Cobden students back to school after fires

Back to school: Cobden Primary School Grade 3-4 teacher Jarryd Lewis watches as pupils show their feelings about being back to school after the fires. Picture: Rob Gunstone
Back to school: Cobden Primary School Grade 3-4 teacher Jarryd Lewis watches as pupils show their feelings about being back to school after the fires. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Another step in the recovery from the St Patrick’s Day fires in the Cobden and surrounding districts took place on Monday with students returning to schools in Cobden after a disrupted Term One.

Students were back at Cobden Primary, Cobden Technical and the Hampden Specialist School’s after the March 17 fires forced them to either study at campuses away from Cobden or take an unscheduled holiday. 

Cobden Primary School principal Peter Lee said the weeks since the St Patrick’s Day fires and their ensuing ongoing peat fires had been an extremely difficult time for many people in the region.

“We were definitely disrupted as a school at the end of Term One but we’ve put it in perspective when compared to what families in the area have experienced,” Mr Lee said. 

He said it was great to be back at school. The school closed a week before the Term One holidays because of smoke from peat fires that can contain harmful gases such as carbon monoxide.

More than 140 secondary students at the Cobden Technical School also had an extra week of Term One holidays because of the smoke from the peat fires. 

However classes for about 18 of the school’s Year 12 students continued at Camperdown College.

The smoke also forced about 30 students at the Hampden Specialist School’s Cobden campus to shift to its Terang campus and to Terang College before the school holidays.

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