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Frequently asked questions for parents

What are the new schooling arrangements for Term 2, 2020?

From Monday 11 May 2020, Queensland schools students in Kindy, Prep, Year 1, Year 11 and Year 12, will be able to return to school/

Children of essential workers, vulnerable children and children in designated Indigenous communities will continue to be able to attend school for supervision. 

What about children in other year levels?

Students (Years 2 to 10) will continue with the home-based learning model.

If low transmission rates continue, students in Year 2 - 10 will be able to school fro Monday 25 May, 2020. Confirmation of this next step will be made by 15 May 2020. 

Is it expected that children in Prep, Year 1, Year 11 and Year 12 attend school from 11 May 2020?

Yes. Schools will resume regular teaching and learning for students in these year levels as part of the phased return to school. This will be the only mode of learning and teaching for these year levels. 

If parents choose not to send their child back to school and their child is in either Prep, Years 1, 11 or 12 and there are not any other circumstances that would necessitate the child being kept at home (e.g immunocompromised) they will not be provided with an online platform. 

Why are only Prep, Year 1, Year 11 and Year 12 students returning to school?

As part of the easing restrictions applied under the COVID-19 response, schools will commence a phased return to regular schooling.

The Queensland Government wants to take the earliest possible action to allow students to resume on-site learning and early years students (Kindy, Prep and Year 1) and students in their senior years (Years 11 and 12) have been identified as the first cohorts to return back to school.

These year levels have been chosen for a number of reasons. Research clearly shows that the early years of schooling is when the building blocks for learning occurs. By allowing young children to return to Prep and Year 1, we can continue to provide them with the teaching and learning that enables them to grow into capable and confident young people.

We also know that the senior years of schooling are important as young adults make decisions about the pathways they will take after school. In addition, 2020 is the first year of Queensland's new Senior Assessment and Tertiary Entrance (SATE) reforms and it is important that our senior students continue their learning at their school during this significant year. 

Children of essential workers and vulnerable children from other year levels will continue attending school sites as they have done since the commencement of Term 2. 

What will happen with students in Years 2 to 10?

Years 2 to 10 will continue under the home-based learning model. Teachers will continue to deliver prepared lessons and materials for these students bia home-based learning, as they have since the start of Term 2.

If low transmission rates continue, students in Years 2 to 10 will be able to return to school from Monday 25 May 2020. Confirmation of this next step will be made by 15 May 2020. 

Is it safe for students in Prep, Year 1, Year 11 and Year 12 to attend school?

The decision to return to school for these year levels is informed by advice provided by the Australian Health Principal Protection Committee (AHPPC) and discussions with Queensland Health about a phased return to regular schooling.

Schools are identified as safe places for students and present low risk in relation to the spread of COVID-19.

The following measures will continue to be in place for schools:

  • students and staff who are unwell must not attend school
  • physical distancing of 1.5 metres is required by all adults
  • adults must not gather in and around school grounds, car parks, school gates and outside classrooms
  • parents should use stop, drop and go or similar facilities rather than walking their children into school
  • students will engage in regular effective handwashing and hygiene protocols, including regularly washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitiser and covering coughs and sneezes
  • increased cleaning frequencies of high-touch surfaces such as light switches and door handles
  • technology such as video conferencing used for gatherings, meetings and assemblies
  • school swimming pools remain closed and excursions, camps, trips and interschool activities are postpone at this time
How will online learning work from home?

Our staff have been planning for this scenario and are here to support all students and families as we make the necessary changes to the way our students learn. There may be challenges as we adapt to these new ways of teaching and learning but we will work through them all to ensure our students stay engaged with their learning.

Parents/carers are not expected to “teach” your children at home.  The schools retain responsibility for teaching, albeit through a different medium, and we continue to be committed to student learning.

How will online learning impact on my child’s education?

While the virtual classroom environment will be new for some students, most Queensland school students already have some experience working online.

To further prepare for potential home-based learning, teachers have been increasing the use of online and printable materials in the event of widespread or prolonged disruption to normal school operations.

This will ensure a smoother transition for both teachers and students in the event that this is enacted.

TCE has a dedicated website for schools and teachers and schools will be enhancing their own online learning platforms. Curriculum resources that align with the Australian Curriculum and QCAA curriculum will be provided. Students will be engaged in a range of activities to continue their learning and will be guided by their teachers via platforms such as Google Classroom.

My child does not have access to a computer or the internet, how can they participate in online learning?

For students and families who do not have access to devices or the ability to print documents, schools will make a paper ‘offline’ option available upon request.

Teachers will work with families in this situation to ensure the student is not disadvantaged.

In the event that online learning is enacted, please do communicate with your child’s school to advise them that an offline option is required.

Student absences and roll marking

Schools will be marking rolls  attendance rolls each morning for those students who have to attend school as other supervision cannot be found. If your child/children are sick at any stage please advise the school or college office asap on the day.

New arrangements for recording attendance in home-based learning will be in place over this period. These arrangements include the following:

  • During this period if a student is learning at home and they are unwell and unable to participate, parents are requested to advise their school in writing using the Parent Portal on Compass as is the normal notification procedures
  • If a student is still attending school, the normal procedures for notifying the school of any expected absences will also still apply.

Finally, our schools will be maintaining daily contact with students using several methods. If the school becomes aware that a student is unexpectedly absent from either learn at home arrangements or school, we will notify the student’s parents using our established unexplained absences procedure.

Tuition Fees

As the school will continue to operate and our staff will keep working to provide continuity of teaching and learning, including under learning at home arrangements, tuition fees for Term 2 will operate as they do normally.

We acknowledge the difficult economic circumstances many families now find themselves in and we would encourage any family facing difficulty with tuition fees to discuss this with the school. 

In accordance with the mission, values and ethos of our school, we remain committed to providing an education to all of students regardless of their financial circumstances.

Will Outside School Hours Care be provided for students attending school?

Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) will operate before and after school next week to  offer a service for children and families.

What will happen to student assessment?

The impact of COVID-19 on assessment will depend on which stage students are at in their schooling.

The National Assessment Program—Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) that is normally sat by students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 will not be held in 2020 due to disruption caused by COVID-19.

For students in Years 11 and 12, the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority has long-established protocols that cater for illness or disruption to assessment processes in order to minimise any disadvantage or impact. Impacted schools will work with the QCAA and any affected students through these protocols. More information is available from the QCAA website.

Will this mean that all students will have to repeat the grade next year?

No. If alternative home-based learning (through paper-based, virtual and online curriculum delivery) is required for part of the school year, assessment and reporting will take into account the widespread disruption in learning. Although the full impact of COVID-19 cannot yet be predicted, there is no plan for widespread ‘repeating’ of Year levels.

What about NAPLAN?

All NAPLAN testing has been cancelled for 2020.

Learning and Teaching Advice for Parents
What are "essential workers"?

Essential workers are all workers who are required to attend their place of work to carry out duty.  The term is not limited to emergency services and health workers.

What defines "vulnerable children"?

The Department of Education defines vulnerable children to include those in out of home care or under a child safety or juvenile justice order. Vulnerable children are to be accommodated if they seek access to schools under the current arrangements.