Local schools cancel assemblies, excursions

Local schools cancel assemblies, excursions

Schools in the Nambucca Valley are currently putting in place measures to minimise the spread of coronavirus.

The NSW Department of Education released an edict yesterday to limit the impact of COVID-19 in our schools.

Mark Scott, Secretary of the Department of Education announced that schools would adopt social distancing measures requiring them to cancel assemblies, excursions, travel, some events and conferences.

Mr Scott said these measures are precautionary and designed to reduce exposure via non-essential gatherings.

"From [today], I expect school assemblies and substantial gatherings to be cancelled, along with all excursions," he said,

"The community expects schools to be as safe as possible. We are implementing these measures to provide peace of mind for students, parents and staff.

"These cancellations also extend to inter-school arts, sports, initiative activities and events."

All major arts, sports and initiative activities and events will temporarily be ceased in NSW until further notice. This includes whole school sporting events and inter-school events involving three or more schools.

"Local inter-school sport and other activities, can proceed but we ask organisers to ensure that as far as possible, reasonable precautions are taken," Mr Scott said.

"I trust our principals and staff to show leadership during this time."

This morning, Macksville High School announced the cancellation of its parent-teacher evening tomorrow.

All school excursions and camps have been cancelled for the rest of the term at Bowraville Central School. And there will also be a halt on school assemblies.

"We don't have 500 students, but we're moving in line with the Department of Education's policies to do what we can to help out," principal Dave Taylor said.

All of the sporting events and camps were cancelled for us - we didn't have to make that call. We're just taking this one day at a time as new announcements are made.

The Red School has also issued a notice to parents.

"Good morning NHPS community, as part of the DoE measures for reducing risk of Coronavirus spread, we will not be having assemblies until further notice. Please talk to your children about going straight to class when the music starts today. Students with respiratory illness should stay home," the Nambucca Heads Public School Facebook page reads.

And the Diocese of Lismore Catholic School Office has issued further measures to the schools in its district, including St Mary's in Bowraville.

"Health and hygiene over the coming weeks will be heavily promoting hygienic practices at all schools and OSHC services. There will be renewed emphasis on washing hands several times a day, the availability of hand sanitisers (when they can be sourced), and the correct protocols for sneezing and coughing," Director of Catholic Schools Sally Towns said.

"We are assessing protocols for school cleaning practices and will continue to work with school cleaners to prioritise human contact areas - benches, handles, handrails, toilets etc.

We are sharing this information with families to encourage matching behaviour at home.

Schools will be provided with more detailed advice and suggestions on how they can adjust their day to day activities with minimal disruption.

No NSW schools are currently non-operational due to COVID-19.

The Department is continuing to prepare for further closures if necessary with scaling up of technology, additional training of staff and preparation of offsite lessons.

Useful links for families and students in self-isolation can be found here: https://education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/curriculum/continuity-of-education

And general COVID-19 advice for schools here:

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