Dear parents and guardians,
I am sure you will be aware that the lockdown has been extended for another four weeks, until Friday 27 August (Week 7). This means that, for the majority of our students, online learning will continue. While we are disappointed that students cannot return to the campus yet, given the transmissibility of the Delta variant it is no surprise.
The exception to this is our Year 12 students. The premier has advised they will be able to return to face-to-face learning from Monday 16 August. This is excellent news, and the two-week notice period gives us all the opportunity to prepare for their return. The premier announced the introduction of rapid antigen testing in schools; we will give you more information on this as soon as we get it. Both the premier and our chief health officer also spoke about the importance of taking the opportunity to be vaccinated as soon as possible. This two-week window before Year 12s return gives everyone over the age of 18 the time to arrange at least their first dose of a vaccination. If we come back vaccinated (with at least one dose), with rapid antigen testing and our safety precautions in place we will have some strong protective measures.
I recently read an article by Liam Mannix, the national science reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald, on assessing risk and the AstraZeneca vaccine:
He notes that “over enough time, your chances of catching COVID-19 rise to about 100 per cent. This might surprise you, but think about it: eventually, Australia will reopen and the virus will circulate. If you live a sufficiently long life, you will almost certainly catch COVID-19”. That was an eye-opening few sentences for me. We probably can’t avoid the virus indefinitely, but vaccinations are the key to ensuring that we stay as safe as possible.
Ms McCullah will be in touch with Year 12 families as soon as she receives updated information about the trail examinations (hopefully by the end of the week). And, as always, we will keep all families updated as we get further information. For now, we will (in the words of Dr Kerry Chant) “hold our course” and begin our preparations for the return of Year 12.
Best wishes, and thank you as always for your support and understanding.