Students return to classrooms

Tessa Randello

The first wave of students returned to school on Tuesday.

Prep, Grade 1, Grade 2, Year 11 and Year 12 students returned to the classroom for the first time in eight weeks.

Stockdale Road Primary School assistant principal Lauren Jelleff said the first day back had “a really positive feel”.

“We have been really happy to have our kids back at the school and our teachers were very excited to see the kids again,” she said.

“(Tuesday morning) we organised a meeting to make sure all of the students were back and making sure that they were ready to get back into the classroom because it has been very different for them learning remotely.”

“It has been really positive, there are lots of smiling faces and it is really nice to see all of the staff play games … parents in the community have been amazing in supporting us.

“The parents have also been amazing in observing social distancing during drop-off back at school.” Ms Jelleff said the Prep to Grade 2 students will have the campus to themselves before the return of Grade 3 to 6 students, who return on June 9.

She also said all of the teachers are back on campus.

Teachers whose classes have not returned yet are teaching remotely from classrooms.

“For those who are remote learning still we are holding online classes via Webex where the kids can see their teachers and students and it’s been really good in terms of maintaining the relationship between teachers and their students,” Ms Jelleff said.

Stockdale Road Primary School students were among about 400,000 Victorian students that returned to school on Tuesday.

As students return to on-site learning, schools are implementing staggered drop-off and pick-ups to reduce the number of adults around schoool grounds at any one time, as well as staggered break times.

Education Minister James Merlino said face-to-face learning returning in phases was recommended by the Chief Health Officer.

“Having close to a million students learning from home has made a huge contribution to limiting the number of people moving around the community and reducing the spread of the virus,” he said.

“This is a real opportunity to improve our education system and learn lessons from this remote learning experience. This summit will be a way for all of our school sectors to come together and report back about the benefits they experienced.”