Parents get go ahead to share ‘first day of school’ memory, and high school students advised to mask up on buses

The NSW Department of Education is allowing parents of Kindergarten and Year 7 students to enter school grounds with their child to share their child’s first day of school and high school. Photo: Emma Darbin.

 

PARENTS of Kindergarten students and Year Seven students will be able to share in their child’s first day of school and high school milestones, under new COVID-19 guidelines issued by the NSW Department of Education.

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Under the new guidelines, parents and carers of children in Kindergarten, and Years One, Two and Seven will be able to enter school grounds on the first day to drop off their children at school in a COVID-safe way.

“The first day of school is an incredibly important day, especially for those children starting Kindergarten,” NSW Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said.

“I am so thrilled that despite the challenges of the pandemic, parents and carers will be able to take part in this milestone event in their child’s life in a COVID-safe way.

“Parents and carers attending on day one and beyond are urged to follow COVID-safe practices, which include physical distancing, hygiene practices and not to mingle in or outside the school.”

Individual schools will provide relevant information to families about the processes for their school.

The NSW Department of Education said parents, staff and students are not required to wear face masks at school, however in line with Public Health Orders, masks must be worn by those aged twelve and over on any public transport when travelling to and from school.

When contacted by News Of The Area, local bus company Forest Coach Lines at Coffs Harbour stated that their company was following Transport for NSW recommendations and advising all members of the public, including high school students, to wear a mask when travelling on their buses, however it was not mandatory to do so and it would not be enforced by company staff.

“We have stickers on our buses asking people to wear masks, but it’s not enforceable,” a company spokesperson said.

Parents are advised to avoid coming on to school grounds unless the visit complies with the current school guidelines, such as volunteering at the school canteen or visiting the uniform shop.

Schools can still plan for sporting carnivals, excursions and overnight camps, and special events such as concerts, with a COVID Safety Plan in place.

School resumes on Friday 29 January for high school students in Years Seven, Eleven and Twelve in public schools, and for students in Years One to Six in public primary schools.

Public high school students entering Years Eight to Ten in 2021 will resume school for the year on Monday 1 February.

Kindergarten students in public schools will begin their school journey on Tuesday 2 February.

 

By Emma DARBIN

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