Parents and teachers are preparing themselves both physically and mentally for the return to school, but unions say the government could make one change to ease COVID-19 related anxiety.
NSW Teachers Federation Armidale branch president Michael Sciffer said the federal government needed to include teachers and support staff as frontline essential workers in the first priority group for vaccinations.
With her two kids attending a Tamworth school, Gunnedah mum Mel McCulloch said she was feeling "apprehensive" as James in Year 8 and Emma in Year 11 get ready to head back.
"I would be really disappointed if we ended back where we were," Mrs McCulloch said.
Mrs McCulloch said having teachers vaccinated as a priority would help ease some of the tension she was feeling about another potential outbreak and the possibility of a schools shut down.
"I feel the government has enough hindsight to be able to preempt action instead of doing it on the run like last year."
"I feel the government has enough hindsight to be able to preempt action instead of doing it on the run like last year.Mel McCulloch
Mr Sciffer, a school counsellor, said that when the schools gets shut down interrupts and stresses students' learning and wellbeing, and increases anxiety in teachers.
It also creates flow on effects for the business community with parents unable to come to work to school their children from home.
"It think if we have the knowledge that teachers are going to be vaccinated and our schools are going to stay open, the amount of stress and anxiety our students are feeling would almost disappear," Mr Sciffer said.
Mrs McCulloch is hoping the region stays responsible to prevent an outbreak.
"I'm just hoping that it all goes back to normal - I know it's a new normal, but as normal as it can be, so yeah I'm a bit apprehensive," she said.
While still being finalised, the first priority group will include frontline, aged and disability health workers, aged and disability care residents and quarantine and border officials.