School may be returning to campus but it will not be business as usual.
This time of year is normally jam-packed with open days and information sessions but Shepparton schools are adapting to the digital environment.
With the Shepparton Christian College campus closed to the public, principal Chris Aiton said tours had gone virtual.
“I call them ‘selfie stick tours’ because I will meet with parents through Zoom and I will stick my camera on my selfie stick and take them for a walk around the school,” Mr Aiton said.
“I've found that that's a really nifty way of actually connecting with parents where we can't do the traditional face-to-face meetings either through open days or meet and greets.”
Mr Aiton said it was an important decision-making time for the families of both future prep students and those starting their high school education.
“Although schools are closed environments right now, it's timely that parents be looking at and considering the schooling options,” he said.
“It gives parents and kids surety, (amid) the unsettledness of what's going to be happening next year, if you can say ‘this is where you're going’ — that actually helps kids to be more settled if they've got warning.”
At Shepparton East Primary School the open days traditionally held during Education Week have also been cancelled.
While the school is continuing to offer private tours, assistant principal Stacey Willaton said these days were a crucial part of the enrolment process.
Instead, Shepparton East has created a video tour hosted by two prep students, who proudly show off their school.
Mrs Willaton said the video, which was available on the school's Facebook page, was the best way to get a taste of the school's atmosphere.
“Normally you'd see how the classes are all operating, not just preps but across the whole school, so they can get a feel for how the school runs — and that's just very different this year,” she said.
“I can show the buildings but you don't get a feel for how the school is.
“For a lot of parents that's what they like; they like to see how the students are interacting with each other and they like to see how the teachers are interacting in the classroom, and how the classrooms are set up.”
Mrs Willaton said it was not the time to put off making enrolment decisions.
“This is the time still to start looking because we start our transition process end of term three,” she said.
“Now is probably a good time while everything is stopped for a little while to really think about schools and options we have in Shepparton.”
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