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Australia Fire, flood, plague, and the little school that's weathered them all

00:53  23 may  2020
00:53  23 may  2020 Source:   smh.com.au

Mallacoota school to reopen after coronavirus pandemic and bushfires shut it down

  Mallacoota school to reopen after coronavirus pandemic and bushfires shut it down Fire brigade captain Rod Lewis's priority during the Mallacoota fires was saving the local school and now, after a tumultuous few months, students are preparing to get back in the classroom.The pole is just metres from the Mallacoota Fire Brigade shed.

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sealed nightmare Fire , flood , plague have come here Mouth of the sword delivers Spine, tendons, shakes and shivers A light of basking lament Father of manifestations Mother of all creation Gives doom to generations The sanctioned annihilation Death tax to the third world equation The movement of the

a group of people playing frisbee in a park: NEWS: Macdonald Valley Public School has only 11 students. They have been affected by bushfires, floods then coronavirus since late last year. 21st May 2020. © Wolter Peeters NEWS: Macdonald Valley Public School has only 11 students. They have been affected by bushfires, floods then coronavirus since late last year. 21st May 2020. Over the past six months, students at Macdonald Valley Public School have been forced out of their classroom three times - first by fires, then floods, and then by a plague.

"Everyone's had a pretty good sense of humour about it, but you do think, 'my goodness, what's next?" says principal Melissa Date. "We love being at our beautiful school, we are hoping we can stay put now."

As schools return to full-time teaching on Monday, spare a thought for the principals who have led teachers, students and families through the most tumultuous period of schooling anyone can remember.

Twin toddlers die in house fire at Batlow in regional NSW

  Twin toddlers die in house fire at Batlow in regional NSW Two three-year-old girls have died in a house fire in Batlow in the NSW Snowy Mountains region. Three-year-old twin girls have died in a house fire in Batlow in t Emergency services were called to a property on Mayday Road at Batlow after reports of a fire just after 11.00am.After becoming trapped inside, the three-year-old girls were pulled to safety by firefighters.Paramedics desperately tried to save the badly-burnt children, but they died at the scene.Detectives investigating the cause of the blaze are yet to say whether it is being treated as suspicious.

They also occur when water fills normally dry creeks or streams or enough water accumulates for streams to overtop their banks, causing rapid rises of water in a short amount of time. They can happen within minutes of the causative rainfall, limiting the time available to warn and protect the public.

Flood poems from famous poets and best flood poems to feel good. Most beautiful flood poems They 're shining search lights into the irises of refugee rainbows and making them turn out their A door banged; and in the village square the little boy waved his arms, understood by weather vanes

Pictures: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Australia

Coronavirus: Your children are in kindergarten or primary school, and you still don't know when they will return? Tell us

 Coronavirus: Your children are in kindergarten or primary school, and you still don't know when they will return? Tell us You are Parisians and don't know when your children will return to school, tell us © AFP An empty classroom in a school in Paris (illustration). SOCIETE - You are Parisians and do not know when your children will return to school, tell us In Paris, the teachers made their return to school on May 11 , three days before the students , who started coming back from Thursday, May 14, to "give schools time to organize." For three weeks, schools have been reserved for a "priority" public, that is to s

Flood -in-me poems from famous poets and best flood -in-me poems to feel good. A door banged; and in the village square the little boy waved his arms, understood by weather vanes and cocks on For since they have been dissipated-- oh! the precious stones being buried and the opened flowers

She didn’t make it home that night, managing a few fitful hours’ sleep on a crash mat in the school hall, which had Back then the damage was so great that children spent two years in portable cabins while the This time around, thanks to a flood -resilient redesign, the school was closed for just three days.

Ms Date's students were forced out of their little school, near Wiseman's Ferry, north of Sydney, when flames circled the valley late last year, and again when wild rains and flooding made the Macdonald River too dangerous to cross in February.

Then COVID-19 came, and the "small school with big aspirations", as it describes itself, joined thousands of others in sending kids home, rushing lessons online and giving teachers crash courses in how to deliver classes via video.

While the impact of fire and flood was felt by a few schools, COVID-19 hit all of them. Glyn Trethewy, principal of Jamison High near Penrith, is in awe of how his colleagues across NSW shifted online. "To do it effectively you'd want three years," he said. "We've done it in weeks."

a display in a store window: NEWS: Macdonald Valley Public School has only 11 students. They have been affected by bushfires, floods then coronavirus since late last year. 21st May 2020. © Wolter Peeters

NEWS: Macdonald Valley Public School has only 11 students. They have been affected by bushfires, floods then coronavirus since late last year. 21st May 2020.

But a principal's role extends well beyond ensuring their students learn.

During the pandemic they have been dealing with teachers' anxieties, students' stress, and have been trying to care for the vulnerable - children at risk, families without an income, and students who have never logged on - all while keeping a calm, brave face.

"Your families look to you as being the one who holds it all together," said Sharyn Quirk, principal of St Brigidine's in Randwick. "It has been intense, I must say that. But my community has recognised that we are trying the best we can."

Originally, schools were told to plan for a term's worth of online lessons. But mid-way through the Easter holidays, that changed; with virus cases lower than anticipated, they were now told to bring back students one day a week.

Principals spent their holidays wrestling with intricate timetables to deliver the government's request, juggling year groups, siblings and staffing rosters while also trying to fit year 12, their most anxious cohort, into the matrix.

"The amount of work there was astronomical," Mr Trethewy said. "I have a head teacher who's a timetabler - she's walking around exhausted."

The return was to be slow; one day, then two, then back full time by term three. But there is no certainty in a pandemic, and soon that 10-week transition was cut to four.

To the uninitiated, the next stage may appear the simplest; on Monday, schools are returning to the face-to-face teaching they were doing before all the changes began.

But students will arrive in their classrooms having had very different experiences.

Some may be stressed or anxious about COVID-19, others have watched their parents lose jobs. Their learning progress will also have been very different. "Schools everywhere are gearing up for that," Mr Trethewy said

Philip Riley, who runs the annual principal health and wellbeing survey, said principals needed to look after themselves, too. "The anecdotal evidence is they are working 12 to 15 hours on weekdays and then 10 on the weekends," he said.

"There's a newfound respect for teachers by parents who've had to come closer to their kids' school learning. But principals are there in the background, making sure everything is working, that teachers are okay, and that resources are provided."

Click here for up-to-date coverage of the COVID-19 crisis on the Microsoft News app — available on Windows 10, iOS and Android

Mali: behind the violence in Kayes, deeper social frustrations .
© MICHELE CATTANI / AFP In a street in Kayes, west of Mali. Protesters invaded the streets of one of the main cities in this region. The prefecture was set on fire in the morning after the burial of the three young people who died following clashes with the police. Monday was the death of one of them who had aroused the anger of the population. Since Monday, May 11, the town of Kayes has been rocked by demonstrations that erupted after the death of a young man killed by a police officer.

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