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Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools

COVID-19 Information for parents/carers - Frequently Asked Questions

In line with the Government’s Roadmap to easing Queensland’s restrictions, Toowoomba Catholic Schools (TCS) will continue to adhere to physical distancing and enhanced hygiene measures in order to provide COVID-Safe facilities and protect the health, safety and wellbeing of students, staff and the wider school community. 

The following information is provided to assist parents and carers. 

At school

Are parents/carers allowed on school sites?

Restrictions continue to ease in Queensland and as such, parents and carers are welcome on school sites as long as they adhere to COVID safe practices. These include physical distancing between adults, not exceeding occupant density limits for rooms, heightened hygiene measures and staying at home if sick. 

What are schools doing to limit transmission of COVID-19?

Schools will continue to ensure physical distancing and high standards of health and hygiene are practised on-site. 

Do students need to wear masks while attending school?

Students are not required to wear a mask while at school. 

Further information and advice regarding face masks is available fromQueensland Health. 

Does physical distancing apply to students aged 18 years or older?

No, in school settings students who are 18 years or older are able to interact at school in the same way as their younger peers. They are required to follow the same health and hygiene protocols required of all students. 

What happens if my child's teacher is unwell or a vulnerable worker?

Schools will manage staffing as they normally do. If teachers are unwell or unable to attend school due to health reasons, principals will engage supply teachers as required. 

Can shared or loaned equipment be used?

Shared equipment such as library books, school readers, Industrial Technology and Design (ITD) resources, musical instruments and sports equipment can be used or loaned as long as cleaning and hygiene management processes are followed.  

What will happen in the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19?

Toowoomba Catholic Schools has established protocols if a confirmed case of COVID-19 occurs in a school. We will 

  • follow the advice of Queensland Health 
  • work with the school community to minimise the impact of a confirmed case 
  • ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of staff, students and visitors are prioritised. 

If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a school community, the school may need to temporarily close to allow time for public health authorities to conduct contact tracing and deep cleaning to be undertaken prior to reopening. 

Can my child access her/his usual school transport arrangements?

Transport arrangements will continue to operate for students, including specialist school transport for students with disability. 

Can a student enter Queensland from interstate?

Anyone can enter Queensland, unless they have been in aCOVID-19 hotspotin the last 14 days. 

Declared hotspots can change and it is important for you to ensure you are aware of the current declared hotspot listing. Information regarding border restrictions can be found on the Queensland Government COVID-19 website. 

If a student is enrolled at a boarding school, they can enter Queensland if they are entering Queensland for study, even if they have been in a declared hotspot in the last 14 days. Parents and legal guardians are allowed to accompany students who are minors. 

Health and wellbeing

What if my child is unwell?

Any child who is showing signs of illness such as COVID-19 symptoms, or feeling unwell, must stay at home. 

If a child is showing signs of illness at school, the school will contact the parent or carer to collect the child. 

As advised by Queensland Health and the Chief Health Officer, anyone who develops a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath should contact their doctor or call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84). 

What if my child requires health support at school?

Health support will continue to be provided to students attending school. As well as practising and promoting high standards of hygiene, schools will ensure that staff use personal protective equipment (PPE) for specialised health procedures as advised by Queensland Health. 

What if my child has a medical condition or is medically vulnerable?

Students who are unable to return to school due to medical reasons will be supported by their school, just as they would in the case of any extended medical absence. 

You can also visit the TCS website Learning from home page. 

What support is available for student wellbeing?

School staff will continue to be alert to the wellbeing needs of students. If parents/carers are concerned about their child's wellbeing they should contact their school. 

Resources to support students' wellbeing are available on the TCS website Learning from home page. 

Attendance and reporting

What are the current arrangements for school attendance?

All schools have now returned to on-site teaching and learning. Normal school attendance arrangements apply. 

If a student is unwell they must not attend school. As advised by Queensland Health and the Chief Health Officer, anyone who develops a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath should contact their doctor or call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84). 

How will my child's academic achievement be reported?

Please contact your child's school if you have any questions about how it will report on academic achievement. 

Parent-teacher interviews approved by the principal can occur, ensuring physical distancing requirements are maintained and other COVID-19 control measures are implemented. Where possible, options for teleconference or online platforms should be available. 

How will schools help my child if they fall behind during the pandemic?

COVID-19 has disrupted many aspects of life and this is likely to impact students in different ways. 

Teachers are highly skilled at using a differentiated approach to meet the learning needs of a range of students, and this will continue to be a particular area of focus. 

If you have specific concerns about your child's progress or any particular learning challenges that have arisen, please raise them with your child's classroom teacher. Teachers can employ a range of techniques to address these concerns. 

What about students in Senior Secondary years?

The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) has published Principles and advice for P-10 during COVID-19 disruptions, addressing common curriculum questions, teaching and learning, assessment and reporting. 

The QCAA will continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 on senior secondary schooling and will share information as it becomes available. 

TCS continues to work with QCAA and provide advice to schools regarding senior secondary schooling. 

School activities

Can camps, excursions, concerts, musicals, assemblies and functions be held?

Schools are able to hold both indoor and outdoor events. 

There are health and safety requirements that must be implemented to ensure these functions are COVID safe. Each school will implement the required measures based on the type of event that is planned. 

Are rehearsals and performances allowed for instrumental music programs, ensembles and choirs?

Instrumental music programs, ensembles and choirs can rehearse in the school environment provided COVID safety protocols are in place. 

Can school sport competitions take place?

Schools are able to conduct inter-school and representative school sport programs for both indoor and outdoor sports. Selected Queensland state championships will also take place. 

There are health and safety requirements that must be implemented to ensure these events are COVID safe. Each school will implement the required measures based on the type of event that is planned. 

Further information regarding Queensland School Sport, including FAQs, planning documents and a calendar of state championship events, is available to support schools and sports organisers to train and compete in a safe, responsible and low risk manner that complies with the latest health advice. 

Please do not attend any event if you are unwell. 

On-site facilities

Can school tuckshops operate?

Schools or tuckshop providers will advise parents of local operating arrangements. 

Can community groups use school facilities?

Principals may negotiate the use of their facilities for external users if the external user has met the requirements of Queensland Health approved COVID Safe Industry Plans. 

If groups are not covered by an approved COVID Safe Industry Plan, the principal must ensure all measures have been taken to meet Chief Health Officer requirements. 

Please do not attend any school site if you are unwell. 

School visitors

Can contractors and visitors enter schools?

Schools will ensure any visitors entering the school grounds, including parents, carers, adult volunteers and visiting specialists, comply with on-site health and safety measures. 

Please do not attend any school site if you are unwell. 

Can meetings be held on school grounds?

Meetings can occur within school grounds as long as physical distancing is maintained and other COVID-19 control measures are implemented. 

Please do not attend any school site if you are unwell. 

Vocational training and work experience 

Will vocational education and training continue?

Vocational education and training (VET) courses will continue. Registered Training Organisations (RTO) can attend schools to deliver these programs and students can attend RTO sites, as long as physical distancing and effective hygiene protocols are adhered to. 

Schools will continue to ensure physical distancing protocols are applied appropriately in all teaching, learning and assessment programs. This may mean that some practical elements may take place in a different way. Where students use shared equipment, strict hygiene measures will continue. 

Can students undertake work experience or structured workplace learning?

Schools will give careful consideration to allowing their students to participate in work experience programs in line with 

  • current Queensland Government COVID-19 advice   
  • students' Senior Education and Training plans 
  • the necessity to undertake work experience at this time 
  • the operations of the workplace environment 
  • appropriate risk assessment procedures. 

If work experience is required as part of structured workplace learning, or through a vocational placement, the school will negotiate with the relevant Registered Training Organisation. 

Will students be able to continue with their school-based apprenticeships and traineeships?

Students can continue to participate in their school-based apprenticeship or traineeship if 

  • the student remains enrolled at school, whether attending school or learning on-line at home 
  • the employer can continue to offer employment and on-the-job training related to their qualification and training plan. 

Students who are attending a workplace must adhere to all COVID-19 health and safety measures in line with the current Queensland Government COVID-19 advice. 

Boarding schools, outside school hours care and early childhood facilities

What is the status for boarding schools?

The only TCS residential boarding facility, St Saviour’s College, is open for all students. 

Boarding students who reside in designated indigenous communities and have not yet returned to their boarding facility, will continue to have their learning program provided by the school at which they are usually enrolled. These students may continue to access their local school where there is a documented agreement signed by both principals. 

Are outside school hours care (OSHC) and vacation care services available?

OSHC services will continue to operate before and after school and vacation care. 

Parents should contact their local OSHC to confirm arrangements. 

What are the arrangements for playgroups?

Playgroups that involve parents on school sites need to follow Queensland's Roadmap to easing restrictions. Physical distancing requirements for adults will remain in place. 

Local school decisions around these programs will be made by the principal on a case-by-case basis to ensure the latest health, hygiene and physical distancing requirements are met. 

Please note as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, this information is subject to change.