IMPORTANT NEWS: 2022 COVID Update #1 – Return To School Information

Dear Canterbury Families and Staff,

I write today with most, but probably not all, the answers you might be seeking around Canterbury’s approach to the delayed start of the school year, as officially announced by the Queensland Premier over the weekend.


20,566 new COVID cases were confirmed in Queensland over the past 24 hours, adding to the 9,581 new cases in the 24 hours before that, making at least 109,524 currently active confirmed cases in this State.

It’s now best (and safest) to assume every public venue, shopping centre, large office or school either is, or soon will be, experiencing direct COVID contacts, and to manage this situation calmly, responsibly and accordingly – including our own Early Learning Centre and Camp Australia OSHC, which reopened on Tuesday 4 January.

Canterbury will be working with the State Government, Independent Schools Queensland, and our staff, students and parents to restrict and remove COVID’s spread as much as possible from our campus.

With this in mind, please heed our Golden Rule at all times: If you feel unwell, have COVID symptoms, or have tested COVID positive – please stay isolated at home until you have fully recovered and/or have tested negative (where and when testing and timely results are possible).

As always, please visit the Queensland Health Website for the latest detailed guidelines on COVID symptoms, testing, masks, rules and restrictions, health precautions, general advice and case numbers.

Our Return To School Arrangements

  • Onsite campus learning for Prep to Year 12 will now officially commence on Monday 7 February.
  • Remote learning for our Year 11 and 12 students will commence from Monday 31 January for one week, until that revised formal start of the school year. It is not our intention to open up remote learning for other year levels at this stage, although we will reassess after our teaching staff return next week.
    NB: Please see ISQ’s explanatory notes at the bottom of this document.
  • We will be offering a supervised learning program onsite at the College campus for Prep to Year 10 students of essential workers, and for vulnerable children, from Monday 24 January to Friday 4 February. The Queensland Government’s definition of essential services workers and vulnerable children will be used to approve places in this program.
  • This will not be the official curriculum, but rather a supervised, age-specific learning program, which creates opportunities for students to be meaningfully engaged. Our intention is for both teachers and learning assistants to supervise this program. A separate email with a survey link will be sent to families soon, allowing us to understand how many students to plan for.

Other Important Information

  • Our Early Learning Centre, Camp Australia Vacation Care, Summer Holidays Fun & Fitness Camps and Taipans Sport Clubs will continue to operate, but with clear instructions to those who are symptomatic or ‘close contacts’ to remain at home.
  • COVID is playing havoc with school uniform production and supply lines both internationally and domestically, meaning delays at our Uniform Shop and affiliated School Locker Superstore in Loganholme for some items – especially the new Prep uniforms. We are monitoring the situation closely and will give confirmed updates when possible. Hopefully, our standing orders are fulfilled by the end of Term One, but Canterbury will be very understanding of the need for students to substitute similar items for a short time.
  • Parents are strongly encouraged to continue collecting Microsoft Surface Pro laptops from our IT Services Office over the coming weeks. So far, dozens of devices have been collected by Year 4, Year 7 and many ‘opt-in’ families.

School Event Impacts

  • Some January and February events, co-curricular activities and gatherings for staff, students and parents will need to be cancelled or postponed as per below:
  • 2022 Music Camp Weekend: Friday 21 – Sunday 23 January – CANCELLED.
    Year 7 Orientation Day: 
    Friday 21 January – NOW Friday 4 February.
    2022 Scholars Ceremony: Friday 28 January – NOW Friday 11 February.
    New Families Welcome Evening:
     Friday 28 January – POSTPONED: New Date TBA.
    Year 12 Soiree:
     Friday 4 February – POSTPONED: New Date TBA.
    Year 11 Outdoor Education Camp:
     Monday 7 – Wednesday 9 February – POSTPONED: New Date TBA.
    TAS & JTAS Trimester 1 Saturday Sport:
     Rounds 1-2 – LIKELY CANCELLED: Awaiting confirmation from our TAS counterparts.

Other Health Information

  • Masks must be worn indoors at Secondary Schools across Queensland, unless officially or medically exempted, until further notice.
  • From 11.59pm (AEST) Sunday 23 January 2022, mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for all workers or volunteers delivering a service at a school or early childhood education and care setting. The College has sought evidence from all its staff of their double vaccination status. All staff presenting from 23 January 2022 will be compliant with this Public Health Directive.
  • Deep cleaning will be conducted after hours across our Canterbury campus at all ‘high touch’ areas.
  • Our teachers will also focus on classroom ventilation and assessing where lessons can sometimes be held in open-air, outdoor locations.

Final Comments

We are unfortunately re-entering a time where fluid planning, ambiguity and volatility is again our ‘norm’.

It is likely that some students and staff will need to isolate in the interests of their own health, or their family’s health, or contract COVID and be forced to miss some school days.

I have no doubt that February will see considerable flux in school and event attendances.

So from the outset, I send positive thoughts to you and your loved ones that this outbreak is short-lived, not severe and your health and wellbeing is secure.

Please stay safe and courteous of your fellow Canterbury school families, and hopefully COVID Omicron signals the least harmful and final pandemic virus variant.

Kind regards

Dan Walker

Canterbury College

Independent Schools Queensland Addendum

School parents should be aware that:

  • The State Government expects a large percentage of the population to be infected and unwell in late January and early February as infections peak.
  • This would likely mean many teaching staff will be unwell, or caring for unwell family members, meaning that a school may not have the staff available on a daily basis to deliver remote learning beyond Years 11 and 12.
  • Many students are also likely to be unwell, or in a house with unwell family members, which may prevent them from participating in remote learning (and then normal on-campus school days later on).
  • A combination of these factors means that remote learning for the full school cohort is most likely unviable to deliver during this peak infections period.
  • Independent schools are expected to be open on 24 January to provide useful supervision for children of essential workers and vulnerable children.
  • State schools will implement staffing arrangements to ensure only the minimum number of staff are onsite during this period. Independent schools might also consider taking this approach, to minimise the risk of having large numbers of staff in the same location at the peak of the virus.

PS: Official College Letterhead Version.