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I hope this email finds you well and that you are surviving the new experience of Home Learning. Only two days to go until holidays! I’m sure we are all looking forward to it!
We have received some feedback that we haven’t necessarily given parents enough time to prepare for this new situation. Please understand that current circumstances have moved so rapidly that none of us have had the time to work through all of the changes happening in our lives. We foresaw some of the changes coming our way and started responding to them before last week and we were only just in time to be ready for the remainder of the Term. We have always thought that this period of 8 days before the end of Term One was an opportunity for us all to work out what we are doing and how we should do it before we could have a break and ready ourselves to do it all again (if that is what we are instructed will happen in Term Two). We know the situation has evolved rapidly. But I feel we are now much better equipped to face Term Two with the time we have invested in preparation this Term.
Secondary Students – Google Classroom
Progressively we are having to move our Year 7 to 12s into our Google Classroom structure to ensure that we can communicate with them on a daily basis, provide regular and prompt feedback as well as for progressive reporting purposes. We are trying to get all of our work into this structure so students know they can go to the Classroom site and find everything they need. Many of our students (particularly our VCE students) are submitting their work through this as well. This will become the new norm while students have to work from home.
Please be aware that the student’s gmail account can only be emailed by someone in the school’s Google suite. All emails inside this suite can be checked and any messages that are picked up if they have certain types of content in them are sent to my email account. I know students are already aware that I am reading emails sent around to other students. We appreciate the work parents are doing managing email and online activity as well.
Similarly Google Classroom is an area of Google which is locked behind our Google Suite and is only accessible to teachers and students. We are currently adding some parent emails as guardians so you can receive feedback as teachers, for example, mark student work. To access Google Classroom, students need to:
- Log into their google account then go to google.com.au.
- Click on the nine dots in square formation near the top right of the screen (see image on right – it’s the icon to the left of the STAC logo).
- When the list of items appears, go to Classroom.
- Students need to Accept the invitations in the classrooms to get access to the materials. If they click on the names of the classes, they will get access. There’s a tab at the top of the screen that says CLASSWORK which is where students will find their work. This page has work set, deadlines, and if you go to your child’s Google Calendar (accessed the same way as Google Classroom), you will see when things are due.
- Feel free to keep an eye on the Classrooms with your son or daughter.
Access to Technology For Secondary Students
Nothing in the above message implies we want all Secondary students to have 1:1 access. Students higher up the Secondary school are going to need fairly significant access to technology, yes. But students down the lower levels just need to be able to share the resources you have. You may need to set times for them to work on computers so the family can share a common resource. We know many of you are doing this quite successfully. Don’t feel committed to working 8.30am to 3pm for every student. Students can be scheduled onto work times so they overlap. Many parents are already doing this and it is helping the operation of the households. Please consider. If you need help, please let us know.
Monitoring student activity in Google Suite
For most of our students Google Classroom is becoming a lifeline for them to continue with their work. A small handful of our students have failed to understand that our Google suite is fully monitored. All communications inside the suite are monitored, all products in the suite report back to the College. Some of our students have not realised this and have been acting inappropriately online. Parents may wish to have a little conversation with their children about the fact that Google Classroom (and other related products) are for learning, not for play. Unfortunately, when people access resources like this online, they can forget normal standards of behaviour. They think the are hidden. Please make sure they understand everything is being monitored by us. We have already started rolling out punishments for inappropriate behaviour to around 6 students across the whole Secondary school. We will continue to roll out punishments as things come to our attention. Please feel free to report anything you see that is of an inappropriate nature.
Scheduled bulk Pickup and Drop Off of work (mainly for Primary)
Friday is the day for a grand logistical feat! Our hope is to bring cars into the school one car at a time and to get you your children’s work. On Friday we will give you the Learning Packs for our Primary students for Term Two. If we end up opening in Term Two, we will follow this program so that all parents know what is going on and when. If not, this is the work for Term Two! A few points on this:
- For next Term, our Primary staff will be ready to help you work out other tasks that may be appropriate. For this two week period they have been enormously busy and haven’t been able to help you out as much. Please understand we do want to help you all, but we have had to engage in other activities.
- Please do not use these packs in the holiday period. Switch off and enjoy the time with each other. Our teachers will send out weekly plans of what they want students to get through from the start of Week 1 in Term 2. These planners will guide parents through the work.
- If you want your child’s work picked up by someone else, please let the Office know. If you are picking up work, please contact the Office and let them know your estimated time of arrival at the school so we can be prepared for your visit.
- Please re-read the following guidelines.
Directions regarding pick up and drop off of work
- Once you know who you are picking up work for, please contact the Office once you are close to the school and let them know which students you are picking up work for;
- When directed, drive into the College’s ‘Kiss and Drop’ zone. You will either be asked to get the work from the relevant tables or we will deliver the packs to you;
- If you haven’t contacted us beforehand, you will be directed into another holding area until we are ready for you;
- If you would like to drop off work done over the past fortnight for correction by the teacher, please have the work clearly labelled with the student’s name and their classroom (eg John Smith Year 4).
- We will get you to place the work into a relevant container.
- We then then ask you to drive out of the College as quickly and safely as possible. Be aware someone else will probably be waiting to come into the school.
Under no circumstances is there to be any gathering of people inside or immediately outside of the school during this time. We understand you might see people you haven’t seen for a while, but we do not want to see any parents gathering in groups anywhere near the College. Remember the significant fines that now apply to gatherings of more than two. We will only be allowing one car through at a time, so please be patient with us. And remember to phone ahead so we know you are coming.
Dropping Off Completed Work (at other times)
Our grey ‘drop off’ box is now in! It is sitting all lonely and on its own just outside the Reception doors. It wants to be fed! Please feel free to bring some work along at any time over the coming weeks (assuming Government restrictions don’t prohibit it) and drop it in! Remember to clearly label work dropped in. It would also be a good idea to note the date and time work was dropped off in case something goes missing.
Library Resources and Overdue Notices
We are aware that our automated Library system is sending out overdue notices to parents about Library resources overdue. Please ignore these notices. You are free to drop off books if you wish, but you can also hang onto them until we return to School.
Remember, these messages are also being posted on our website under News. For those of you wanting videos as well, we are working on it!
Thanks – as always – for your continued support. God bless and keep safe.