Except for the door signs and the blockades around the school, it was back to normal for students at Wagga Christian College.
Of the 620 students across primary and high school, up to 520 returned on Monday.
It makes the independent school one of the first in the city to resume regular classroom learning for all its students.
Even as the state government encourages a staged return to classrooms, principal Phillip Wilson said he was confident the community could maintain appropriate distance to keep each other well.
"I'm reassured that it's a safe place to the point that my own children are back here," Mr Wilson said.
"I believe the Wagga community is responsive to each other's needs," Mr Wilson said.
To keep risks low, the school has implemented a variety of controls, including additional cleaning, reduction of canteen services, and restrictions to parents moving beyond the front gates.
For Mr Wilson's daughters - Zoe in year 7 and Zara in year 5 - the restrictions have meant a few changes to their school day.
"When I walked up to my classroom there was a sign on the door and that was weird, it's never been there before," Zara said.
"[It said] parents are not allowed passed there, so we have to meet mum at the steps and look out for her car instead of meeting her at school."
Having spent weeks before the school holidays studying from home, Zoe felt a strange sense of deja vu on day one.
"It [feels] like we're starting back in January again, but we already know which classes we're in," said the year 7 student.