Thousands flock to Valley schools

Heidi Kraak

Thousands of students across the Latrobe Valley will don their uniforms and begin the 2019 education year this week as schools resume following the summer holidays.

Government schools in the Latrobe Valley will welcome more than 600 preps, 500 year 7 students and 500 year 12 students.

In the Catholic sector, 258 preps across the Latrobe Valley will begin their educational journey, along with 220 students starting year 7.

Chairo Christian School’s Traralgon campus, formerly Flinders Christian Community College, will welcome 15 preps and nine year 7 students.

Construction is underway at Kurnai College in Morwell for a $10.1 million upgrade, which will include a new canteen, performing arts and food technology building, year 9/10 classroom and a science block. The upgrade is scheduled for completion at the end of the year. Construction of year 7 and 8 classrooms, and a $1.507 million library are projected to begin in December.

Work is underway at Baringa school in Moe, involving upgrades to the existing learning and support spaces and a new multipurpose gym.

Works at Grey Street Primary School in Traralgon also started over the holidays, while the Department of Education said it would work closely with the community at Traralgon College and Latrobe Special Developmental School to deliver stage one of the Traralgon Education Regeneration Project.

Churchill North Primary School welcomed 160 students to start the new year, principal Debbie Bostedt said.

While prep enrolments were down on last year, Ms Bostedt said staff were excited to begin the year and had already undergone professional development sessions focusing on virtual excursions.

“Because of our locality, we don’t often get to go to the museum or the zoo … [but with] the virtual excursion [program] we can hook into things like NASA,” she said.

“There are really great virtual excursions that we can link into what we’re doing, and get the kids out of the school.”