Queensland school students will be learning at home for the first five weeks of Term 2, with schools only open for the children of essential workers.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said while this was another very difficult decision it was the right one for Queensland while continuing to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“What this means is that from the start of Term 2, all students who can learn from home are to stay at home,” the Premier said.
“This decision provides mums and dads with the clarity they need ahead of the new school term.“It also gives certainty for our hard-working teachers who will be continuing to deliver lessons in a way they might never have imagined.”
Ms Palaszczuk said the move to the home-based learning model would start at the scheduled commencement of Term 2 on Monday 20 April and be in place until at least Friday 22 May.
“School staff, unless they are vulnerable due to medical conditions, will continue to teach from the classroom to ensure continuity of learning for students.
“And children of essential workers and vulnerable children can continue to attend school.
“These children will be supervised and participate in the learning activities that have been set by their regular classroom teachers.”
“We are committed to doing whatever it takes to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
“My message to every Queensland school community is very clear. Stay at home. Learn at home.”
Education Minister Grace Grace said schools and teachers will continue to be the primary point of contact for students and parents and will set the curriculum, teaching and learning programs.
“Although most students will be absent, staff will still be on site and we are continuing to work with suppliers to bulk purchase cleaning and hygiene supplies to support schools.
“The Chief Health Officer has also updated the testing criteria for COVID-19 to include those who have a fever or respiratory problems and work in schools, child care centres and boarding houses.”
Ms Grace said continuity of early learning is also key for kindy children.
“Our community kindergartens will also implement a home-based learning model, except for children of essential workers and our vulnerable children who will be able to attend their community kindy.
“Before and after school care, long day care or family day care will continue to operate.”
Minister Grace said the government was working with schools and vendors to supply devices and internet connectivity for schools and students where required.
“Make no mistake, we are well-prepared and the on-line curriculum resources we have developed over many years have been shared across the country.
“Schools are being encouraged to loan devices like laptops or tablets to students who may not have access to them at home.
“And we have worked with Telstra to secure more than 5000 sim cards to ensure those students without internet connectivity can access online resources.”
The Department of Education learning@home website provides parents with a range of resources to support students to continue their learning. Visit www.qld.gov.au/learningathome