Information for parents and carers about NTG schools for Term 2, 2020

Please visit the Learning Together website advice and resources to help parents and carers support their child to continue their learning from home.

Advice on staying healthy throughout COVID-19 for students and families is also available.

Overview

The Northern Territory Department of Education would like to sincerely thank students, parents, carers and the broader school community for their ongoing support for our educators in schools and early childhood education and care services during what is an unprecedented time.

The Northern Territory Government in line with the latest health advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) is that schools are safe and all students are expected to attend in person from Day 1, Term 2, 2020.

Term 2 in the Northern Territory

From 20 April 2020, all Northern Territory students are expected to physically attend school.

Students who are unwell must remain at home.

If your child falls ill during the day, parents/carers will be contacted by the school and required to arrange for them to be collected as soon as possible.

Where families elect not to send their child to school, the child must be learning from home.

Information for Year 12 students

The same requirements for completing the Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (NTCET) are in place and students will be able to obtain an ATAR.

Schools will adjust the way they deliver the learning and conduct assessments completed in fair way for everyone.

Exams will still go ahead and will follow the published schedule.

To support senior secondary students, schools will:

  • adjust specific assessment to meet curriculum requirements;
  • case manage students, enabling pathway completion;
  • modify learning to meet curriculum requirements;
  • flexibly collect evidence for learning; and
  • ensure that the NT is consistent with the changes at the national level.

If you have further questions, contact your school’s NTCET Coordinator or visit the South Australian Certificate of Education

Information on Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses

VET courses will resume in Term 2, 2020. Courses run by Charles Darwin University in Darwin and Palmerston will recommence from Week 2, Term 2, 2020.

Any changes to VET courses will be communicated directly from the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to the school.

Information for boarding school students

On 1 May 2020, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) released a statement outlining the requirements boarding schools will need to meet to be allowed to reopen.

The department is working with Dawurr and Callistemon House to ensure that they are supported to complete the necessary risk assessment and be in a position to open as soon as possible, which will also include facilitating the necessary approval from the NT Chief Health Officer.

Non-government schools in the NT will make their own decisions in line with the approved guidelines, regarding the transition of students back into their boarding facilities.

Assessments

Assessment and reporting expectations remain the same; that is every student in transition receives a comment and in Years 1 to 9 students must receive an A to E grade for each subject studied.

For students learning from home each school will develop an assessment and reporting schedule that identifies evidence of learning from Term 1 and 2 to make an assessment of the student's progress and achievement.

These students can still receive an A to E grade for each subject studied. Each school to determine how teachers will collect evidence of learning if students are learning from home.

Measures in place by schools to enhance hygiene practices

Schools will:

  • continue to practice and promote good hygiene including implementing routine hand washing by all children and staff members, before and after class and before and after meal breaks.
  • consider moving classes outside, separating into smaller groups and/ or spreading into larger indoor spaces where possible
  • encourage the avoidance of handshaking, hugging and kissing, or games that include holding hands or other physical contact
  • reconsider school excursions, assemblies and other events.

All schools in the Northern Territory have received additional funding to enable them to increase their current cleaning regime.

Schools have been provided a cleaning fact sheet which has been developed by the Department of Health to inform what enhanced cleaning practices should be undertaken during this time.

Parents and carers on school grounds

Parents and carers of primary aged students and students with additional needs are encouraged to speak directly with their school to confirm what arrangements are put in place to minimise the number of people moving in and out of the school grounds, particularly at drop off and pick up times.

Where possible, minimising the number of adults entering school sites is desired.

Parents and carers are encouraged to continue to regularly communicate with their child’s school. It is recommended that this be done via phone or online in the first instance and if a face-to-face discussion is required, this is discussed and planned

Learning from home

Where families elect not to send their child to school, the child must be learning from home.

Where a child is learning from home due to vulnerabilities to COVID-19 or direction by a health professional to self-isolate or quarantine, schools will provide learning (online or printed) to support the continuation of learning from home.

Parents and carers can also access a range of resources on the Learning Together website to support their child if they are learning from home.

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

Parents and carers must notify their child’s school if they will be learning from home and not physically attending school.

As per usual practices, schools will work with students and families who are unwell or have explained absences to support their learning from home.

Your school will work with any students with unexplained or unacceptable reasons for being absent from school.

Students with unexplained or unacceptable reasons may be supplied with a hard copy or online learning package with further support being provided dependent on the operational capacity of the school.

Additional resources to support learning from home

Schools are being encouraged to loan devices to students who are required to learn from home due to vulnerabilities to COVID-19 or direction by a health professional to self-isolate or quarantine.

Supporting your child to learn safely online

Parents and carers are encouraged to access the eSafety.gov.au for specific advice regarding COVID-19 including:

Outside school hours care

Outside school hours care (OSHC) services will continue to operate. 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.

School transport

School buses will continue to operate.

Additional cleaning practices, physical distancing and hygiene practices will be in place.

Talking to your child about COVID-19

Listen to your child; answer their questions as honestly as possible and correct any misunderstandings. This will help them feel informed and understand what is happening.

Stay up to date with the facts from reliable sources so you can keep conversations calm, considered and constructive. Provide information in words that are appropriate to the age of your child.

Children can be distressed by hearing repeated stories so monitor how much your children are being exposed to television and social media and encourage them to talk about what they are seeing and hearing.

Tips for talking to kids about coronavirus (COVID-19).

Advice on keeping children healthy

Remind them to cover their nose and mouth when they cough or sneeze (catching their cough or sneeze in their elbow), keep their hands clean by washing them regularly with soap and water, and try and avoid them touching their eyes, nose and mouth before washing their hands.

If your child is required to stay at home, it is important that they maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, good sleep and social contact at home and by email and phone with family and friends.

Advice on wellbeing support for children

Contact the school if you are concerned about your child’s wellbeing to discuss the most appropriate support.

You can also seek support from:

  • Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800 – kidshelpline.com.au
  • Headspace – 1800 650 890 – eheadspace.org.au
  • Parent Helpline – 1300 30 1300
  • Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636
  • Lifeline – 13 11 14

Concerns about COVID-19

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

If you need to speak to someone about your concerns, contact the National Coronavirus Hotline: 1800 020 080

Last updated: 26 May 2020

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