COVID-19: Important Advice and Information

The leadership team and staff at Penrith Anglican College are working hard to manage the various challenges associated with the current COVID-19 situation.

Although there is inevitably disruption and concern associated with these matters, the School is well-placed to manage the situation. This page contains information and links to do with COVID-19 and Penrith Anglican College, in date order of addition.

This page will be updated regularly. If the content of this page has a significant update, an SMS alert will be provided to families.

If you have any questions regarding this or any other aspect of our Coronavirus Health Action Plan, please contact Mrs Grima at principal@penrith.nsw.edu.au or on 4736 8100.

Download the Penrith Anglican College Off Campus Learning Plan.

Thursday 2 April 2020

Dear Parents and Carers
I am constantly amazed by how the students and staff at Penrith Anglican College embrace change. The College’s recent shift to ‘Off Campus Learning’ has no doubt been a challenge, yet our College community has turned it into a wonderful opportunity for innovation and creativity. Our community has been strengthened by the experience as we support and care for each other in this unique period.

I would particularly like to thank the parents and carers within our College community for continuing to work in partnership with our teaching staff as we navigate this new frontier together. We have aimed to both inform and support you throughout the implementation of ‘Off-Campus Learning’. We have gleaned valuable information from our phone calls and emails to individual families that have allowed us to refine and improve our communication and teaching. In order to continue to develop our approaches, parents are invited to complete the following survey bit.ly/PACParentSurvey2020

We are all aware of family and friends whose employment has been impacted and, in some cases, ended entirely. We are listening to similar stories from some of you who have already contacted us with your concerns over finances. The College Council and I would like to let you know that it is our desire that no student leave the College during this time of uncertainty due to finances. We are considering a range of measures to provide assistance. We ask for your patience for a short time as we finalise these arrangements to ensure they are targeted both broadly and specifically as required.

Some families have already made their particular challenges known to the College and I am grateful for your early and proactive approach. I invite others to do the same if your financial position has changed and you require assistance. You should contact Mr Rodney Cosier (College Business Manager) in the first instance, email r.cosier@pac.nsw.edu.au or phone Reception on 4736 8100.

I would like to offer my sincere thanks and appreciation to all members of the College community for their demonstrated confidence in the College, its leadership and its staff. Your messages of encouragement and support have been sincerely appreciated. I would like to affirm the effort of College staff who, like you all, are working hard themselves in a rapidly changing and challenging environment. Teachers, in particular, have managed the rapid transition from face-to-face learning to Off-Campus Learning, and done so with energy, calm, professionalism and personal care for their students. I am proud to lead this team.

We continue to pray for our community and we remain encouraged by the promises of Christ in Isaiah 41:10 -
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at the College by phone or email.

Yours sincerely
Felicity Grima
Principal

Sunday 29 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

The College is continually monitoring and following advice from relevant authorities in relation to COVID-19. The health, safety, and wellbeing of our students and staff remains our priority, along with ensuring continuity of learning for all students. In line with advice from the Prime Minister tonight, only children of workers who are unable to work from home should attend the College each day. All other students will complete their schoolwork at home using our Off-Campus Learning’ program.

Our ‘Off-Campus Learning’ program has been devised as part of our ongoing commitment to the continuity of learning and the wellbeing of your children while we navigate these challenging times together. Our commitment to maintaining the provision of excellent learning opportunities has seen this project implemented in a few short weeks. Although such a program may normally result from a longer planning process, we are confident of the quality and effectiveness of our program for your children.

I have been incredibly proud of the teachers and staff at the College as they embraced this challenge. Our staff are going above and beyond to deliver quality learning to our students through this new program. However I am unsurprised by this diligence and effort – the teachers at the College are wonderful teaching professionals.

The provision of an Off-Campus Learning program does not mean less work for teachers and staff. The work load is in fact greater as teachers navigate new platforms and modes of delivery. Our staff and teachers are working extraordinarily long hours and are stepping up to this because they care deeply for our students – your children.

Later this week, parents and students will be provided with the opportunity to offer your feedback on the program as we continue to refine and improve.

Thank you again for the many messages of support staff have received over the past weeks as this situation has unfolded. Our staff remain committed to ensuring our students engage in quality learning, experience a high level of student care and support, and know that they belong to an outstanding Christian learning community.
Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at the College by phone or email.

Yours sincerely
Mrs Felicity Grima
Principal

Monday 23 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

As you are aware, the College is monitoring and following advice from relevant authorities. The health, safety, and wellbeing of our students and staff is our priority, along with ensuring continuity of learning for all students.

I am writing to advise you that in line with advice from both the Prime Minister and the Premier of NSW, we are strongly encouraging all students to remain at home until the end of Term 1. The College campus will remain open for those students who are unable to be supervised at home. For the remainder of this week, students in Years 11 and 12 are encouraged to attend the campus in order to best prepare themselves for Off Campus Learning.

The College will be moving to Off Campus Learning for all years to ensure continuity of learning for all students. This will begin on Wednesday 25 March.

Please read the following carefully to understand how the College will be operating from Tuesday 24 March and complete the survey found at https://bit.ly/PACStudentAttendance.

Pre-K to Year 6
Students have already received their Home Learning Packs and instructions on how to access and use any online learning platforms. Students are welcome to begin this work from Tuesday. This day could also be used to set up work stations at home. Please expect to be contacted by your child’s Core Teacher to ensure we have the correct contact details for your family and to touch base regarding your family’s wellbeing in these unprecedented times.

Students who are at the College on Tuesday will not attend normal classes. Students will be supervised in year groups and will participate in a range of activities which complement the Primary curriculum.

From Wednesday, the College’s Off Campus Learning Plan will begin for all students whether working at the College or from home. Please see the separate document titled “Off Campus Learning Plan.”

Years 7 to 10
Students in Years 7-10 have a number of assessment tasks at this point in time. Time on Tuesday should be spent working on assessments. Students on campus will not be in timetabled classes and will be supervised in G Block as they work independently on these assignments. Students will have the opportunity to have regular breaks and be active.

Mentor Teachers will contact all families to ensure that our contact details are up to date and appropriate and to touch base regarding your family’s wellbeing in these unprecedented times.

From Wednesday, the College’s Off Campus Learning Plan will begin for all students. Please see the separate document titled “Off Campus Learning Plan.”

Years 11 and 12
The College strongly encourages Year 11 and 12 students to continue to attend regular classes at the College for the remainder of this week.

Where this is not possible students will be emailed the content of the lesson from 7:30-8:30am each day. Staff may expect students to Zoom into a lesson, or there may be content that students can complete at home independently.

Full Off Campus Learning will begin for Years 11 and 12 students on Monday 30 March.

Mentor Teachers will contact all families to ensure that our contact details are up to date and appropriate and to touch base regarding your family’s wellbeing in these unprecedented times.

NESA is updating schools regularly and will provide further clarity regarding the HSC in the coming days.
The International Baccalaureate Organisation is also communicating regularly with schools and parents will be kept updated as information is published.

General

  • Students who attend the College should wear school uniform, with sports uniform being worn on the normal days. There will be regular break times, and times of physical activity.
  • The Canteen will remain open, under current restrictions, for online orders only.
  • Students who attend the College should bring their own water, and will be required to abide by social distancing protocols where possible.
  • As far as we are aware, buses will operate according to their published timetables.
  • Camp Australia will continue to provide Before and After School Care.
  • Previously communicated directions in relation to social distancing and minimising transmission will continue. Staff or students with cold or flu like symptoms will be asked to stay away from the College.

Thank you for the many messages of support staff have received over the past weeks as this situation has unfolded. Our staff are committed to remaining in contact with the students and ensuring they have opportunities to engage in quality learning, experience a high level of student care and support, and know that they belong to an outstanding Christian learning community.

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at the College by phone or email.

Yours sincerely
Mrs Felicity Grima

Friday 20 March 2020

The current situation across the globe is moving very fast and changing daily. We will continue to update our community in regard to the College’s response to the COVID-19 situation as it unfolds and governments make announcements relevant to our College.

Penrith Anglican College is known for its strong community and it is at times like these that we see this strength through the compassionate, caring and genuine support of each other. This was evident today as we conducted our first Chapel Service live-streamed into each classroom at the College. We work together and support one another. We continue to put our trust in God knowing that He will strengthen us, uphold us and comfort us.

As part of our considered, prepared and responsive approach to this fluid situation, we continue to monitor and reassess each aspect of our College practice in order to provide a safe and supportive environment for our community. We have put several additional, precautionary measures in place this week.

Communication
In addition to the College App, email and text messaging, we have launched a parent portal on the College web-site specially for COVID-19 information and communications. Where possible, information will be posted in date order, with the most recent at the top of the page. Communication will continue to be provided through all our normal channels. It is hoped that this portal will assist parents to easily locate information from the College at a later point as well as provide advice from other sources.

The COVID-19 portal is located in the top righthand corner of the web-site within the portal button.

Possible College Closure
The Prime Minister, based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, has asked schools to remain open at this point in time. Notwithstanding this current advice and given this is a very dynamic situation, it is still possible that an across the board closure of schools in NSW, if not Australia, might take place in the foreseeable future.

Further, it may be possible that the College is closed individually if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in our community. In such circumstances, the length of closure would be on the advice of the Health authorities.

Our staff has been working and planning for the possibility of the School closing, preparing work and testing systems for making work available online. In addition to this planning, Primary staff have been proactive by providing ‘Home Learning’ packs for primary student and additional Library books. Secondary students have been loaned novels to read for future units of studies.

All students have been briefed and are well prepared for learning at home using a range of resources and online platforms.

Food at the College

  • Until further notice, the Canteen will remain operational, but purchases must be online through FlexiSchools www.flexischools.com.au. There will be no food sold over the counter.
  • No money will be exchanged at the canteen.
  • The water bubblers have been turned off. Students need to bring a water bottle with them to the College. Staff will allow bottles to be refilled in an appropriate location.
  • Students wishing to celebrate their birthday with their peers should bring pre-packaged treats instead of cakes and doughnuts.

Students and Staff currently excluded from the College

Students and Staff are currently excluded from the College if they:

  • have returned to Australia from oversees since 16 March 2020
  • have been in or transited through China within the last 14 days
  • have been in Iran within the last 14 days
  • have arrived from the Republic of Korea after 5 March 2020
  • have arrived from Italy after 6pm 11 March 2020
  • are under medical assessment
  • have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 or
  • have had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 infection.

Students who present with cold or flu symptoms at the College, in particular a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, should remain at home and are not to attend school until the symptoms resolve.

Social Distancing
The Government has instructed that indoor gatherings should be no larger than 100 and outdoor gatherings should be no larger than 500. As a consequence:

  • Chapels and Assemblies will be filmed and stream to classrooms.
  • Students are instructed to spread out as much as possible at breaktimes (our 48 acre campus makes this easier) and in classrooms.
  • Areas of potential congregation will be closed such as the Canteen space.
  • The Library and E-Study Centre are supervised and students asked to adhere to social distancing.
  • We are considering other internal activities on a case-by-case basis.

Following is a full summary of cancelled events:

  • College Cross Country
  • All excursions
  • NAPLAN Testing
  • All External Sporting events including representative trials and carnivals until further notice
  • 2020 College Musical “Suessical” (postponed until 2021) and all associated rehearsals and activities
  • Year 6 Excursion to Canberra
  • Penrith Anglican College Fun Fair
  • All College Tours, Information Evenings and ‘Taster’ days
  • Rostrum Public Speaking
  • HICES Debating
  • P&F Meetings
  • Principal Coffee Mornings/Afternoon teas
  • 7-10 Parent-Teacher Interviews (will be rescheduled)
  • Easter Hat Parade
  • Great Western Sydney Careers Market
  • Australian Airforce Cadets

At this point in time, Easter and ANZAC Services will be filmed and streamed to classrooms. Parents will be not be able to attend.

Incursions will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Before and After School Care – provided by Camp Australia
Before and after school care will continue to operate as normal. Separate communication has been provided to families who use the service by Camp Australia. For further information contact call 0424 461 509 between the hours of 6:30am – 8:40am or 3:15pm – 6:00pm or email oshc@campaustralia.com.au

Uniform Shop
The Uniform Shop will continue to operate as normal.
Tuesday 8:00am to 11:00am
Wednesday 12:00pm to 5:00pm
Friday 8:00am to 11:00am

Parents and students may be asked to wait outside during busy times to ensure social distancing.
Online orders can still be placed via the following link: http://penrithanglicancollege.permapleat.com.au/shop/

Monday 16 March 2020

As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold, the College is closely monitoring and following all advice from the relevant authorities.

At the College, the health, safety and wellbeing of our students and staff is the greatest priority, followed closely by the continuity of educational services to our students.

With these priorities in mind, and in line with current advice, the College is implementing a range of protocols in the coming week.

From Monday 16 March until further notice:

  • All offsite activities are postponed or cancelled.
  • Incursions and on-site visits will be subject to strict requirements.
  • Gatherings held indoors at the College will not involve any more than two year groups together.
  • Chapel Services will be run differently, avoiding more than two year groups being together inside at any time.
  • Primary and Secondary Assemblies will not occur.
  • Primary School outdoor morning assemblies will run as normal.
  • School sport will still run onsite and will be modified as required. All interschool sport has been cancelled.
  • Offsite Tabitha activities will not run. Tabitha students will participate in activities onsite.
  • We will suspend the use of Parent Volunteers until further notice.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, if parents or families have been overseas, returning after midnight Sunday 15 March, the Government requires that they self-isolate for 14 days after their return.

For Week 8, March 16 – 20, the following events have been cancelled:

  • Offsite Sport (as above)
  • Offsite Tabitha Activities (as above)
  • Year 10 Photography excursion
  • Pre-K – Kindy Open Morning

The protocols above will be in place until further notice and tighter restrictions may be introduced as the situation and advice changes.

I wish to reassure parents that the College has been planning for this contingency to ensure that teaching and learning can continue from Pre-K to Year 12 as required.

To assist us in communicating clearly and efficiently with all College families, I ask that you ensure that your contact details on Edumate are accurate and up to date.

Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at the College by phone or email.

For the latest information on COVID-19 from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, please see their COVID-19 page.

The College will keep families updated by email as the situation develops. Please join me in keeping the College and the wider situation in your prayers.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Yours sincerely

Felicity Grima
Principal