Miles principals weigh in on long-awaited return to school
TEACHERS and students are excited to be reunited in the classrooms as Years 2 - 10 return to in-class learning.
Miles State School principal Rowie Price said despite the massive challenges from moving to remote learning and now back into the classrooms, her staff and students have risen to the occassion.
"Our staff have handled the ever-going changes really well," Mrs Price said.
"All are very excited and happy to be back."
Despite being able to return to school, things will be a bit different for students in the post COVID-19 era.
"We have had our first parade by virtual parade," she said.
"I sat at my desk and the students Skyped in through the teacher's laptops."
"We also have quite stringent hygiene practices."
Miles State School has 30 students with medical conditions who are continuing to learn from home to ensure their safety.
Teachers are adhering to social distancing measures but students are not required to, according to Mrs Price.
"Under the guidelines there is no social distancing requirement for the students," she said.
"The only social distancings are for adults within school environments."
But the small school of 193 students has a natural advantage when it comes to social distancing with it being easier to manage the distance between people.
"We're doing everything that we can to ensure the safety of our students, our staff and our wider community through those processes that we have in place."
Miles State High School principal Josette Moffatt said the crisis had brought new opportunities to returning students.
"Because of the online learning, there's been a rapid embracing of programs and online platforms," she said.
"We know that we can continue."
Although the high school has managed online learning well, Mrs Moffatt is excited to have students back.
"We are so pleased to have them back," she said.
"We all have careers in education because we want to work with students."
"A school is not a school unless it has students in it!"
Many students live on rural properties without internet connections and are grateful to be back with their friends.
Although there isn't a social distancing requirement for schools, Miles State High School students have been observing them anyway.
This is to simulate the environment outside of school and to enforce the same expectations.
"Coming back to school is essential for their social and emotional wellbeing," Mrs Moffatt said.
"It's why out attendance is really high most of the time."
Mrs Moffatt said students have been cooperative with the online learning expectations and students without internet connections had been provided with physical copies of content.
"I could not be more proud of our community and the parents of our students who walk beside us in partnership," she said.
"They value learning."