Albany students make strong return to schools for Term 2

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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Albany SHS students keep their distance.
Camera IconAlbany SHS students keep their distance. Credit: Sara Garcia Perlines/Sara Garcia Perlines.

Classrooms were back in action across Albany last week, with public and private schools recording a strong return to on-campus learning for the start of Term 2.

North Albany Senior High School welcomed 604 of its 892 students back to school on Wednesday.

Principal Peter Hurle said students had embraced the return.

“We have been proud of the collaborative way that our team has developed timely and effective responses at each point of change,” he said.

“We have all learnt a significant amount about online and remote learning.”

About 700 of just over 1000 students returned to the Albany Senior High School campus for the first day of Term 2.

Principal Jenny Firth said it was great to see the school community find innovative solutions during tough times.

“We have created a new team for supporting online learners, and getting these teachers connected with parents and students has taken time and lots of phone calls,” she said.

“One of the biggest benefits has been students bringing their laptop to school, so teachers can access more online tools in lessons.”

Students on Albany Senior High School’s new entryway.
Camera IconStudents on Albany Senior High School’s new entryway. Credit: Sara Garcia Perlines/Sara Garcia Perlines.

At Bethel Christian School, which recorded 75 per cent attendance, students and staff are having their temperature taken each morning.

Bethel principal Mim Butler said despite big changes to the school’s hygiene practices, Term 2 had resumed as normally as possible.

“I am very happy to see most of our students returned to school and am especially pleased that with the online services provided at the end of Term 1 our students haven’t missed any of their required course content for 2020,” she said.

Great Southern Grammar principal Mark Sawle said the school was making a staggered return, with Year 11, 12 and junior school students on campus for the first week of Term 2.

“The cancellation of a number of school events due to COVID-19 meant that the school day looked different for students on campus, while some boarding students and other year levels continued with online learning from home,” he said.

The State’s public residential boarding facilities open today, with Albany Residential College welcoming back Year 10-12 students, and Denmark WA College of Agriculture opening its doors to Year 11 and 12 students.

Education Minister Sue Ellery announced on Friday the State Government would launch a study, testing for asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 among thousands of students and staff in WA schools.

The voluntary testing program will be rolled out in 80 public schools across WA including Albany Senior High School, Yakamia Primary School, and Albany Residential College.

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