Maitland High School

Successful Teachers, Successful Students, Successful School

Telephone02 4933 7933

Emailmaitland-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Welcome to Maitland High School

Back to School 2022!

Our COVID-smart measures have been developed with NSW Health to minimise transmission and keep schools open in 2022.

We’re taking every precaution to safeguard our learners and school communities, building on our experiences of the last 2 years. 

Back to School is an exciting time, particularly for students starting school for the first time. A layered approach which prioritises safety will help keep schools open, where we know the best learning happens. 

Our guidance is evidence-based and will provide additional levels of protection in a way that works for schools.

Maitland High School welcomes all our new and returning students to the commencement of the school year.

This is not a normal start to the year – however, we know that being together in the classroom is the most effective way for students to learn and grow. We are very much looking forward to seeing you all again!

COVID-Smart measures

•       Your child's relationship with their teacher is important, but as we manage any potential disruptions to staffing due to COVID-19, they may get to meet more teachers than normal.

•       Rapid antigen tests (RATs) will be provided to all staff and students through our school. 

•       Surveillance testing will provide an important additional layer of protection for our students and staff. Use of RAT kits is highly recommended but not mandatory.

•       Conduct your child's RATs at home on the morning of school, twice a week on school days and before term starts. 

•       Participating students and staff are strongly encouraged to confirm a negative rapid antigen test before attending school at the start of Term 1.

•       If your child is a household close contact, you must follow NSW Health advice to stay home and isolate. 

•       Rapid antigen tests (RATs) will be provided to all staff and students through our school. 

•       Surveillance testing will provide an important additional layer of protection for our students and staff. Use of RAT kits is highly recommended but not mandatory.

•       Conduct your child's RATs at home on the morning of school, twice a week on school days and before term starts. 

•       Participating students and staff are strongly encouraged to confirm a negative rapid antigen test before attending school at the start of Term 1.

•       If your child is a household close contact, you must follow NSW Health advice to stay home and isolate. 

•       If your child has even mild COVID-19 symptoms, get them tested with a RAT or PCR (nose and throat swab) test.

•       They must isolate until they receive a negative test result, in line with health protocols. 

•       If symptoms continue, they should stay at home and take another RAT in 24 hours or have a PCR test. If the second RAT or initial PCR test result is negative or another diagnosis is confirmed such as hay fever, they can return to school.

Unwell?

What to do when COVID-19 positive

•       Parents and carers must register positive RAT results from students on the Service NSW website or Service NSW app and notify the school as soon as possible.

•       Students who receive a COVID-19 positive RAT or PCR test must tell their school as soon as possible and isolate for 7 days.

•       I l will inform the school community when there is a positive case at school and advise families on public health advice, including monitoring for symptoms. 

•       Follow the latest Health advice for guidance on how to manage and treat COVID-19, including when to leave isolation and return to school.  

•       In NSW, positive COVID-19 cases are provided a Medical Clearance Notice after 7 days and allowed to leave self-isolation as long as they do not have COVID-19 symptoms. 

Vaccinations

•       All staff on school sites must be fully vaccinated, including having their booster when eligible.

•       We strongly recommend all eligible students (and their families) who are 5 years and older get vaccinated.

•       COVID-19 vaccination is the best protection against severe illness and also reduces the risk of spreading it to others.

•       Visit the Find a vaccine clinic website to book an appointment near you.

Ventilation

•       Natural ventilation is the most effective measure, so we will maximise fresh air flow in learning spaces through opening doors and windows. This approach is strongly supported by expert advice.

•       Where natural ventilation is not sufficient, mechanical ventilation and/or air purification will be used and we will continue to use outdoor settings where possible. 

Masks

Masks
All staff, students and visitors are required to wear surgical masks indoors on school site. 

•       Students will be provided with surgical masks as a back-up when needed, and they are required to wear them indoors.

•       Students are encouraged to wear masks for all travel on public transport.

•       No vented or cloth masks should be worn. 

•       Surgical masks will be provided by the school if required.

•       Surgical masks are strongly encouraged in outdoor settings where you cannot physically distance.

•        Your child can remove their mask when eating, exercising and playing a musical instrument.

•        For more information, refer to Masks and face coverings

Visitors and Activities

•       Until further notice, no visitors will be allowed on school grounds except two parents or carers to support students starting at a new school. 

•       No visitors are allowed on school sites until further notice except for fully vaccinated:

•       workers or volunteers operating uniform shops and canteens

•       visitors supporting school operations and curriculum delivery

•       The department has provided guidance to schools on assessing higher risk activities and applying appropriate safeguards.

•       We will seek parental consent for participation in any extracurricular, outside of school hours or off-site activities – with appropriate safeguards in place.

Minimising the Spread

•       We will continue to use best practice hygiene processes on school site.

•       Our enhanced cleaning practices will focus on 'high-touch' areas that students and staff move through regularly.

•       We will continue to highlight physical distancing, maintaining 1.5 metres distance wherever possible.

•       All staff and essential visitors will continue to use the school’s QR code check-in. 

Where possible, we expect all of our students to be back at school for Day 1, Term 1. 


Advice for families

Find updated information on the department's Advice for families page to support students who are anxious about returning to school – or get in touch with us directly.
education.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/advice-for-families

Guidelines if your child is exposed to COVID-19

Visit the NSW Health website for the latest guidance if your child/guardian is a household close contact. 
health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/people-exposed-to-covid 

Managing COVID-19 at home
Advice for managing COVID-19 at home, including when to leave isolation.

Kind regards,

Paula Graham

Principal

Maitland High School