff to receive the results of their COVID-19 tests and to prepare for the possibility of Off Campus Learning, or other necessary arrangements for next week. Until we hear from NSW Health, the Public Health Order mandates that we are not to make any further decisions. 

We provide the reminder that it is NSW Health, not the school who determines the contact status of all individuals including siblings and immediate family/household members. There have been requests made by parents for details regarding the positive cases, including the specific grade cohorts that have been impacted. Due to the NSW Health Records Act, we are not permitted to release this information and we ask that you respect the privacy and confidentiality surrounding this situation.  

We understand this is a very challenging situation for everyone involved. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all work together. Tomorrow’s newsletter will provide further updates including information regarding the collection of devices should this be required next week. 

If you have any specific challenges or personal confidential situations, please email a.james@claremont.nsw.edu.au 

Thank you, and please take care.

Alanna James
Acting Deputy Principal

Update Posted - 17/11/21

Dear Claremont Community,

I would like to confirm with you that members of our school community have tested positive for COVID-19.  

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

TeamKids will also be non-operational during this time. 

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

There is no requirement to get a COVID-19 test at this time unless you are unwell. 

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. 

The 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.

During this time, while the students do not have their devices at home, they can complete the non-screen learning activities attached to this email. 

We will inform you of any further updates as they come to hand. 

Thank you for your ongoing support.

The Senior Leadership Team

Alanna James
Acting Deputy Principal

Update Posted - 3/11/21

Dear Parents,

We have been notified that The Scots College campus Years 5 - 12 will be closed until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 case. 

The safety of our Claremont community is paramount, therefore we are asking all siblings of Scots students to stay home and return to school once they have a negative COVID-19 test result, and email a copy of the result to office@claremont.nsw.edu.au

In line with NSW Health guidelines, we ask that any Claremont students or family members who are experiencing 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 get tested immediately, and only return to school with a negative COVID-19 test result.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with this situation.

Alanna James
Acting Deputy Principal

Latest Update - 14/10/21

Dear Parents,

Thank you for taking the time to complete the ‘Return to School’ survey last week. We had responses from approximately 70% of families in our community, which has given us an insight into parents’ current considerations and concerns. Understandably, there are many differing viewpoints and opinions within our community, some of which are polar opposite views. Our intention in this document is to address your questions, issues and concerns to the best of our ability with the current understanding of the policies and other information at hand. As we apply the NSW Health Guidelines and advice from the Association of Independent Schools NSW, we do so according to the context of our school, and what is reasonable and practicable to implement. 

Vaccination: 

With regards to vaccinations - 

  • All staff, volunteers, casual teachers or others working onsite will be fully vaccinated from 18 October, when students start returning to school.
  • As a school, we encourage all parents and students aged 12 years + to be vaccinated.
  • In the instance that a parent must come onto the school site for an essential purpose, proof of vaccination must be sighted. 

Facemasks:

  • NSW Health ‘strongly recommends’ students wear facemasks to school. Therefore, we will encourage all students to wear facemasks at all times. Children will be reminded throughout the day to wear their facemask by staff, and we would ask you to pack a spare mask in their school bag. As with all personal belongings, please label with your child/ren’s name. 
  • We understand and respect that a parent may choose for their child not to wear a facemask. Reasons for this may include experience of anxiety and distress, have a medical reason or disability. Teachers will be aware of children who are not wearing facemasks and will foster a classroom environment of respect and understanding.
  • It is mandatory for all staff and adults to wear facemasks when onsite.

Safety Measures:

  • If a student child is displaying symptoms such as a runny nose, cough, fever, headaches, sore throat, parents will be contacted and asked to facilitate their child having a COVID-19 test. Your child will only be able to return to school once they have received a negative test result. All test results need to be sent to office@claremont.nsw.edu.au before the child presents to school.
  • Regular hand washing and sanitising will be part of the daily routine, particularly after going to the bathroom, recess and lunch times. Additional hand sanitiser dispensers are being installed in all learning spaces to facilitate hand sanitising practices.
  • There will be additional cleaning services from recess onwards. Our cleaners will be focusing on reducing the risk associated with contact surfaces, so will be wiping down desks, door handles, railings, bathrooms, kitchens and other shared areas in all learning spaces and around the school.
  • Bifold doors and windows in our learning spaces will be opened daily to maximise natural ventilation.  
  • Air purifiers with HEPA filters have been purchased and are being installed in all learning spaces next week. The number of HEPA filters required for each classroom is calculated by the volume (cubic square metres) of the space. We are working in collaboration with both technicians from Samsung Australia and Clean Air Schools Australia to ensure that we have the correct number of units for all spaces. 
  • HEPA air filters are part of a multifaceted approach to minimising COVID-19 airborne particles (the virus is in a water droplet). The air purifiers also filter bushfire smoke and other pollutants. In May this year, four monitors (three inside and one outside) were installed to measure the air quality at Claremont. The research team from UNSW will be using the  data collected from these monitors to measure the effectiveness of the new HEPA units.
  • Separating cohorts by grade will be implemented where practicable for our school. Children within the learning spaces will be spread out with teachers minimising the number of children gathered together in one space, including whole class situations, where viable.
  • Whilst our co-teaching model incorporates larger class sizes, our learning spaces facilitate greater social distancing (students per sqm) than traditional classrooms. Additionally, our spaces have been designed to maximise cross ventilation. Most classrooms have adjacent balconies and outdoor areas, which will be used as extensions of the classrooms and to maximise ventilation.
  • As mentioned, we will be minimising the crossover and mingling of cohorts and  gatherings of students and we will also be following the guidelines set by the Level 3 Plus restrictions. Therefore until further notice there will be no:
    • Chapel and assemblies
    • singing, chanting and choirs
    • offsite school sport 
    • bands and ensembles
    • inter-school activities and events including interschool sport, gala days
    • school performances, productions, concerts, speech nights and award presentations (Our Year 6 Valedictory Dinner will go ahead offsite on 3 December)
    • excursions and camps (possible CRU day camp TBC)
    • community events
  • There will be staggered recess and lunch times in place for Infants and Primary.
  • Next week, school drop off and pick up for Kindergarten and Year 1 will remain as normal. Arrangements for the following week, when we see all year groups return, will be outlined in next week’s newsletter, on the 22 October.
  • Please take care to follow signage around the school regarding social distancing, hygiene practices and protocols for dropping off or collecting your children throughout the day. This includes refraining from entering the Office and waiting outside so we can assist you in a manner that respects everyone’s safety. We are conscious of the importance of connection and that we have been missing those incidental interactions in our lives at the moment. However, please do not congregate at the school gates at any time including school pick up or drop off. 

Positive Case Response:

  • When the school is informed of a positive case in our school community, we immediately follow NSW Health directives and advice. 
  • If there is a positive case within our school community, NSW Health is the key decision maker and they begin the process of contact tracing. 
  • NSW Health contact people who they deem to be close or casual contacts and the subsequent health requirements of individuals impacted.
  • NSW Health determines the length of isolation for those deemed to be close contacts. 
  • Currently, NSW Health is reviewing the status of ‘close contacts’ in a school setting. We will keep you updated as soon as that information comes to hand.  
  • If the school is notified during school hours that a member of the school community has tested positive, NSW Health and the AISNSW will assist us to determine whether the school needs to be closed for contact tracing and deep cleaning. This process is completely determined by the specifics of each individual situation. 
  • Depending on the situation, our Off Campus Learning model may be implemented to ensure the continuation of student learning and wellbeing for all involved.

Off Campus Learning (OCL)

  • It is important to understand that if you choose to keep your child at home, the OCL model will look different to OCL during lockdown. 
  • The majority of our students are returning to school onsite, therefore our teachers will be required to be face-to-face teaching and assisting students with settling back into their school routines and environment. 
  • Please read Mrs Ford’s article in tomorrow’s newsletter regarding details of the OCL program for those not returning to school.

If you are NOT intending for your child to return to face-to-face learning at school on their allocated date, please email the office so we can inform the classroom teachers, and to assist us with our attendance records.

Tomorrow in the Newsletter there will also be some other updates relating to practical day to day information including an important document outlining how you can support your child’s transition back to school.  

Please note, as always, the information above may change based on further updates from the NSW Government. With this, we thank you for your support as we navigate the complexities and challenges of this situation. 

Alanna James
Acting Deputy Principal

Update Posted - 7/10/21

Dear Parents,

Today, the NSW Government adjusted the roadmap for the return of students to school. Each year group will return on the following dates:

Monday 18 Oct (Week 3) - Kindergarten and Y1
Monday 25 Oct (Week 4) - Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6

In the newsletter tomorrow there will be a survey link to assist us with our planning for the teaching and learning of students as they return onsite. We appreciate there may be questions and concerns, therefore we will provide an opportunity for you to express these in this survey. We will do our best to respond through our communications next week. 

As a school, we are excited to be preparing for the safe return of students in line with the NSW Health Guidelines. 
Please take care and stay safe.

Alanna James
Acting Deputy Principal

Update Posted - 23/9/21

Dear staff, parents and school community,

I am pleased to inform you of an exciting safety and research initiative for Claremont College. 

Commencing in May of this year, we partnered with Associate Professor Donna Green from Clean Air Schools, University of NSW, to measure the concentrations of indoor and outdoor air pollution from bushfire smoke and road pollution around the school. To see more information about this project, please go to: www.cleanairschools.com.au . Four monitors (three inside and one outside) were installed around the school prior to the lockdown. 

You may be aware that with the return of students to school in late October, there is currently much discussion in the media around the use of air purifiers with HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters in schools. These portable systems have been shown through considerable research to effectively filter and purify air in classrooms and other shared spaces. Since the current lockdown there has been national interest and a concerted effort by many to encourage the installation of HEPA units in all Australian classrooms. This week, the Victorian Government has announced that all State schools will have HEPA units installed in all classrooms prior to students returning to school.

I am pleased to advise you that in partnership with Samsung Australia, Claremont will install HEPA units across the school (in classrooms, staff common areas and other shared spaces). We anticipate taking delivery before the students begin to return to school, commencing 25th October. These units will complement our existing air quality measures that include the design of our learning spaces which promote ventilation and the cross flow of natural air. As you know, our internal learning spaces have been designed to promote connectivity to outdoor balconies and other learning areas.

Because of the existing air pollution monitors already installed, we will be able to check the effectiveness of these HEPA filters in reducing the amount of air pollution in the indoor spaces over the coming year. The project is also interested in developing STEM training using these air quality observations with our students over the coming year.

To give you a heads up, you may see me talking about this on Channel 9’s Evening News tomorrow, and possibly 60 Minutes on Sunday as well. 

The use of these filters demonstrates our commitment to safety as we plan for the students and staff returning to school next term. This plays a small but significant part, when coupled with the other risk mitigation measures that we will have in place. As mentioned in last week’s newsletter, we will provide further details both on Friday 1st October (in our Pre-Term Newsletter) and no doubt, closer to the 25th October as well. At this stage my team is working hard in our preparation.

We will certainly provide opportunities for ongoing parent consultation in regard to students returning to school across Term 4. I know that we will all have many questions – many of which will have answers and solutions found in the strength of the collaboration, innovation and compassion that lies at the heart of our school.

In the meantime, I pray that you are having a safe and relaxing break. 

Sincerely,

Doug Thomas
Principal

Update Posted - 15/9/21

Dear Claremont College Community,

Today, we were advised by NSW Health that an additional member of our school community has tested positive for COVID-19. This case is linked to a previous positive case, and all close contacts have already been determined by NSW Health and are self-isolating. 

A reminder to all families and staff, if you have heard from NSW Health that you are a close or casual contact, and when you receive a COVID test result, please let me know via kc.rochester@claremont.nsw.edu.au

Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding. 

Mr Doug Thomas
Principal

Update Posted - 13/9/21

Dear Claremont College Community,

Today, we have been advised by NSW Health that an additional member of our school community has tested positive for COVID-19. In our discussions with the authorities they are anticipating that the COVID-19 cases should now be contained. If any further cases arise, they will most likely be linked to members of the households with current positive cases, or with individuals who have been determined by NSW Health to be a close contact. With this news however, it is important to continue to remain vigilant and to get tested even if you have the slightest of symptoms. Please also be mindful that transmission within our local community is currently prevalent, so please take care at all times.

A reminder to all families and staff, if you have heard from NSW Health that you are a close or casual contact, and when you receive a COVID test result, please let me know via kc.rochester@claremont.nsw.edu.au

My best wishes and prayers are with you all. 

Mr Doug Thomas
Principal

Update Posted - 13/9/21

Dear Claremont College Community, 

Please see attached letter from Dr Marc Williams, Chair of the Claremont College School Council.

Regards,
Claremont

Update Posted - 12/9/21

Dear Claremont College Community,

Further to yesterday’s news, we want to inform you that an additional two members of our school community have tested positive for COVID-19.

A reminder to all families and staff, if you have heard from NSW Health that you are a close or casual contact, and when you receive a COVID test result, please let the principal know via kc.rochester@claremont.nsw.edu.au.

NSW Health has requested anyone who has been unwell or if you develop any symptoms such as a headache, 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 clinics, even if you initially received a negative result.

As mentioned in the newsletter, our school will be non-operational for the onsite attendance of students and staff this week. Off Campus Learning will continue as normal. 

We are pleased to let you know that all people who have tested positive across this past week, have told us that they are experiencing only minor symptoms at this stage. The leadership team has been in constant communication and all have appreciated the support from the wider school community. We thank the many people who have reached out to the school with their prayers, best wishes and offers to help.

Please take care and reach out if you need support. 

Mr Doug Thomas
Principal

Update Posted - 11/9/21

Dear Claremont College Community,

We have been advised today by NSW Health that two additional members of our school community have tested positive for COVID-19. These two people are immediate family members of a student, and not linked to a current case at Claremont College. 

A reminder to all families and staff, if you have heard from NSW Health that you are a close or casual contact, and when you receive a COVID test result, please let the principal know via kc.rochester@claremont.nsw.edu.au.

If you have not yet read yesterday’s newsletter, please do so for further information. We are wishing our school community the very best.

Mr Doug Thomas
Principal

Update Posted - 10/9/21

As you are aware from our communications this week, we have been advised by NSW Health that members of our school community have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Our school site was non-operational today for the on-site attendance of students, staff and visitors to allow time for contact tracing and cleaning. 

NSW Health requests that all students who attended school this week 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 headache, 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.

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

We understand and appreciate your concerns and requests for information in relation to positive COVID cases within our school community. NSW Health and privacy legislation mandates that we cannot share any information regarding the details of positive cases. If you become aware of individual cases, please keep this confidential out of respect for those involved.

Clarity Around The Process

To help you understand the process, we have been informed that NSW Health will contact people directly about the determination of whether they are a close or casual contact. This is not the school’s decision and we have been told that NSW Health will contact parents/staff prior to informing the school. The school is not in a position to share information about the status of individuals with others.

We are in the potentially confusing situation where there have been COVID notifications to NSW Health (within 24 hours) based on 2 potential exposure time-frames, each requiring separate contact tracing.

  • Monday and Tuesday
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (yesterday).

This means if your children were at school on all four days you will receive two notifications from NSW Health. 

Due to this situation, we expect that the school will operate Off Campus Learning ONLY for all students through to the end of term. This means that no students or staff will be onsite next week. If this presents a challenge to you based on your circumstances, please contact the principal via kc.rochester@claremont.nsw.edu.au. If NSW Health advises otherwise, we will keep you updated.

An announcement will be made as soon as possible regarding TeamKids next week. A separate determination will be made in relation to the vacation care program. 

Important Reminders:

  • If any member of your family receives a positive COVID test, please inform the Principal via kc.rochester@claremont.nsw.edu.au
  • If you are determined to be a close contact (ie. by direct notification from NSW Health), please remember you must self-isolate for 14 days, even if you are feeling well or receive a negative COVID test. Please inform the Principal via kc.rochester@claremont.nsw.edu.au
  • If you are determined to be a casual contact  (ie. by direct notification from NSW Health), please remember to self-isolate until you receive a negative COVID test. Please inform the Principal via kc.rochester@claremont.nsw.edu.au
  • If you are finding this information confusing please contact the school via email a.james@claremont.nsw.edu.au and I can assist you. 

On behalf of the Senior Leadership Team, we wish you all the best over the weekend. Please take care of yourselves and each other. You are all in our prayers.

Mrs Alanna James Acting Deputy Principal

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT 10/9/21

Dear Claremont College Community,

Claremont College has been advised by NSW Health that two additional members of our school community have tested positive for COVID-19.

As previously advised our school site will be non-operational today for the on-site attendance of students, staff and visitors to allow time for contact tracing and cleaning.

All staff and students who attended this school this week 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.

The College will continue to work closely with NSW Health to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff are maintained.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff are of paramount importance to us. 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.

Mr Doug Thomas
Principal

Update Posted - 9/9/21

Dear Claremont College Community,

Claremont College has been advised by NSW Health that a member of the school community has tested positive for COVID-19.

Our school site will be non-operational on Friday 10 September 2021 for the on-site attendance of students, staff and visitors to allow time for contact tracing and cleaning.

All staff and students who attended our school this week on Tuesday 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

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

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

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.

Mr Doug Thomas
Principal

Update Posted - 27/8/21

Dear Parents,

Today, the Premier announced updates regarding students returning to school. This information is a ‘road map’ for students returning, however as we have learnt, things can change rapidly based on the NSW Health advice. At this stage, the following plan has been outlined by the NSW Government:

  • Students will continue Off Campus Learning for the first 3 weeks of Term 4
  • Kindergarten and Year 1 to return to school on the 25th October
  • Year 2 and Year 6 to return on the 1st November
  • Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5 to return on the 8th November

Whilst it is pleasing to have a plan in place for students returning to school, we anticipate there will be ongoing commentary over the coming weeks about the specifics of this plan and how the various educational authorities will direct the logistics and implementation. Therefore, we will provide you with specific details about students returning to school once we are confident that we have the measures in place to ensure a safe transition for our students, in our context. At this time, we are waiting to receive details around the State Government announcement regarding the vaccination of staff and others. Once we have the clarity needed, we will provide further details as soon as possible. In the meantime thank you for your patience and ongoing trust.

We know that there will be many different emotions and reactions to this latest update. We are here to support our Claremont families and continue providing quality education through our Off Campus Learning model. 

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.  Thank you also for your ongoing support and vigilance in keeping our school community safe.

Alanna James
Acting Deputy Principal

Update Posted - 20/8/21 - 4:30pm

Dear Parents,

Today, the Premier announced an extended lockdown for Greater Sydney until the end of September. In response to the evolving Delta outbreak, NSW will extend the current lockdown in Greater Sydney until the end of September, and introduce new rules targeting the local government areas of concern, where the vast majority of new cases are emerging. Please refer to the NSW Health website for further details regarding these restrictions. 

Due to this lockdown extension, students will continue Off Campus Learning for the remainder of Term 3, with updates regarding Term 4 to be announced by the Premier next week. While this news may not be surprising, the reality of this situation is still challenging and overwhelming for many members of our school community. Despite the challenges working from home, and supporting your child with OCL brings, we ask you to please keep your children at home unless you are an authorised worker. Our main priority is to keep our Claremont community as safe as possible, and this means minimising the number of students and staff onsite. Thank you for your ongoing vigilance with this.

At times, it is hard to make sense of the ever changing rules and restrictions in place, however one message from the NSW Government has been consistently clear - stay home and get vaccinated. We encourage all members of our Claremont community to do these two things, and hopefully we will begin to see the easing of restrictions in the not too distant future. 

To all of our families, we are here for you and we are thinking of you. Our Off Campus Learning model will continue to provide quality education for your child, and as a school we will continue to support all members of our community. Please refer to this communication guide if you have any concerns or questions.

Thank you once again for your support and understanding. Please take care and stay safe.

Alanna James
Acting Deputy Principal

Update Posted - 15/8/21 - 4:30pm

Dear Parents,

This weekend, the NSW Government informed us of further restrictions in order to minimise the growing outbreak of Coronavirus across New South Wales. 

In Greater Sydney and other lockdown areas, the 10 kilometre rule will be reduced from 12.01am Monday, August 16, with shopping, exercise and outdoor recreation to be done in a person’s local government area (LGA) or, if outside their LGA, within 5 kilometres of home. LGAs of concern must still exercise and shop within 5 kilometres from home only (NSW Health).

The situation in New South Wales and Greater Sydney has become incredibly serious and concerning and we all have a part to play in keeping our community safe. The consistent message from the NSW Government is to stay at home. 

Given this information, we expect to see a decrease in the number of students attending Claremont onsite this week. As a school, we have asked staff working beyond 5km of Claremont to work from home. As a result, the number of staff available to supervise onsite has minimised further. This decision has been made to prioritise the health and safety of our students and staff. We are grateful to our staff for their flexibility and dedication to student learning and wellbeing during these most challenging of circumstances.

If you have registered for your child to be onsite this week, we ask you to strongly reconsider sending your child, especially if Claremont College is outside of the 5km radius from your home. Please remember the onsite supervision is for parents who are authorised workers and have no other option but to send their child to school. The purpose of this Level 4 restriction is to minimise the mingling of people from various areas, and to thus reduce transmission of infection.

We have been incredibly grateful to our Claremont families for adhering to the ongoing restrictions, and we now ask you again to be vigilant with these latest updates. We understand working from home and supporting your child with Off Campus Learning is challenging, but we are all navigating this situation together, and doing what is best for our school community. Please refer to our Weekly Newsletter and previous communications about ways in which we can support you and your family. We will certainly keep you updated should we receive further updates from NSW Health or other authorities.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact either myself or Kathy-Clare Rochester to discuss. We are thinking of you all and praying for your safety and wellbeing during this challenging time.

Alanna James
Acting Deputy Principal

Update Posted - 12/8/21 - 4:00pm

Dear Parents,

This morning the Premier announced further LGAs of concern, with one of those LGAs being Bayside. NSW Health has identified a higher level of community transmission of COVID-19 in the Bayside area, and therefore greater restrictions are to be introduced from 5pm today, 12 August.

At Claremont we have a number of families and staff who live in an LGA of concern. Claremont has asked that these staff members work from home. If you are an authorised worker living in the Bayside area, and have no other option but to send your child to school, we ask that you contact a member of the Senior Leadership Team to discuss your circumstance, and that you provide a negative COVID-19 test prior to your child attending. This decision has been made to limit the potential health risk to our school, considering many of our staff are not fully vaccinated yet, and to keep our school operating for students and families who need it.

We understand that this situation may cause many families added stress and concern, however please know that we are here to help and support you and your family. All of the decisions made throughout this time are done with the safety of our Claremont community at the forefront of our minds. 

If your child/ren requires onsite supervision for next week, a form will be sent out shortly to complete. 

If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. We truly appreciate everyone’s support, kindness and understanding as we all work together to keep our Claremont community as safe as possible.

Alanna James
Acting Deputy Principal

Update Posted - 28/7/21 - 3:15pm

Dear Parents,

Today, the NSW Government announced a 4 week extension of the lockdown for the Greater Sydney region, meaning a further 4 weeks of Off Campus Learning for our school community. Whilst we understand this is a challenging situation for families, please be assured that we are here to continue supporting your family, and providing quality education for our Claremont students. 

This week's newsletter will outline further details regarding Off Campus Learning for Week 4 and beyond. Please read the newsletter to ensure you are aware of the structures and support in place for your child. Our newsletter is the key source of communication for our school, so please take the time to read it each week. 

The NSW Government has outlined 'Parents and carers in Greater Sydney must keep children – across primary and secondary school – at home unless they need to be at school.'  We urge parents to keep their children home unless both parents are unable to work from home, or have a reason to leave home that is in line with the NSW Public Health Order. The more students we have on site, the more staff that are required, which can then impact their ability to teach online. If you do need to send your child to school next week, a form will be sent out for you to complete. Thank you for your understanding with this.

We are incredibly thankful to our Claremont community for the support and gratitude that has been extended to our staff. In times like these, it is important that we come together and unite, to understand that everyone is doing the best they can in the situation they are facing, and to take a moment to pause and reach out for support if you need it. We appreciate each and every parent and family who is managing these challenges, and we thank you for your understanding and trust as we navigate this situation. 

Alanna James
Acting Deputy Principal

Update Posted - 14/7/21 - 3:45pm

Dear Parents,

Today, the NSW Government informed Greater Sydney that the lockdown will continue for a further two weeks until at least the 30th July. This means Off Campus Learning will also continue for the next two weeks. We know this situation is challenging for many families, but please be reassured that we are here to support you and continue providing quality learning online. 
If your child requires supervision onsite next week, a form will be sent to you tomorrow via email. Please submit this by Friday 12pm. 
If you need to reach out, or if you have any questions, please use the communication channels below:

For Day-to-Day Information and Inquiries 

Email office@claremont.nsw.edu.au 
Or phone the school 9399 3217 

Regarding Your Child’s Learning 

Contact your child’s teacher by email office@claremont.nsw.edu.au 
Note: Your email will be directed to the relevant staff, including Ms DeRossi (Head of Learning) or Mrs Ford (Co-Principal). 

Wellbeing 

We are here to help you. As a school community we must also care for each other. If you have concerns for your child, your family, your personal circumstances or another family, please let us know. Contact our School Counsellor, Miss Catherine McKersie or Co-Principal, Mrs Larissa Cameron at wellbeing@claremont.nsw.edu.au 

Technology Support 

If you have a problem with an iPad or accessing online learning, contact our IT Manager, Mr Andrew Nield at technologysupport@claremont.nsw.edu.au 

Personal Support 

For confidential matters, to inform the Principal of a positive COVID diagnosis for yourself or someone living in your house, or any other important matter. Contact Mr Thomas’ PA, Mrs Kathy Clare Rochester at kc.rochester@claremont.nsw.edu.au
For further information regarding communication, please see the Communication Guide from last week's newsletter. 
Thank you for your understanding and support during this time. Please read this week's newsletter for the latest information and updates regarding COVID and Off Campus Learning. We are thinking of you all and praying you all stay safe and well. 

Alanna James
Acting Deputy Principal

Update Posted - 12/7/21 - 10:00am

Dear Parents,

Today you will be collecting your child/ren's packs for Off Campus Learning. Below are the times for collection and some important points regarding this process. 

1:00 - 1:30: A - E

1:30 - 2:00: F - J

2:00 - 2:30: K - O

2:30 - 3:00: P - T

3:00 - 3:30: U - Z

  • Packs can be collected from Coogee Bay Rd driveway.
  • Please do not arrive early to collect your pack. 
  • You will need to check in using the QR code at the gate.
  • Maintain social distancing and please wear a mask.
  • There will be tables set up with the letter of your surname. 
  • Please collect your packs efficiently, without lingering and talking to others.
  • If you are picking up a pack for another family, please ask a staff member to assist you.
  • We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work together to ensure all packs go home safely.

Again, thank you for your ongoing support. Please stay safe and well, and remember to reach out if you need any support. We are all in this together and we are thinking of everyone in our school community at this time.

Update Posted - 9/7/21 - 4:00pm

Please refer to our Pre Term 3 Newsletter 

Communication Guide, Health & Safety Matters - Doug Thomas

Off Campus Learning - Janelle Ford

Wellbeing @ Claremont - Larissa Cameron

Update - 7/7/21 - 5:00pm

Dear Parents,

In light of the updates from NSW Health today, we will commence Off Campus Learning next week. Our staff will be planning and preparing resources (iPads, chargers, headphones etc.) on Monday 12th July to be collected from the hall via Coogee Bay Rd. The following times have been allocated for collection based on your surname in order to avoid large gatherings of people. 

1:00 - 1:30: A - E
1:30 - 2:00: F - J
2:00 - 2:30: K - O
2:30 - 3:00: P - T
3:00 - 3:30: U - Z

Further details regarding this process and Off Campus Learning will be in this Friday's pre-term newsletter. Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation and please stay safe and well. 

Alanna James
Acting Deputy Principal

Update Posted - 1/7/21 - 4:45pm

Dear Parents and Students, 

Last night's news talked about the likelihood of schools returning to off campus learning (OCL) at the beginning of next term and because of this we would like to reassure you that our staff are prepared for this because of all of their planning in the first half of this year. If we are advised that OCL will return, at the end of next week we will send home details of what to expect during OCL, including when and how you can pick up your child's iPad, charger and some resources, which we expect to be on Monday 12 July at allocated times. Please enjoy the remainder of the term break, as much as possible during this period of lockdown. 

Janelle Ford,
Co-Principal

Update Posted - 25/6/21 - 2:00pm

Dear Parents,

NSW Health has issued the following lockdown restrictions:

Due to the risk associated with an increasing number of exposure venues where transmission has occurred from 11.59pm tonight until at least 11.59pm on Friday 2 July, residents of, or people whose usual place of work is in the four LGAs, must stay at home unless it is for an essential reason.

The reasons you may leave your home include:

  • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services;
  • Medical care or compassionate needs;
  • Exercise outdoors in groups of 10 or fewer;
  • Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home.

Team Kids will still be operating for the next week in accordance with the NSW Health guidelines. This means that if you must be at work, or have a medical appointment/needs, you can book your child in. We are working closely with Team Kids to ensure all COVID Safety measures are in place while they remain open. Thank you to our wonderful Team Kids staff for their vigilance during this time. 

If you or a member of your family, or other close contact test positive to COVID-19, please let Mr Thomas know by emailing principal@claremont.nsw.edu.au

One of the many things we learnt from COVID last year was the importance of our Claremont community. We understand that this lockdown can cause families stress and present challenges. For others, it can be a useful 'circuit breaker' to reset and spend time together as a family. Regardless, it is important that we stay connected as a community and support each other during this time. As a school, we are here to support you, so please reach out by emailing the office (office@claremont.nsw.edu.au) if you need anything. 

This situation is changing daily, therefore we will keep you updated as Term 3 approaches. First and foremost, please stay healthy and safe and let us know if there is anything we can do to support you and your family. We are thinking of you all. 

Alanna James
Acting Deputy Principal

Update Posted - 23/6/21 - 5:30pm

NSW Health has issued new restrictions in response to the increased amount of COVID-19 cases. This information can be accessed here

Due to the proximity, it is possible that our Claremont families have visited the venues of concern. NSW Health has directed anyone who has attended one of the venues to immediately get tested and self-isolate until further notice from NSW Health. This applies to everyone, including those people who may have been partially or fully vaccinated. We would like to also remind our community to stay vigilant and to get tested if unwell.

If your child has been booked into TeamKids during the holiday break, please make contact with Joe for any specific Vacation Care Safety Plan updates.

We will keep you updated with the latest information prior to recommencing school on Tuesday 13 July. 

Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding. We wish everyone in our Claremont community a safe and healthy break.

Larissa Cameron
Co-Principal

Update posted - 17/6/21 - 12:00pm

As you may be aware, there are cases of community transmission in our area announced by NSW Health. This is particularly important to the Claremont community as the case is a person who has visited multiple locations around the Eastern Suburbs.

Due to its proximity, it is possible that families may have visited the following venues of concern. NSW Health has directed anyone who attended one of the following venues at the times specified to immediately get tested and self-isolate until further advice from NSW Health. Please see the list here

This advice applies to everyone, including those people who may have been partially or fully vaccinated.

We would like to remind our Claremont community to continue to stay vigilant, exercise caution, and be reminded that COVID-19 is still very much among us. If your child is unwell, they need to stay home and get tested. Some recent COVID information from the Government regarding COVID-19 and children can be found here. Please note that gastrointestinal symptoms in children are included. 

As you are aware, the updates continue to change and develop. We will keep you updated with the latest information that comes to hand. We will certainly keep you informed over the holidays should the situation change. Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding.

Update Posted - 16/4/21 - 2:00pm

COVID update

With the increasing cases of COVID-19 in Victoria, and as we enter the cooler months, we believe it is a timely reminder to our school community not to become complacent. We must take every precaution to ensure the safety of students, staff, families and others. I particularly draw your attention to the following:

Please have a COVID test

If a student or staff member displays a fever or cold or flu symptoms, the school policy remains in place to request a COVID-19 test. Teachers, students and parents who have COVID-19 symptoms should not attend school until a negative test has been received by the school. Please be advised that cold or flu symptoms include a runny nose, sore throat, or cough, and students will be sent home from school if they are displaying any of these symptoms.  We fully appreciate the imposition placed on busy families. However, in the interests of keeping staff, students and our wider community safe, these measures have become necessary. 

Have you recently visited a Hot Spot?

Victoria

A COVID-19 concerns notice is in effect for Victoria. Greater Melbourne has been identified as an affected area and there are places of high concern.

Anyone travelling to NSW who has been in Victoria after 4pm Thursday 27 May must follow the stay-at-home measures that will apply in Victoria. This means anyone arriving in NSW who has been in Victoria since 4pm Thursday must remain at their home or place of residence in NSW for the seven-day duration of the Victorian measures. 

NSW Health continues to urge people who have been in Victoria since 12 May to check the Victoria Department of Health and Human Services website regularly to see if they have visited any of these venues of concern, and if so, immediately follow the relevant public health advice. If you attended any of the venues identified at the times listed, please contact NSW Health immediately on 1800 943 553.

We thank you for your ongoing understanding and cooperation.

Mrs Alanna James
Acting Deputy Principal

Update Posted - 16/4/21 - 2:00pm

The COVID-19 guidelines are now updated to align with the recent announcements and changes from NSW Health for the start of Term 2 2021. The changes include the following:

  • A COVID Safety Plan is only required where there are 100 or more external visitors gathering for indoor events or 200 or more external visitors for outdoor events.
  • No capacity restrictions on residential areas in boarding schools.
  • No restrictions on catering.
  • No requirements for wearing a mask at indoor venues or while using transport services.
  • Physical distancing is now recommended where practicable rather than required.
  • A strong focus is to be maintained on accurate record keeping to support contact tracing in case there is an outbreak given the relaxation of other restrictions.
  • No restrictions on group work or any school related activities.
  • Borders are open to NZ, however, international excursions remain on hold at this stage given the potential complexities if there was a border closure at short notice.
  • No capacity restriction in offices.
  • No restrictions on singing in places of worship.

Mrs Tara Barr and Mrs Alanna James
Acting Deputy Principals

Update Posted - 8/3/21 - 5:00pm

Great news! I'm sure you have heard in the media that restrictions are easing. We at Claremont are very excited to share these finer details with you. 

Broadly speaking, each event and circumstance will be different and will need to be looked at with a different lens, putting a unique COVID safe plan in place. One of these measures will be pre booking attendance for all events to adequately plan and avoid excessive gatherings/crowds. 

We must emphasise that as a school with restricted space, we are still not back to pre COVID practices in terms of welcoming parents for every occasion, whether this be onsite  or offsite. Each space at Claremont carries a maximum capacity that we must adhere to given the 1.5m social distancing rule. At this point in time, our largest indoor venue at Claremont College can only hold 38 adults (including staff). If events are planned outside onsite, this will carry a maximum number in itself. 

These updates are promising and we will still always prioritise the safety of our school community through careful decision making and planning for each individual event and activity.

According to the regulation updates that we have received, we will apply the following for our school context:

  • Teachers, students or parents who have COVID-19 symptoms should not attend school until a negative test has been received.
  • Students will be sent home if displaying any signs/symptoms and should not return until they have a negative result or are symptom free.
  • Parents and caretakers are welcome to enter school grounds but should continue to follow COVID-safe practices, including physical distancing (1.5m) at all times. 
  • Visitors including parents/carers must comply with sign-in arrangements.
  • There are no recommended limits on singing groups in schools, including in-class educational activities such as group repetition, chanting, recitation, or singing activities. Five metres distancing continues to be recommended between a group of performing singers and the audience, where practicable.
  • Dancing activities, including dance classes, balls, formals and social events, can proceed, but organisers should select venues with adequate floor space to comply with any venue restrictions.
  • Gathering of parents and community members for school events, such as P&F meetings, following the COVID venue social distancing requirements can continue.
  • Masks are not mandatory but recommended if travelling on public transport or if you recently tested negative but have a cough/cold.
  • Temperatures will still be taken if a student is feeling unwell. 
  • Water bubblers are permitted but students are encouraged to bring water bottles. 
  • Parents and carers can attend and volunteer at school sporting events, however venue capacity requirements must be adhered to. Sport and excursions may continue but must comply with external venue restrictions. This may affect numbers of parents that may attend. (See Cross country section below).
  • Inter-school activities are now permitted. 

Although this indeed is positive news, we have been advised to consider alternative options for events and be prepared to change and/or cancel events if the need arises. As you can imagine, planning events takes a lot of time, even before COVID risks have been considered. Please bear in mind that we have already put arrangements in place for events in Term 1. Changing them at the last minute will have implications for the high standard of planning that we hold. Therefore with this in mind, we have made the following decisions regarding upcoming events. 

CROSS COUNTRY

The Cross Country event was postponed to Wednesday 17 March due to wet weather. As you can imagine, we are already under pressure to plan this again in an even shorter time frame. For this reason, no arrangements will change for our students. The day will look the same for them - drop off and pick ups etc.  Spectators may attend based on the following arrangements:

  • One spectator is allowed per student.
  • Spectators must pre-register and cannot turn up without booking a spot.
  • Spectators are there to watch, must stay in one designated area and should not distract students and teachers.
  • Spectators must bear personal responsibility for maintaining 1.5m social distancing within the spectator area.

More details are to come in this week's newsletter. 

We as a staff will be upholding a duty of care for our students and appreciate your support and responsibility in social distancing. 

GRANDPARENTS DAY

We will continue with our plan to provide a virtual performance so that our Grandparents and special friends from interstate and overseas can still access this wonderful event and celebration of a special relationship.  

We will also be inviting our Grandparents and Special friends in person to the school on Friday 19 March to join us for a bite to eat and drink at the times below. 

This special gathering will involve sitting outside on the playground in socially distanced groups. Food/drink will be provided in a COVID safe way to our guests only. Students MUST bring their own lunchbox of food as we will not be sharing food. Each visitor may choose to come to ONE of the sessions below and we can arrange for siblings to join. That is Kindy and Year 2 siblings will sit with their special friend at either the Kindy or Year 2 session. 

Kindy: 9.15 - 10.00

Year 1: 11.15 - 12.00

Year 2: 1.45 - 2.30

You will receive an email with further details this week. 

Thanks in advance for your understanding. We hope you appreciate that we don't take these decisions lightly and although other schools may approach events differently in their  context, we will always do what is safest in our school circumstance for our community. 

Hopefully our next update will bring even more good news!

Update Posted - 19/2/21 - 10:00am

There are a few slight changes since the last COVID update (see 22/1/21). Thank you for continuing to adhere to these recommendations including: 

  • Staff, students and parents must continue to stay vigilant in social distancing;
  • Students and staff must not come to school if unwell; and
  • Parents are only permitted on site for essential meetings and volunteer purposes. 

In addition:

  • Excursions and events may go ahead with strict guidelines and COVID safe plans in place.
  • It is ESSENTIAL that you do not send your child to school if they have any symptoms on any ordinary day and especially on the day of an excursion. Students will be travelling on a bus in close proximity to others. We ask that you are extra vigilant in monitoring for symptoms on these mornings (as we will also). Please understand that we will need to ask you to pick up your child from an excursion if they have any symptoms while on excursion. 
  • Any event on school premises carries a maximum of 30 adults indoors and 50 outdoors. (This must of course include our staff.)
  • Staff must wear face masks on transport to and from excursions
  • The Cross country carnival will go ahead with staff and students attending. We  cannot have spectators. We can invite some parent volunteers as it is an outdoor space and off school premises. However, we can only have a select number of volunteers as per our COVID Safe Plan. It would be impossible for the school to ensure the safety of our students if this is not adhered to. 
  •  At this stage we also cannot have visitors to the school for Grandparents Day due to restrictions on numbers (and bearing in mind that our guests would be the most vulnerable members of our school community). We will of course relook at this should restrictions ease in the next few weeks. Rest assured that we have some tricks up our sleeves and are planning some very unique learning and performances to celebrate the special connection our students have with their loved ones, our most special friends. We are planning some virtual showcases to share with our special friends to make sure that no matter where they are in this world, our students have an opportunity to connect and celebrate this occasion. Please keep an eye on updates regarding this. This is after all, is an event that we hold very close to our hearts.
  • Our ANZAC service will be held at school on Friday 23 April. At this stage this will be for students and staff only. 
  • We have new systems in place regarding overnight excursions including creating a COVID Safe Plan.

What provisions have been made to minimise risks so far in Term 1?

We as a staff have spent time this year preparing our students by revising Zoom, Seesaw and other communication and learning platforms, for the unlikely event of off campus learning taking place again.  

We have updated our COVID documentation and policies in accordance with the most up to date recommendations and we have briefed staff regarding our individual roles should a student or staff member be diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19. We revised our individual roles and responsibilities and looked for any potential issues to ensure that we are confident to act out our action plan should this ever take place. 

All students this week engaged in another lesson about handwashing and the importance of cleanliness. 

Thank you for your continued understanding and collaboration with us to ensure our students’ health and safety is prioritised in all learning experiences and scenarios at our school. 

Thank you  

Tara Barr
Acting Deputy Principal

Update Posted - 22/1/21 - 3:30pm

The NSW Health and Dept of Education published comprehensive Term 1 guidelines for school this week. You would appreciate that these guidelines may change and be updated at very short notice. The following summary broadly outlines the expectations currently placed on schools.

  • Staff, students, parents and others must remain vigilant and practise social distancing and hygiene measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing for self and others.
  • Students and staff must not come to school if they are unwell. This includes even with minor flu-like symptoms. If students become unwell while at school, their temperature will be taken, they will be sent home immediately for immediate testing. Students must not return until they have a negative COVID test result and are symptom free. Siblings who do not display symptoms are permitted to be at school. Parents are requested to respect the decision and directions of the school nurse.
  • Students, staff and visitors will not be required to have their temperature taken when arriving at school, unless there is evidence of flu like symptoms.
  • Parents, do not give your child Panadol or other medication that masks flu-like symptoms prior to coming to school.
  • The wearing of face masks at school (for both students and staff) is not mandatory, but may be worn should the person wish to do so.
  • Children aged 12 years and older must wear a facemask on public transport (sport, excursions or travelling to/from school). 
  • Parents are only able to be on site for essential meetings and purposes. Parents are requested to wear facemasks if attending meetings or gatherings where social distancing of 1.5m is not possible (for example, collecting children at the gate).
  • The information requested at the time of signing-in, and any prohibitions from entering the school, will be determined by regulations around hot spots, clusters and other government directives.
  • The 4 square metre rule applies to all indoor gatherings onsite. This will effectively prohibit large events and meetings. Only 30 adults are allowed to gather outdoors. The physical distancing of children is not required by the AHPPC guidelines.
  • Parent meetings will mostly be held on Zoom.
  • P&F meetings are permitted onsite, after school hours with a maximum of 30 people.
  • Parents may visit the Uniform Shop, but must sign in and follow the directions of staff.
  • Student sports and excursion activities are permitted, at school and offsite.
  • The swimming carnival is permitted however spectators are not permitted at this stage.
  • There are strict rules around singing and student performances.
  • The Principal has the authority to restrict, limit or prohibit activities (individuals or groups) if deemed to compromise the safety and well-being of others. Certain restrictions will be determined according to risk assessments and the context of the school.

What if we were to ever go into a lockdown, like with the recent Avalon Northern Beaches Cluster?

Next week, the 2021 staff team will be briefed on our preparedness should the government ever announce at any time a lockdown due to the worsening of the COVID situation. Given the success of our 2020 Off Campus Learning experience and the subsequent evaluation of our programs, I have great confidence in our ability to be agile and to activate and implement what is necessary at any time of the year and at short notice. A specific focus in the early weeks of Term 1, will be to prepare our students with their use of technology, to revise school-wide systems and to explain and communicate these things to the parent and wider school community. Similarly, we will provide reminders of the procedures required of all of us in the event of a student, staff, parent or close contact being tested as COVID positive. 

Your ongoing cooperation and partnership with these matters will of course be essential and appreciated.

Warm regards,
Doug Thomas
Principal

Update - 15/1/21 - 2pm

Dear Parents

Happy new year. I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and opportunity for a great break with family and friends.

We are all looking forward to seeing you and your children soon as we return for the 2021 school year. I am incredibly excited about all we will achieve and do together as a school community in 2021.

The purpose of this communication is simply to let you know that I hope to be able to share our ongoing COVID safety plans with you by the end of next week. I am still waiting to receive advice from the Department of Education and NSW Health regarding specific COVID school instructions for the commencement of term. I anticipate that we will be required to operate with restrictions and guidelines similar to what we had in place across Term 4.

Whatever the guidelines might be I am confident that we will manage things well to ensure for a happy, positive, productive and purposeful start for the children and all families. Our office will be open from Monday should you have any specific questions or concerns. 

I will communicate further updates with you next Friday 22nd January. In the mean-time, enjoy the sunshine, the fitting of new school shoes and your other back to school purchases.

Warm regards,
Doug Thomas
Principal

Term start reminder We look forward to seeing students in Years 1 to 6 return on Thursday 28 January, and Kindergarten students on Monday 1st February. Kindy, please note, you will be visiting school for your 'Set For School' appointment on either 28 or 29 January. Have you booked your appointment? If not, please contact the office next week.

Update Posted - 20/11/20 - 4pm

The school policy to date has been that a COVID-19 test is required where a student or staff member displays fever or cold or flu symptoms.

Students are required to remain at home and isolated until their negative COVID-19 results return. Test results should be provided to the school prior to returning.

However now, unless siblings are also showing symptoms, they may remain at school. This policy will be changed whenever the school feels it necessary.

TERM 4 COVID-19 UPDATES 

We have all been enjoying a sense of relief with the easing of restrictions across NSW and perhaps we are seeing some ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. Unfortunately, ongoing small clusters across Sydney provide the reminder of the need for careful health and safety measures at school. We must not become complacent. It is important therefore, to provide you with the following reminders regarding:  

  • Social distancing onsite and around the school gates     
  • Good hygiene practices   
  • Ensuring that children (and siblings) to do not attend school with cold and flu symptoms   
  • Communication at Claremont   
  • The ongoing need for updated personal contact details   
  • Procedures for possible campus closure 
Communications at Claremont

A reminder that should you need to contact someone, our COVID-19 response plan provides the following communication channels. For day to day information and inquiries email office@claremont.nsw.edu.au or phone the school 9399 3217

Regarding your child’s learning

Contact Mrs Ford (Deputy Principal), Mrs Dalheim (Head of Learning Enrichment) or your child’s teacher by email office@claremont.nsw.edu.au

Wellbeing

We are here to help you. As a school community we must also care for each other. If you have concerns for your child, your family, your personal circumstances or another family, please let us know. All matters will be treated in the strictest of confidence. Contact our School Counsellor, Miss Catherine McKersie or Deputy Principal, Mrs Larissa Cameron at wellbeing@claremont.nsw.edu.au

Technology Support

If you have a problem with an iPad or accessing online learning Contact our IT Manager, Mr Drew Nield at technologysupport@claremont.nsw.edu.au

Personal Support

For confidential matters, to inform the Principal of a positive coronavirus diagnosis for yourself or someone living in your house, if you have recently travelled from Victoria, or for any other important matter. Contact Mr Thomas’ PA, Mrs Kathy Clare Rochester at kc.rochester@claremont.nsw.edu.au

School Billings and Accounts

Contact the Anglican Schools Corporation directly Phone 8567 4000 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 5pm) email accountsreceivable@sasc.nsw.edu.au Please see the Parent Communication Guide for more information.

Possible campus closure due to COVID-19

In the event of a member of our school community testing positive with COVID-19, and should we be required to call parents to collect children during school hours, the following broad guiding principles are important for all of us to follow and be aware of:

  • Maintain a sense of efficiency and calm;
  • Keep people safe by minimising and mitigating risk;
  • Maintain the privacy of individuals;
  • Reduce anxiety for us all (especially for the children);
  • Communicate with clarity and accuracy (using the regular SMS, email and website updates); and
  • Carefully follow Public Health Unit and school procedures. 

I would ask all parents to read the Temporary Closure of Campus Procedure https://www.claremont.nsw.edu....  (located on our website) and to be ready to carefully follow and comply with the alerts and directions provided by both the school and other authorities that might be working alongside us. I am mindful that the media love and create a fuss, plus social media heightens anxiety for us all, especially when there is the risk of false information being posted rapidly on Facebook, WhatsApp and other forums. In the event of sending children home, we need to keep safe, avoid traffic congestion, be patient, calm and sensible. Taking a little extra time will minimise mistakes and accidents. Together, this will be a shared responsibility. Parents should follow the usual school traffic management guidelines. Essentially, we will follow our usual school pick-up procedures with the children being carefully supervised and guided calmly through the process to minimise possible anxiety. The school will communicate anything different from this via app alerts, SMS and/or email.

Please ensure that your contact details are correct

In the event of the school being required to close temporarily, and should we be required to call parents to collect children during school hours, it is very important that you have your contact details always up to date. This includes updating your permission for others to collect your children. If you are working, (at the time of a COVID-19 related closure, or for any other reason) and we need you to collect your child/ren, it may be that you will ask a friend to collect. If this person/s are NOT already listed on your Student Details and Permissions Form 2020 that you completed at the end of 2019, then the school must have your permission in writing for this to happen. You can do this by emailing office@claremont.nsw.edu.au and our Admin team will add your authorised contacts to this form. If a person is not listed in our records, we trust that you will not complain if they are initially denied access at the time of pick-up (when a child is getting collected at the gate). The children will go to the office until we get further confirmation and clarity. Also ensure that your personal contact details are always up to date on your Parent Portal. Please contact our IT Manager, Mr Andrew Nield immediately via technologysupport@claremont.nsw.edu.au should you not be able to access your parent portal page.

Social Distancing, Events and Functions in Term 4

Until further notice we will continue to maintain the social distancing expectations and guidelines that were enforced across Term 3. Parents and visitors are not permitted to enter the campus without first signing in at Reception. Department of Education guidelines presently do not permit large gatherings in the school, and when students and staff gather for assembly, we can only do so for a maximum of 15 minutes. This is why our weekly Chapel service will continue to be delivered online until further notice. Despite some easing of restrictions into Term 4, unfortunately we do not anticipate holding large school events or gatherings this term. This is because we must continue to enforce social distancing measures at events, (generally one adult per 4 square metres) which therefore prohibits large gatherings simply due to a lack of space in our hall and other spaces. This is disappointing for us all, however please be assured that my team is working hard to create meaningful opportunities for us all, in lieu of these events.

If in doubt, please have a COVID test

As we transition into Term 4, the school policy remains to request a COVID-19 test where a student or staff member displays fever or cold or flu symptoms. Siblings will not be allowed to attend school until dated COVID test results are provided to the school. We fully appreciate the imposition placed on busy families, especially working parents. However, in the interests of keeping staff, students and our wider community safe, these measures have become necessary. To support students (and their parents) who are kept at home due to health reasons we will provide work for at home learning. 

Doug Thomas
Principal

Update Posted - 16/08/20 - 12pm

As mentioned in the school newsletter on Friday 14 August, the school responded to the news of a positive COVID-19 infection at St Vincent's College with the request for siblings of St Vincent's students and family members of St.Vincent's staff, to remain at home until direct contact tracing was conducted by NSW Health. From the limited information we have 
received this weekend, we understand that St Vincent's students and staff have now been informed if they are considered to be either a direct or casual contact. Claremont students who are siblings of casual contacts may return to school on Monday.
Thank you to the parents (those with older siblings who attend St Vincent’s) for your understanding and responsiveness to this situation. It will continue to be a policy of Claremont, for all staff and students to remain at home and in isolation (until informed otherwise by NSW Health) should they ever be informed of the possibility of being in direct contact with a positive COVID-19 person. Members of our school community are asked to inform us immediately should you test positive with COVID-19, *OR* if you believe you might potentially be a direct contact. If you are ever in doubt, please always keep us informed, so that we can assist and work together to ensure for the safety of yourself and others in our school and the wider community. 

You can contact us at:
office@claremont.nsw.edu.au - for general inquiries
kc.rochester@claremont.nsw.edu.au - for correspondence of a confidential or personal nature.

Regards,
Doug Thomas
Principal 

Update Posted - 29/07/20 - 3:00pm

1. Unwell students and their siblings, should they display cold or flu symptoms

If you have a member of your family at home who is unwell and they are being tested for COVID-19, it is vital that children and other members of the family are isolated until the test returns negative. Parents are also advised not to attend work and to isolate as well. COVID-19 can present with a runny nose and no fever which is why we are suggesting that you consult with a medical practitioner for review and assess the need for a COVID-19 test. Once the test returns negative, siblings may return to school, however the child who was tested even though the result was negative, they must stay at home until they are symptom free.

If a test returns positive, please contact the school immediately at kc.rochester@claremont.nsw.edu.au.

We are being vigilant at the school and will call you if your child has a fever, if they have a runny nose, sore throat, headache or if they are sneezing and coughing. These are all COVID-19 symptoms and may present as only a runny nose or sore throat or with all symptoms at once. This NSW Health website is very informative and provides useful information about the symptoms that require testing. Please refer to the online questionnaire that can be done to be aware of the necessity of COVID-19 testing. COVID HOTLINE - 1800-020-080 At this point in time, we must adhere to the NSW Health Guidelines in regards to illness in our school and keeping everyone safe from the virus.

2. Facemasks

Whilst not compulsory, staff, students and visitors may wear facemasks at school, should they wish. At this point in time the school does not supply facemasks. 

3. Reassurance

I am most mindful that we are all concerned about the escalation of COVID-19 in Sydney.

I want to reassure you that if this situation changes for the worse in our area, we will communicate with you promptly. In the meantime, please continue to familiarise yourself with our ACTION PLAN (found on website homepage), should someone in the school test positive with COVID.

4. Questions or concerns

I will be responding to COVID-19 related questions and concerns at tonight’s P&F meeting. Please email k.wiggins@claremont.nsw.edu.au by 5pm with any comments or questions that you would like to raise. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with us if something is on your mind.

We appreciate your understanding and assistance in keeping our School and greater community safe during these difficult and uncertain days.

Regards,
Doug Thomas
Principal

Update Posted 29/05/20 - 2:30pm

Procedures have been developed by the School in the event of the campus
being directed by NSW Health to close temporarily due to COVID-19. Parents
and carers are asked to familiarise themselves with these procedures, and
to contact the school should they require further information.

Temporary Closure of Campus Procedure

Update Posted 26/05/20 - 12:30pm

Dear Parents,

You may be aware that this morning a student of Waverly College was tested positive to COVID-19. According to reports, staff and students at the school will remain offsite while contact tracing is undertaken, as well as a deep clean of the campus.

I have been advised that if the contact tracing identifies the possibility of a member of the Claremont community to have been in contact with an infected person, I will be contacted and guided by the Public Health Unit.

If you are concerned because someone in your household may have been in close contact with anyone at Waverly, we recommend that you follow the advice of NSW Health. If you have concerns, then please contact us by email office@claremont.nsw.edu.au

We are closely monitoring new COVID-19 cases in our local area and are ready to increase safety measures, including moving back to Off Campus Learning should it be needed.

Our current procedure of temperature testing for students, staff and all individuals who enter the campus, will continue, along with all other safety measures that we have implemented across this term. It is important to note that it is not possible to keep students socially distanced from each other.

As outlined in Friday’s Newsletter, the following protocols and procedures have been developed at Claremont College.

If a member of your household or workplace is suspected to have been in contact with someone who has been tested/diagnosed with COVID-19

  • contact the school to report this
  • consult with your GP (or NSW Health) if a COVID-19 test is recommended for you/your family
  • the school will seek guidance from the NSW Health to determine the required length of absence 
  • plan for your child to stay at home for the required minimum of 24 to 48 hours and up to 14 days
  • if you do not have the iPad at home, you may contact the office and arrange to collect it

 If a member of the school community is identified as diagnosed with COVID-19

  • the school will be contacted by NSW Health
  • the school will take instruction from the NSW Health and respond accordingly
  • the school may be required to go into a short period of lockdown to determine individuals who may have been in close contact (contact tracing) with the infected person
  • People assessed as being a ‘close contact’ of the infected person will be contacted by NSW Health directly and given appropriate advice. They are usually required to be isolated for a minimum of 14 days
  • People assessed by NSW Health as being a ‘casual contact’ of the infected person, are also informed and provided with appropriate medical advice
  • deep cleaning of the school will occur
  • the length of any subsequent closure of the school will be determined by NSW Health (estimated to be 24 to 48 hours)
  • the school will communicate with parents and school community via sms, app alerts, email and website (exactly in the same way we have been doing)
  • due to privacy legislation, the infected individual/s will not be identified by the school
  • the school will contact parents of those children who have been in close contact with the infected individual
  • members of the school community would be requested to not post details on social media, to support the school in its dissemination of clear and factually accurate information through designated communication channels
  • parents will be required to follow the directions and stated expectations of the school
  • Off Campus Learning will commence and collection of student iPads arranged

We are well prepared for any eventuality.

All Unwell Students and Staff to Stay Home

I cannot stress enough, the most important thing that you can do to keep our community safe is IF YOU ARE UNWELL – STAY AT HOME

Any student who becomes unwell on campus will be immediately sent home, as will staff. We highly recommend that if you or anyone in your family are in any way sick to get tested.

In our management of the risks with COVID-19 we will continue to follow the medical advice and the guidelines given.

With kind regards,
Mr Doug Thomas

Update Posted 21/05/20 - 10:00am

Week Beginning 25 May 2020

From next week we are expecting all students back at school except a small number who will remain at home for personal or family health reasons.

If you are keeping your child/ren home from next week please complete the attached link by 1pm today to confirm your child/ren attendance, to enable our staff to prepare for these children.

Do not complete this link if your child/ren will be at school from next week.

https://docs.google.com/forms/...

Yours sincerely,
Doug Thomas

Update Posted 7/05/20 - 3:00pm

RETURN TO SCHOOL TRANSITION FOR NEXT WEEK

Last week’s Newsletter provided parents with 3 options for returning to school from Monday 11 May.

OPTION 1: (Full time) Students may return to school 5 days a week. We are fully encouraging parents to take this option. As mentioned in the Newsletter, we anticipate approximately 70% of our students being at school full time.

OPTION 2: (Part time) Students may return to school 1 to 4 days across the week.

OPTION 3: (No days) For a very small number of students (or their family members) deemed as ‘vulnerable’, who are unable to yet return to school. We anticipate these students returning 25 May (Week 5).

Here at Claremont we are well prepared for all three options. 

We will not be confirming the specific days with you

It is not necessary for us to confirm with you when your child will be attending. We have used the information you provided in the survey and have only needed to clarify details regarding OPTION 2 or 3 with some parents. Please do not worry if you haven't heard from us. We simply look forward to seeing the children at school on the days that parents require or feel comfortable with.

OFF CAMPUS LEARNING AND ON-SITE LEARNING AT CLAREMONT COLLEGE
What will learning look like in Weeks 3 and 4?

Online learning at Claremont College will continue across Weeks 3 and 4 with some of our staff working remotely from home. The lesson content will be the same for all students, whether on-site or off-campus, and the differentiation to cater for student ability needs (the pink and blue activities) will continue. 

On-site Learning

Students at school will commence at 8:45am working in their own learning spaces with their grade teachers. Even though they will be working on their iPads, the students will be completing their lessons with face-to-face access to their teachers who will teach, support, assist, assess, encourage and supervise the lessons, throughout the day. Students at school obviously will have the face-to-face opportunities and social interactions that they are not able to access from home. PE and Sport may look a little different for the students at school, because these children can play games together.

All students returning to school will need to bring their iPads and chargers, headphones, all school books and all stationery items they require. They may also return their library books according to their usual Library timetable. School uniform requirements will be outlined in tomorrow’s Newsletter.

Off Campus Learning

Students at home will commence with their teachers at 9:00am. They will be completing their lessons with access to their teachers via zoom throughout the day, who will teach, support, assist, assess, and encourage their learning online. 

…………………………………………..

It is the provision of our successful online learning model that has enabled us to support the families who need their children to be at school five days a week. Claremont College is one of only a few schools across the state that is well positioned for this, rather than having children initially return just one or two days a week. 

I acknowledge that you may find this confusing, so if you do, double check last week’s Newsletter, or COVID-19 updates on our website, and please take the time to check for further details in tomorrow’s Newsletter. 

Yours sincerely,
Doug Thomas

Update Posted 1/05/20 - 5:00pm

Reminders for week commencing Monday 4 April
  • ‘Off Campus Learning’ will continue just as it did this week. Only children of emergency and essential workers may come to campus next week. If you fit this category, or have a special circumstance and require your child to be at school, please email my PA Mrs Kathy-Clare Rochester kc.rochester@claremont.nsw.edu.au This arrangement will continue until Friday 8 May.
  • For those students who are onsite, the summer uniform is to be worn.
 Term 2 – Back to Campus Transition Plan

This week we have heard continual news items about what schools should be doing, in what has been yet another confusing week. It is not easy when schools and sectors (Independent, Catholic and State) are compared against each other. We must remember that all schools have different contexts, layouts, sizes and diversity of needs. Therefore there is no ‘one size fits all’ transition plan for all schools.

Most schools, like Claremont College will commence their Transition Plans from Monday 11 May. Many schools are working toward having students attend school for ‘face to face’ lessons initially for one day a week. Some schools are actually not providing any form of lesson/work for the other 4 days. Unless the COVID-19 data and situation changes prior to 11 May, I am confident that our Transition Plan will provide for full time attendance at school ‘on campus’, for those parents who require this for their children.

Thank you to the parents who responded to our survey. We received responses from 92% of parents within 48 hours, which is fantastic and the data was incredibly helpful.

What we have learned from this data
  • 70% of parents would like their child/ren to attend school 5 days a week
  • 30% of parents would like their children to attend school for none or some days (ie. not the full week). From this group, 4% of all parents indicated that their children will not yet attend school and remain at home for their learning, 5 days a week.

Some broad themes have emerged from the data, as well as from other correspondence and conversations we have had with a number of parents this week. These are; 

  • The majority of parents would like/need to have their child/ren return to school as soon as possible on a full time basis.
  • It is clear that many parents wish to exercise a level of ongoing caution regarding their children returning to school. They have therefore indicated that they will not send their children to school, or if they do, for only part of a week.
  • Whilst expressing caution and concern, some parents have indicated the need to have their children at school due to pressing work, business and related financial demands.
  • There are some members of our school community (or members of their extended family) who are particularly vulnerable due an existing immune-compromised condition, chemotherapy treatments and other high-risk health concerns. They require either medical clearance, or further precautions and reassurances until COVID-19 infections in our community are completely reduced.

As a school community, so much of our strength comes from empathy, respect and understanding. I would like to take this opportunity to reinforce the important message that your individual circumstances, fears and feelings, and the decision you make for what you believe is best for your child/ren and family is fully respected. Our prayers are with those who are dealing with some especially difficult challenges at  this very uncertain time. 

Therefore, with this data and information from both the Federal and State Government, including the current recommendations from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) advice on reducing the potential risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools, our Transition Plan seeks to balance the following;

  • the need to support parents to return and transition back to their own work
  • to cautiously respond to COVID-19 health issues for those who are vulnerable
  • minimise risk of transmission of the virus to staff and others, here on campus
  • provide for optimal student learning and their ongoing academic development
  • provide opportunities for social connections to promote student wellbeing, and maintain self-confidence, minimise anxiety and importantly for the children to have face to face time with friends and teachers
Week 3 and 4 (from 11th May) 

From this date we will provide three options for returning and transitioning back to school.

Option One

All students (K-6) may return for the full 5 days a week. Based on the parent survey responses, we are anticipating that up to 75% of our students will attend school full time. Students may wear either summer or winter uniform (depending on the weather).

Option Two

Students may attend school for some days. These days will be based on the information received from the parent survey with daily attendance distributed evenly across Monday to Friday. We will allocate days and be in touch with you next week to confirm which specific days.

Option Three

Students will stay at home for the full 5 days.

Off Campus and ‘Face to Face’ Learning

Our Off Campus Learning model will continue across Weeks 3 and 4, for each of the above three options. Nearly all staff will be working at school (on site), working in their grade teams with their students in their normal grade learning spaces, teaching, assisting, assessing, supervising their normal classes ‘face to face’. Lessons, however will be delivered online to ensure equity for all students whether they are ‘on’ or ‘off’ campus. Students who are working at home will continue to be able to have constant access to their teachers, as they have done in previous weeks, whilst working and learning on their iPads.

Week 5 onwards (from 25th May)

It will be the expectation for all students to return to school for 'face to face' lessons, although we understand a small number of students and staff with specific vulnerabilities and needs may still be off campus. Students will only wear winter uniform from Week 5 onwards. 

Changes to this plan may be necessary

We recognise that the COVID-19 crisis has been unpredictable and a constantly changing space. So, should the circumstances change, we may have to change these arrangements for student attendance.

We will continue to monitor this situation closely, aligning our school’s context and needs with health data, government directions to schools, the easing of social distancing regulations, and will make adjustments if they are necessary. 

We are certainly well prepared to respond to notification of either a positive test of COVID in the school (staff, student or family member) OR a community spike or second wave of infections OR new data and research findings. In this situation, Off Campus Learning will occur remotely and immediately, and you of course, will be informed.

Health and Safety Plan

With students transitioning back to school, we will continue to implement stringent health and safety measures, and risk management, particularly with the social distancing of adults on campus and responding to students who present as unwell. The government has made it clear that while the need for the social distancing of children is minimal, we must be vigilant in our care of staff and other adults who might be onsite.  At this point it is important to reinforce:

  • We will be taking the temperature of students, staff and visitors as they arrive on campus. A small hand-held thermometer will be used which measures the body temperature on the forehead.
  • We will continue to have the expectation that parents will not send their child/ren to school if they display cold or flu symptoms. Students will be sent home should they display a fever or cold/flu symptoms.
  • Please contact the school immediately, should someone in your family or household be tested positive with the COVID-19 virus. 

A ‘Health and Safety Plan and Guidelines’ for student transitioning will be published next week.

Update Posted 24/04/20 - 3:30pm

Information about Term 2

Week 1
  • Monday 27 April is a Pupil Free Day, designated for teacher training. For your interest, our staff will be participating in a Child Protection seminar, and a PD in relation to a new online teaching resource for us (Clickview), and they will have time for collaborative team lesson planning. Free Vacation Care for Monday as this is available to those who register through the TeamKids website.
  • The first day of Term 2 for students and our delivery of ‘Off Campus Learning’ will commence this Tuesday 28 April. Only children of emergency and essential workers may come to campus for these two weeks. If you fit this category and should you require for your child to be at school, please email my PA, Mrs Kathy-Clare Rochester kc.rochester@claremont.nsw.edu.au This arrangement will continue until Friday 8 May.
  • For those students who are onsite, the summer uniform is to be worn for the first 2 weeks of Term 2.
A Special ‘TeamKids’ After School Program for Week 1 and 2

I have arranged for TeamKids to provide a special daily afternoon program for any Claremont student (whether they have been at home or at school for the day). Starting Tuesday, this program will commence at 2:45pm and run through to 5:45pm. It is designed to support parents who may need a break from the kids, to get on with work and errands, and to provide the children with an opportunity to play and socialise, while being cared for by the amazing TeamKids staff. This structured program is free of charge (thanks to a Federal government subsidy) and is available for a maximum of 60 children. Parents must register here.

Onwards from 11 May - Week 3
  • We anticipate that students will begin to transition back to school attending for what might be approximately one day (or more) a week
  • Parents would be still encouraged to keep their children at home unless they are unable to be supervised at home. 
  • The transition phase, with increased daily attendance is anticipated to be for much of, if not all of Term 2. Let me emphasise, however, how much we all want the children to be back at school as soon as possible.
  • Arrangements for how this transitioning process will be communicated to parents by the end of next week.
  • My team will develop a transition schedule which will be determined by a number of variables including health, safety and social distancing issues for students and staff, the practicalities of our teaching spaces, Claremont family structures and work needs. As well as managing the sheer practicalities and logistics of this, we must balance individual needs with the good of the school community as a whole (in other words, we will not necessarily please everyone).
  • To assist us, it would be helpful to understand your family needs and circumstances. A short survey will be sent to you next week which seeks to know the following;
  • your preference for your children to remain socially distanced at home, OR       
  • your preference for your children to be at school, and if so;
  • your preference of day(s) for to attending school (to best suit your work needs and family circumstances);
  • the urgency of your need for support and supervision. Note that children of emergency and essential workers will still be permitted to attend school 5 days a week;

The Claremont ‘Off Campus Learning’ Model will continue to be delivered during the transitioning phase;

For those students who are onsite, either the summer or winter uniform is to be worn for Weeks 3 and 4.

My team and I are constantly reviewing and evaluating these arrangements. I am intentionally only providing details for every 2 weeks in advance. This is because circumstances and Government COVID-19 related decisions are highly likely to change rapidly and in ways that none of us can anticipate. We must also expect that if there is ever a positive COVID-19 case in our school community or a localised/community spike in infections, the NSW Health Department may require the campus to implement increased social distancing or lock-down measures.

Health and Safety

From the commencement of Term 2 we will be adopting some new practical measures to reduce the spread of viruses or germs at our campus. This includes:

  • Rearranging our cleaner’s rosters for enhanced and regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as desks, doorknobs, handrails, play equipment, toilets, etc.
  • Taking the temperature of students, staff and visitors as they arrive on campus. A small hand-held thermometer will be used which measures the body temperature on the forehead.
  • We will continue to have the expectation that parents will not send their child/ren to school if they display cold or flu symptoms. Students will be sent home should they display a fever or cold/flu symptoms.
  • Keeping the doors in main thoroughfares open as much as possible to avoid constant touching of handles.
  • Requiring children to bring a full water bottle to school, rather than using the drink bubbler.
  • Staff will be required to bring their own coffee cups and utensils.
  • Staff and other adults visiting the school will continue to not gather and will follow social distancing guidelines.

Update Posted 17/04/20 - 12:45pm

Dear Parents and School Community, 

I hope this finds you well with some joy and happiness over Easter. As we move forward in anticipation of Term 2 (commencing Tuesday 28th April), I wanted to take this opportunity to share what I am thinking with you.

When will the students be back on campus?

Trying to make sense of yesterday’s Federal and State Government announcements have been particularly challenging. It is clear that the Prime Minister wants children at school, as do we all. The media presented various time-frames, but nothing was confirmed. Media alerts have differed by the minute. I am sure that you are as confused as I am.

While politicians are talking about “reopening” we have never been “closed”. Quality learning at Claremont just changed location for the large majority of students. It is clear that the slowing of the curve is dependent on the sensible, and not hasty, easing of social distancing restrictions. At Claremont, safety precautions for students, teachers, support staff and the wider community remain paramount. I, therefore expect that our ‘Off Campus Learning’ model (with students of emergency and essential workers coming to campus) will continue until at least 11th May. Although many (including myself) I would like it to be earlier, I acknowledge this is presently unlikely.

One suggestion is that schools might gradually stagger a return to school. Decisions in this rapidly changing space will be based on ongoing community health data, government directives, as well as our own school community needs. I will certainly keep you well informed.

Keeping the perspective – we are in a crisis

At the moment, much is perhaps not the way we might prefer it to be. This crisis has changed just about everything. Much is being said in the media about ‘what’ children are learning at home. We have been hearing conversations on radio and television raising some valid concerns about on-line learning including the quality of the learning experience, the lack of face to face instruction, the intensity of parent supervision, a lack of childrens’ social connections, and their e-safety. Please be reassured that my team is constantly adapting and responding to research, feedback and evaluations of our response to these and other issues. The three pupil-free days prior to Easter were incredibly valuable to us as educators to prepare for Term 2.

The reassurance I seek to give, is that, while you hear of concerns raised in the media, I have great confidence in the quality and excellence of what we are doing at Claremont. While nothing can replace face to face teaching in the classroom, I have the highest of trust, confidence, admiration and appreciation for my teachers and broader staff team as a whole, in their provision of quality lessons and learning experiences, packaged with the wellbeing support of their students, and also to many parents. Our priority continues to be delivering the highest quality teaching to our students and your overwhelming support for our efforts has been such an encouragement to my team and me.

Community support

I appreciate how difficult this is for many people. You have been in my prayers as you navigate the challenges and struggles of family lockdown living - working from home, managing your own staff, businesses and finances, extended family relationships and their support, as well as staying healthy, fit and ‘sane’ yourself. Please continue to connect with members of our school community. We need each other, so remember to check-in with each other. Contact us at wellbeing@claremont.nsw.edu.au if you need some help or someone to talk to.

A wedding celebration!

Lastly a bit of exciting news - our IT Manager, Mr Drew Nield, is getting married tomorrow. We wish him all the very best along with our prayers are for a wonderful day. Despite the disappointment of all of the months of planning being changed, I know that it will be fabulous and very special.

I’ll look forward to being in touch again towards the end of next week …unless things change yet again. Thanks for your prayers, encouragement and support.

Love,
Doug Thomas
Principal

Update Posted 8/04/20 - 5:00pm

Dear Parents and the Claremont College Community,

I take the opportunity to wish you and your family safety, health and patience in the face of the many COVID-19 challenges that we have all been dealing with. This situation is impacting each one of us greatly, and in different ways.

Thank you to the many, many people who have sent messages of appreciation and support to the Principal and staff. I am aware that your words have been a great encouragement. I join you in thanking Mr Thomas and his team for the excellent work that they have done in leading the school and delivering student on-line learning. Once again, I am reminded that Claremont is leading the way in comparison to many other schools. The strength and resilience of our school community has also been most apparent. Thank you for your part in this. We have been reminded in a very tangible way that your child(ren)’s education is a team affair shared together by the Claremont leadership, staff, parents and our school community.

I acknowledge that for some people the uncertainty of this situation comes with many challenges that seem to change rapidly, especially with work and businesses. You will receive your School Fees from the Anglican Schools Corporation in the first week of Term 2. Please note that the Arts, Crafts, Class Resources, and the Sports levies have not been charged for Term 2. Whilst these are minimal the School Council hopes that this will assist you somewhat. Should school resume during the term, we will not be reinstating these charges.

Our aim, hope and prayers are that when we all ‘get through the storm’ the Claremont community will be as strong as before in both cohesion and numbers. Should you need to discuss your Term 2 fee invoice then please contact Mr. Thomas.

At this time of Easter, which is going to be different from any other Easter we have ever known, I encourage you to connect with your local church’s online Easter services. There you will hear again about God’s love for you and your family, shown through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

May the peace of Christ be with you and yours in this difficult time.

Rev Craig Segaert
Chairman of the Claremont College School Council

Update Posted 2/04/20 - 4:00pm

Dear Parents,

COVID-19 is impacting each of us greatly with Randwick now being identified as a COVID-19 infection ‘hotspot’. The school continues to implement social distancing measures, including ‘Off Campus Learning’ for children whose parents do not fall within the category of Emergency or Essential Service workers. Even with this, many parents are choosing to keep their children at home.

Thank you for your patience and support as we continue to develop and improve our processes and delivery of online teaching and learning. If you have a complaint or grievance please bring this to our attention so that we can respond, resolve, and seek to address the matter. Unhelpful comments on What’sApp to others, or intimidating and judgemental words spoken directly to teachers on ZOOM do nothing, except bring discouragement to my teachers and support staff who are doing their very best under difficult circumstances. Damaging comments ultimately threaten the strength, resilience and health of our school community. So please, should you require clarification or support with any matter, do not hesitate to contact the school in one of the following ways;

An overview of our Communications Guidelines for parents can be accessed here

Off campus and/or ‘at school’ arrangements for Term 2

It is difficult to anticipate with any confidence what our arrangements will be at the commencement of Term 2. I will be guided by both the State and Federal Government in my decision making, and I will communicate with you as soon as I have direction and clarity. Please understand that the situation continues to change rapidly.

The ‘TeamKids’ Vacation Service

Yesterday I emailed all parents seeking expressions of interest to determine the viability for running this service and with this update, I was going to tell you that Vacation Care would be running. The Prime Minister’s announcement this afternoon reiterated the government’s desire to retain access to OOSH care. The ‘TeamKids’ Vacation Care service will operate from Monday 6 April through to and including Monday 27 April, except for the Public Holidays. It appears that the PM has indicated that this service will be fully funded by the government*. All parents, even those who are not Emergency and Essential Services workers, are able to book. Go to www.teamkids.com.au for further information and to make a booking. You must be registered with ‘TeamKids’ to make a booking.

Please note: Those parents who replied to the survey saying that needed the service will be given priority with their booking.  * Federal Government subsidies are yet to be fully confirmed.

Any further updates will be in tomorrow’s Newsletter.

Update Posted 26/03/20 - 6:00pm

Dear Parents, 

This is a short message to say ‘thank you’ during this difficult week for us all. My staff have been encouraged greatly by the many words of encouragement and support that we have received. Behind the scenes, the entire team is working tirelessly to ensure for the best learning experiences for the children. I thank you too for the constructive feedback we are receiving about the many things that are working, what is not working so well, or what you think we could do better. Please continue to let us know, as it is important for us to learn and to improve.

We are also doing our very best to support those who are finding it difficult in various ways. Please be in touch as we are here to help. We have set up many lines of communication if you need to contact us for help and support. Parent Communication Guide

Thank you for your patience when things don’t necessarily go as you might hope. I appreciate that there has been much inconvenience and many challenges in some (if not all) households.

Through all of this, please be assured that the health, safety and emotional wellbeing of children, staff and all of our respective extended family members, is our number one priority.

Today (26 March), I have been waiting for further announcements from the government, but nothing ‘new’ appears to have been delivered. I shall continue to keep you informed of anything important that specifically impacts our school Community. I look forward to staying in touch with you through tomorrow’s newsletter. What a week!

My prayers are with you all each and every day.

Sincerely,

Mr Doug Thomas
Principal

Update Posted 23/03/20 - 3:00pm

Dear Parents

While the medical advice for schools had not changed, the NSW Premier announced this morning that for practical reasons, parents are encouraged to keep their children home from school until the end of the term.

In light of this please note the following:

Notice of transition to Off-Campus Learning

To ensure continuity of learning for all of our students we will move all academic programs to our off-campus learning mode for all students, from tomorrow Tuesday 24 March.

While learning may be at home, school continues. We are well prepared for this and our expectations remain high.

We strongly encourage parents to ensure that the NSW government’s strict social distancing measures are adhered to.

Health care professionals and other essential workers

If you are a health care professional, or other essential/emergency services worker and are wanting your child to be supervised on-campus over the next two weeks, please notify the College before 5pm today, Mrs Kathy-Clare Rochester (Principal’s PA) via her email at kc.rochester@claremont.nsw.edu.au so that appropriate supervision (and physical distancing protocols) can be arranged. This provision is in place to enable those working in essential services to be supported in their important work. The ‘Team Kid’s Service (Before and After School Care) and Bus Service for these children is yet to be confirmed, and would be based on numbers. Please indicate in your email to Mrs Rochester your need for these services.

Preparing for Off-Campus Learning

Information about Off-Campus Learning is available on the school website, and has been communicated in recent Newsletters.

Learning on campus

While school is on campus today, and for any students and staff remaining on campus after tomorrow, all our existing coronavirus mitigation measures will still be in place along with additional physical distancing measures, in response to the most recent recommendations.

Duration of Off-Campus Learning

Our intention is to return to on campus learning at the beginning of Term 2 (scheduled for Tuesday 28 April) or when the government and medical authorities state that it is safe to do so. However, we accept that it is impossible to predict the flow of events during this pandemic crisis and we need to prepare ourselves for a more prolonged period of off-campus learning.

Term 1 Easter break to begin from Monday 6 April

The Term 1 break will begin on Monday 6 April. Therefore, the last day of Term 1 will be Friday 3 April. This will allow us to have pupil-free days during the week before Easter (Monday 6 April - Wednesday 8 April) which will be critical in supporting our teachers. 

All Term One Events and Extra-Curricular postponed

Moving to off-campus learning means that any scheduled excursions, morning sports skills and training sessions, Music Groups, off-campus activities, parent Seminars and meetings are postponed for the remainder of Term 1, and will remain so while we are delivering off-campus learning.

Partnership 

While we are well prepared, the transition to Off-Campus Learning will require a partnership between all of us; students, staff and parents. This is new territory for us all, and as we progress, we will continue to adapt and refine the delivery of our Off-Campus Learning.  My prayers are with you, our students, staff and wider community as we navigate these difficult times. I continue to have great confidence in the way our school community will care for each other and handle this time of uncertainty together. Thank you again for your support and encouragement along the way.

With kind regards,
Mr Doug Thomas
Principal

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7   

Update posted 18/3/20 - 4:30pm

Students who are at home until ‘Off Campus Learning’ commences

Dear Parents

Thank you for your support and understanding as we navigate each and every day.  For the families whose children are at home, we respect and understand your decision not to send your child to school.

With this, we ask that you continue to be patient as we continue to develop, refine and test our ‘Off Campus Learning’ technology and delivery here at school. As previously mentioned, it is our goal that from next week we will provide both; 

  • access to classroom activities via ‘Zoom’ and ‘Seesaw’ for students who are at home
  • class lessons for the students who are attending school (if the campus remains open). 

If your child is at home this week, he/she is welcome to commence any of the activities they can see posted for the current day, but without assistance from their teacher. We request that they do not try to contact their teacher via email or any other online connection.

Please be assured that we will be in touch as soon as possible with further ideas and support.

Mr Doug Thomas                      Mrs Janelle Ford
Principal                              Deputy Principal

Update posted 17/3/20 - 5:30pm

Here are some important reminders regarding good health and good learning at Claremont College.

The Health and Wellbeing of your Child and Others

Please keep your child home from school if they are unwell.

Please DO NOT medicate your child with cough syrup, Children’s Panadol, Nurofen, or the like, prior to coming to school in the morning.

If your child has a fever, runny nose, sore throat or cough they must stay home and seek medical advice. If a student comes to school displaying any of these symptoms, we will and must send them home.

Whilst this may be an inconvenience to you, this request is made in the interest of your child’s health as well as the health and wellbeing of other students, their teachers, staff and the community as a whole.

Student Learning

Children attending school must bring their iPads with them to school, and take them home, each day.

Ongoing Communication

Be assured that if and when updates and directives come from the Health Department or other Government authorities, we will communicate these with you.

Thank you

The words of appreciation and support have been incredibly encouraging to us all.

Update posted 17/3/20 - 12:30pm

If your child is absent today, and/or across this week, please disregard any notifications or alerts for either 'Zoom' conferencing or SeeSaw. These alerts are popping up because of the lessons that are happening at school.

If you need to collect your child's iPad, this will be available today from 3:30pm, at the school office.

We will advise you as soon as possible about when Off Campus Learning is available to students who are at home. We anticipate that this will commence at the beginning of next week.

Thank you for your patience and understanding with these matters. This is an unprecedented situation and we are contending with many issues all at once. The wellbeing and health of students, staff and the school community is our priority.

Mr Doug Thomas
Principal

Update posted 16/3/20 - 4:30pm

Dear Parents,

I trust that you had a good weekend and I hope that today has been relatively easy for you with the children at home. Today has been excellent and we are so pleased to have had this full day of training, with all teachers completing Day 1 of a ‘Certificate of Gifted Education’ from UNSW. Thank you for the support we receive for our pupil free days.

COVID-19 Update

As you are aware the Federal Government has announced that schools will remain open until further notice. This has placed a greater level of anxiety on many parents, who because of their personal family circumstances, feel that they must keep their children at home, in self isolation. Your decision to do this is understood and respected. Please understand that at present, due to the many challenges we are dealing with, it is not possible for work to be sent home. However, your child should be able to access daily ‘Matific’, ‘Reading Eggs’ and other online content, for example, spelling, or other independent basics.

At this point in time, all morning sports skills and extra-curricular small groups (before and after school) will continue as planned. 

Event Cancellations
  • The P&F Meeting this Wednesday has been cancelled.
  • All school excursions have been cancelled until further notice, this includes the Year 2 Excursion to the Old School House.
  • UNSW Swimming lessons have been cancelled. Wednesday sport will be held at school or at Grant Reserve Coogee.
  • Weekly Friday Chapel Services have been cancelled until further notice.
  • The Greek Independence Day March has been cancelled.
  • The IPSHA Cross Country Carnival at Kings has been cancelled.
  • Masters Academy Debating has been cancelled until Term 2 resumes.
  • The Combined Schools ANZAC Service has been cancelled.
  • The Coogee Dawn Service (TBC).
 In preparation for Off Campus Learning
  • All student iPads will be sent home daily from tomorrow (or please come and collect if your child is not at school).
  • An iPad charger will also be sent home.
  • Please bring a named Library bag to school, for the iPads to be carried in.
  • Students must bring their iPad with them to school each day.
  • A reminder, that iPads and chargers are leased, and so must ultimately be returned to school, or the full replacement cost of the device will be charged to your account.
  • Please refer to the Student School Diary to review ‘Safe Use of Technology’ contract with your children.
 Student Absences

In relation to reporting absences, please be advised;

  • If your child is absent due to illness, please continue to report the absence reason on your parent portal between 9:30am – 10:30am on the day of the absence to avoid receiving an absence SMS from us.  If this is not possible, then you do have 7 days to report the absence reason.
  • If your child is absent because you are taking precautionary measures due to the current Coronavirus situation, please report the absence reason on your parent portal.  Please select the absence reason "OTHER," and add the comment "CORONAVIRUS PRECAUTION". Again, you will need to do this between 9:30am – 10:30am on the day of the absence to avoid receiving an absence SMS from us.  If this is not possible, then you do have 7 days to report the absence reason.
  • If the campus is closed due to Coronavirus and we have commenced Off Campus Learning, please continue to report absences as you would normally do in the case of your child being sick. All other students will be marked present once they have logged into online learning in the morning at 9:00am.

Please don't hesitate to contact the office if you have any questions in relation to reporting an absence reason.

Our response has been updated according to the latest advice from the Federal Government

  • As of midnight (16 March)  arrivals from any country are to self-isolate for 14 days from the day of their arrival in Australia. This applies to staff, students and members of our community. 
  • Everyone who has been in contact with someone who has arrived from any overseas country, is to exercise a high degree of caution. They are to self-monitor for symptoms and not come to school if feeling unwell. If needed, seek medical advice urgently and isolate yourself.
  • Students and staff who are unwell with any respiratory illness or flu-like symptoms should remain at home until all symptoms have disappeared.

Thank you

Thank you for your support and understanding with these matters. The information I have been receiving continues to change rapidly, and I shall endeavour to keep you up-to-date as quickly as possible. I would also like to thank our teachers and wider staff team for their efforts, support and assistance in responding to the many challenges that have presented. They have been amazing and are doing their very best. 

Please be in touch should you have questions or concerns.

Sincerely, 
Mr Doug Thomas
Principal

Update posted 13/3/20 - As seen in the school Newsletter

So how do we all manage this as a community? 

We must keep it together with patience, kindness, love and empathy for what others are going through. In the anxiety and challenge, this is where our character is tested and our true colours are usually seen. There is opportunity for our school to really shine as a strong, caring and compassionate community. We are in this together.

“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children”- Sitting Bull

As we move forward into next week we will be guided by the following priorities:

- To provide clear two-way communication pathways within our school community. It has been helpful to hear your concerns, so that we can talk through individual situations and solve challenges together. Equally, thank you for the supportive feedback I have received in relation to cancelling our Grandparents Day and P&F Disco. Should you need to contact me, please phone or email my PA, Kathy-Clare Rochester on kc.rochester@claremont.nsw.edu.au

- To provide accurate, timely information to you. I hope you appreciate that my office is being bombarded with alerts, articles, policies and the like. I choose not to react, until I receive both clarity and assurance with all of this. There is certainly the possibility of a campus closure, and the ongoing refinement of protocols based on public gatherings. Please be assured that we will communicate information to you when we know that it is correct and applies to our school context. The event of the Department of Health placing an order on a school closing can literally happen ‘overnight’. If this is the case, please continue to check your app alerts and/or the school website for information. 

- To ensure that we have solid systems in place, should we be required or directed to commence off campus learning. My staff team, led by Mrs Ford and Mrs Eu have worked tirelessly to get things ready. In all grades (K-6) the students have also been preparing and ‘practising’ with lessons using iPads, ‘Zoom’ teacher conferencing, Seesaw, and trouble-shooting together, with a focus on self-directed and independent learning. I draw your attention to the detailed plan regarding ‘Off Campus Learning’ on our school website.

- To ensure for student, staff and parent wellbeing. This morning in Chapel, I spoke directly and broadly about the coronavirus with the children. Many raised their hands (perhaps 50% or more) when I asked if they were worried about the news on the television and radio.  My teaching point was ‘God keeps us safe’ and I talked about God taking care of our worries and anxiety when we hand them over to him.

For You have been my refuge, a tower of strength against the enemy. Psalm 61:3

I love you Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my saviour. My God is my rock in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.  Psalm 18:1-2

As a school we are well resourced to support your children. Do not hesitate to let us know of any concern that you might have regarding how your child might be responding to this situation, (particularly if you are aware of anxiety, regression in behaviours such as bed wetting, or simply if they are asking questions that you’re not sure how to best answer).

I am thankful to Mrs Cameron (Deputy Principal) and Ms Catherine McKersie (School Counsellor), the Pastoral Care Team, and our teachers who continue to refine systems in place to monitor and support the children. This week, our Pastoral Care Team has been meeting with Sally Ferguson (Ben, Yr3 and Ella, K) who is the P&F Head of Community Wellbeing, to share ideas and devise some plans and actions for caring for people in our school. Ms McKersie has written an excellent article for our parents which is also accessible from the school website.

Please take care of yourself and those you love. My prayers are with you.

Doug Thomas
Principal

Update posted 10/3/20 - 6pm

Dear Parents and the Claremont College community,

Cancellation of Grandparents’ Day and the P&F Disco

It is with regret that I advise you of the decision to cancel our ‘Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day’ (this coming Tuesday) and also the P&F School Disco (27 March). This decision has been made in consultation with the P&F Executive and is based on the guidance of the health authorities. The wellbeing of our school community is our priority, particularly for our many wonderful grandparents, many of whom are elderly. I am sorry for this disappointing news.

Unfortunately, we do not anticipate rescheduling these events. We will endeavour to provide other opportunities for grandparents and special friends to visit and be involved in the life of the school on other occasions. These opportunities include our weekly Chapel Services across the entire year, Grade Learning Festivals (dates TBA) and our Concert at the City recital Hall (24 September). At this point in time, please only come to Chapel should you feel comfortable in doing so.

Sports Swimming Classes

Student swimming at UNSW will continue as planned. However, parents are reminded that we respectfully understand should you chose not to permit your child from participation in swimming and/or attending UNSW. Please correspond in writing to office@claremont.nsw.edu.au. Your child will remain at school during sports time.

Ongoing Updates

The news over the last few days has confirmed COVID-19 cases amongst students at schools in Sydney. There is understandable concern amongst our families about the implications for school attendance. When developing our response our starting point is that we will do not less than what is advised by the health authorities and the NSW Department of Education. We may also choose to do more if this is in the best interests of our students, their families and our staff.

What should I do if my child is sick?

Please keep your child home from school if they are unwell. If they have a fever, runny nose, sore throat or cough they must stay home and seek medical advice. A medical certificate, indicating clearance to attend school is required. If a student comes to school with a fever, running nose, sore throat or cough, we will send them home.

If there is any history of travel to countries with confirmed cases of coronavirus, or contact with a known case, speak to your GP for advice, and please also let us know.

We will continue to update you with any new information and if you have any questions regarding this or any other aspect of our response to this situation, please contact me by email at office@claremont.nsw.edu.au or phone the school.

I thank you for your continued support and understanding.

Sincerely,
Mr Doug Thomas
Principal

Update posted 6/3/20 - As seen in the school Newsletter.

The outbreak and rapid spread of the Coronavirus is a major concern for our community and the world at this time. The media bombards us with information that can be reactionary, inconsistent and quite confusing. As we have seen, the situation is developing rapidly, it is difficult to make assumptions about what might happen over the coming days and weeks and consequently, recommendations necessarily change. Therefore, as a school, we endeavour to develop a broad continuity strategy and to provide information to you with clarity and in a timely and helpful manner.

Following my last update (see school website, 4 March), I would like to assure families that we continue to monitor this situation closely and that we are looking to adjust our practices as needed, to prioritise the safety of our students and the wider school community.

Ongoing Travel Restrictions

Students and staff are not to attend school if they have:

  • Left, or transited through mainland China in the last 14 days (they must isolate themselves for 14 days from leaving mainland China);
  • Left, or transited through Iran, Italy or South Korea on or after 1 March (they must isolate themselves until 14 days after leaving these countries); or
  • Been in contact with a confirmed case of Coronavirus in the last 14 days (they must isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case).

If this need for isolation affects your child, you should notify the School immediately so that we can make arrangements to facilitate their learning during this time. Please also ensure that if you or another one of your child carers (or people living in your house) has been travelling overseas or has been in contact with a case of Coronavirus, they should not be visiting the school for any event including drop-off and pick-up at the start or finish of the day.

Illness and Display of Symptoms

In the event that your child or a family member is diagnosed with Coronavirus, please inform the school immediately via  kc.rochester@claremont.nsw.edu.au

Consistent with current guidelines, students and staff who are unwell with respiratory (or other) illnesses should remain at home until symptoms resolve. In accordance with our current practice if any student becomes unwell, they will be checked by our school nurse. We will implement our infection control guidelines and follow the advice provided by the NSW Ministry of Health.

Please consider the impact of your child’s illness on other children, their teachers and others in our school. Do not send your child to school if he/she should exhibit a fever. Do not dose your child with Panadol and/or Nurofen prior to coming to school. Do not send your child to school if they exhibit coughing and other cold symptoms. Whilst it may be inconvenient for working parents to have your child at home, masking a child’s fever with a morning dose of Panadol is dangerous, careless and selfish, as this compromises the health of individuals, the entire school and even the greater community.

If you are concerned about your child’s health, please consult with your GP. If your child has an ongoing immune-compromised condition, please contact our school nurse immediately on Monday to discuss any revisions to his/her current health plan via s.neville@claremont.nsw.edu.au

If you chose to not send your child to school, because you are fearful of them contracting Coronavirus, at this point in time, the school is not able to provide them with the work they have missed out on.

Excursions and offsite activities

All excursions and sport will be assessed on a case by case basis evaluating the venue, crowds and travel arrangements. Unless further information comes to light this weekend, the Year 6 excursion to Canberra will continue as planned. We will email and SMS Year 6 parents should we receive any information that requires us to cancel the excursion at the very last minute. If over the weekend, parents choose to not send their child on the Canberra excursion, please inform the school immediately office@claremont.nsw.edu.au. Please understand that refunds are not possible. Your child will join Year 3, 4 or 5 for their learning should they not attend the excursion. 

School Events

At this point in time, our ‘Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day’ will go ahead as planned for Tuesday 17 March. Given that the elderly are particularly susceptible to Coronavirus, a level of caution is required on the part of all visitors in determining whether or not to attend. The event will be recorded and posted on our website. Given the rapid escalation of the spread of the virus in Sydney, the cancellation of this event may ultimately be required, and we ask for your understanding should this be the case.

Determination of events and gatherings such as our weekly Chapel service, the P&F Disco later this month, and ANZAC events will be communicated, as we receive advice from authorities. 

Possible Closure of the School

If given the direction by government authorities to close the school, we will do so. The school leadership team has developed a ‘Continuity Plan’ which will be implemented should closure be required. The key priorities within this plan include;

  • Preparation over the coming weeks. This will involve checking and testing student log-in details for apps, Seesaw, and other online home tools (via their Home Learning next week);
  • If your child/ren are to be at home for an extended period of time, parents are encouraged to test online safety settings and net filtering security of home computers and devices. Check these things now. The school will not take responsibility for this;
  • Continuation of student learning at home, via our regular online platforms and apps, as much as possible;
  • Providing students with their school iPads to allow access to online home learning;
  • Endeavouring to support student wellbeing by providing emotional support and connection to the school community as much as possible;
  • Regular communication by the school, and if possible with communication access to teaching and other staff for students and parents; and
  • Developing a sense of belonging, connection and support for the children and school community. Our school community can, and will, remain strong together. Since 1882 we’ve stood!

Please note that this situation is unprecedented, therefore, the school’s response and specific actions will be determined by time, context, the health and availability of staff... our access to resources and IT support, therefore cannot be guaranteed.

How we will communicate with you

In the event of closure, a detailed Communication Plan will be emailed to all parents. In the mean-time, necessary Coronavirus updates will continue as normal via:

  • Claremont College School App alerts
  • Updates provided on the school website homepage
  • Email and/or SMS to parents

Please support us by ensuring that you now have access to the above AND that your personal contact details are always up to date on your Parent Portal. Please contact our IT Manager, Mr Andrew Nield immediately should you not be able to access your parent portal page via a.nield@claremont.nsw.edu.au

We are a faith community, so let’s keep our eyes on Jesus
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:6-7 

As new information becomes available, I will write to you again to keep you informed about the school’s position. Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your understanding and support.

Update posted 4/3/20: 6pm

Dear Parents,

The school leadership team is currently meeting and planning our ongoing response to coronavirus with an action-plan moving forward. Detailed information will be communicated to the school community in our Newsletter on Friday afternoon (6th March). This information will include a decision relating to whether we cancel our Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day (17th March), as well as providing you with further detail about our preparations should authorities require Sydney schools to be closed. Our priority will be to communicate clearly to you in a timely manner. 

As requested previously, please inform the School immediately of any coronavirus health issues should they arise within your family. Also, please do not hesitate to let us know of any concerns you may have at any time. This is not to alarm you, but rather (in a climate of so much heightened news and reactions) to reassure you that we are being proactive and wanting to make a measured and informed response at all times. As always, our goal will always be to ensure for the best of opportunities for student learning and to care for the wellbeing of individuals and our community as a whole.

Update posted 7/2/20: 1:15pm 

A number of parents have expressed concern relating to today's media news 
about the quarantining of university students on campus. At present this is 
only happening at the University of Sydney at Chippendale, (not UNSW, 
Randwick). 

This link outlines the current response of UNSW 
https://www.unsw.edu.au/advice-on-unsw-response-to-the-coronavirus 

Please note that there are *no* UNSW swimming classes scheduled for 
Wednesday 12th February, due to our Annual Swimming Carnival which will be 
held at the Des Renford Leisure Centre. 

Please confirm in writing if you do not wish for your child to attend the 
swimming carnival or subsequent swimming lessons at UNSW.

Update posted 3/2/20: 1:30pm

Home Quarantine/exclusion from School

The NSW Health and NSW Department of Education has today revised its advice, to include only students who have travelled to mainland China be excluded from attending school until 14 days after departing mainland China.

UNSW Swimming and Swimming Carnival

The UNSW Swimming Centre remains open, as do all swimming centres across Sydney. Swimming will continue as planned for student sport this week and onwards, until any further updates are provided by the venue. This UNSW link will take you directly to the UNSW announcement.

Our Annual Swimming Carnival will be held at the Des Renford Leisure Centre on Wednesday 12 February as planned, unless we are otherwise advised by the venue operator.

Should you wish for your child to NOT participate in swimming, please write a note requesting non-participation.

Thank you

Thank you to the parents who have contacted us with ongoing questions. We will endeavour to get back to you as quickly as possible should you need to raise any concerns, or seek clarification on any matters regarding coronavirus. The school will provide further updates from authorities as they come our way. 

Update posted 29/1/20: 11:30am

In accordance with NSW Health and NSW Department of Education advice, students who have travelled to mainland China and Hong Kong are to be excluded from attending school until 14 days after departing mainland China or Hong Kong. 

  • Please contact the school immediately if your child has travelled to mainland China or Hong Kong and will not be attending school.
  • A medical clearance certificate will also be required in this instance.

If you have any queries or concerns, or to inform Claremont College of your child’s absence please contact Kathy-Clare Rochester, PA to the Principal, on 92130733 or 9399 3217

Update posted 28/1/20: 1.30pm

Dear Parents

Currently there have been a small number of confirmed Novel Coronavirus cases in New South Wales. In accordance with National Public Health Guidelines, exclusions for students and staff at this point in time, only apply for those who are:

  • A confirmed case of Novel Coronavirus - excluded until medically cleared
  • A close contact of a confirmed case of Novel Coronavirus - excluded for 14 days since last contact with the confirmed case.

Close contact is defined as living in the same household, 15 minutes face-to-face contact with a person with confirmed coronavirus in any setting, or sharing a closed space with a person with confirmed coronavirus for more than 2 hours.

NSW Health has processes in place to identify any close contacts of cases confirmed in New South Wales. Advice about not attending school would be provided to these close contacts.

For our information and to assist the school with future planning should further action be required, parents whose children or others living in the same household who have visited China are requested to contact us immediately. If you have recently visited the Wahun District of China during the holidays, we ask that you refrain from sending your children to school until they have been back in Australia for at least 14 days. A medical clearance certificate will also be required in this instance.

Children and staff who have recently returned from overseas and are well, and who are not close contacts of a confirmed case, are able to attend school as normal, commencing Thursday 30 January. 

As per usual guidance, staff and children who are unwell with a respiratory illness should remain at home until symptoms resolve. 

We are aware that the situation is changing very quickly, and our response may change. Claremont College will therefore continue to be informed by and take the direction of NSW Health and the NSW Association of Independent Schools, to monitor and respond to the unfolding international Novel Coronavirus situation.

Claremont College staff will continue to follow and reinforce correct infection control procedures.

NSW Health has information available on its website:

OR speak to your local GP.

Please be assured that we are monitoring this situation closely. Should the State or Commonwealth governments issue new guidelines for how schools need to respond, we will take action and advise our school community immediately.

Thank you to those who have emailed the school regarding this situation. I trust that this letter will serve as my reply to you. In the meantime, please feel free to email me if you have any specific concerns. Our priority is for the safety and wellbeing of all our students, staff and school community.

Yours sincerely
Doug Thomas

Principal