ON 25 May the students of Tea Gardens Public School returned to the classroom for the first time since late March after practicing predominantly online distance education due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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School Principal Mark Clemson said, “It is absolutely fantastic to have our students return to full time on-school site learning.”
“The school wasn’t the same without the students.”
At the height of the pandemic school attendance dropped to as low as zero percent but has returned to a promising ninety eight percent as of 28 May.
Despite the excitement the potential risks involved have been recognised by Mr. Clemson and his staff who are committed to making the return to face to face learning as safe as possible.
Mr Clemson advised, “We have additional cleaning throughout the day in line with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee guidelines and advice from NSW Health.”
“Target areas include high-touch areas and other hard surfaces; door handles, play equipment and handrails in stairways and movement areas,” he said.
“Enhanced cleaning is delivered as part of the daily cleaning.”
Mr Clemson acknowledged the efforts of his staff including the cleaning crew and their commitment to the safety and education of the local children who attend the school.
He told News Of The Area, “Our local kids and families are truly fortunate to have such a caring staff looking after them and guiding them each day.”
“One such local family is the Hesterow family who have three children who attend the school.”
Mother Tess Hesterow described herself as excited as well as nervous about her children’s return to school but felt reassured of her family’s safety due to the protective measures the school has put into place.
She observed, “Hand sanitiser is in all the rooms, separate work packs have been provided for each child and no one is using the bubblers.”
When asked what the best part of being back at school was the Hestrow children’s answer was unanimous, “We get to see our friends.”
By Brooke LYNCH