School's in, despite flooding at Bedgerabong

MAKING EVERY EFFORT: An aerial view of the floodwater to the east of the school. Picture: Paul Faulkner

MAKING EVERY EFFORT: An aerial view of the floodwater to the east of the school. Picture: Paul Faulkner

In an example of the amazing community spirit of the area, Bedgerabong school has remained operational with both students and staff using whatever high ground and open roads they can to get there.

Principal Paul Faulkner says about 70 per cent of the school's students have been able to get back to school this week although access is day by day for some of them.

The school was impacted for six weeks and the community for eight in 2016; this flood has behaved differently but it too may have a lengthy impact.

"There's been a few more options for the kids to get here, particularly from south of the river," Mr Faulkner explained.

While we've become well-acquainted with transitioning to learning from home through COVID-19, Mr Faulkner says the feedback after each lockdown has indicated just how much families value the social aspect of being onsite at school.

Staff were in the media spotlight last week, being flown in by the Rural Fire Service, but this week they've made their way in by road and are being hosted locally so the school can be open as much as possible.

It's a trek from Forbes to Parkes, on to Condobolin and back in to Bedgerabong itself, but it's one they're all committed to and especially after the disruptions of the past two years.

"It's all for the kids," Mr Faulkner said.

"They've had a terrible two years.

"When we did all our learning from home surveys ... they're happy with what we've done but the overwhelming suggestion was that the kids need to be at school.

"They miss their friends, they miss that engagement.

"It's the community that need to get the respect for it ... everybody is doing their very best to make sure that if we need something, here at the school, that it's done."

All are focussed on giving the kids as normal an end to the year as possible.