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Students and staff at Lake Cathie Public School were given a front row seat as the Lake Cathie bushfire emergency played out.
On Tuesday, October 29, with plumes of smoke billowing around and water bombers flying overhead, students and staff remained calm enacting their bushfire management plan.
Lake Cathie Public School principal Jock Garven said he could not have been more proud of the way the school community banded together when faced with an emergency.
"I have been away at a conference and I am so proud of the way our staff came together and responded to the fire emergency," Mr Garven said.
"Assistant principals Annette Bailey, Karin Haleblian and Katy Haste professionally ran the school through significant adversity and ensured our emergency management plan was followed.
"When the school was established we put a lot of work into the emergency plan and our bushfire plan to make sure we could be a community hub if necessary."
Mr Garven said that the school had been in constant contact with emergency services and did their best to have a strong line of communication to parents.
"The staff worked hard and ensured that the safety and wellbeing of our students was their biggest focus," he said.
"They maintained calm and ordered, even when their own families and homes were at risk and we maintained the phone lines so parents could keep updated throughout the day.
"As the day went on the school became a community hub which is something we are very proud of.
"In the late afternoon a small number of students and staff were also evacuated to North Haven Public School in accordance to our management plan.
"We were in constant contact with emergency services and are so thankful for their efforts."
Mr Garven said school has returned to normal today (October 30).
"The school re-opened this morning and classes are running as usual.
"Of course with a lot of smoke still around some families decided to keep their children at home and those students who were at school were kept inside away from the smoke."