Mark McGowan has announced his hotly anticipated plan for the second term of the school year.

He said that it was a soft opening to the term, which aimed to transition students back into the classroom in “a responsible manner”.

Here are the quick takes:

  • Term two will start back on Wednesday, April 29.
  • WA public schools will then be open for all parents and carers who choose to send their children
  • Anyone who does not want their children to attend school in person, they can continue learning from home
  • Year 11 and 12 students are strongly encouraged to attend in person
  • Parents and carers of children and young people with complex medical needs are encouraged to seek medical advice regarding attendance at school.

For those learning from home:

  • Education packages and resources will be provided, as well as online resources where possible
  • Where schools can provide online support and teaching for students at home, this will be implemented.
  • Contact by the school will be made each week by phone and/or online and feedback given on work package completion.

Schools are to implement the following:

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  • alternative arrangements as required for vulnerable employees
  • increased cleaning throughout the day, including high touch surfaces and playground equipment
  • parents and visitors will drop students at the gate and not enter grounds
  • additional hygiene measures and social distancing measures
  • school swimming pools will remain closed
  • excursions, assemblies, camps and inter-school activities will not be conducted
  • canteens will provide take away services only

Schools can also implement staggered start, break and meal times to reduce contact and close, or practise social distancing in, common areas and staff rooms.

Schools will be able to combine year groups and use alternative locations within the school to deliver classes.

Review of plan

A review will happen in the lead-up to week 4 and any adjustments will be made based on health advice and infection trends across the community.

If there are any localised positive COVID-19 cases in schools, the existing health protocols will apply – including closing and deep cleaning of the school. The school will reopen once this has occurred and quarantine and self-isolation protocols will be implemented for any close contacts identified through Health Department contact tracing.

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