COVID concerns persist as excited Canberra students return to school | Canberra Times

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Thousands of Canberra students have returned to school for the first time since Canberra was quarantined in August, but not all parents are convinced that every effort has been made to make classrooms safe. Nearly 41,000 students were able to attend in-person classes on Monday after schools made COVID-safe adjustments. Education Minister Yvette Berry said she would be surprised if a school doesn’t have a case of COVID-19 this term, despite weeks of methods to improve ventilation and separate student groups. “Schools will not be isolated from positive COVID cases, but we are definitely doing our best to make them as safe as possible,” Berry said. Said. Ms Berry was unable to say how many staff would be reassigned by November 1, when the first dose vaccination order went into effect. The principal of Charnwood-Dunlop Elementary School will be taking time off from work due to her stance against the vaccination requirement. Ms. Berry said this was handled through the Department of Education’s internal processes. “It’s an individual issue and it’s probably gotten quite a bit of life in the media and in society so far. And I think we need to leave that there and concentrate on the good things that happen today. And that will be when we get back to on-campus education next week.” Drop-out zones in Canberra quickly filled up on Monday morning as schools re-host kindergarten 2nd, 6th, 9th and 10th graders. Finlay McConaghy, 7, a sophomore at Ngunnawal Elementary School, was so excited to see his friends that he barely slept on Sunday night. “I was so excited that I woke up at 10pm,” she said. Rebecca Turner, principal of Ngunnawal Primary School, visited the park with her family during the curfew and went for a walk, but said she was happy to get back to learning in the classroom. stub var returns to classes. “We’re doing everything we can in a remote environment, but it’s no better than being on the field with them,” Turner said. The school is divided into three balloons to avoid having to close the entire school in case of exposure to COVID-19. Ms. Turner knew about 10 students staying at home due to medical vulnerabilities, but most parents were sending their children to school. At Good Shepherd Catholic Elementary School in Amaroo, students were given the celebrity treatment for entering the school with balloons, welcome signs and a red carpet. Deputy Director Melinda Hall O’Brien said she wanted to add some fun to the first day of staff return. Ms. Hall O’Brien said, “All the parents loved it the way they came. They could barely leave their children, the children were all happy. There were no tears, just a lot of excited faces.” This week, he said, there will be a chance to test new safety procedures, such as gradual breaks and re-establishing school routines in different areas of the school. Our coverage of the health and safety aspects of this COVID-19 outbreak on the ACT and curfew is free for everyone. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you can, you can subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support. You can also sign up for our newsletters for regular updates. Our journalists work hard to bring local, up-to-date news to the community. You can continue to access our trusted content by:


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