Illawarra principals have welcomed the release of new COVID-safe school guidelines.
Tarrawanna Public School principal Bronwyn Jeffree was looking forward to the start of the new school year next week.
"I think [guidelines] are good. It is a continuation of what we were doing last year," Mrs Jeffree said.
"Our community has been really good with everything suggested by the department. I think everyone wants to stay safe and keep moving forward until a vaccination happens."
Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the main update to the guidelines is that parents and carers of children in Kindergarten, and Years 1, 2 and 7 will be able to enter school grounds on the first day to drop off their children in a COVID-safe way.
"The first day of school is an incredibly important day, especially for those children starting Kindergarten. I am so thrilled that despite the challenges of the pandemic, parents and carers will be able to take part in this milestone event in their child's life in a COVID-safe way," Ms Mitchell said.
Mrs Jeffree was especially pleased for parents of Kindergarten students.
"I'm so happy the parents will be able to come to school and take photos of this special moment for their kids," she said.
Parents and carers attending on day one and beyond are urged to follow COVID-safe practices, which include physical distancing, hygiene practices and not to mingle in or outside the school.
"Our school has a really big area. It is easy for everyone to spread out," Mrs Jeffree said.
Schools will provide relevant information to families about the processes for their school prior to the first day.
Parents, staff and students are not required to wear face masks at school but in line with Public Health Orders, masks must be worn by those aged 12 years and over on any public transport.
Similarly, students aged 12 and over must comply with the Public Health Orders around masks at all other relevant locations within the community, and also during external school activities.
Schools can still plan for sporting carnivals, excursions and overnight camps, and special events such as concerts, with a COVID Safety Plan in place.
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