High Notes, Vol 22 No 23, August 06 2021

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From the Principal

Week 4 of Lockdown

I hope our families are coping well with the routine of extended lockdown. I appreciate that anxiety is rising about how and when we may come out of the tight restrictions under which we live. I am pleased with how the combination of CANVAS conferences and Zoom sessions are delivering well over two hundred synchronous lessons each day. Our teachers are continuing to approximate the usual routine of school. I want to thank our Year Advisers for their compassion for their students. Their weekly morning ‘catch ups’ have been well received.

Being online can pose temptations and distractions which most students are responsible enough to avoid during school time. However, some students are either not logging on or are disengaging during the lesson. Our SASS staff are monitoring attendance records regularly and telephoning families to keep them apprised of the missed learning opportunities for their sons.

Year 12 and the Trial HSC

On Monday this week I talked to Year 12 students about the COVID-19 Special Consideration Program which operates for students who have oral and performance examinations, major projects and submitted works. (NESA home/COVID-19/Coronavirus advice/HSC exams and major projects/ COVID-19 Special consideration Program).  I explained how practical and performance students who were severely impacted by the Level 4 restrictions could seek redress through the program. For avoidance of doubt, these procedures are confined to those students who have oral or performance requirements or have to submit major works or projects.

I also addressed the illness and misadventure process. If students are under NSW Health orders and have been directed to self-isolate as a close contact or unwell at the time of an HSC examination, they can seek redress in the usual way through the submitting the Illness and Misadventure Form.

Updated Advice from the Secretary of DoE (6/8)

'No return for HSC students or those completing Year 12 in the identified LGAs of Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, and Parramatta at this time. Students from these LGAs will have the opportunity to receive their first Pfizer vaccination between 9-14 August.

'From 16 August, all other high schools across Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour) will be able to bring Year 12 students back to school for essential curriculum and student wellbeing sessions. These will operate under strict guidance of a COVID-safe plan and guidance will be made available today to support individual school plans to be developed.

'High schools in Greater Sydney are asked to provide any and all trial examinations from home and where necessary, adjust their outstanding school assessment tasks to be completed from home.

'All students will have the opportunity to complete their HSC. Planning is underway to ensure that the final examinations can occur in a COVID-safe way. NESA has provided details on the COVID special measures that schools can provide and will provide further advice on the impact of these changes on oral and performance examinations in Greater Sydney in the coming days.'

HSC Advice For Parents

Interested parents can read the current advice in full at the link below. Attendance by HSC students at school is no longer expected from 16 August: https://education.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/advice-for-families/hsc-exam-advice?deliveryName=DM16972
Dr K A Jaggar

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