For updates related to COVID-19 click here.
A warm welcome to all of you to another year at PCS! The grass is mown, classrooms set up, chromebooks polished and staff are excitedly counting down the days until our first day with students on Thursday! I hope you have had a nice Christmas break with plenty of time with family and friends. As the holidays draw to a close, I have the usual sense of anticipation for a great year in 2022.
40th Year Celebrations
I am so pleased to announce that 2022 marks 40 years of Parkes Christian School! We have a huge year planned to celebrate this milestone including some key events later in the year that I look forward to you being a part of. Our theme this year is ‘40 Years of Faithfulness’. How humbling it is to be part of something so much bigger than ourselves. We are only here because of the hard work, generosity and prayer of many who have gone before us. I look forward to talking more about the significance of our 40 year anniversary as we go throughout the year.
I am very excited to announce a host of new staff to PCS in 2022! We have been busy recruiting over the past 4 months and we are ready to start this Thursday with a full complement of teachers and support staff. I have included a table at the end of this article that outlines all staff and their roles at PCS for 2022. As we move into these first few weeks, there will be opportunities to get to know our new staff better. A further announcement will be made regarding our Welcome BBQ and ‘Meet the Teacher’ night in the weeks ahead as we assess the COVID situation. In the meantime, I would strongly encourage parents to make an appointment or drop in before or after school to say hello and meet your child’s teacher, particularly in our Primary school. We are especially excited to welcome all our Kindy students to school for their very first day on Thursday!
I’m sure you are all aware that COVID is still with us, including the restrictions that have carried over from last year. Moving forward we will be adopting a sustainable approach to operating with COVID in our community. To that end, restrictions from the end of 2021 will remain in place at this point in time. Parents are still welcome to drop children off at classrooms but will have limited access to assemblies and events until restrictions are further eased. Please read the frequently asked questions included at the end of this article regarding the latest advice to NSW Independent Schools.
Capital Works Update
Our Industrial Arts Center officially opened this week! After 12 months of construction, this brand new facility is finished and ready for use. Whilst landscaping and finishing touches are still being made, students will be able to get in and enjoy this much anticipated facility from Week 1. A huge thank you to Barnes Construction for delivering this amazing build for PCS!
Construction has begun on a new heavy vehicle access to the back of the new Industrial Arts Center. Steve Magill Earthmoving are currently preparing the site which will feature an access road, turning circle, shaded bus parking and kerb and guttering. We are so excited for this project and the benefits it will bring for traffic flow at the school.
Our COLA (roof over the basketball court), is all but complete. Landscaping is finished, and the new acrylic surface is scheduled to be painted in February. New basketball rings will also be installed asap. Students will be free to use this amazing, shaded structure from day one. Thank you to Jim and Kaylene Davis and the host of volunteers who have brought this project to life. Let the handball games begin!
Future planning is well underway for the next development at PCS. I look forward to bringing you more details as we move through the year!
On behalf of all the staff, know that we are committed to providing the best education possible for your child in 2022. Thank you again for choosing to partner with us to grow a generation of young men and women who love God, love life and are ready to make a positive impact on this world. What a privilege it is to be the principal of this great school.
Have a great first week and I look forward to seeing you all soon!
2022 Staff List
Mr Glen Westcott
|Business Manager |
Mrs Elsie Joubert
|High School Coordinator |
Mr Greg Ballantyne
|Primary Coordinator |
Mrs Elizabeth Harris
|Mr Glen Westcott||Mrs Elsie Joubert|
|Mr Greg Ballantyne||Mrs Elizabeth Harris|
|Mr Jay Quince||Mrs Annette Moss|
|Mrs Anne Wynstra||Mr Jason Wynstra|
|Miss Hollie Oates|
|Mrs Elizabeth Harris||Primary Coordinator and Year 1|
|Mrs Annette Moss||Learning Support CoordinatorStage 2 Coordinator|
|Miss Amy Crawford||Kindergarten|
|Mrs Elizabeth Harris||Year 1 Teacher|
|Mrs Rinske Mol||Year 1 (Wednesdays)|
|Mrs Carmela Limen||Year 2 Teacher|
|Mr Fredericks||Year 3 Teacher|
|Mrs Anne Peterson||Year 4 Teacher|
|Mr Matthew Denmead||Year 5 and 3-6 Welfare Coordinator|
|Mrs Alison Nunn||Year 6 Teacher|
|Mrs Angela King||K-4 RFF Teacher|
|Miss Kristen Barrass||Library and Digital Technology|
|Mr Greg Ballantyne||English, Multimedia|
|Miss Kristen Barrass||Agriculture, Technology and Library|
|Mr Paul Brown||English, Geography and Music|
|Mrs Sharon Deen-Moody||Mathematics and Science|
|Mrs Felicity Dobbs||English, History and Mathematics|
|Miss Katrina Harris||English, History and Drama|
|Mr Stephen Hooper||Mathematics|
|Mrs Rasha Lynn||Mathematics, Science, Visual Arts and Technology|
|Mrs Alice Milne||English, Visual Arts and Language|
|Miss Hollie Oates||English, Commerce, CAFS and Girls Welfare|
|Mr Jay Quince||Mathematics, SDD, Technology, Electronics and Boys Welfare|
|Mrs Ronel van Wyk||PDHPE, PASS|
|Mrs Angela Wilson||Technology and PDH|
|Mrs Anne Wynstra||Science, Food Technology and HS Administration|
|Mrs Jason Wynstra||Design and Technology, Automotive and Visual Arts|
|Learning Support Coordinator|
|Mrs Annette Moss|
|Learning Support Staff|
|Mr Peter Clifton|
|Mr Shannon McCutcheon|
|Mrs Belinda Boland|
|Mrs Carla Greef|
|Mrs Wendy Richards (Lab Assistant)|
|Mrs Melanie Hodge|
|Mr Ben Pearce|
|Social Media/Advertising/Library Assistant|
|Business Manager||Mrs Elsie Joubert|
|Enrolments Officer||Mrs Belinda Westcott|
|Administration||Mrs Belinda Westcott and Mrs Lisa Gillow|
|Accounts Officer||Mrs Anna Pearce|
|Grounds and Maintenance|
|Mr Shannon McCutcheon and friends!|
Term 1 COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Are masks mandatory?
The requirements for the wearing of masks has not changed since 2021. Masks are mandatory for all students aged over 12 to wear on school buses. In the school setting, High School students are required to wear masks indoors while Primary students are encouraged to wear masks.
Will students be provided with RAHT kits?
Yes. As part of the NSW Government’s focus on prioritising face-to-face learning in schools, the NSW Government through the NSW Department of Education is providing rapid antigen home test (RAHT) kits to all schools in NSW to be used for surveillance testing by staff and students as well as incident response for the first 4 weeks of Term 1, 2022.
RAHT kits are recommended for students to be used as a screening tool for the first few weeks of Term 1, with the possibility of extension. Whilst the Department of Education is recommending testing twice a week, the frequency of testing is ultimately a decision that rests with the parents. Testing is not mandated by the NSW Government. At a minimum I would encourage parents to consider testing children if they feel unwell or develop COVID symptoms, including a sore throat, runny nose, a cough or shortness of breath. As per our current policy, if a student feels unwell, they should stay home. As soon as test kits arrive they will be made available for parents to collect.
Staff will also be provided test kits and follow the same procedures for testing and notifying the school.
What is the process for RAHT testing? Do people test at home?
The RAHT kits that will be provided are a quick and easy screening tool to help detect COVID-19 in people who do not have symptoms. They involve a simple nose swab that is placed in a chemical solution. Schools will not administer RAHT tests to students. Parents/carers of children participating in RAHT testing will be required to administer the RAHT test at home. Provided within the RAHT kits are instructions on how to use the tests, check the results and how to dispose of the tests safely. Parents, carers and staff can also download the user guides of the relevant test that they received through the Therapeutic Goods Administration website.
What if a parent does not allow or want their child to have a RAHT test?
The use of RAHT for students is not mandated by the NSW Government. If a parent decides that their child(ren) will not participate in RAHT testing, their child(ren) should still attend school unless they have symptoms or are required to isolate (e.g. because they have tested positive or are a household contact).
What does a student or staff member do if they test positive?
If a student or staff member receives a positive RAHT test, they need to:
• record the positive RAHT result through the Service NSW website or parent’s Service NSW app
• notify the school of the positive RAT or PCR test result as soon as possible
• follow NSW Health advice to isolate for 7 days
• leave isolation after 7 days if no symptoms (sore throat, runny nose, cough or shortness of breath)
• if there are symptoms after 7 days, then remain in isolation until 24 hours after symptoms have resolved. Note: if a person continues to have symptoms, they are able to leave isolation after 7 days with a medical clearance.
Negative results do not need to be reported to Service NSW or to the school.
When can a student or staff member return to school after testing positive?
Once a person who has tested positive to COVID-19 has finished their isolation period as detailed above, they can immediately return to school settings. Individuals do not have to return a negative test to leave isolation as there may still be a viral load present in their system which may result in a positive test result. However, they are not likely to continue to be infectious.
What does the school do if a student or staff member tests positive?
The PHO requires staff and students to immediately notify the school of their positive result.
Schools will no longer have to send cohorts home or undertake contact tracing when there is a case within the school. In place of contact tracing, a letter will be sent home to students within that particular class alerting them of a positive case and to be on the lookout for symptoms. Vulnerable students will also be notified.
Is it correct that close contacts may attend school (staff and students) but must otherwise isolate?
Yes. There is an exemption in place to allow school staff and students identified as close/household contacts to leave isolation for the purpose of attending school. Currently the PHO exemption requires these people to have a PCR test and then RAHT tests daily for the seven-day isolation period and notify the school of the outcome of each test. The exemption from isolation is only to attend school, at other times the person must comply with the isolation requirements. Any other individual that has contact with a COVID positive person is not required to isolate but is advised by Health to assess the level of risk of the contact and respond accordingly. This means any exposure to COVID at school or socially does not result in a person being a close contact.
Are Term 1 excursions still going ahead?
Some excursions are still going ahead as planned. Stage 4 will still go to Crusader Camp at Lake Macquarie, and Stage 6 will still be travelling to Lands Edge on Sydney Harbour, while Stage 5 will have modifications made to their excursion to avoid unnecessary risk of exposure to COVID. Details will be released asap. The SRC excursion to Newcastle will also be reviewed with details to come out soon.
I will continue to keep you informed of any changes to COVID procedures and/or restrictions as they occur.
Thank you for your ongoing understanding in this area. If you have any concerns or questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.