CCGS COVID-19 UPDATE

This page seeks to provide the latest updates and information on the impact of COVID-19 on our school operation. This page is intended for CCGS families and relates specifically to actions taken by our school and events and activities held.

Friday 27 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers, 

As we come to the end of the week I thought I would touch base with you on a couple of matters. 

  • We are well and truly immersed in remote learning for students working at home or attending at School. The very many positive comments from parents about the smoothness of the transition as well as the innovative delivery has been quite inspiring for my staff. Thank you.
  • With regard to students attending on site we are consolidating classes into particular buildings. Years 7 to 12 students will be working in B Block. For Kindergarten to Year 6 students, each year level has been allocated one room to work from. This approach allows us to concentrate our cleaning and hygiene measures into rooms being inhabited by students with most other rooms in the schools being closed. 
  • Staff have been organised into teams where they will generally work from a remote location and attend the school one day a week. All teaching staff are working their normal teaching load whether that be on site or remotely. 
  • Operational staff have been allocated tasks according to their levels of expertise and will work in a combination of remote and onsite. 
  • As Government manages the dynamic nature of this emergency it is quite possible we may need to make further changes to the way we are currently operating. If this occurs I will inform you of any changes immediately. 
  • In order to support the CCGS community with the transition into remote learning we have developed a dedicated section on MyCCGS. The Remote Learning pages (https://my.ccgs.nsw.edu.au/homepage/9047) contain advice and resources for students and parents for promoting wellbeing, establishing routines, understanding requirements and expectations along with support documentation for utilising hardware and software for learning. The Remote Learning pages can be accessed from the Information and Services toolbar on your MyCCGS dashboard via the mobile app or website. Please find attached a helpful visual guide to assist your family during in what could be an extended period.  

Best wishes at this challenging time. 

Kind Regards,
Bill Low
Headmaster

Resource: Wellbeing - learning at home and mental health
 

Monday 23 March 2020

Dear Parents,

Given the rapidly changing circumstances and advice to schools I wish to advise that CCGS will begin implementing its Learning Continuance Plan from Tuesday 24 March 2020. 

This follows advice from the Prime Minister that all schools were to remain open and then advice from the NSW Premier, which was not totally consistent with this, advising parents to keep children at home but indicating that schools would remain open in some mode of delivery other than face to face teaching. 

For your information CCGS will remain open on the basis of NSW Health advice which has not changed. The expected impact at our school is that student attendance will be significantly reduced and those students who do attend school will have their learning catered for as per our Learning Continuance Plan. The extra hygiene initiatives that we have in place will continue for students attending school and for staff. 

The Learning Continuance Plan

Our Learning Continuance Plan describes how learning will be planned and managed in both K-6 and 7-12. The Plan relies heavily on MyCCGS notifications and class pages as the backbone of the delivery and the Microsoft Teams application will be incorporated for Roll Call and some video conferencing. For student access to Microsoft Teams on your child’s laptop or iPad, either open or download from the app store and then log in with your child’s school credentials. Then select you Roll Call “team”. 

Whilst our teachers have been working very hard to adapt to a more remote style of teaching and learning it must be recognised that face to face teaching is superior to remote learning. It is our intention to progressively embed aspects of wellbeing into our remote learning, however the social interaction that occurs naturally between students and teachers cannot be replicated in remote delivery. We are giving considerable time, energy and thought as to how we might continue to build school community in a vastly changing environment. 

Please be advised that depending on the length of the current arrangements we will continue to innovate with more interesting forms of video conferencing to ensure students remain engaged and motivated. 

MyCCGS

MyCCGS will be the source of ongoing communication between teachers, students and parents. The School will use MyCCGS to communicate with you and your child to provide learning activities for him/her to do at home. It is critical that you log in at https://my.ccgs.nsw.edu.au/ to make sure you can access these services. To re-set your password, email helpdesk@ccgs.nsw.edu.au and you will receive an email during office hours (8am – 4pm) with instructions to re-set your password. 

Guides to Remote Learning

Two information documents have been placed on MyCCGS and sent direct to emails.

  • Years K – 6 Guide to Remote Learning
  •  Years 7 – 12 Guide to Remote Learning

These guides contain information for parents and students around how to set up, structure and monitor the remote learning environment and keep in touch with school staff for support.

Ongoing communication

In the short term we will not issue our usual CCGS Newsletter but I will write to you every week to advise how things are progressing. I will write immediately if there are any significant health updates impacting our community. 

Yours Sincerely,
Bill Low
 

Wednesday 18 March 2020

COVID-19 -  School Operations

As previously advised, the School continues to follow the advice of the Government and NSW Health Department. Due to the dynamic nature of the situation this advice changes rapidly as new challenges emerge. The school will respond accordingly and in a timely manner if and when new advice emerges.

I would like to clarify our current position. The School is open as usual and all classes are operating as usual following the formal curriculum.

Regarding student attendance, we expect that students will attend unless they are unwell, showing symptoms of the virus or have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus. Where there are particular compassionate reasons relating to a child or family the normal process of speaking with your relevant Head of School continues.

Where students are ill for a legitimate reason, this will be recorded as an approved absence. Where families self-isolate their children for reasons other than above that absence will not be regarded as an approved absence.

In the meantime, we are undertaking a huge amount of work to ensure that in the event the school does need to move to a remote operation, students will receive the best possible support under the conditions.

In the next week I hope to provide you with a detailed briefing of exactly what the school would look like in remote delivery mode and how it would impact your student, whether that be in Junior, Middle or Senior School.

I would publicly like to thank my staff for the amazing care they continue to give to students not only academically but also focusing on their wellbeing during these challenging times.

Monday 16 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I last wrote to you on 12 March 2020 giving an update of the actions the School had taken in regards to COVID-19. Significant developments occurred over the weekend in relation to limiting community transmission of the virus. A key part of the Government strategy is to “flatten the curve” of confirmed cases so health services can meet the needs of those who require care when they need it. 

The Australian Government has announced all people who arrive in Australia from midnight 15 March 2020 or think they may have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, are required to self-isolate for 14 days. 

The NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, has advised that schools should implement a range of strategies to reduce transmission including:

  • Promoting personal hygiene measures (hand washing, reducing face contact, cough etiquette) 
  • Physical/social distancing
  • Reducing mass gatherings (eg. school assemblies) 
  • Reducing the mixing of students
  • Reducing after school and inter school activities

This morning I have met with my senior staff including Heads and Deputy Heads of School, the Business Manager and Manager of Development and Community Relations to consider the Central Coast Grammar School (CCGS) response to the advice provided by NSW Government Health, Australian Government Department of Health and NSW Government Education. Following this meeting it has been determined the school will adopt an active approach to play its part in limiting transmission of the virus. 

KEY EVENTS THAT HAVE BEEN CANCELLED:

Week 8 
(commencing this week)
Year 8 Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences 
Senior College Assembly
Harmony Day Service
K-6 Assembly
Tabitha Fundraising Dinner

Week 9 
(commencing Monday 23 March)
Year 9 Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences
Junior School Cross Country
P&F AGM
Sport presentation evenings
Kindy Explorer Day
Year 4 Camp
Year 12 Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences
House Debating Finals

Week 10 
(commencing Monday 30 March)
Year 11 Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences
Year 6 Camp
Year 11 Leadership Day
Easter School Service
K-2 Assembly
Symphony Central Coast Concert

Week 11 
(commencing Monday 6 April)
Years 7 to 11 Camps
K-2 Camp

Additional activities that have been cancelled with immediate effect until further notice include:

  • All cocurricular clubs and practices (eg. Ensembles, Bands, Choirs, Dance, Drama, Music, Coding, Mock Trial, Debating, Robotics, Chess). Private music tuition will not be affected. 
  • Assemblies, School Service and House Families 
  • CCGS Gym is closed 
  • Sports practice for Junior and ISA sport 
  • Practice for the Senior musical, We Will Rock You 
  • Large staff meetings 
  • Tabitha BBQs 
  • All excursions and incursions 
  • All external bookings of school facilities (including sport and performing arts)

With regard to Parent/Teacher/Student conferences a specific communication will go to parents of each year level indicating they will be invited to communicate to teachers any concerns regarding their child’s progress. Similarly, teachers will communicate any concerns they have about an individual student with the parent. We appreciate students and parents will have some anxiety regarding student assessments and progress in learning and will endeavour to do what we can to ensure these anxieties are minimised. 

I understand these arrangements cause a great deal of inconvenience, however I am confident we will be cohesive as a community in our efforts to reduce transmission and I thank you for your support and support of my staff during these challenging times. 

I assure you as always my priority is the safety and wellbeing of students, staff and community. We will be looking at the specific wellbeing issues posed to our school at this time, especially as a result of a much reduced cocurricular and extra-curricular program. 

I will continue to keep you updated as and when developments occur.  

Kind Regards,
Bill Low
Headmaster