About 200 students at Caroline Chisholm College returned to remote learning last week after 15 teachers contracted COVID-19 and another eight caught the flu.
Principal Robert Brennan said year nine and 10 students learnt from home independently on a rotating basis, because the school was unable to source enough casual relief teachers (CRT).
“At the moment we’ve only got one year level [away] on any given day at this stage and we believe that will be enough to be able to work our way through the next week or two.”
“We’re hoping that it’s a short term pain but we can’t confidently say that.”
Mr Brennan said the Braybrook school was focusing on minimising interruptions for senior pupils and parents.
“Our main focus is to keep it as normal as we possibly can and as safe as we possibly can, and making sure the education program is as good as it can be,” he said.
“We’re targeting that year 9 and 10 bracket [for homeschooling] and we’ll then go to year 11. They’re the three year levels that are able to be at home on their own without their mum or dad having to take off work to be at home with them.”
Mr Brennan said mask wearing had increased among staff and students despite no official requirement.
He also credited the school’s teachers for their efforts during this trying time.
“The teachers who are on site who haven’t got COVID or the flu are carrying an enormous workload and they’re doing it willinging and they’re doing a fantastic job,” he said.
“They’re working harder than what they normally do which then makes them tired and more vulnerable to any sort of virus that’s going around. So it’s important that we recognise the teachers are doing an amazing job at this point.”