The advent of the COVID-19 crisis caused much upheaval for school students, their families and teachers, as learning quickly moved from the classroom to the home, via computer screens.
But for many students at Doxa School in Bendigo, the changes proved a boon for their learning.
Principal John Russell said that while some students naturally found the shift difficult, many became more engaged in their education.
"Our connection to learning and attendance through the online medium was probably higher than it was prior," Mr Russell said.
The school provides a flexible learning environment for students who have difficulties in mainstream schools and are at risk of not completing their compulsory education.
During Victoria's school shutdown, Doxa staff delivered most of their teaching online, but each class group also had an in-person session they could attend each week, although only a small proportion of students chose to go to school.
Mr Russell said the flexibility of online learning worked well for a lot of students.
Anxiety around coronavirus was also quite high, he said, and most students felt safer at home.
Mr Russell said many students also experienced anxiety in social settings but being at home removed that, which meant they were better able to engage with their work.
All students were provided with the equipment needed to learn online.
"What they've missed out on is the social connection and being able to be supported with that social stuff," Mr Russell said.
However, students and their families had daily connection with both teachers and wellbeing workers online, sometimes more than once per day.
Mr Russell said the involvement of families helped keep students on track.
The shutdown period also provided staff with an opportunity to learn how to use different platforms to teach, he said, which would hopefully make it easier to support students into the future.
Students will return to the school on Tuesday.
Mr Russell said the first week would most likely involve shorter sessions to help students reorient themselves and ease any anxiety.
While he was looking forward to seeing students back at school, Mr Russell said some would choose to work from home for longer, and the school would continue to support them with that.
The school will also have to adapt some of its usual programs, to keep everyone safe in the ongoing pandemic.
A significant focus of the school's program is connection to the community, and giving students opportunities they might not have otherwise.
This often involves excursions to various venues, overnight camps and long-distance travel, which are all restricted due to COVID-19 health measures.
"Those sorts of activities we're rethinking for the year," Mr Russell said.
He said the school was otherwise taking things term by term - being a small, flexible-learning school, it could adapt quickly.
Mr Russell said students, families and staff had all been "brilliant" in how they had adapted to the changing circumstances this year.
"I can't speak highly enough of the school community," he said.