I write with today’s update. Some significant decisions have been made by DE&T in relation to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on schools.
ADDITIONAL PUPIL-FREE DAYS: The most significant decision by DE&T, which may impact families, is the introduction of two additional Pupil-Free Days.
The Minister for Education has approved an additional two pupil-free days. The first will be on the last day of this term, Friday 27 March, and the second will be on the first day of Term 2, Tuesday 14 April.
This will provide an important opportunity for all Victorian schools to consolidate their preparations regarding remote learning. Please know that our school is well prepared for the possibility that we will need to move at some stage to more flexible learning arrangements, including remote learning.
THEIRCARE: I have been in contact with TheirCare in regard to offering a care program on these two newly designated days. I will know the outcome by the close of this weekend. I will pass the update on to you, once it is known.
NAPLAN: Education Ministers have announced that NAPLAN testing will not proceed for 2020. This decision was made in recognition of the disruption caused to schools by coronavirus (COVID-19). This has created additional work as teachers prepare for the possibility that schools will need to move to more flexible learning programs, including remote learning.
AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS: The National Cabinet announced new social-distancing measures, of which I am sure you will be aware.
On the recommendation of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), the National Cabinet also determined that early childhood settings, schools and higher education institutions remain exempt from these requirements. Based on this advice, SKPS will continue to be open next week.
At SKPS, we remain firmly committed to ensuring that our children continue to gain the full benefits – both learning and social development – that our school provides. We will continue to provide the full range of classroom teaching, learning and social activities that are so very important for our treasures.
Please know that I am highly respectful of decisions parents/carers make in regard to their children. I would also like to say that our cherubs are blissfully happy at school and benefitting from the daily learning and social interaction that occurs. We are, business as usual!
If parents choose to keep their children at home, please be aware that the onus is on parents in the first instance to support the learning of their children. We trust this is occurring.
Given the challenge posed by coronavirus (COVID-19), it is obviously very important that our schools are safe workplaces. As I mentioned in yesterday’s update, school cleaning has increased. Additional orders we placed for cleaning supplies have arrived in our school. DE&T has also increased the supply of school cleaning products.
I want to thank you again for the wonderful support, words of encouragement and positivity that continues to shine from our community during these challenging circumstances.
The updates will continue to be provided. I hope to keep you informed, as best I can.