Galstaun College in Sydney Following Advice of New South Wales Premier

By | Monday, 23 March 2020

SYDNEY: The largest Armenian everyday school in Australia, Hamazkaine Arshak & Sophie Galstaun College is following Coronavirus COVID-19 advice from Premier of New South Wales, the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian and transitioning to online schooling while keeping the doors of the school open, in particular for parents who work in essential services.

On Monday 24th March 2020, Berejiklian advised all parents who are able should keep their children at home, while stating schools will remain open for those parents who are unable to care for them.

With many of students already remaining home before this announcement, it is anticipated that the Premier's announcement will mean the vast majority of school-aged children will now be home-schooled for a number of weeks to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the state of New South Wales.

Principal of Galstaun College, Edward Demirdjian advised parents that teachers will be preparing remote learning lessons and activities for the home, which students typically undertake at school, by utilising technology and dedicated software where appropriate.

He said the lessons and activities will be age- and stage-appropriate, while promising the availability of teachers for support during regular school hours.

"As per the New South Wales Premier’s announcement on Monday morning, schools will remain open, but parents are advised to keep students at home if possible," Demirdjian said.

"I can understand that there is some confusion amongst parents regarding this decision and what it means for the school to be open. The Premier is encouraging parents in all schools to keep their children at home."

"This means that the provision of on-campus learning is only intended for children of essential services workers, children in need, and the children of parents with no option other than to send their children to school."

Demirdjian added: "The provision of on-campus learning means that the College will offer supervision while students access the same learning whether they are on-campus or at-home as it will not be possible to offer different modes of teaching. This will mean that E-learning is our priority."

Demirdjian said there would be virtual classes for all senior students, who will continue to be supported in preparation of their Higher School Certificate (HSC).

Buses and the canteen will continue to operate, albeit with more limited services, until further notice.

Demirdjian and the Galstaun College staff have been in constant communication with parents and the school community during what has been an unprecedented health crisis, and the school has been transitioning to online tools in preparation of these anticipated shifts.