Whitsunday parents respond to back to school announcement
WHITSUNDAY parents have voiced mixed opinions about the announcement that all students could be back at school by the end of the month.
The government will then reassess on May 15 for the rest of the grades with the intention of sending all students back on May 25.
While the move was welcomed by some parents, others were concerned it had come too soon.
Among those with some questions around the decision was Rick Mark, whose daughter Elissa is in Year 3 at St Catherine's in Proserpine.
Mr Mark has balanced helping Elissa complete her schoolwork from home over the past few weeks alongside keeping his boat, Apollo Whitsundays, in shape for when restrictions are lifted.
Are you happy with the decision to send children back to school?
This poll ended on 08 May 2020.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
He said while at-home learning had been a "enjoyable" experience, it had also presented many challenges.
"It's certainly not easy finding our way through it but we've worked with each other and have a routine going," he said.
"I certainly don't pretend that it's anywhere near as useful as actually going to school for (Elissa), but it's better than nothing."
Mr Mark welcomed the announcement that school would return for all students at the end of the month although said only allowing what he believed to be 30 per cent of students, or those in kindergarten, Prep, Year 1, 11 and 12, back first was a confusing decision.
"You've got to start somewhere but is this 30 per cent a useful indicator or is it better starting all together at the end of the month?" he said.
"I think it's a very measured response but it's either right to go back to school or it isn't.
"You've got to get back to normal as quick as you can but 30 per cent isn't exactly normal anyway."
Mr Mark said the safety of his daughter was also a concern.
"It's hard for a parent to know whether it's safe or not, we know it's safe keeping her at home but have to be reliant on the authorities to give assurance that it's going to be safe.
"Even though it's hard work, I feel reassured having her at home while authorities get their head around it."
Another parent, Magda Breedt, believed the call should have been made sooner.
"I think they should have opened up schools before the other unessential things like the clothes shops. Schools come first," she said.
Ms Breedt has two children enrolled at Cannonvale State School and said she was "cheering" when she heard the news that schools would reopen.
Ms Breedt's daughter Chantelle is in Prep and will be one of the students going back to school on May 11.
However, her son Ruben will continue to learn from home as he is in Year 5 and falls into the second stage of students returning.
Ms Breedt said it had been difficult juggling both of her children's study.
"It's been a big job to jump from one to the other," she said.
"Chantelle had only been (at school) for six weeks in her first year so I had to teach her the way I thought was right.
"It's going to be easier now to teach one than both. You can put all your attention into one."
Ms Breedt applauded Cannonvale State School's approach to hygiene and help in keeping her children safe before closures.
She was confident the school would continue to put student's health first and welcomed the move to return.