Learning at School – Parents and Carers Guide

In line with health advice, schools are operating full time.

All schools continue to operate full-time learning at school. Some activities are still being considered.

The following principles underpin these guidelines:

  • Schools continue to be safe. Operations are in line with Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and Tasmanian Health guidelines
  • There are existing infection control protocols at schools. We put in place new health and safety measures. It will help maintain the health and safety of students and staff.
  • All activities permitted at school are safe and appropriate in a living with COVID-19 environment.

School students do not need to follow strict adult physical distancing guidelines. They should follow good hygiene practices like:

  • staying home when you are sick
  • regularly washing your hands
  • avoid sharing drinks or food
  • cough or sneeze into your elbow, or a tissue which should be discarded immediately

School attendance

All students should be at school unless:

  • they have medical advice which states that they are unable to return to school due to an ongoing medical condition and the expected timeframe
  • they are currently unwell.

COVID-19 and Hay Fever

The symptoms of hay fever are similar to that of a cold, flu and COVID-19 so it’s hard to tell them apart without testing. Students experiencing symptoms of hay fever (such as runny/blocked nose, sneezing, itchy eyes or cough), even mild symptoms, should get tested. They should stay home until they get their results.

Students can return to school once they have:

  • been tested for COVID-19 and returned a negative result;
  • consulted their doctor to discuss a treatment plan; and
  • received a medical certificate or letter from their doctor advising that they can attend school.

If symptoms worsen through hay fever season or new symptoms develop, you should consult their doctor.

School activities/ school site usage

Most school-based activities are now back in place, as long as the following measures are observed:

  • all visitors and external providers must adhere to relevant hygiene, distancing and safety protocols
  • principals may continue to restrict, limit or prohibit activities if they are seen as contrary to the current health advice
  • external providers and visitors are required to demonstrate compliance with health and safety requirements including adhering to strict guidelines and completing relevant forms.

Activities that are cancelled, delayed or not permitted

Certain large arts and sports events have been delayed or cancelled because they have long-lead time organisational arrangements. Please speak to your school if you would like to know more.

Interstate and international excursions are cancelled until further notice.

School celebrations and social events

Public Health has developed some clear guidance to allow celebrations and social events to occur on school sites.

These events will be able to go ahead but will need to be held in accordance with current Public Health directions. This means that it will be required that these events are undertaken within the venue density requirements (one person per 2 square metres, up to a maximum of 250 people) of the site on which they are planned to be held.

Dancing will be able to occur, however all events will need to adhere to the requirement to have two separate areas for eating/drinking and dancing.

COVID safe behaviours including hygiene measures and visitor screening will need to be applied to such events.

Celebrations taking place off site will need to comply with the venue’s COVID Safety plan.

Physical distancing

Physical distancing of children in schools is not required under the Australian AHPPC guidelines. Research has shown limited transmission risk associated with school children in the school environment.

All adults must maintain physical distance from each other (1.5m) including teachers and support staff, and parents/carers.

Schools will continue to manage school pick up and drop off arrangements to help parents to physically distance from one another and from staff.

Visitors entering classrooms

It is safe for parents and visitors to enter classrooms. However, you must adhere to the following hygiene, distancing and safety requirements. It is important to keep your visit brief and don’t stay longer than is necessary.

Longer classroom visits are now permitted for:

  • Parent and Teacher meetings
  • Parent help and classroom volunteer activities
  • Special programs eg. fire safety, the Growing Up Program

Please contact the school office to organise a suitable time to visit. You will also need to complete the Visitor Check In.

School cleaning and hygiene supplies

Your school will continue to receive extra cleaning in line with the AHPPC guidelines and advice from Tasmanian Health. Target areas include:

  • high-touch areas and other hard surfaces
  • door handles
  • lockers
  • light switches
  • handrails in stairways and movement areas.

There will also be extra cleaning of toilets and topping up of supplies like soap.

Your school has appropriate supplies of soap, hand sanitiser, toilet paper, paper towels and disinfectant wipes. The school is able to order more as needed.

Reporting and assessment

Mid year and End of year reporting requirements will be as normal.

Responding to COVID-19 cases

There is a clear plan in place for schools to respond to any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our schools. We are working closely with Tasmanian Public Health and will communicate with parents and carers if a situation arises.