BACK TO SCHOOL: Mundubbera State School prep kids in 2020. Picture: Sam Turner
BACK TO SCHOOL: Mundubbera State School prep kids in 2020. Picture: Sam Turner

Burnett schools bracing for students’ return

SCHOOLS in the North Burnett are now bracing for the arrival of students for their official first day back since the coronavirus began.

The State Government has allowed prep, Year 1, and years 11-12 to return back to school on May 11, following their brief stint of home schooling.

Other year levels are set to remain at home until an announcement is made on May 15 by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Schools across the North Burnett are now laying the foundation for their students to return to the classroom during these unprecedented times.

The road to these relaxed restrictions has been interesting, with Mundubbera State School principal Peter Townsend congratulating parents and carers on their efforts so far.

“[They’ve] done an incredible job during this period,” Mr Townsend said

“It’s great to see the collaboration between families and teachers to continue learning, despite the physical barriers of distance.”

The move from the classroom to home has been a task for schools, but Mr Townsend believes the school has been able to adapt well.

“Mundubbera State School has supported students’ families to navigate this period successfully, whether the students are using online or paper based learning resources,” he said.

“Families and teachers have worked consistently and diligently with the students to ensure the best possible learning outcomes.”

Through these troubling times, teachers have endeavoured to provide feedback to students and families regularly, for online and paper-based learning.

Now with the set date for several year levels to return to school, Mr Townsend said he and his teachers were preparing for the phased return.

“Some parents of prep and Year 1 students may still wish to keep their children home from school due to concerns about Covid-19 and due to student health concerns,” Mr Townsend said.

“This is an acceptable decision, and these children won’t be marked as being absent, rather that they are learning from home.”

The following measures will continue to be in place at Mundubbera State School, such as:

  • students and staff who are unwell must not attend school;
  • physical distancing of 1.5 metres is required by all adults;
  • adults must not gather in and around school grounds, car parks, school gates and outside classrooms;
  • parents should use stop, drop and go or similar facilities rather than walking their children into school;
  • students will engage in regular effective handwashing and hygiene protocols, including regularly washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitiser and covering coughs and sneezes;
  • increased cleaning frequencies of high-touch surfaces such as light switches and door handles;
  • technology such as video conferencing used for gatherings, meetings and assemblies; and
  • school swimming pools remain closed and excursions, camps, trips and inter-school activities are postponed at this time.

While there have been there obstacles with home based learning, teachers have encountered one particular issue during the pandemic.

“Mundubbera teachers and staff miss having the students around the school and delivering lessons face-to-face,” he said.

“The teachers however are now prepared, and are looking forward to students returning.”

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