A MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF EDUCATION

– SCHOOLS OPENING FOR TERM 2

The Department for Education has been in lockstep with our senior health officials from the outset of this COVID-19 pandemic.

We have, and will continue to follow their advice when making decisions that affect our schools, preschools and early childhood settings.

The health and wellbeing of our staff and students is our top priority.

Advice from SA Health and Australia’s expert health body, AHPPC, remains unchanged. Schools, preschools and early childhood facilities are low risk environments for COVID-19, and should remain open.

With the current low rates of infection in South Australia, we are encouraging students to return to school for term 2.

Parents and carers can choose to send their children to school, preschool or childcare, and feel confident that they are not placing their children at increased risk of COVID-19.

South Australia’s Chief Public Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier, has taken the time to write to you and to the parents of your students. She asked me to ensure you all receive this letter from her – please see attached.

Leaders, please pass the parent letter and accompanying infographic onto parents as soon as possible, also attached.

Of course, we will continue to respect the preferences of parents. If they don’t feel comfortable sending their children to school or preschool for whatever reason, they won’t be obliged to. Please continue your remote learning offering for students learning from home during this time. This will be particularly important for children and young people with medical conditions who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19.

As we begin the transition from more students learning at home to more students learning in the classroom, I know there will be a period of adjustment. We had planned for the opposite.

The start of term 2 won’t be seamless and that’s ok.

All of you – our leaders, teachers, early years educators and school support staff will, as always, handle the situation superbly and continue to guide our students through these changes. I have every confidence in you and your teams. You are doing brilliantly through this very difficult time.

While schools are low risk environments for COVID-19, there are measures we will continue to take to further reduce the risk of transmission. The department will maintain increased cleaning schedules at all sites, and will centrally source hygiene products such as hand soap, sanitiser and tissues for those sites who can’t source supplies through their usual means.

Thank you again for your continued professionalism during such a difficult time, and for your agility as we quickly adjust against the settings of this pandemic to support our students. You’re doing a brilliant job.

Best,
Rick