By Mikayla van Loon
After weeks of not seeing each other, students, teachers and parents alike from Mooroolbark East Primary School (MEPS) were overjoyed when they were finally able to see each other, even if it was through a car window.
The staff at MEPS hosted a Zooper Dooper drive thru on Wednesday 15 September for the students within a 5km radius of the school to celebrate the end of term three.
Principal Matt Mulcahy said there was dancing and singing and a few tears of joy from both teachers and parents as cars pulled up one by one to say hello.
“They were just absolutely ecstatic to see the kids. I mean, that’s why we’re here, we’re here to be with kids and support kids and put a smile on their face,” Mr Mulcahy said.
“That was sort of a little period of time where we were able to do that, despite what’s been happening for the last 18 months.”
Mr Mulcahy said it would have been quite easy to end the term “limping to the finish” but instead wanted to celebrate the achievements of staff and students after a long and hard grind.
“Schools are not just about academics, it’s about relationships. It’s about developing social emotional literacy. It’s about connections.
“In some instances we are the most positive part of the kids’ days and we think that connection is really important and that connection, again, goes both ways.”
Although difficult to tell, Mr Mulcahy said around 100 people made the effort to come down to the school to get a Zooper Dooper.
While the school would have the students back in a heartbeat, Mr Mulcahy and the rest of the staff will wait in anticipation for the day they can return to onsite learning.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen, there is a lot of uncertainty there. We want our kids back tomorrow but of course we’re just going to do the right thing.
“We don’t write the rules, but we do have to follow them. But if I had a magic wand, the kids would be walking back in the gate tomorrow, I can say that much.”