Students hoping to mark the end of their time at school will be banned from attending formal dances or graduations as NSW brings in tough new coronavirus restrictions.
From Wednesday, all public schools across the state will be required to enforce the tough rules to ensure face-to-face learning can continue throughout the pandemic.
The restrictions were announced on Monday, the same day Sydney Girls High School, in the city’s inner-eastern suburbs, was forced to shut for a deep clean due to a student testing positive.
Formals, dances, graduation ceremonies and all social events are banned under the new rules.
A Year 12 assembly may be held on campus – without parents present – to mark the completion of school.
Choirs and other singing activities, as well as the use of wind instruments in group settings, are not permitted.
Year 12 students will not be allowed to mark the end of their time at school with a formal or graduation, as NSW brings in tough new coronavirus restrictions (stock image)
Formals, dances, graduation ceremonies and all social events will be banned from Wednesday (stock image)
A student or teacher with flu-like symptoms is prohibited from returning to school until they receive a negative coronavirus test.
Students must stay in their class or year group to avoid mixing and they are not allowed to travel outside their local community or zone, including between rural and regional areas.
Dance activities and drama group work can continue under a COVID-19 Safety Plan, while interschool sport and zone carnivals are restricted to 100 people per venue and must be held in the local area.
Parents and carers are not allowed on school grounds or at sporting events during the school hours.
The rules will be in place for the remainder of Term 3, which runs until Friday September 25.
Students at Sydney Girls High returned to school on Tuesday after the school was thoroughly cleaned.
Wind instruments in group settings will be banned for the rest of Term 3 in NSW public schools (stock image)
Choirs and other singing activities will not be permitted in NSW public schools from Wednesday
NSW recorded three new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, one in hotel quarantine and two locally acquired in south-western Sydney.
One of the locally acquired cases is a close contact of a person connected to the funeral gatherings cluster, while the source of the other infection is under investigation.
On Monday, NSW recorded seven new coronavirus cases, including six acquired locally.
Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said the rules applying to public schools would come into effect on Wednesday, but that she has written to private schools asking them to also abide.
Sydney Girls High School in the city’s inner-eastern suburbs was shut for a deep clean on Monday
Pictured: Security guards are seen near Sydney Girls High School after a student tested positive
‘It is also being done with the spirit of trying to make sure that our schools can maintain their on-site learning,’ she said.
Students and staff required to support HSC students are permitted to meet their HSC requirements with COVID-19 safety measures in place.
Sydney Girls High School said a trial HSC exam set down for Monday would be rescheduled.
Tangara School for Girls in Sydney’s north-west, which has been linked to 25 cases, remains closed.
Tangara School for Girls (pictured) in Sydney’s north-west has been linked to 25 cases
Three of Monday’s locally acquired cases were close contacts of the cases linked to the Chopstixs restaurant at Smithfield RSL, and two were close contacts of a case linked to Our Lady of Mercy College at Parramatta whose source was still under investigation.
One of the OLMC contacts attended Sydney Girls High while infectious on August 6, 7, 10 and 11.
On Friday, Tangara School for Girls was cleared of breaching COVID-19 restrictions.
New South Wales health brought in police to investigate the school after parents claimed they were ignoring social distancing rules.
A police spokeswoman on Friday confirmed NSW Health had asked officers to investigate but the probe had concluded and the college had been cleared.
In a statement on their website, the school said the ‘misinformation’ circulating during the ‘challenging and emotional period’ needed to be clarified.
In a statement online the school said the ‘misinformation’ circulating during the ‘challenging and emotional period’ needed to be clarified
‘Today NSW Police deemed that no Public Health Orders have been breached at Tangara,’ the statement read.
‘We have always followed the advice of NSW Health around COVID-19 and will continue to do so.’
The probe was initiated after an angry parent spoke to 2GB Radio’s Ben Fordham to suggest the school wasn’t following health guidelines and was still offering communion along with compulsory mass.
‘According to this parent, the school has not been practicing COVID-safe measures,’ Fordham said on Thursday.
‘They say the primary school has been doing weekly choir, they’ve continued compulsory mass, students are still taking communion by the hand and teachers have been taking it by the tongue.
EXTRA SAFETY MEASURES FOR NSW SCHOOLS TO MINIMIZE THE SPREAD OF COVID-19
ACTIVITIES BANNED IN TERM THREE:
* No school formals, dances, graduation or other social events.
* No group singing (choirs) and/or other chanting activities.
* No wind instruments in group settings. Special arrangements for HSC students.
* No interschool sport, drama, debating and other events outside of the local community or zone including gala days and regional sporting carnivals.
* Sport between schools will be restricted to competing students and staff, with parents and spectators banned.
* No large arts and sports events.
* No travel outside the local community area. Metropolitan schools cannot travel outside their local area or to regional areas. Regional areas cannot travel into metropolitan areas or other regional areas.
* No school camps, excursions, interstate excursions, international excursions.
* No parents at assemblies and other school events.
* No parent volunteers in classrooms – canteen and uniform shop volunteers allowed.
* No parent/community functions, working bees, fundraisers, school BBQs, large parent information evenings, and large on-site cultural events.
* Only providers essential to the delivery of the curriculum can provide services and programs.
* No parents/carers and other non-essential visitors allowed on school grounds.
* No Kindergarten orientation.
* No year 7 orientation (delayed until term 4).
* No school or community-run playgroups.
* No face-to-face professional learning for staff.
COVID-SAFE REGULATIONS FOR TERM THREE:
* Students and staff with flu-like symptoms will need to provide a copy of a negative COVID-19 test result before being permitted to return to school.
Schools to promote:
* Regularly washing hands.
* Avoiding sharing drinks or food.
* Coughing or sneezing into your elbow or a tissue, which should be discarded immediately.
* Filling water bottles from bubblers rather than drinking from the bubbler.