How Ipswich boarders are adjusting back to life at school
BOARDERS have returned to Ipswich schools but coronavirus restrictions mean those back on campus have had to limit their movements and the majority are still at home.
About 30 per cent of boarding students at now back at Ipswich Girls' and Junior Grammar School's Cribb House.
Queensland students are returning to classrooms in a staged reopening of schools, with Kindergarten, Prep and Years 1, 11 and 12 back this week.
Other grade levels are expected to return from May 25 if the downward trend of cases continues across the state.
It has been a challenging year for head boarders Kelly Chan and Chloe Moxly but they are excited for the months ahead as things hopefully return to normalcy.
Kelly, who is from Hong Kong, could not return home due to the pandemic.
"(I missed) my family and the girls who were missing," she said.
Chloe had been away from the school for seven weeks.
"I missed having the interactions with all the girls and having this community of people," she said.
Principal Dr Peter Britton said boarding houses can operate at a limited capacity with changes made to accommodate returning students.
"Every boarding student in Cribb House has a separate bedroom, shower, toilet and hand basin," he said.
"We are following strict cleaning and hygiene measures, including the frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces throughout the house."
The school's registered nurse is conducting daily health checks.
Visitors to Cribb House have been restricted and boarders won't be able to venture into the city in their down time with weekend leave suspended until further notice.
"In the meantime, the boarding staff have been providing alternative activities on campus on the weekend to ensure the girls have some recreational time and while remaining safe in their home-away-from-home environment," Dr Britton said.
"The boarding house is also providing after-hours homework and study support online during night-time prep for the boarders.
"We are expecting all students to return to the boarding house as the restrictions are eased."
As other year levels return to school, teachers will transition from remote and online learning platforms to a blended system to accommodate those who may still have to stay at home.
Ipswich Grammar School headmaster Richard Morrison said a small number of boarders have been commuting as day students for the time being due to restrictions.
"We have already welcomed back our seniors and our international students have been in our care throughout the holidays and into Term 2," he said.
"There are new restrictions in place to prevent boys visiting each other in individual rooms and gatherings in common areas.
"Of course, there is additional health and hygiene measures that have been implemented and outdoor exercise in small groups after school is encouraged to keep the boys active."