Published in The Ararat Advocate, Ararat's weekly newspaper published by West Vic News Pty Ltd.
SMILING students and their adaptive teachers have celebrated a staggered return to the classroom.
Prep to grade 2 and year 12 students returned as normal on Monday, October 4, joined by year 11 students on Wednesday, October 6, and year 7 students on Monday, October 11.
Students in grades 3 to 6 and years 8 to 10 also returned this week but were only onsite for two days sporadically.
Marian College principal, Carmel Barker, said the staggered nature of the return has allowed teachers to closely analyse the needs of each year level.
“While we are really looking forward to the full complement once again, there's been some advantages with a staggered return,” she said.
“As each year level has come back, it's really provided us with an opportunity for teachers to review and really audit how each year level has coped over the remote period.”
The staggered timetable will continue next week before all students commence full-time onsite learning from Tuesday, October 26.
Ararat 800 Primary School principal, Ryan Oliver, said the resilience of his students has helped re-energise the school community after a draining term three.
“The overwhelming majority of kids have come back with an extremely positive, enthusiastic vibe. The teachers have felt that and have been re-energised by that natural resilience from the kids."
Mr Oliver said his leadership team is working hard to support staff as they move back onsite.
“We're doing a lot of things in the wellbeing space for our staff, and they deserve that. They worked exceptionally hard over the last couple of years to do their best for the kids,” he said.
For senior students, schools are beginning to organise graduations that align with upcoming restriction changes.
Ms Barker said Marian College will do whatever it has to do to ensure their year 12s get the send-off they deserve.
“They are a really impressive group so we'd love to do something nice for them. If the worst comes to worst and we can't do it now, then we'll make sure we do it at the beginning of next year,” she said.