With the lifting of Bega Valley's lockdown only confirmed mid-morning on Thursday, September 16, schools were not left with a great deal of planning time for the return to school.
But despite having only one day of term left before the start of school holidays, both Merimbula and Pambula Public Schools have enthusiastically planned to open their school doors for the last remaining day of term on Friday, September 17.
And it seems parents were quick to embrace the idea.
Merimbula PS principal Michelle Hulme was full of praise for the more than 150 parents/carers who returned their child's online permission note within 20 minutes.
"We are so excited to be welcoming everyone back to school," Ms Hulme said.
"Staff are really looking forward to every student coming back tomorrow, and hope to be able to resume face-to-face learning with all students as soon as possible - as we know the vast amount of benefits this brings when compared with learning from home," Ms Hulme said.
"Tomorrow will be a wonderful opportunity for us to reconnect with students prior to the school holiday period, for a strong start to Term 4."
To mark the event, the school will celebrate by having a mufti day and party day with all food and treats provided.
Ms Hulme said the school would be operating in a COVID-safe way and adhering to the recommended restrictions and precautions by NSW Health.
"It's important that all students come to school so that we can support their wellbeing with a fun return to school day, before we get them back into routine," Ms Hulme said.
At Pambula PS principal Leah Martin announced that students and staff would be returning to site operating under the school's COVID-safe return plans.
"All students are expected - and will be supported - to return to school for face-to-face learning. We look forward to welcoming students back to reconnect tomorrow," Ms Martin said on Thursday afternoon.
Jamie Klemm of Sapphire Coast Buslines confirmed the school buses would be operating as they had done throughout lockdown for the children of essential workers, adding they would be "very happy to see all the happy kids on them".