All state schools affected in flood-ravaged northern Queensland, with the exception of Oonoonba State School, will be open tomorrow .
Five state educational facilities – Annandale State School, Hermit Park State School, Paluma Environmental Education Centre, Townsville Community Learning Centre (a state special school) and Townsville State High School – will re-open tomorrow.
Education Minister Grace Grace told State Parliament today that Oonoonba State School in Townsville had been hardest hit by the flood and was not expected to re-open until Day 1 of Term 2.
She said Oonoonba State School would operate on a “school within a school basis” at two alternative sites from Monday .
Ms Grace said students aged Prep to Year 2 would undertake their learning at nearby Wulguru State School and students from years 3 to 6 would be based at William Ross State High School.
“Oonoonba State School was inundated by flood waters and has lost valuable teaching and learning resources,” Ms Grace said.
“It will take some time to get the school back to a functional state, to rip up and replace damaged carpets and furniture and clean up all of the mould.”
Ms Grace said Education Department officers met with Oonoonba State School parents today to advise of the alternative schooling arrangements for their children.
“I am pleased to hear that the meeting was well attended by Oonoonba State School parents, many of whom had their children with them today.”
“I’m told that it was a very positive meeting with lots of questions being asked and lots of excited children.
“No student of Oonoonba State School will be disadvantaged in any way by the impact of this natural disaster.
“We want to ensure that class groupings can remain together and that Oonoonba State School will continue to operate as its own entity.”
“The only difference is that they will be located away from their home campus in the short term.”
“I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Wulguru and William Ross for welcoming Oonoonba staff and students with open arms,” Ms Grace said.
Ms Grace said her Department had established a dedicated webpage which provided important information about the funding assistance that are available to students, parents, teachers and other school staff.
The website can be found at https://qed.qld.gov.au/schoolfloodassistance
She said that as at 3.00pm, more than 3200 families had lodged school flood assistance claims for almost 5300 students, totalling almost $780,000.
“My Department continues to process these claims as quickly as possible and almost $720,000 has already been paid out since the website went live on Monday.”