Teaching continues for St Helens students despite severe flood damage

MARYBOROUGH’s community spirit is being praised by the Queensland Government after St Helens students and staff found a temporary home at Maryborough West in the aftermath of last month’s severe floods.

Minister Grace Grace, Maryborough Mp Bruce Saunders and St Helens Principal Kim Burns with student leaders during an inspection of the school after severe flooding. PHOTO: Supplied.

St Helens State School suffered significant damage during the floods – with classrooms and other facilities left unusable as repair works and clean-up efforts continue.

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Alternative teaching arrangements have been implemented for all St Helens students and staff ][8iat Maryborough West State School.

All St Helens students remain in their normal class groups and with their normal teachers to keep disruptions down to a minimum.

Education Minister Grace Grace visited St Helens today to see the impact of the flooding firsthand.

“Sadly, there is a lot of damage. Floor coverings, wall sheeting, insulation, operable walls and some joinery will need to be removed in 10 of the 13 classrooms,” Ms Grace said.

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“The school resource centre, school hall, tuck shop, multi-purpose court, amenities building and most of the school grounds are all affected too.

“While the clean-up is ongoing, all students and staff at St Helens have a temporary home at Maryborough West State School, and I want to say a big thank you to that school community for opening up its doors and being so welcoming.”

The Minister said they are looking to build back better and to ensure repairs and rebuilding at St Helens includes a focus on flood mitigation.

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Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said there was a strong community spirit in the Heritage City.

“It’s great to see Maryborough West State School reaching out and welcoming St Helen’s State School staff and students,” Mr Saunders said.

“This is the second time Maryborough West has welcomed students from St Helens, after the school flooded back in 2013.”

St Helens State School Principal Kim Burns praised the school community for stepping up in their hour of need.

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“It’s been an incredible time as our teachers and parents worked arm in arm to save so many of our classroom resources before the flood waters rose,” Ms Burns said.

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St Helens is expected to reopen next term.

“I am also incredibly proud of the way our students have handled the move to Maryborough West State School,” Ms Burns continued.

“Our teachers and administration staff have done a wonderful job to make the transition as smooth and low stress as possible.

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“A huge thank you to Maryborough West for making us feel so welcome and supported.”

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