SOME Bendigo students will be able to return to on-campus learning from Friday as regional Victoria lockdown restrictions ease.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced that from Friday, regional schools will reopen for onsite learning for Prep to Grade 2 and Year 12 students who live in regional Victoria, while remote learning will remain for all other levels.
Kennington Primary School principal Travis Eddy said this was "great news" for students and families.
"We're excited to have our preps to twos back on site," he said.
"We will have to work around the parameters that will be in place and we still don't have a clear picture on what they will be yet in terms of the school's operation from the Department (of Education).
"But definitely happy and excited to have everyone we can back on site.
Onsite supervision at schools remains available for vulnerable children and children of essential workers in all year levels, including for students from metropolitan Melbourne.
"We've been averaging between 100 to 120 kids a day still, students that have parents who are essential workers and the like, so it will be good to have more," Mr Eddy said.
"It would have been great to have all out students back, but the decision has been made for a reason so hopefully we can have everyone back as soon as we can."
Catherine McAuley College principal Brian Turner said year 12 students will benefit from being back on campus.
"It has been very challenging for our Year 12 students, moving in and out of remote learning," he said.
"We are delighted that they can return to study on campus on Friday and that they will be able connect in person with each other and their teachers prior to the school break.
"Year 12 students have been dealing with a lot of uncertainty on top of their studies - from delay of the GAT, the combination of on campus and remote learning, the vaccination blitz which started this week and what the final run towards the end of school and exams will look like for them.
"It is good to have the certainty of them back at school for the next week and, COVID-permitting, a more settled, final few months."
Mr Turner said the school would work with students and families on what arrangements on campus will be from Friday, but said he was proud of the work his students had put in this year.
"I commend our Year 12 students on their resilience, the way they have persevered with their studies and how they have supported each other, not only this year but from March 2020 also," he said.
"I also want to acknowledge their teachers, parents and carers who have gone above and beyond to support our students' studies and wellbeing."
Bendigo Senior Secondary College principal Dale Pearce said while it was good to have students back, it would also bring a range of difficulties.
"There will be some staff members who will have to swap and change between online learning and teaching in the classroom, which will be very time consuming and draining," he said.
"With hospitality and other sectors also opening up, more parents will need to send their children to school and childcare too.
"It will be great for the students allowed to go to school, but hard for others at the same time."
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