SMILES were back on the faces of school children today as students in grades two to 10 returned to their classrooms and met with friends after more than five weeks of learning from home.
Teachers and principals waited eagerly outside school gates to welcome students back, some for the first time since before the April holidays.
Queensland Mental Health Comissioner Ivan Frkovic called for students, parents and teachers to show kindness as classroom learning returned under relaxed restrictions.
"I know that our teachers and other school staff will continue to support students and to ensure that our school children are nurtured in the weeks ahead," he said.
"Many, particularly senior students, feel pressure of important assessments and exams and some may be anxious about how the pandemic could affect their futures.
"Others might be reticent about being back in the classroom and will need some extra encouragement and support to make the transition a positive one."
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk thanked parents, students and teachers for their patience over the last two months as the state worked on flattening the curve.
"They adapted quickly to embrace new digital learning tools so our students could learn from home and kept students motivated through these challenging times," she said.
"With fewer active cases of COVID-19 and low transmission rates in Queensland, it's now time for all students to return to school, in-line with the advice from our Chief Health Officer and the progressive easing of restrictions.
"As we move forward the health and wellbeing of students, staff and school communities will continue to be our top priority and our decision making will be guided by the expert health advice."
About 84 per cent of prep students and 80 per cent of those in grade 1, 11 and 12 had attended school since the staged return began on May 11.
Minister for Education Grace Grace said students and parents would notice a number of on campus changes amid the return of classroom learning.
"We've taken extraordinary measures to ensure the health and safety of everyone attending schools, including strict hygiene practices and increased cleaning of classrooms and play equipment," she said.
Things like staggered starts, supervised movements between school gates and classrooms and restricting visitor and parent access to school grounds were also being implemented.
Students unable to return to school due to medical reasons will still be supported online, with the learning@home website to be available and updated throughout term two.
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