Their student and teacher population is flung far and wide across the district and they are juggling the unreliable mobile and internet reception that plagues rural communities.
Yet Billabong High School at Culcairn is staying connected in ways that is putting the mental health and wellbeing of their school community first during the latest COVID-19 lockdown and the challenges of remote learning.
Vice-captain Ben Medley, 17, says the uncertainty of the upcoming HSC exams weighs heavily on students' minds.
Ben, who wants to study law at Wollongong University, misses direct teaching and says it "takes longer to learn when you are at home".
"Going through a screen is less effective," he says.
It has hurt the Year 12 cohort thinking that Friday before the last lockdown "could be the last day we spent together at school".
Trial HSC exams have had to be juggled, re-formatted and re-scheduled.
"The uncertainty at times feels overwhelming," Ben admits.
But what has carried students through is the unwavering dedication of teachers - responding almost immediately to emails, going above and beyond to deliver online classes and being flexible with remote learning.
"It's not just about the syllabus; teachers have been focused on our mental health and wellbeing," Ben said.
Principal Julie Bowen said teachers were checking in on parents - wellbeing booklets as well as literacy and numeracy sheets had been distributed to local supermarkets and bakeries to support learning at home.
The school's Facebook page is promoting mental health and building life skills like cooking.
School captain Robert Thomas, from Culcairn, says the shift into lockdown - "heavy into preparation for our trials" - created anxiety.
"We felt really prepared going into our (trial) exams but the situation has been jumbled," Robert said.
"Everyone took a hit when the news came out but we've re-adjusted and the school has been so involved in supporting us.
"It's important not to drop the ball now and take it day by day.
"We're looking forward to seeing each other in person but we're holding together pretty well."
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