Schools and preschools across the state are preparing to welcome many students back into the classroom for Term 2 this morning.
It comes after South Australia’s Chief Public Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier, wrote to parents and school staff across the state last week, encouraging students to attend.
Education Minister John Gardner said that as the health advice remained clear about schools and preschools remaining open, families were being encouraged to send their children along.
“Educational opportunities are an absolute right for our children and our schools are an essential service,” said Minister Gardner.
“I want to thank our teachers, educators and support staff who have been true community leaders during this unprecedented time, and who will continue to be pivotal in supporting our children and their families when they return to school today.
“As a result of the very low levels of COVID-19 in South Australia, as well as the wider health strategies implemented across the state, many schools are expecting higher attendance rates than anticipated prior to the school holidays.
“This is great news for our community, but it will present some complexity in our schools over the next week or two as we start to transition back to more face-to-face teaching.
“With educators having understandably prepared for a different scenario, it is very important that families across South Australia are patient and understanding with their children’s teachers and schools as they adapt.
“We know that physically attending school provides a better learning environment for young people, with access to specialist facilities and more opportunities to talk with teachers and fellow students. However, with many staff in vulnerable cohorts working from home this term, there will be a period of adjustment in many schools.
“Advice from Professor Nicola Spurrier and her team, as well as the AHPPC, has remained consistent that schools, preschools and early childhood facilities are low risk environments and should remain open.
“Our strong protocols remain in place for a minimum 24-hour closure in instances where a positive test for coronavirus is received by a student or staff member who has been attending a school or preschool, allowing SA Health to contact anyone at risk and to undertake a deep clean of the site.
“We will continue to follow the latest public health advice and will act accordingly if that advice changes.”