School return rollout a problem for small schools
FOLLOWING weeks of speculation about the reopening of schools, Banana Shire schools will have preps and Year 1,11 and 12 students sitting in class on May 11.
Prospect Creek State School principal Rosalie Reynolds said she welcomed the announcement of a gradual rollout by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk but said it would present problems for smaller schools.
"A staggered start for a small school does have a lot of logistic changes for a multi aged teacher teaching prep, Year 1 and 2 still has to provide and consider the Year 2 students from home," Mrs Reynolds said.
"That does have implications that may not be considered.
"We've been planning for the gradual release back to classrooms over the last few weeks given the thought that if the restrictions are eased socially then they may be eased in the classroom as well.
"With our term 2 operating guidelines being sent out to us we are considering what that will look like in our school context."
Year 11 Redeemer Lutheran College student Caidence Appel said she was excited to get back into the classroom and after missing out on the ability to bounce ideas and learn off her fellow classmates.
"I'm excited to have that social aspect and interact with other people have class discussion," Ms Appel said.
"Learning online was good because I could form my own routine and work at my own pace to be efficient.
"I liked being held accountable for my work and felt I could get a lot more done."
Sandra Wass Redeemer Lutheran College principal Sandra Wass said Independent Schools Queensland lobbied the Queensland Government on April 24 to bring back senior students as soon as possible.
"I think our Year 12 students in particular are working under a new QCE system and a lot of unknown and pressures so it's exciting to get them back and well supported at the college," Mrs Wass said.
"For parents juggling work and supervising home school, our preps and year 1s aren't at an age where they can be left alone to work independently.
"It is a tight time frame and we've written our timetable so we are prepared for them to come back to campus on Monday."
Mrs Wass said her school was prepared to follow social distancing guidelines around school pick-up and drop-off enforced by the Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young.
"There were safety principals released after the end of term 1 and they are still enforced and the Premier released on Monday some further principals around the use of stop, drop and go like adults are unable to gather in and around school grounds," Mrs Wass said.
"We will reinforce those to make sure our staff and students are safe.
"We are already at 37 per cent attendance this week so I'm expecting 100 per cent attendance or close to from those grades this week."
Mrs Reynolds added it's especially important to have preps back in the classroom as soon as possible.
"The preppies are the ones that are going to have the most impact on their education at a young age," Mrs Reynolds said.
"It is hard for a parent to teach those core foundation skills that a trained classroom teacher can.
"It's also that routine that our preps need to be following, at home it can be a lot harder to engage them in schoolwork."
Ms Palaszczuk said the return to classrooms was made possible by the state's low infection rates and the government would reassess on May 15 for the rest of the grades with the intention of sending all students back on May 25.