Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Covid-19 Related School Closure In NSW – 17th of August 2020

The news just came over the weekend that Sydney Girls High School will close on Monday due to positive Covid-19 test. I thought it is a good time to do a summary of school closure due to the Covid-19 infections this year so far.

Following are the public schools closure due to Covid-19

Sydney Girls High School – 17 August 2020
Parramatta Public School – 12 August 2020
Bonnyrigg Heights Public School – 10 August 2020
Bonnyrigg High School – 4 August 2020
Greenway Park Public School – 4 August 2020
Fort Street High School – 30 July 2020
Bayanami Public School – 29 July 2020
Tomaree Public School – 23 July 2020
Tomaree HS – 23 July 2020
Camden High School – 26 June 2020
Lane Cove West Public School – 25 June 2020
Laguna Street Public School – 13 to 24 June 2020
Rose Bay PS – 12 to 15 June 2020
Werrington Public School – 14 May 2020
Warragamba Public School – 4 May 2020
Bankstown Senior College – 6 April 2020
St Marys Senior High School – 2-3 April 2020
Kincumber High School – 1 April 2020
Wiley Park Girls High School – 2 April 2020
Riverside Girls High School – 30 March 2020
Normanhurst West Public School – 23-26 March 2020
Katoomba High School – 13 March 2020
Willoughby Girls High School – 9-10 March 2020
Epping Boys High School – 6 March 2020

NSW private school closure due to Covid-19

Tangara School – 10-21 August 2020
Our Lady of Mercy College – 10 August 2020
St Pius X High School – 5-7 August 2020
EverLearn Preschool – 30 July 2020
St Margaret Mary’s Primary School – 30 July 2020
Cerdon College – 24 July 2020
Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School – 24 July 2020
Freeman Catholic College – 24 July 2020
Green Point Christian College – 3 July 2020
Waverley College – 26 May 2020
Moriah College – 26 May 2020
St Ignatius College – 20 May 2020
St Patrick’s Marist College – 8 March 2020

I probably missed some schools, but this should be pretty close to a full list. As we can all see in the first four-month after first incidence there were in total 20 school closure, but in the last month we had seen 18 school closure.

Australia wide there are a total of 23288 confirmed infections today and an increase of 285 which is equivalent to 1.24% from yesterday. Victoria counted 97.89% of the new Covid-19 infection for today in Australia.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Tangara School Cluster – 10th of August 2020

There had been a number of temporary school closure over last week. In particular the Tangara School For Girls in north west of Sydney, up to today there are already 11 cases in this cluster.

Contact tracers are still trying to determine how the Covid-19 spread between the students and staff, plus the source of the original infection. The school will close until 24th of August.

Batemans Bay High School and Bonnyrigg Heights Public School are also closed due students at both school tested positive for Covid-19.

With continuing community transmission, we can have easily have an explosion of infection in NSW and cause Victoria like situation. I feel it is just sustainable to keep shutting down schools left and right.

Australia wide there are a total of 21734 confirmed infections today and an increase of 337 which is equivalent to 1.57% from yesterday. Victoria counted 95.55% of the new Covid-19 infection for today in Australia.

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Pyrmont Stabbing And Reflection On School Violence During My High School Years

The recent Pyrmont Stabbing by a number of school students on a stranger caught a lot of media attention. I will not go into detail on the case, anyone interested in that can search it up themself.

I will just go over my personal experience at high school in Sydney. I went to an average middle of the road none selective government high school. I personally had a good time and made a lot of good friends. Violence in the school itself is very rare and I don’t remember withness any serious fights myself.

I have known people in year higher than me got into a tussle with someone and gathered his friends from outside the school they had for a fight near the station. The guy got expelled for this afterwards. I have also heard stories of people got robbed of their shoes, yes you heard it right, never seen it myself.

A guy from Taiwan likes to carry a butterfly knife around the school, he eventually got into trouble for something else not for fighting and transferred out of the school.

Things got more serious in the later years, there are two groups in my school one got Lebanese and another Vietnamese background. They do not get along at all, but I never heard any fights or such. Until one-day crap hits the fan, before the school in a shop the two groups got into a fight, one of the guy from Vietnamese group pulled a knife and stabbed one from another group in the stomach. He survived, but I never saw him in the school again.

However, I want to convey my high school life was pretty uneventful and I never felt unsafe or anything of the such. I do hear stories of some schools can be pretty wild, a particular teacher got threw out of the window, a student trying to run over a teacher with a bike etc. Primary school teacher is a very popular profession with demand far outstrips position available. It is much easier to secure a high school teaching position, I think precisely because primary school students are much easier to deal with. Not easy being a high school teacher in Australia and I have a lot of respect for them.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Stage 4 Lock Down For Victoria – 2nd of August 2020

Following weeks of climbing Covid-19 infection rate in the Victoria over the last few weeks despite the implementation of stage 3 lockdown means harsher restrictions have been implemented. There are measures such as 5km movement limit from home, nightly curfew etc. From coming Wednesday all Victorian students will be on remote learning, this including both metropolitan and regional area. Schools will still open for children of essential works or special needs etc. Currently, year 11 and 12 students in Victoria metropolitan area which essentially is the greater Melbourne will shift from face to face teaching to remote learning as well.

With announced six-week stage 4 lockdown, the entire Victorian school term 3 will pretty much be conducted remotely. In NSW, my children’s school still do not perform any assemblies and all excursions, camps etc are cancelled as well. Parents are not allowed on the school ground as well.

Australia wide there are a total of 17895 confirmed infections today and an increase of 687 which is equivalent to 3.99% from yesterday. Victoria counted 97.67% of the new Covid-19 infection for today in Australia.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – More NSW Schools Suffer Temp Closure – 1st of August 2020

School closure due to Covid-19 virus is so regular now, people just seem to take it as it comes. Four more schools in NSW suffered a temp closure last week.

Fort Street High School
Freeman Catholic College
Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School
EverLearn Preschool

The case of Fort Street High School is particularly interesting, the school was closed on Thursday due to possible Covid-19 case which test result turned out to be negative.

This is with a fairly low daily case level of around 20 in the NSW and if this jumps up more, the situation deteriorates very quickly resulting in a large number of school closures. It is a good demonstration of suppression strategy is not really sustainable and will cause massive disruption to the school educations. Given that we are on a large island, it is viable to try and eliminate the virus and keep a tight quarantine to wait for the development of the vaccine.

Australia wide there are a total of 17282 confirmed infections today and an increase of 417 which is equivalent to 2.47% from yesterday. Victoria counted 95.20% of the new Covid-19 infection for today in Australia. The cases are keep popping up everywhere in Sydney and Queensland already closed its border to residents of greater Sydney. It really will not take much for this to get really out of hand very quickly.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – More NSW Schools Closed For Cleaning – 25th of July 2020

Three more NSW schools in Western Sydney was closed on Friday after multiple students were tested positive for Covid-19. The schools in question are as follows.

  • Cerdon College
  • Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School
  • Freeman Catholic College

The schools are expected to reopen by middle of the next week. This sort of things has been happening fair frequently in the last few weeks in Australia. While in isolation the short school closures are not a big deal, however if we cannot eliminate this virus, we will have more and more frequent occurance of this and it is simply not sustanable in the long run.

We have similar geographic set up as New Zealand and if they can do it, we can eliminate the virus as well get our schools back to normal again. Rather than stuck in the current cycle of suppression, reopen and suppression again, it is better to bite the bullet and go for the elimination. There is an assumption by Federal and some state governments that complete elimination of the Covid-19 is not possible. We need to have some political courage and take the hard road to get Australia back to normal as soon as possible.

Australia wide there are a total of 13950 confirmed infections today and an increase of 374 which is equivalent to 2.75% from yesterday. Victoria counted 95.45% of the new Covid-19 infection for today in Australia. With the number of people on the street in Sydney, I do not think the suppression strategy will work for NSW. Eventually, we may have to bite the bullet and go for a hard lockdown like NZ went through.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – NSW Schools Start Term 3 – 21st of July 2020

NSW schools started their term 3 today and my kids are both back to school now. Unfortunately with the surging growth of Covid-19 community infections in NSW, this may change very soon. The speed of infection currently spreading, unless we going into lockdown, there is a good chance that NSW schools will have to go back to remote learning again anyway.

Australia wide there are a total of 12428 confirmed infections today and an increase of 387 which is equivalent to 3.21% from yesterday. Victoria counted 96.64% of the new Covid-19 infection for today in Australia. Infections look like to be exploding in NSW as well, so it is likely we are heading towards the second wave is happening in Australia as well. I personally believe suppression is not a viable strategy and elimination then the vaccine is the only viable way forward from this point on.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Victorian School Holiday Extended – 9th of July 2020

With the entire state of Victoria going back into stage 3 lockdown, winter holiday for metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire schools has also been extended for one more week and reopen on 20th of July for students from prep to year 10. It is very likely that many of the Victorian schools will go back to remote learning again after school restarts.

Regional schools will go back to face to face learning next week as previously planned. Private and Catholic schools are expected to follow this as well.

In case you are not aware of, Al-Taqwa College in western Melbourne suffered the biggest school related outbreak of Coronavirus so far in Australia with over 90 infections traced back to school in question.

With the way things are going, it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

Australia wide there are a total of 8870 confirmed infections today and an increase of 182 which is equivalent to 2.09% from yesterday. Victoria counted 90.66% of the total Covid-19 infection for today in Australia.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Second Wave In Victoria – 2nd of July 2020

Victoria has suffered a string of school closure in the last two weeks including human to human transmission within the school. Right now Victorian schools are on their winter holiday which goes from 27th of June to the 12th of July. Currently, there are discussions happening on whether schools within the specific lockdown suburbs will reopen on term three or not.

Victoria also suffering from very significant community transmissions and the next two to three weeks will largely determine which direction this will go.

Australia wide there are a total of 8001 confirmed infections today and an increase of 86 which is equivalent to 1.09% from yesterday. Victoria counted 89.53% of the total Covid-19 infection for today in Australia.

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Chatswood Public and High School Upgrade

Anybody who has been to the Chatswood Public and High School recently can easily notice how cramped they are and facilities are very dated as well. Chatswood also has been a massive building boom recently, the multiple new high rise residential towers are the best proves of this. The upgrade plan has passed the planning and currently in the design stage.

Quoting the NSW school infrastructure website

  • More than 150 new and refurbished teaching spaces from Kindergarten to Year 12.
  • Increased quality active play space currently allocated to both schools.
  • Specialist teaching facilities such as maths, science and art rooms.
  • Dedicated performing arts spaces and music rooms at the high school.
  • New sports facilities and recreational areas.
  • New libraries and administration facilities.

You can find the detailed upgrade plan with the following link.

Chatswood Public and High School Upgrade Plan

The current demountable buildings on the site of Chatswood High School used by Chatswood Public School will continue used as it is. Forecasted completion date will be in late 2023.

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