Re: An Update For You All

[avatar user=”Mark” size=”thumbnail” align=”right” /]

Dear Parents

First of all, I’d like to offer a huge thank-you to you all for your support. We know this is a difficult time. We know for some of you, home learning is very difficult. But our students and families are really doing a great job so far. We know we can improve what we are doing, but the rate of change and the amount of work we are having to put in to prepare for a possible long term shut down is just enormous. The staff of the College have been incredibly committed to all facets of our operations – from our Office and Admin staff, our grounds and maintenance staff, our Learning Support and Library staff, our IT staff and our teachers who have been providing work for our students and are working hard on work for weeks to come. Father Cranshaw, Greg Hardiman and I would like to thank all of our staff for everything they have been doing for our students and for their amazing support.

We have some feedback for you at this time:

  • Home Schooling – We are aware of the sheer number of emails we have been sending out over the past few days. I know I clocked up 1200 emails received during the day yesterday (I get all of the class teachers emails to parents and students). Our original instruction to our staff was to send lots of emails to parents and students. We have since instructed our staff to pull this back a little. You will get a weekly overview summary to help guide you over the week. You are always welcome to email your teachers if you, or your child, needs help. Teachers might still ‘touch base’ with Secondary students and get feedback on the student’s understanding of work set, but we will try to limit emails more from today. We are madly working on a Google Classroom structure for Secondary / upper Secondary students to help us deliver resources to the students. This structure also enables us to provide assessments.
  • Some Photos – We would love to compile some photos of the current extraordinary experience that we can share in our Chronicle and online. Historically, the home learning element of what we are all doing will also be something we will all remember. We would love for parents to send us some photos of what is happening at home with a view that we could share these photos with the school community to help encourage each other in this difficult time. Don’t feel you have to do this, and goodness knows there’s not much time in the day at the moment, but if any of you are able and willing to send in photos, we would love them. Please send your photos to [email protected]. Please make sure the photos are of children who go to the school (ie not younger siblings not yet at school or older siblings no longer at school). If you send us the photos, we will be assuming you are giving us permission to use the photos in the Chronicle, on the website and potentially in other documents advertising the College. If you only want us to see them and archive them, but not use them publicly in any way, please state this clearly.
  • VCE Students – We needed to touch base with our VCE students today in order to give the students a chance to see their teachers, get key resources, and learn about some of our plans for the coming days and weeks. The vast majority of the students were respectful and followed our strict social distancing measures very closely. Their cooperation today was hugely appreciated. I’d also like to thank our parents who have clearly read my last letter home regarding dropping off and picking up students. The process today was brilliantly followed and will be a template for the coming weeks and months. Thank-you.
  • Google Meet and Google Classroom – Today we introduced the VCE students to Google Classroom and Google Meet. Google Classroom allows us to compile and deliver work to the students that is linked to a Calendar. This means students can see when different aspects of all of their curriculums are due. The process of going down this path would normally take years. We have already made starts across a number of subject areas. We will continue to work on this in the coming days, weeks and months. Google Meet enables us to meet with the students in a Video Conferencing manner. We are having a series of staff meetings tonight using this system. Next week we hope to embark on a test of this tool with our Year 11 and Year 12 cohorts. If it works, we can see the application for this tool for our classroom teachers. In time we may be rolling this down to lower Year Levels as well.
  • If you or your child become sick with COVID-19 [repeated] – You are required to let us know if anyone associated with the College has become ill with COVID-19. We are then required to enact our Emergency Procedures which will include communication with our School Community.
  • Picking up and dropping off work – We have started to get work being returned to us for assessment. Thank-you to the parents who have done this. We will be leaving plastic tubs out (currently on the veranda outside Reception) so work can be placed in the tub. We ask people to limit entry into the school buildings as much as possible please. If we are given time by the virus and our Governments, we will be looking at delivering work to, and getting work from, the parents of our Primary students next Friday. Stay tuned.
  • If you need your child to come to school at this time – If a parent cannot have their child/ren at home for any reason over the next eight days, the children are allowed to come to school (AT THIS STAGE). If you need your child/ren to come to school, please let us know BY THE AFTERNOON BEFORE.
  • If for any reason, parents need to come to school, we ask that you ring ahead and wait outside the Office doors until acknowledged. Just to repeat, our toilets are not open to family, friends etc until further notice. At the moment our staff are working on their own in different locations throughout the school. We are limiting our interactions significantly.

Other information will follow over the coming days.

Thanks – as always – for your continued support

Mark Stanton
Deputy Principal