The Victorian Government has released details of it’s back to school plans for Victoria students. Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the plans. Their aim….To keep educational settings open while taking every measure to protect students and staff.
Back to school plans.
? The Government will deliver more than 14 million rapid antigen tests to schools and early childhood education and care services,. This includes 6.6 million tests to be delivered in the first week of term.
? Staff and students will be encouraged to test twice a week. Students and staff at specialist schools will be recommended to test five days each week. Mainly due to the higher risk of severe illness for medically vulnerable children.
? The 51,000 air purification devices that were ordered will be delivered to government and low-fee non-government schools for the first day of Term 1. Improving ventilation is a key measure to slow the spread of the virus around schools, particularly in high-risk areas like staff rooms, music rooms, indoor canteens and other high traffic areas.
? The Shade Sail Grant program will be progressively being rolled. There more than 1,800 schools who have applied for a shade sail. While shade sail construction is already underway at more than 300 of these schools. This is to allow more classes to learn safely outdoors.
? Mask wearing will continue, with students in Grade 3 and above required to wear masks – although they will not be required outdoors. Teachers will be required to wear masks at all times when not actively teaching or communicating with students.
? The Government has also invested $7.5m in early childhood services to improve ventilation. A further $7.4 million will be available to support kindergarten services to implement Covid safe measures.
Remote learning not ruled out if numbers increase.
Daniel Andrews confirmed that remote learning will only be considered as a short-term last resort;
“Face-to-face learning is the best option for our kids’ learning and wellbeing – that’s why we’ve done the work to get students safely back in the classroom from the start of Term 1, and make sure they stay there.”
It is anticipated that schools will be contacting students before the beginning of term 1 with further details on how to access the pool of free Rapid antigen tests.
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