Gates reopen

THE sounds of children in the schoolyard will soon ring out with all Victorian students expected to return to their classrooms within a month.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Tuesday government school students from prep to grade two, specialist schools, VCE and VCAL would return to face-to-face learning on May 26.

The remaining year levels will follow suit on June 9.

Swan Hill College principal Andrew Sartori said it was important for VCE students to return to school, with year 10 students likely to return alongside them.

"I'm glad to see it's staggered which gives time to plan and wrap our heads around things," Mr Sartori said.

"We're planning how we're going to do that and we'll put things in practice to make it as smooth as possible."

Mr Sartori said during the period of remote learning, no changes were made to the school's timetable.

"It means teachers can come to school and do their senior level classes face-to-face," Mr Sartori said.

"Then the junior will be done via remote learning and sit within our normal remote learning."

Mr Sartori said he expected all staff members would return to the school on May 25, which the premier has deemed a pupil-free day.

As per the premier's guidelines, Mr Sartori said vulnerable students in grades three to 10 could also return to school on May 26.

The state government has also announced a two-week priority list period from May 12 for teachers to be tested for COVID-19.

"A number of my staff have already been tested and I think it'll give other staff a piece of mind that others are tested."

Nyah District Primary School principal Luke Dalton also praised the inclusion of teachers in the priority testing list.

Mr Dalton said at present, staff used a range of methods to teach their students and reach out to the school's families.

"Tasks were set for the kids and two WebEx (video and web-conferencing software) sessions for students to participate in per day and activities learnt through the school apps," Mr Dalton said.

He said some students also attended school making use of the school facilities aligned with their remote learning.

Mr Dalton said the school has adjusted to the remote learning "well", but said the Nyah district was faced with a "challenging situation".

"The teachers have done an amazing job and been flexible and adjusted to the needs of the community," Mr Dalton said.

"It's been a brand new and challenging experience for them.

"Our school motto is together we learn, and we have together as a school community overcome those difficulties and come out with positive results.

"That's shown throughout the COVID-19 period."

Mr Dalton said upon returning to face-to-face learning, the school would focus on the wellbeing of their students.

"Showing that they have a chance to debrief on their experience at home," he said.

"We'll support them to ensure they re-engage and check-in on their wellbeing."

Mr Dalton said the school has also checked in on the students and parents mental health throughout the remote learning period.

In term two, students were faced with learning from home to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The state government has invested $45 million for enhanced daily cleaning at schools across terms two and three.

They are also encouraging schools to implement staggered drop-offs at school and staggering the students breaks at school during the day.