School year begins a week after flood
ALMOST a week behind schedule, Warwick East State School students will today walk through the school gates for the first time this year.
While other schoolchildren across the city have already begun settling into their new classes, the first day of the school year for East State School had to be postponed when floodwaters engulfed the grounds.
The school oval, playground and hangar were swamped on Monday, when the neighbouring Condamine River broke its banks.
The flood was the third the historic school has endured in just two years.
Staff members have had to serve as cleaners, furniture removalists and decorators this week and are now ready to put their teaching hats back on.
Despite the delayed start to the year, principal Warren Elder said the teachers were excited about resuming normal school life this week.
"We spent Thursday and Friday focussing on teaching and learning issues and we are very much looking forward to (today)," Mr Elder said.
"It has been great to be able to focus on what we can do in our classrooms this year. Everything is back on track."
Mr Elder said it was an amazing effort by everyone involved to be able to get the school functioning again so soon after the flood.
"There has been a marked transformation from the dirty, stinking mud we had here a few days ago," Mr Elder said.
The playground has been cleaned and the flood-soaked sand removed and replaced with fresh supplies.
The school oval has been mowed but it is unlikely children will be able to play on it for the next few days.
One Prep classroom was affected by floodwater and those students will be relocated to another room.