College Arrangements for Term Two, 2020

Dear Parents, Teachers and Students,

We hope that families have been able to manage the impact at home and work of the COVID-19 situation. We appreciate that the constraints on movement have caused us all to rethink some of our life priorities as well as challenge the lifestyle to which we have been so accustomed. To those who are providing essential services to the Community, we thank you for the wonderful work you are doing on the frontline as the battle with Coronavirus continues. We hope that in time we will all be able to return to some form of normality hopefully a little wiser for this experience and more aware of what is truly important in our lives.

Keeping a supernatural perspective on things at this time is very important when managing stress, frustration and anxiety that can build up over time. Fr Paul Robinson, SSPX recently gave an interview in which he explained the supernatural attitude we should have towards the changes in our lives caused by the pandemic. God is using this time to help us sanctify ourselves by bringing us back to the basics that we often fail to appreciate because we take them so much for granted, like our family, friends, our school the sacraments and the Mass. Click here to get the full interview.

Term 2 Arrangements

The Victorian Department Of Health’s advice on schooling in Victoria is as follows:

  • To increase physical distancing across the population and slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), children in Victorian schools [sic] will move to remote and flexible learning and care, at the commencement of Term 2.
  • From the start of Term 2 all students who can learn from home must learn at home.

The Victorian Department Of Education’s advice is as follows:

All students are learning from home, except for students in the following categories:

  1. Children on days when they are not able to be supervised at home and no other arrangements can be made. This is available for children of parents who cannot work from home, and vulnerable children, including:
    • children in out-of-home care;
    • children deemed by Child Protection and/or Family Services to be at risk of harm;
    • children identified by the school as vulnerable (including via referral from a family violence agency, homelessness or youth justice service or mental health or other health service and children with a disability)
  2. For learning requirements that cannot be conducted via distance, and considering operational requirements, small groups of VCE students are permitted to attend school, with appropriate physical distancing and hygiene measures in place. [This is referring to school’s needs in terms of the assessment of VCE students.]

The College also has significant requirements around the Occupational Health and Safety of its employees which we need to take very seriously. Parents need to be aware that the College will be operating with a significantly reduced level of staffing on any given day. It is our expectation that not all teachers will be present on every day, and some teachers may not be able to work with students directly. However, staff will be available from 8:30am to 4:00pm on each weekday that they work.

With all of this in mind, for the majority of our students, Home Learning will continue for the duration of Term 2 – a period of 10 weeks from 20th April to 26th June. (This is obviously subject to updated advice from the Government currently planned to come out around 4 weeks from the date of this letter.)

However, we acknowledge there may be families for whom this is not possible due to work or other commitments, or because adequate supervision cannot be made available, and that for these reasons parents may be unable to supervise their children at home. This may be every day of the week, or only on certain days. We are also aware that mothers with toddlers may need additional support from the school. Caring for a newborn while overseeing the home learning of other young children may become too much. We encourage mothers in these circumstances to contact the College so that we can discuss ways to support them as much as possible.

Where needed, the College remains open for the above-mentioned students. These students will continue their Home Learning, but this will take place at school with strict physical distancing measures in place. If you choose for your child to work from school, it is expected that their attendance will be communicated to the Office by 2:00pm the afternoon before the attendance. Primary students should attend with their Home Learning Packs. Computers will be made available to Secondary students. Students are to attend in Winter uniform. On arrival at school students will be directed to their allocated learning space.

Term 2 Calendar

  • Monday 20 April: Staff Day for ongoing preparation for Home Learning
  • Tuesday 21 April: Home Learning (for majority of students) continues until the end of Term 2 (or until otherwise notified).


Student free days
(no online classes will be scheduled on these days)

  • 1 May (Parent Teacher Interviews),
  • 21 May (Ascension Holiday) and
  • 8 June (Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday).


Assessment and Reports

  • VCE Exams will run (at least in some form) from the 1st to the 5th of June as scheduled.
  • Year 7-10 exams will be pushed back to the last week of Term Two. More information on this will be provided later in the Term.
  • As mentioned above, schools can bring VCE students into the school for limited purposes. As such, we intend to run our SACs at school over this period to ensure our assessment remains rigorous and valid. More information on this will be provided shortly.
  • Due to changed exam arrangements, and the slower timeframes associated with getting work back, Semester Reports will now be distributed at the start of Term Three.

The College will continue to maintain high academic standards so that teachers will be able to assess student achievement for the Semester 1 Report. This will require a greater weighting on assessment tasks given to students during the term which will also be varied to accommodate Home Learning.

Assessments

Assessments will continue as per regular practice; submitted work will be assessed by the teacher and feedback provided to students.

  • For Primary students, work can continue to be submitted through the drop box out the front of the College. We encourage you to drop off work on a semi-regular basis so our staff can provide feedback as required. Teachers will email parents relevant guidance for each week as to what students should be endeavouring to complete each day/session/week.
  • For Secondary students, all assessment and other work will be communicated through our Google Classroom structure. Deadlines will be clearly communicated to the students through Google Classrooms platform for the Secondary students, and through email for the Primary students. Teachers will endeavour to send out reminders as the due dates approach.


Parent Teacher Interview Arrangements

All subject specific conversations will be conducted over the telephone on:

  • Thursday 30 April between 3:50pm and 8.00pm and
  • Friday 1 May between 9.00am and 4:00pm (please note this is a student free day).

Conversations will be in eight-minute increments (with 10 minutes between interviews) and if you believe that you require a longer conversation time, please make an alternative time with the subject teacher. It is important that we all try to stick to the times made available.

Teaching staff will telephone you during the timeslot you will have booked on Parent Lounge (this will be available shortly). Both you and your child need to be available at the times booked. Please do not contact teaching staff during these times unless you have missed their call and are still within your booked time.

Student Unavailability due to Illness

Parents will follow the normal procedure to inform the College by contacting the Office if their child is unwell and will not be able to access Home Learning on any given school day. Notification can also be given via Parent Lounge.

The Chronicle

This will continue to be published online and will be the main form of communication with families during Term 2. We ask that you continue to send in your photos of your experiences so these can be a part of our Chronicles for the weeks to come.

Student Care

If students are feeling anxiety as events unfold they should be encouraged to speak to their teacher, their Dean, the VCE Coordinator, Mr Stanton or Father Cranshaw for guidance and advice. They should also be reminded that God’s caring providence is looking after them, provided that they love God and serve Him first before all else. When they do this “all things work unto good for those who love God.” (Romans 8:28) Our Lord reminds us of this in the beautiful and consoling lesson on trusting in God to provide:

 “Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment? Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they? And which of you by taking thought, can add to his stature by one cubit? And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. And if the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith? Be not solicitous therefore, saying, What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you. Be not therefore solicitous for tomorrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:25-34

Let us not fall into the trap of the Godless who have only themselves to hope in; for this reason, they become extremely anxious over the present and overly troubled about their entire future. It should not be so for the Christian who seeks God’s will, His love and His service. In return God promises His loving care, protection and providence for the future, whatever it brings.

 Final Words

We are aware that we have provided a considerable amount of information to families. Please ensure that you and your child understand how we intend to move forward. During the holiday period the entire school was cleaned, and all surfaces were sanitised. We are pleased to also report that we have had no known cases of any members of our College community having contracted coronavirus. We will continue to maintain and abide by all government requirements as this is not a time to become complacent.

We will continue to keep families up to date as new developments come to hand.  May the Risen Lord be with us all at this time as our light of hope into the future.  Thanks – as always – for your continued support. God bless and keep safe.

Father Andrew Cranshaw  (Principal) and Mr Mark Stanton (Deputy Principal)

 

Further information on COVID-19 and the DHHS and DET response is available at:

www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus and www.education.vic.gov.au

VCAA advice and updates on the impact of COVID-19 is at: www.vcaa.vic.edu.au