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Frequently asked questions for parents

 
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Information about school operations

What’s happening with school for Term 2?

From 20 April 2020, Queensland students will be moving to a home-based learning model for the first five weeks of Term 2.

All students who are able to be supervised at home and learn from home are to stay home, except for vulnerable students and children of essential workers.

How will this affect my child?

From the start of Term 2 until 22 May 2020, all students will be learning from home, except for students in the following categories:

  • Children of essential workers on days when they are not able to be supervised at home and no other arrangements can be made. Essential worker means any worker who must continue to attend their workplace for essential business during this time.
  • Vulnerable children include children identified by schools or who:
    • are currently receiving services from Child Safety, including children who are subject to a child protection order
    • are subject to a youth justice order.
  • Children in designated Indigenous communities.

Where a student is learning at home, the parent or carer is responsible for the student’s safety and wellbeing at home or elsewhere.

How do I deliver lessons while I am working from home?

We understand that parents may be working during the day while at home.

It’s important to note that parents are not required to deliver lessons—teachers and school staff continue to be responsible for the curriculum.

For parents supervising their children, 2 to 3 hours of learning each day will usually be plenty, with a range of additional activities that may be provided to keep children engaged.

There are no set hours for supervised learning time—this could occur early in the morning, or across your work lunch break—and older children may be able to manage their own learning time.

What if one parent is an essential worker outside of the home but one parent is working from home?

If there is a parent at home who is available to supervise their child, students will complete learning and activities in their homes.

Parents are strongly encouraged to talk to the school principal if they have any concerns.

What if I don't have a computer for my children to use?

Schools are being encouraged to loan devices like laptops or tablets to students who may not have access to them at home.

We have worked with Telstra to secure more than 5,000 SIM cards to ensure those students without internet connectivity can access online resources.

It’s also important to note curriculum is being delivered in a variety of ways, some will be online, but there are other options including hard copies of materials and televised educational programs.

Schools will communicate directly with students and their parents/carers about how they will receive learning materials.

How will schools help my child if s/he falls behind during the pandemic?

Parents are not required to deliver lessons—teachers and school staff continue to be responsible for the curriculum during this time.

Principals, teachers and support staff will be working on-site at schools to deliver learning for students, and can be contacted for support as they normally would.

What will happen after 22 May?

A decision about the model of learning for the remainder of Term 2 will be made by mid-May.

What if my child has to attend school?

On-site supervision, with access to the school’s home-based learning materials, will be available at all schools for students in the categories listed above.

Students who attend school during this period will receive support to participate in the same learning program that is being delivered to students who are learning at home by their classroom teachers.

How will my child receive learning materials?

Schools will communicate directly with students and their parents/carers about how and when they will receive learning materials and teacher feedback. This will include advice about what is expected of students to complete the learning tasks.

The department’s learning@home site is available to assist parents and carers with additional activities they can do with their child at home.

What will happen with assessment?

Assessment and reporting for Term 2 and Semester 1 will be adjusted by teachers to reflect the nature of learning over this time. Further advice will be provided early in Term 2.

The QCAA website has information regarding assessment for Year 11 and 12 students.

How will these changes affect boarding school students?

State school-operated residential boarding facilities remain closed.

In consultation with principals, students who have returned from boarding schools (state, Catholic or Independent) to designated Indigenous communities may attend the local school to continue their learning where possible and if staffing is available.

The student’s learning program will be provided by the school at which the student is enrolled.

The local school will provide (where possible):

  • appropriate staff to provide supervision, as determined by the principal
  • internet access
  • resources such as pens, paper, and printed materials as required.

Other boarding facility operations will only operate where current health authority advice allows them to do so and with the strictest cleaning and hygiene measures.

What about outside school hours care?

Outside school hours care (OSHC) services will continue to operate before and after school care where there is demand, particularly for vulnerable or children of essential workers. This will include on-site OSHC or other services off site that cater for school age children, such as long day care or family day care. Please check with your local service.

What can I do to get ready for home learning?

Teachers and school staff have been working hard to plan for home-based learning and have developed learning programs that best suit the students at each school. Your child’s teacher will be in contact with you to let you know what to expect and how you can best support your child’s learning.

Additionally, you may wish to explore the Department of Education’s range of learning@home parent resources online at www.qld.gov.au/learningathome. The department has also been working to develop new televised educational programs. Further information about these programs will be made available in the near future.

Here are some tips to make the transition easier:

  • Treat the first week as a ‘starting school’ or orientation type of week. Not everything will go to plan, and it might take a while to work out how to find and use the right resources and understand what’s best for you and your child. The ‘how to’ will come first, and then the learning.
  • Remember that your child's teacher usually divides their attention between up to 28 students who all work at different paces and need different levels of support. At home, two to three hours of learning each day will usually be plenty. Try using a range of other activities to keep children engaged and stimulated without becoming overwhelmed.
  • Routines and consistency can be a source of comfort for parents and children alike, but keep in mind that your routine doesn’t have to be the same as a school routine. If you use a timetable at home, make sure it’s manageable for everyone and flexible enough that you can adapt it as you learn what works.
  • Home-based learning presents an opportunity for students to find out more about themselves as learners and to become more confident in self-directing their learning. Encourage your child to take responsibility for not only learning but also for staying in touch with their teacher, their class and their friends and community.
  • If your child is finding a task difficult, make suggestions and answer questions, but try to let them figure things out for themselves as much as possible. Give them opportunities, where appropriate, to take control of their own learning.
  • Remember this is new for teachers, too. You can help them succeed by letting them know if you’re unsure about something and using the preferred contact time and method that your teacher will advise you of.

Further information about supporting your child, maintaining healthy learning routines and setting up a learning space at home can be found on the learning@home—Wellbeing of students page.

What will happen to school transport?

Transport arrangements, as an essential service, will continue to operate for students attending on-site.

Social distancing guidelines will be followed on school buses (where practical), at bus interchange locations, and at other shared transport services.

Transport operators will ensure that buses and surface touch points are cleaned according to COVID-19 cleaning and disinfection recommendations.

Due to the customised nature of delivery, specialist school transport (minibus, taxi or supported bus travel) requires:

  • parents/carers to directly inform operators if students are not travelling
  • school leadership teams to have electronic and hard copies of student travel arrangements for quick access
  • school-provided, individual escort arrangements to continue being supported.

Can tuckshops open?

During this time, school tuckshops can open, as long as social distancing and strong hygiene practises are followed. Parents and caregivers should be encouraged to make use of online ordering systems in order to limit the handling of cash.

Health and wellbeing advice

How do I discuss COVID-19 with my children?

The department has prepared a fact sheet (PDF, 151KB) to help parents talk about the coronavirus with their children.

An animation and accompanying booklet have been released by the Queensland Department of Education to help parents talk to their young children about COVID-19.

What do I do if I am worried that someone in my family has COVID-19?

You are also encouraged to stay informed of the latest health developments relating to COVID-19 by regularly visiting the Queensland Health website.

If you need to speak to someone about your concerns, contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).

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Last reviewed 20 April 2020
Last updated 20 April 2020