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26 March 2020
Queensland’s Catholic schools will implement student-free days next week in the lead up to the Easter holiday break following announcements about school operations by the Queensland Premier today to manage the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Children of essential workers and vulnerable children will be able to attend their Catholic school and will be supervised throughout the week in line with the arrangements at state schools.
In line with the advice from government, Catholic schools will regularly review the situation during the holiday period and follow health advice on whether it is appropriate for school to resume at the currently scheduled commencement of Term 2.
Queensland Catholic Education Commission (QCEC) Executive Director Dr Lee-Anne Perry said Catholic schools had been planning for the possibility of implementing learning from home options and were ready to support students in a variety of learning environments in Term 2.
“The scale of the pandemic response is new territory for all schools,” Dr Perry said.
“The way Catholic schools are responding is focused on providing students and families with the support they need to keep young people engaged with their learning and maintain their wellbeing.
“Schools continue to also carefully manage those staff who may be at high risk from the virus and to provide appropriate arrangements for them.
“Every Catholic school will meet the coming challenges in the best way for the needs of their students and staff.”
Dr Perry said if schools needed to remain closed after the holidays these extra student-free days, would further assist in ensuring they were well prepared to implement other forms of teaching and learning taking account of a range of factors such as the age of students, access to technology and the capacity of digital networks.
“The contingencies Catholic schools have in place depend on their individual needs,” she said.
“Learning outside the school grounds would look very different from school to school and year level to year level.
“QCEC continues to work closely with health and education authorities in supporting Catholic schools to navigate these uncharted waters.”