ST THOMAS AQUINAS COLLEGE
1 Tynong Road
Tynong VIC 3813
Tel: (03) 5629 2500
Dear Staff, Parents and Students,
In a few days we will have made it to the end of almost an entire Term in lockdown. It is no mean feat and not without its casualties, but soon we will have made it through.
Our teachers in the Primary school have been working around the clock to support our parents and students by creating smart learning packs, marking mountains of work, meeting daily with parents and students online and running assessments where possible. Our teachers in the Secondary school have been very busy creating online resources to cater for an endless online world of learning. I have been impressed by the quality of online delivery by our teachers and the quality of the students’ work coming through the online channels. I do not suggest for a moment that online learning is a wonderful substitute for real school life, but I do point out that our staff and students are trying to make the most of all the tools at their disposal to maximise teaching and learning opportunities in such trying conditions.
On another note, I need to give parents and students a heads-up about the start of Term 4. We are not confident that Victoria will be out of lockdown by then, so we are planning accordingly. Part of our review and planning process centres around the increased number of students that need to attend onsite learning for various reasons. We are reaching maximum on site capacity, so we need a better system in place to cope with it. Part of this system will require parents from Term 4 onwards to inform the College week by week if they need their child/ren to attend onsite learning. Until now, we have only been asking for 24 hours’ notice, but the increasing number of vulnerable students having to attend onsite means we need a lot more notice. To help with this, a form will be sent out to parents at the start of each week asking them to indicate the days they need their child/ren to attend onsite. Once we have received this form, we will make provisions for those students as per the days indicated by the parents. Getting this form a week in advance will enable us to guarantee provision for students on site.
This may require more planning from some parents, that is, planning a week ahead rather than a day or two ahead, but it will help us immensely with the logistics required in running a school during lockdown. I understand that there will be teething problems to work through with this new process, but it is a familiar process for many schools and I know that if are patient and understanding of each other we can make it work.
I want to thank parents and friends for their support, understanding and patience with the College over the past term. School is an incredibly difficult ship to sail through Covid storms but parents’ support and understanding makes it a lot easier.
I wish you all the blessings of the Feast of the Holy Cross and ask you to please pray for our seminarians at Holy Cross Seminary in Goulburn. They too are in lockdown; many of them are from overseas and have not seen family or friends for nearly two years. They need and appreciate our prayers.
I wish you all a safe, refreshing and enjoyable Term break under the protection and care of our holy Guardian Angels.
Sincerely yours in the Two Hearts,
Fr Andrew Cranshaw – Principal