Government schools are still planning to welcome back ACT students on the first day of term next month, but a final decision will be taken next week.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said education authorities were working towards school going back on time pending further analysis of the COVID situation in the ACT next week, but there was a plan B in place.
"We've got all of those systems in place but the preference is to go with plan A. That's what we're working towards," Mr Barr said.
Schools could shift to remote learning with in-person support for the children of essential workers if required, but the planned return date is expected to come after the peak of the Omicron COVID wave in the ACT.
"We're holding for another week in terms of making that decision so that we can get another week's data and get a sense of where case numbers are at, hospitalisations, et cetera," Mr Barr said.
"Obviously we're going to have more data because we'll have more rapid antigen test data."
Mr Barr said vaccination remained the "most effective weapon to combat the virus" and vaccination rates among students and teachers would be factored into planning.
"We're roaring ahead. We're national leaders, almost double where the rest of the nation is at in terms of take-up. Another metric for me is, 'What are the forward bookings'? A few days ago, the earliest booking was January 24," he said.
More than 15 per cent of children aged between five and 11 in the ACT have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
More than 28 per cent of people in the ACT aged 18 and over have received their third dose.
Mr Barr said the timing of the Omicron wave of COVID-19 infections would also assist plans to get students back into the classroom on time.
"It's helpful, of course, that it's the summer, so we can do more outdoors. You can have windows open and all those sorts of things. It's not like we're dealing with this in the middle of winter, which would be a different set of challenges," he said.
Meanwhile, the union representing teachers at independent schools in the ACT strongly criticised a national cabinet decision to exempt staff from COVID isolation rules.
The Independent Education Union of Australia's NSW and ACT branch acting secretary, Pam Smith, said the move was an "abject failure of public policy".
"It means our members will be forced to work knowing either that they are a close contact and could infect others or that they are working with close contacts and could get infected and carry the illness to their own families. This only adds to current anxieties," Ms Smith said.
"Watering down work health and safety provisions in the third year of the pandemic because the government failed to plan is unacceptable."
Mr Barr on Thursday said the ACT government would work with unions and business groups to ensure exemptions - with voluntary arrangements - suit employers and employees.
"The guidance will outline the responsibilities of employers that exist under relevant work health and safety laws in their jurisdiction. Any testing done in the workplace must be done at no cost to the employee. This is also the case for the provision of other forms of [personal protective equipment]," he said in a statement.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday said national cabinet had agreed schools should be the first thing to open and the last thing to close under any health restrictions.
"If schools don't open, that can add an additional 5 per cent to the absenteeism in the workforce," Mr Morrison said.
Australian Education Union president Correna Haythorpe had expressed concern about how schools would go back, saying they could become super-spreader sites.
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