Christchurch school principals say staff and students still face daily reminders of last year's earthquake both at school and in their homes and surrounding suburbs.
They say that makes school all the more important as a source of stability and routine.
Canterbury Primary Principals Association president John Bangma says most children are getting on with their studies, though some are struggling.
He says there are programmes in place to try to support those students.
Some schools have lost many of their students as families move out of red-zoned areas and principals expect that will continue throughout this year.
They also know more change could come from the Government, which is considering a report on options for reorganising the entire Christchurch education system.
Banks Avenue School principal Murray Edlin says he would like reassurance about the timelines for change.
Mr Edlin says his school will be viable, but it lost 100 students last year and expects to lose a similar number this year