80 Catholic schools end term early
Learning will stop at every Catholic school in NSW from Monday with every diocese deciding to shut down their schools to students.
Students whose parents have to work will still be able to attend their school for supervision from staff but there will be no lessons online or otherwise.
Teachers will use the days without pupils to prepare for how lessons will be delivered in term two.
Parents in the Diocese of Parramatta were told of the move last night while parents in the Diocese of Wollongong were told this morning in a letter to parents
"We have made this decision to provide some relief to our students and to you, their parents and carers. It is our hope that it will offer you and your family some respite and a chance to refresh physically, emotionally and spiritually before Term 2 begins," the letter said.
"It will also give our teachers and school staff the opportunity to focus on the planning and preparation required to ensure your child's ongoing education when we resume learning next term."
The announcement from the Parramatta Diocese last night sparked widespread confusion among NSW parents after it was the only diocese to notify the 80-school community on social media on Thursday evening.
The Catholic Schools NSW website still carried no news of decision at 8.30am.
"On advice from Catholic Schools NSW, tomorrow (Friday 3 April) will be the last day of lessons for Term One," the statement from the Parramatta Diocese said.
"Supervision of students who require it will continue to be provided next week as needed."
The Parramatta diocese also warned parents to prepare for the possibility of homeschooling for students in Term Two, which the statement said was "highly likely".
"We've been listening carefully to your concerns and understand the challenges for many families supporting students in studying at home for the first time," the statement said.
"Next week, teachers will be preparing to continue supporting students learning at home which is highly likely in Term Two.
"Thank you for your support and understanding as we respond together to COVID-19."
Teachers will work four staff development days next week in the lead-up to Good Friday as they prepare for further remote learning in term two.
It comes as a Catholic school student in Sydney's southwest tested positive for COVID-19.
Parents at the St Michael's Catholic Primary School Belfield received a letter from officials on Thursday confirming a child at the school had been diagnosed with the highly contagious virus.
No school attendance dates were provided to parents but the letter told the school community the child may have been infectious while attending classes.
Families who came into contact with the child and relatives have been told to self-isolate.