Year 12 student across Bathurst are sure to be breathing a sigh of relief, as the state government confirmed on Friday the Higher School Certificate [HSC] will go ahead in person this year.
HSC examinations will go ahead on November 9 and last until December 3, with strict COVID-safe protocols to be in place to ensure the safety of students, staff and exam supervisors.
All exam supervisors will need to be fully vaccinated by November 9, and eligible HSC students have been strongly encouraged to be 'double dosed' before commencing exams.
Denison College Kelso High Campus principal Michael Sloan said the confirmation has given students certainty to prepare accordingly.
"It's good to have the certainty, and it gives the students dates to work towards," Mr Sloan said.
"One of the hardest things about lockdown and learning from home are all the question marks posed: dates for the trials, student wellbeing etc.: but now we have dates, and whatever the regulations are, we'll make it work."
With the current Year 12 cohort having not only faced a disrupted HSC year, but a disrupted Year 11 too, Mr Sloan has congratulated students for the resilience and tenacity they have shown over the last 18 months.
"We've received a host of 'stress less' care packages as a kind gesture from Moodie's Pharmacy, which we intend to deliver to students in the coming weeks," he said.
"Our Year 12 students have been working consistently hard through circumstances beyond their control, and they will certainly be stronger citizens from it as they enter life after school."
Mr Sloan's sentiments have been echoed by Denison College Bathurst High Campus principal Ken Barwick, who said their Year 12 cohort are "raring to return to school and finish it off."
"The HSC is the culmination of 13 years of schooling, and our students are likely to benefit from an extended period of face-to-face learning before commencing exams," Mr Barwick said.
"I couldn't be more proud of this particular cohort who've never once complained about the disruptions, they've taken it in their stride and have always maintained a positive attitude throughout."
In the event cases of COVID-19 continue to be an issue in Bathurst, Denison College has sorted Charles Sturt University and select local primary schools as alternative venues for HSC exams.
Both principals have said their Year 12 cohorts are eagerly awaiting more information regarding their end-of-year graduation balls.
"We expect that information to arrive early next term," Mr Barwick said.
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