Berri Regional Secondary College cancels senior classes due to COVID-19 outbreak

A Riverland high school has canceled its classes for year 11 and 12 students due to an outbreak of COVID-19 among pupils and staff.

Berri Regional Secondary College announced on Monday all affected students would study from home for three days from Tuesday to Thursday, in what the school called a “circuit breaker”.

The students will not be provided with explicit teaching during the three-day period, but are expected to continue with their own learning programs.

Students in years seven to 10 are still allowed to attend campus as long as they are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

All staff and students are being encouraged to monitor for symptoms and to get tested if they develop.

Principal Emily Griggs said the decision was made after consulting SA’s education department and SA Health for advice.

She said the decision was about “risk mitigation” for the school.

“It was brought to my attention yesterday morning that there was a number of students and staff that tested positive over the weekend,” Ms Griggs said.

Berri Regional Secondary College’s year seven to 10 students are able to attend classes.(ABC News)

“Considering the range of different large community events that also happened over the weekend, I spoke to our department and SA Health about what we could do to mitigate that risk for the whole schooling community.

It is the first time a Riverland school has closed classes due to positive COVID-19 cases during this current omicron wave.

Hundreds of active cases

According to SA Health’s COVID-19 heatmap, there 128 active cases in the Berri Barmera Council region and a combined 241 in the neighboring Renmark Paringa and Loxton Waikerie council local government areas.

Ms Griggs said it was a tough decision, but one made with the safety of staff and students in mind.

“It’s really about taking each individual situation and the needs of each individual student into account and just working through those complexities with parents and carers.

“I encourage anyone who has concerns from my schooling community to reach out to us directly so we can help and support where we need to.”

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