From the Head Master
The first few days of the re-opening of the State have gone well and have been very well-received, which is true also of the first few days of the return to school. I was actually taken a little by surprise at the sense of joy that I experienced when hearing the sounds of our youngest boys playing outside during a break time. As I walked by I waved and called out, but I think most of them didn’t recognise me under the mask!
It appears that our modified arrangements for the Year groups that returned this week have been implemented smoothly, albeit requiring additional effort and compromises from all stakeholders. Week 4, when all students from Pre-K to Year 11 return, and the IB Diploma examinations commence, will be the real test for us. As families are aware, we are modifying and limiting some of our usual arrangements in order to manage risk and to meet some of the challenges of returning in the shadow of COVID-19.
I want to thank the families of our older boys, who are eligible for vaccination, for sending through the information as to their son’s vaccination status. The response to my request last week actually overloaded our servers at a couple of points, so my thanks for persevering in getting the information through.
The situation with reference to student vaccination is very encouraging. At the start of the week, we had evidence that just under 70% of MS/SS students had received at least one dose, and 53% were fully vaccinated. Today, 77% of the eligible boys have had at least one dose, and 63% are fully vaccinated. The School continues to encourage families to heed the public health recommendations and seek to have their son(s) vaccinated. Please also ensure that the School has a record of your son’s vaccination status, which can be uploaded via this link.
Communications regarding the return to school arrangements next week are being disseminated on a campus-specific basis. Please take the time to read and understand these communications, as the process will be smoother and safer if we all work together according to the plans. As always, if people choose to do just whatever is most suitable for them, it can create great difficulties for the community as a whole.
With this in mind, I want to suggest a particular consideration for the families of the boys in the Middle and Senior Schools. I want to ask you to consider ‘the final few hundred metres’ of your son’s trip to school. While our School is well-served with a massive underground carpark and drop-off/pick-up zone, it can nonetheless become congested and this is likely to be even more the case in the next little while. It could well be better for individual families, and the community as a whole, to choose to walk ‘the final few hundred metres’, rather than coming into the carpark.
To be clear, I am not suggesting that the boys be dropped at another point on the perimeter of the School block. In fact, I am specifically asking you not to drop the boys on the perimeter of the School block. This is likely to cause issues with the existing traffic flow of cars and buses, and it does nothing to diminish congestion in the immediate vicinity of the School. Rather, my suggestion is that families may be able to identify a location in surrounding streets, which does not inconvenience local residents and that does not contribute to congestion at the School, from which the boys may approach the School on foot.
My particular recommendation, which is ideal for families approaching the School from the south, would be to drop the boys off on Old Canterbury Road alongside Yeo Park. This would allow the boys to make their way into the School at the Prospect St gates without needing to cross any roads, and it would keep the family vehicle from being caught up in Victoria St. The School has discussed this prospect with the traffic authorities at the Inner West Council and they are supportive of it. Please see the suggested walk in to School areas mapped here.
Obviously, this request has some reality checks. It is going to be an option most suitable for boys when they are not over-burdened with additional bags and items. Age, mobility, weather and other circumstances may come into play.
However, a couple of hundred metres walking is not going to do any harm to a young man. My guess is that most of us who are parents of this age group, would have walked at least that distance in their own school days.
This is a matter where the choices of individual families play out with cumulative impacts on the community as a whole. The main impost of this request falls on the Trinity Middle and Senior School boys themselves. However, their small sacrifice could improve the overall experience of the community as a whole. I would love to think that the young men of Trinity would be prepared to serve our community in this way.
On another sort of walk-in, NSW Health have requested schools to alert parents that this Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 October, more than 40 NSW vaccination locations will be participating in the NSW Health vaccination Walk-in Weekend for people aged 12 to 15.
Consent is required from a parent or guardian at the appointment. More than 76% of 12 to 15 year-old’s have had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. If you are considering vaccination for a child in this age range, or are finding yourself waiting for an appointment, this weekend may present an accessible opportunity. More information about the walk-in weekend for people aged 12-15 years can be found here.
As always, your support of the School is appreciated. We are looking forward to seeing the community gathering once again on Monday.
Detur gloria soli Deo.
Tim Bowden | Head Master
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