Cobar High School principal Shane Carter is looking forward to welcoming students back to the school this week and he has a couple of surprises in store for them.
“Kids make the school, they are the heart and soul of it.
“It’s definitely been a very different place without them,” Mr Carter told The Cobar Weekly on Friday.
As part of Phase 1 of the Department of Education’s plan to return students to school following the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Years 7 and 8 students went back to school on Monday for one day a week; Years 11 and 12 returned yesterday (for three days a week); and Years 9 and 10 will be attending one day a week on Fridays.
Mr Carter said he was unsure how long Phase 1 will be in place for.
“Kids will be working on their learning units, the same as kids working at home that don’t come to school,” Mr Carter said.
“Phase 1 is not compulsory for students to attend.
“Parents still have a choice to keep their children at home but they will need to notify school.
“The school is still open however for students of essential workers,” he said.
Mr Carter said as more students start to return to school, some changes have been made to the school’s normal procedures.
He said the use of anything that can transmit disease such as bubblers and the use of mobile phones in classrooms will not be allowed.
Sanitiser will be used upon entering classrooms, class sizes will be reduced to 10 students per room and Mr Carter said students will be staying in the same room for the day and not moving about.
He said as the senior students already have smaller class sizes, they will be able to mostly adhere to their normal timetable.
Mr Carter said the past couple of months have been a real logistical challenge for the staff collating all of the students’ work units.
“There’s not many schools doing the actual delivery and collection of work units. That’s been a mammoth job,” he said.
He said staff have also kept busy doing additional online professional learning and some have jumped in to help give the multi-categorical area a “facelift” which will be a nice surprise for students when they return to school.
The school’s woodwork room has also undergone a revamp with a paint, new floor coverings and work benches installed.
Students (and staff) will also benefit from new carpet in the library, front office and some of the classrooms which was laid during the school holidays.