By Luke Voogt
Victorian students will begin to return to public schools in late May, state government has announced.
Government today announced the staged return of prep, grade 1 and 2, VCE, VCAL and specialist school students to classrooms on May 26.
Since the beginning of term 2 nearly all students have been learning remotely to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Students from grade 3 to year 10 will continue to learn remotely until June 9, for authorities to assess the effects of the partial return in late May, according to government.
Vulnerable students from grade 3 to year 10, and children in those years whose parents or carers cannot work from home, can attend still school as needed.
State government announced it would invest up to $45 million for enhanced cleaning every day at schools across the state during terms 2 and 3.
Government will prioritise school staff for voluntary coronavirus testing during a two-week period beginning today.
Authorities encouraged schools to implement a staggered drop-off system, staggered lunches and recesses, and social distancing to prevent coronavirus transmission.
Schools will follow strict health protocols if a member of the school community tests positive for coronavirus, according to government.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews acknowledged remote learning had been challenging for families.
“[But] having most of our kids learning from home has made a big contribution to limiting the number of people moving around the community and reduced the spread of the virus,” he said.
The “biggest testing blitz” in Australia meant Victoria was now in the position to return to face-to-face teaching, Mr Andrews said.