After five weeks of home-based learning, Queensland Years 2-10 students joined their younger and older peers in the classroom on Monday 25 May as the state resumed on-campus learning for all students.

Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) and the Queensland Independent Schools Parents Network  (QIS Parents Network) wished students, staff and parents well, saying independent schools were looking forward to welcoming back their remaining students.

Kindy, Prep and Years 1, 11 and 12 students returned on 11 May.

ISQ Executive Director David Robertson said while on-campus learning was recommencing, governed by the latest state and federal health advice, other school-related activities, such as assemblies, concerts, excursions and camps would remain on-hold.

Parents should feel confident that schools will get children back on track

Mr Robertson said parents could feel confident that independent schools would work quickly to ascertain the status of student learning and wellbeing and provide targeted support where needed.

“It’s been a herculean effort for all schools, staff and families to maintain student learning over the past five weeks of Term 2. It’s a credit to everyone and the strong partnerships that exist between families, carers and schools in Queensland,” he said.

“All principals, teachers and school staff deserve the highest praise for doing everything possible to keep students engaged in education and connected to their peers and school communities over this period.”

Work continues to get small number of remaining students back to school

Mr Robertson said alternative learning arrangements would continue for small numbers of students, including some rural, regional and remote boarding students as well as students from Indigenous communities.

“ISQ is continuing to work with its member schools and health authorities on options for the safe return of all students to school-based learning.”

Parents and students need to give themselves time to adjust

QIS Parents Network Executive Officer Justine Cirocco urged parents to be kind to themselves as well as their children as everyone in the family adjusted to another ‘new normal’.

“Returning to full-time school routines will be eagerly anticipated by many parents and children, but we all need to give ourselves time to adapt because things won’t be like they were before,’’ Ms Cirocco said.

“Social distancing measures are still in place so school drop-offs will be very different and parents won’t be as involved in day-to-day school life – all those things will take time to get used to.’’

Keep expectations realistic + seek help if you need it

Ms Cirocco advised parents to have realistic expectations about the first days and weeks of the return to school and to be prepared for a range of emotions from their children as they also adjusted.

But she reassured families they weren’t tackling these challenges alone.

“Please remember that your child’s teachers and the school administration will be prioritising your child’s health and wellbeing and will be ensuring students are supported and eased back into school life at a gentle pace.

“It’s also important as parents to remember that it’s okay to not feel okay. If you or your child need help to process how you are feeling, please reach out to the many free telephone support services that are available.’’

This story was originally published on the Independent Schools Queensland website as “School’s in for Queensland Students”.