COVID-19 update: 13 March 2020

13 March 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians

I trust your daughters have enjoyed a good start to the year and are beginning to look forward to the Easter break. As we continue to monitor the progress of COVID-19 and prepare for a range of contingencies, I write to provide a further update on our preparation and to enlist your help.


We need your help
The nature of the pandemic demands a consistent, society-wide response. So far, our families have been very supportive but there is a misunderstanding that we are keen to dispel.

We have been emphasising the need to keep your daughters home from school if they are sick. Some parents have interpreted this to mean ‘Keep her home if she is sick and you have reason to believe it could be COVID-19.’ This is not the message.

Public health experts have been stressing the need to ‘flatten out’ the demand on hospitals generally. If they become overburdened, Australians of all ages and in all circumstances are put at risk. We have excellent hospitals and health care in Australia and if we reduce the level of general illness in the community, we help ensure that they have sufficient capacity to care for those who become sick – whether through COVID-19 or any other cause in coming months. We all have a civic and moral obligation, therefore, to keep ourselves and others as healthy as possible.

The message I wish to stress, therefore, is this: Anyone who is sick for any reason should stay home until they are completely recovered.

This is why we have been sending girls home if they arrive at school with any symptoms of illness. This is why we have been insisting that parents must interrupt their other commitments to collect her. We understand the inconvenience involved and appreciate, as always, your cooperation. We rely on your support of this approach, for the sake of our girls and the wider community.

Parent Checklist

  1. Contact Details - Ensure that your contact details with the School are up to date, particularly your mobile phone and email address, so we can contact you in an emergency. Please inform the if your contact details have recently changed.

  2. COVID-19 Updates - All information relating to management of COVID-19, including any communications at short notice, can be found via our website, so we suggest you bookmark the page here for quick reference. It can also be found on the website via Quick Links/COVID-19 Updates.

  3. Health Management Plans - Please inform the if there is a health management plan in place for your daughter that indicates she is particularly vulnerable to infection so we can plan for her accordingly.

  4. Off-Campus Learning - Readiness Testing If the School has to close, we will move to online learning. Tomorrow (Saturday) morning, Senior School parents will receive an email with some checks to perform to ensure that everything is in place for your daughter to access this successfully. Please complete these checks this weekend.

  5. School Closure Planning - Plan for how your daughter will travel home or be collected in the event school premises are closed, possibly in the middle of the day. Details of the collection plan are outlined below.

  6. Junior School Authorisation - Junior School parents must nominate an additional family member or friend who is authorised to collect their daughter if they are unable to do so: Authorise Collection Here.

  7. Travel Risk Warning-  Areas of risk are changing daily and key advisors such as the NSW Chief Health Officer have expressed increasing concern about international travel. We remind parents that there is the possibility that girls who travel anywhere overseas may have to self-isolate on return. Experience in other countries also suggests that the same requirement could at some point extend to girls returning from a hot-spot within Australia, or living in households where someone has recently returned from an area of high risk. We will be following expert advice in this regard.

  8. Student Travel Register - As advised last week, any family preparing to travel overseas in coming months should complete the Student Travel Register.

  9. Hygiene & Social Distancing - Continue to emphasise hygiene and social distancing with your daughters. An excellent, practical list of steps can be found in this article.

Planning for Off-Campus Learning 

We are preparing for the possibility of closure of our premises. In that case learning will continue off-campus.

Senior School

  • Teaching, homework and assessment will continue via CANVAS.

  • Assessments for Years 11 and 12 will be adapted or rescheduled as required.

  • Girls should ensure that essential materials and equipment are taken home each night.

    Junior School

  • Teaching will continue through online learning programs and other resources. Parents will be given further advice in this regard.

  • Feedback on student work will be provided through age-appropriate channels.

Campus Closure - Communication

The timing and notice of closure is unpredictable and the School will rely on the advice of NSW Health and other authorities.

  • If required to close, the School will send an SMS to parents with a link to our website.

  • Please ensure your details are up to date.

  • All after-school and extra-curricular activities will be cancelled in this event.

  • As closure could occur in the middle of the day, parents must plan for this contingency.

Campus Closure – Senior School

  • Girls who walk or travel by public transport will be released immediately to travel home in the usual way.

  • Girls who usually travel on Queenwood buses will be supervised at school until they travel home on the Queenwood bus at the usual time.

  • Girls who need to be collected will be taken to Hunter Park to meet you.

  • Once most students have been collected, the remainder will be brought back to the main campus at 47 Mandolong Road to await collection.

Campus Closure – Junior School

  • Junior School parents must nominate another family member or friend authorised to collect their daughter in the event they are unable to do so. See ‘Parent Checklist’ above.

  • After-School Care will operate as usual for those registered on that day.

  • Parents should collect their daughters from their classrooms and should enter via the Lower Queen Street gates. The car park will be closed.

  • Girls who usually walk home or travel on Queenwood buses will be supervised at school until they travel home at the usual time in the usual way.

  • Once most students have been collected the remainder will be supervised to await collection. Please report to Reception for further information.

Review of Events and Activities

As described in my email last week, we have introduced a number of social distancing and hygiene strategies which are being further strengthened.

  • From next week, events which bring large numbers of our girls into contact with large numbers outside Queenwood will be postponed or cancelled. We will use alternative ways to achieve the desired curriculum outcomes. Details will be provided to those affected.

  • We will also incorporate social distancing into some routine activities e.g. by staggering assemblies and using larger spaces to allow for greater space between students.

  • Activities which involve only small numbers or which are limited to Queenwood students are continuing for now, with adaptations to reduce proximity and contact.

  • Social events organised by the School and the QPA are being cancelled or postponed for the time being. We know this is disappointing but having consulted with parents, we believe it is a prudent and necessary measure.

  • We have been asked about private social events including children’s birthday parties. We respect that this is a matter for each family to determine and each organiser will have to ask the same questions: Is everyone attending healthy? Are there ways I can limit potential exposure? Will I know exactly who is attending?

We are assessing risks daily and these arrangements are being reviewed continually as circumstances evolve.

Once again, I thank you for your supportive response so far. The health and wellbeing of our students, staff and community remain our highest priority.

Ms Elizabeth Stone