Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Schools Are Still “Open” – 23rd of March 2020

With all the confusing messages everywhere, even if the schools are officially open, in reality, is that all the states went their own ways.

  • ACT schools closed on Tuesday this week.
  • Northern Territory schools to stay open, but parents can take their kids home.
  • NSW schools are open, but state PM recommended all parents to keep their children at home if possible.
  • Queensland Schools to stay open for the time being.
  • South Australia schools to stay open as well.
  • Tasmanian schools to stay open.
  • Victoria started the school holiday on Tuesday this week.
  • Western Australia schools to stay open.

Basically, all the state borders closed as well, anyone other than essential service personal entering will be subject to an automatic 14 day quarantine.

All the social distancing policy taken so far will take time to work while the current infection rate will still shot up exponentially. Because of this, I do not expect it to be enough to stop the rise of this virus. This will in my view force the government’s hand to implement more draconian policies very soon. We should have gone hard and early on this, otherwise, we risk to drag this out well into next year. Unfortunately, I do not see that happening, we are still reacting to the events and playing catch up so far.

On a personal front, I have decided to take both of my kids out of the school from tomorrow. We will receive the online education pack and instructions on this Thursday, so far about half of the parents we know have taken a similar decision. I am expecting most of the parents will follow suit in the next few days as well.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – No School Closure Yet – 22nd of March 2020

Another day another change, NSW premier’s announcement earlier today of all non-essential business will shut down set people’s expectation up that the NSW schools will shut down on the coming Tuesday. However, the later press conference by Australian PM announcement of what appears to be watered down shutdown measures confirmed that schools will stay open in Australian. Victorian schools will go into the earlier holiday on Tuesday being the exception.

However, parents are allowed to take their kids out from schools and keep them home for the period before the Autumn holiday. They are still planning to open the schools as normal after the holiday.

Given how things have been developing, I do not personally expect the schools in NSW will be able to keep open for too much longer. There is currently intense pressure from the public to close the schools, so something will give sooner rather than later.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Schools Readying For Closure And Naplan Cancelled 20th of March 2020

Corona Virus related news is coming hard and fast now. Schools are busy readying for a possible school close down. Given the trend of virus growth, we probably have a few weeks around the time that Autumn school holiday is over that various level of governments will have to decide whether the schools will have to shut down or start open again.

NAPLAN has also been cancelled for 2020 and will resume in 2021, this is a shame for education watchers like me, but with what is happening now, this is the right decision to make.

Just to note that everyone in my division has switched to work from home now. And local supermarkets have been stripped of essentials, particularly if you go in the afternoon, there are very little essential staples left like pasta, flour etc, not to mention the much-prized toilet papers. Just about all extracurricular activities of my kids had been cancelled now. If there is no significant reduction in the growth of infection rate, we will likely to see lockdowns like parts of Europe and the US are currently experiencing very soon.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Schools To Stay Open For The Time Being 18th of March 2020

All the universities look like all moved into online teaching and shutting down the physical campus at least until the beginning of the term 2. Primary and secondary schools will stay open for the time being. Catholic schools will stay open as well for now.

The general consensus is that if COVID-19 spreads get worse it requires extreme suppression methods in order for it not to overwhelm the Australian health system. Extreme suppression will require school and university shut down, and for it to make a difference, we will probably looking at a minimum shut down period between three to six month. We are not at that point yet, but events in Europe have already amply demonstrated that things can and will change very quickly.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus More School And University Closure 17th of March 2020

Things are developing really fast now. Most of the Universities in Sydney had either closed or will be next week, teaching has been moved to online. Toorak Primary School in Victoria had been closed as well due to a teacher who had been tested positive for COVID-19.

With mounting cases, we are yet one more steps closer to general school closure. I think the federal government is trying to hold out until Autumn holiday which would give it two additional weeks before it had to make the decision that may result in the next entire term of schooling cancelling. This is an unprecedented event and we will just have to see how this develops from this point on.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus Three School Close in South Australia And NSW 16th of March 2020

Two more schools in Australia closed today due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Three schools, Unley High School and Scotch College in Adelaide both have been closed due to positive test results. St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School in South-west Sydney had been closed today as well after a person tested positive for Coronavirus as well.

News articles also reported that Sydney schools reported that there is a 25 per cent drop in attendance today. Many private schools also either started the Autumn holiday early or have transited into online teaching as well.

Plotting the current Australian Coronavirus infection rate, we will probably see one thousand plus infected at around Friday to Saturday, so the pressure will really be mounting for the Federal government to take additional preventive measure to try and flatten the curves.

Depend on how much the infected number grows, we will likely to see all school and university closure by next week and no later than the week after that.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus School Closure and Gathering Bane 15th of March 2020

A lot had happened in a week and even in two days. Geelong Grammar School in Victoria had closed all its four campuses for the rest of the term. Also now NSW Department Education had instructed all schools to cancel assemblies, excursions and sports carnivals from Monday. This is on top of the cancellation of the none essential gathering of more than 500 people. My daughter’s band performance this weekend has been cancelled already. I am expected many more similar cancellation will be happening over the next few months.

Also 14 days automatic self-quarantine requirement for all oversea arrivals has been put into effect now by Monday as well. Students and families travelling to and back from the oversea need to keep this mind as well.

As of this moment, schools will stay open next week, however, with how fast this virus moves, the decisions made this week will be very much out of date by next week. So we will just have to see how this goes.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus More School Closed In NSW 13th of March 2020

Katoomba High School had been closed today due to a member of the school community had been tested positive with Coronavirus. The school will be cleaned and the Department of Health will conduct the contact tracing institute quarantine on the close contacts.

Sacred Heart College’s senior campus in Somerton Park SA had a student tested positive for Coronavirus and school campus will be cleaned over the weekend. The school will not be closed next week.

St Patrick’s Marist College in Dundas has been reopened.

So far the various level of Australian governments still operating at the containment stage. However, given the number of community cases, I can say it is safe to see we are onto the delay stage already. Unless the total travel bane is instituted in the next few days, it is pretty pointless to try to contain the virus anymore.

If the things keep developing at the rate it is currently happening. We will definitely see mass long term school closure. Most of the schools that I know off already issued emergency plans or started canvasing the parents regarding this as well. So I guess Google Classrooms will get a serious workout soon.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus Another School Closed In Victoria 11th of March 2020

Another day another school closure, Yeshivah-Beth Rivkah Colleges in Melbourne has been closed due to a male teacher recently returned from the US was tested positive for Coronavirus. Willoughby Girls High School in Sydney had been reopened today.

The progress of this Coronavirus is progressing very rapidly now and I previously predicate that mass long term school closure likely will not happen until after Autumn school holiday. At the rate of current virus progress, we may very well see that happening in the next week or two, if the Australian government trying to get ahead of this virus.

What this will likely mean as well is that when we starting seeing mass long term school closure, we likely to see many companies start to encourage and enforce work from home arrangement partly due to the need to look after children that are unable to go to schools.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus Private School Closed In Victoria 10th of March 2020

Carey Baptist Grammar in Victoria had been shut down for the rest of the week after one of the teachers had been tested positive for Coronavirus. This marks the fourth school in that had been closed down due to Coronavirus in Australia and the first outside of NSW.

Updates on the previous school closures

  • Epping Boys High School 69 students and staff under 14 days quarantine reopened on Monday
  • St Patrick’s Marist College in Dundas 150 students under 14 days quarantine
  • Willoughby Girls High School 56 students under 14 days quarantine

Private schools had also started to scale down on the large events, so the Coronavirus already starting to have a large impact on the day to day operation of the schools.

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