School friends: Maroota Public School staff Irene Reinicke, Deirdre Dorbis, relieving principal Rosemary Richardson and Pat Chivers with the school’s pupils. Picture: Anna WarrMAROOTA Public School faces staff cuts of a third — for want of two extra pupils.
Fifty-two pupils are enrolled at the three-teacher school, but next year’s projected enrolments total 50. That’s two short of the quota needed to retain all three teachers.
Principal Joan Smyth teaches part of the time and also tends the grounds.
“We say we go to work in our running shoes,” Mrs Smyth said.
“One moment I’m the principal, the next I’m a teacher, then I’m mowing the lawn or setting up the sports track.”
The school has three composite classes: kindergarten to year 2; years 3 and 4; and years 5 and 6.
Relieving principal Rosemary Richardson said her job was difficult but she loved coming to work.
“It’s wonderful working here, Miss Richardson said.
“This school has 21st century learning technology, highly skilled teachers, bushland and a country, community feeling,” School captains Chevy Harper and Chelsea Harkins said it was fun to be a pupil at Maroota Public.
“We’re all friends; I like the people here,” Chevy said.
Chelsea said with so few children at the school there was an opportunity for everyone.
“There are lots of great kids here too; we get along with everyone.”
The school’s parents and citizens president, Lisa Aylward, said losing a teacher would mean larger composite classes.
“A lot of parents think a small school isn’t as good as a large one. But every kid here has an iPad and access to modern technology.
“We also have an oval and we do a lot of learning outdoors.”
Pupils, their parents and teachers all love the school the way it is, she said.
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