What return to NSW schools will really look like
With the Premier announcing that schools will be going back full time next week, there is still plenty of confusion about what a typical school day will look like during the pandemic.
While face-to-face classes are back, parents need to keep in mind the many cancellations and changes to their children's schooling.
Here is everything parents need to know about schools returning.
PICK UP AND DROP OFF
On site visitors will not be allowed at schools except for essential reasons. This includes parents - so entering school premises for pick up and drop off is not permitted.
When taking your kids to school and picking them up, parents must abide by physical distancing rules.
While schools will be left to themselves to determine how this will work in individual circumstances, parents will be expected to stay inside their car and drop their children at the gates.
For busier schools, staggered drop off and pick up times may be implemented to stop crowding.
STAYING HOME AND ATTENDANCE
From next Monday, all students are expected to be at school attending face-to-face classes full time.
The only exception to this is children who are currently unwell or those with a long term medical condition.
Parents will no longer be able to choose to keep their kids home, and this may lead to children being marked truant.
Schools will be following up on unexplained absences of more than three days.
WHEN YOUR CHILD GETS SICK
If your child feels unwell, they must stay home under all circumstances.
Parents must collect their child from school immediately if they start feeling unwell.
CHANGES TO SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
While school is going back full time, it isn't going to be completely back to normal.
There are plenty of activities that students won't be able to participate in anymore.
School excursions including camps are still cancelled.
Work experience is cancelled, however seniors in VET subjects can still attend their placements (however they are still eligible for credit if this cannot happen).
Extra-curricular activities which involve visiting other schools, such as dance competitions, debating and sports, are cancelled.
Any extra-curricular activities that involve volunteers/parents coming onto campus are also cancelled.
WHAT ACTIVITIES AREN'T CANCELLED?
Seniors who have to visit other schools for their subjects (such as VET students visiting TAFE campuses) are still permitted to do so.
Students completing school based apprenticeships can continue if the business is operating.
Students are not expected to keep the same level of physical distancing as adults, so as long as they regularly wash their hands and practice good hygiene, outdoor play is still allowed.
Transport NSW has implemented a new "no dot, no spot" method of encouraging physical distancing in public transport.
Seats on buses and trains will be marked with a green sticker if passengers are allowed to sit there, and if there is not sticker that seat must remain empty.
Schoolchildren are still expected to abide by these rules.
The Department of Education has said that at certain times, schoolchildren will be given priority if the service is not full. However if you do not usually send your child to school on public transport, now is not the time to start.
Originally published as Changes revealed: What return to NSW schools will really look like