Over recent days politicians have indicated that school could return to normal earlier than anticipated. However, I know that this will be dependent on
the ongoing impact of the virus on the community. We will continue to make decisions and take action on the best medical advice.
We continue to remain open, particularly for:
- children of essential service workers,
- children with special needs, and for
- children of parents with no option other than to send their children to school.
As such the school will be open for students on Tuesday 28th April, 2020.
I am anticipating that many children will continue to stay at home but that some will be returning to school next week. We will
continue to offer remote learning opportunities for our children at home and on campus. Over the next week we will be asking parents to let us know
what their plans are so that we can manage the logistics.
The safety and wellbeing of all members of our school community is a priority. We will continue to practise physical distancing principles as well as increased
hand washing and cleaning protocols. If your child is unwell or has any COVID-19 symptoms, you must keep them home. We also ask parents/carers to limit
their time on campus and model the appropriate hygiene and social distancing principles.
Secondly, as part of the wider community, we acknowledge the impact that this situation is having on our families in terms of health, stress levels, government
regulations and sudden unemployment or stand-downs. Our School Council’s early policy decisions to offer support to families has, I hope, decreased
the levels of stress felt by many parents.
The Anglican Schools Corporation has delayed the Term 2 fee letter to account for the difficult financial situation that many are experiencing. The fee
letter will be received by families this Friday 24th April, 2020 with an extended payment date.
I would like to remind families about the financial support endorsed by the School Council:
- Term 2 Service Fees have been removed for all families.
- Financial relief will be provided for Term 2 school fees to those families who have been impacted by this crisis. Families who are experiencing difficulties are to contact the Principal for a confidential COVID19 Bursary application form through firstname.lastname@example.org.
As I have said previously, I do not want any of our students to leave our College as a result of the COVID19 pandemic.
Thirdly, we are mindful of the impact this year is having on our Year 12 students. We have been assured by NESA that students will receive their HSC in
2020. We have also been advised that there is greater flexibility regarding assessment tasks and weightings for Years 11 and 12 for this year. In addition,
work placement for those students studying a VET subject, such as Construction and Entertainment Industry, will not be required for course completion
in 2020. NESA has also made the decision that there will be no group or ensemble work in Drama or Music.
For further information regarding the HSC please refer to the latest HSC advice.
It is important for all of our Year 12 students to have access to the best possible education in this difficult situation. Many of our students are involved
in subjects that require the completion of practical tasks including Major Works. As such we are going to provide Year 12 students with the opportunity
to come to campus to work on their projects in small groups and meet with their teachers. All students and staff will be required to practise the appropriate
social distancing protocols. Students who are unwell must not come onto the campus. We recognise that some students will be unable to take up this
offer due to their particular situation. These students will not be discriminated against with the marks that we submit to NESA. This will require
some patience and discussion as we talk through each student’s situation with teachers and the individual concerned. The Heads of Department will provide
further information to the classes concerned at the start of Term 2.
Finally, I am incredibly thankful to all members of our school community in the way that you have reacted to this situation.We are fortunate to have teachers
who are professionally agile and dedicated to not only set up remote learning but to care deeply about the quality of that educational material. Staff
have spent weeks working in their teams to ensure that the work being sent is engaging, varied and suitable for our students and we will continue to
improve our remote learning experience for all students.
We believe that providing generic online knowledge and exercises is not enough. Our planning has taken into account the pastoral care needs of our student
community and we have embedded processes that ensure students retain a feeling of attachment to our College community. I encourage you to participate
in our online Chapel services and foreach student to interact daily with their Homeroom and Classroom teachers with the well-being activities provided.
In a crisis situation, especially one as unpredictable as a pandemic, it is difficult to engineer a quality solution quickly that will please everyone.
In unprecedented situations such as this, there is always the challenge to work on improving our response. I do encourage our families to offer feedback
so we can all work together to achieve a good outcome for our entire community.
We remain a strong, agile learning community that cares deeply for each other. If you need help with deliveries of food or shopping during the holidays,
please let us know as our staff are able to provide assistance.
May the remainder of the holiday be one of refreshment and rest for each of you.
Mrs Lorrae Sampson
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