Important Information about the Bush Fire Danger Period

Dear GISS Community,

This week’s unprecedented catastrophic fire rating for Sydney and terrible fires across New South Wales and Queensland are a stark reminder of the ever growing fire risk our communities face. We made our decision early afternoon on Monday to close the school and believe this was the prudent course of action given the extraordinary fire danger.  

Thankfully, we saw no fire activity around Terrey Hills and the fire danger rating has been downgraded to “very high” for the coming days. While this week’s threat has passed we continue to engage with the local fire service and neighbouring schools on how to best prepare and respond to future events. We will keep you updated on any changes to our procedures via the App and the Gutenberg Post.
Given the likelihood that these situations will re-occur, please take a minute to read the below FAQ about our evacuation & communication procedures during a bushfire:
How & when does the school decide whether to close or stay open?
For days forecast with extreme or catastrophic fire danger rating we contact the Rural Fire Service (RFS), Association of Independent Schools (AIS), local police command and other local schools to make an assessment whether it is safe to remain open. A decision to close can be made up until 6AM on any school day.  

Do you monitor bushfire activity during the school day?
We constantly monitor the NSW RFS ‘Fires Near Me” app during school hours and contact RFS for advice if a confirmed fire is reported close to school. 

Does GISS have a bushfire action plan?
The school uses a Bushfire Evacuation plan which has been developed by Bushfire consultants, in coordination with GISS and the Rural Fire Service (RFS). 

Where would the classes evacuate to?
The bushfire evacuation plan designates our Gymnasium as the primary safe refuge area. The Gym is equipped with plenty of bottled water to remain there for an extended period.  We would evacuate to ‘Remote Safe Refuge Areas’ in coordination with the RFS & police command.

How do I keep up to date in case of an evacuation?
We will keep you informed via the GISS App and our SMS service. Please refrain from directly contacting the school as staff would be busy coordinating the evacuation. Please make sure that you have the GISS app correctly installed.

When and where can I pick up my kids?
Very important, please do not try to pick up your kids until we have informed you on the when and where. Cars clogging Myoora Road would hinder evacuation efforts and could create a situation where children that may have left with their parents or care takers would not be accounted for. This would trigger a massive search and take away from coordinating the evacuation. During a bushfire evacuation or relocation, do not come to school unless you have been advised it is safe to do so via the app or sms.

 If you have any other questions in regards to this, please let us know.

Kind regards,
Kristian Wolf

General Manager