Mr Andrew Hawkins
As we approach the exam block and assessment period the theme to the students at the Prep and Senior Campuses has been to finish well. This time last year the community, including me, were looking forward to the end of 2020 and the start of a new year that looked a little more ‘normal’. 2021 has been anything but normal and I again thank the community for being so supportive and patient while we navigated through the challenges of another disruptive year. The only controllable right now is the boys’ preparation for assessment and their conduct in the exams. What we cannot control is what might occur when we return to school in 2022.
I am reluctant to forecast what 2022 might bring, but the leadership team have been working hard to prepare for anything from school closures to a full TSS calendar of events. We have been watching closely the positive cases in schools in Victoria and New South Wales, especially those schools that have a boarding cohort within their school. It seems the days of lockdowns may be behind us, however contact tracing and restrictions may linger for some time across the states and territories. One guarantee is that once the Queensland borders open to interstate and international travellers, if and when we meet the vaccination targets, our COVID numbers will increase exponentially. The unknown is how the authorities will react to those numbers.
Another unknown is what decisions will be made around mandatory vaccinations for staff in education. Queensland does remain one of the last states to mandate such vaccinations in the education sector. We cannot predict those decisions currently but I will certainly communicate regularly with the community over the summer break to update all families and staff of decisions that will affect the start of the school year in 2022.
At this stage there is not much to report in relation to COVID updates for 2022. We will not be changing any of our vertical House systems in the Day or Boarding Houses in the short-term. If it became mandated to move our students in to cohorts and clusters by Queensland Health due to an outbreak within our community we have planned accordingly. Decisions around quarantine locations for interstate and international student travellers at TSS are currently being finalised and information in this space will be communicated early in 2022.
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