Principals and teachers in Victoria are planning for the possibility that schools will be closed until at least July and children restricted to remote learning for all of the second term. Source: The Age.
By Adam Carey, The Age
And parents have even been warned to prepare for the chance that homeschooling may extend into term three.
Victoria’s Department of Education and Training is yet to rule on whether primary and secondary students will return to class when school resumes on April 15 or be required to learn remotely. A decision is set to be announced closer to the start of term two.
But multiple principals have said that they do not expect students to return for face-to-face classes next month.
Philip Cachia, principal of St Francis Xavier Catholic Primary School in the Melbourne suburb of Montmorency, said he was preparing to teach the entire second term remotely.
“We’re preparing for that. If we do that, fine; if we don’t, great. We’ll still use those resources in class, so it’s not wasted preparation,” he said.
Victorian schools have headed into holidays early with no guarantee when they will return to normal classes. It’s predicted the coronavirus pandemic will peak in Australia in June.
Victoria and the ACT are the only states and territories that have cut short term one, although the New South Wales Government is encouraging parents to keep their children home if they can.
Meanwhile, The Australian reports that thousands of students across NSW will switch to remote learning today after teachers were caught off guard by an order to suspend classroom teaching amid the coronavirus pandemic.
While the state’s 3136 schools — public and private — will remain open to pupils for the rest of term one, it is understood most of them will cease classroom teaching and effectively be shut down from today.
Catholic schools in Sydney rushed to get ahead of the curve yesterday, with the region’s 152 schools shifting to remote learning, affecting at least 70,000 students, said Michael Hopkin, the head of system improvement at Sydney Catholic Schools.
“We had 24 hours’ notice so as you can imagine it has been a massive logistical exercise,” Mr Hopkin said. “These kids are in a whole new world and there’s no doubt it’s a big undertaking to move to remote learning — students are already anxious.”
Coronavirus: NSW schools scramble to enter remote teaching mode (The Australian)