Yesterday, Tuesday 7 April, an announcement was made by the Victorian State Government outlining that all schools will be working remotely for Term 2, and still providing an opportunity for students of parents who are providing essential services to attend school.
Department of Education and Training Operating Model
In a joint press conference, the Premier Dan Andrews and the Minister for Education and Training James Merlino, announced that Victorian schools will move to remote and flexible learning and care at the commencement of Term 2.
These are the key points:
- Students commence for learning on Wednesday 15 April.
- All students who can learn from home must learn at home.
- Schools are open for children where learning at home is not possible.
- Vulnerable students and children of people who work in essential jobs can attend school, but it would be preferable that they learn from home if at all possible.
- The curriculum delivered in the classroom must match that delivered remotely.
- School bus program in rural and remote Victoria will continue to run.
- Children who do attend school will be required to practise social distancing and not congregate before, during and after school.
- It is the intention of the State Government that VCE will be completed in this calendar year, with some exceptions into 2021.
- The GAT will move from June to October or November.
- ATAR will still be used and available in early 2021.
Firstly, on behalf of the College we would like to take this opportunity to extend our thanks to you as a community for your perseverance and especially the outstanding work of those in essential services in our region. Only in time will we share stories and realise the risks and sacrifices you have made.
The Premier emphasised that we have one million students in this state and we cannot have that number moving through the community on a daily basis. He called upon parents, wherever possible, to keep their children at home to learn.
If parents and carers do need their children to attend onsite, please complete the form below to notify the College so we can create a safe space.
The canteen will not be operating through this term, so students will need to bring food for their recess and lunch.
Please understand that students will not be in traditional classes at school – they will be in cohorts of no more than ten in one space. Onsite students will be doing the same work as those learning at home, as directed by the state.
For those who are not certain of their eligibility please refer to the following list of Essential Services:
- Convenience stores
- Bottle shops
- Petrol stations
- All allied health centres
- Shopping centres (eateries in food courts permitted to do takeaway only)
- Hairdressers and barbers
- Schools remain open for “essential workers”
On Wednesday 15 April we ask students to check their emails and follow the instructions of their various teachers and mentor. There will be information outlining the program for the week. There will also be recommendations outlining study times and how the model will work. Please follow this link to learn more about Remote Online Learning.
It is very important that you read the eSafety material and understand the duty of care and ChildSafe standards associated with an online learning environment. It is critical that online class sessions are not recorded and follow the mandate. Please ensure that you have read the following link.
For those students on a Personal Learning Plan, who receive additional support, contact will be made next Tuesday to detail the intervention and support.
We understand that there will be challenges for families associated with online access. Through a range of measures every family will be contacted to ensure they can participate and have access to ICT assistance and resources. Adjustments and accommodations will need to be made so all students can access the online material.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about an unexpected change in learning and environment and we want to ensure that families are supported by the College. The experiences from interstate schools in recent weeks have highlighted the following:
- Decreased social interaction and sense of connection to family, friends, peers etc.
- Reduced energy and engagement, increased anxiety
- Increased anxiety around the future of the school year
- Increased practical barriers to effective study (e.g. desk, internet, ICT resources etc.).
In the coming term student mentors will be making regular contact with their mentees, as will the classroom teachers. It is important to note that these are unique times and people handle things very differently. The various services the College usually offers for wellbeing will still be available, so students can make contact through email and parents can do the same, or contact the College directly.
The College also recognises the financial hardship that has been associated with the onset of the virus and the impact that this has had on our families. Please note there is further detail in this newsletter about School Fee support in these challenging times. The loss of employment and business has been significant across Central Victoria and our thoughts and prayers are offered to you. As a Mercy College the values of compassion, respect and service are at the core of our praxis.
The College office will not be open until Wednesday 15 April. If you need to visit the College, it is imperative that you follow the State recommendations associated with social distancing and hygiene. Please follow this link to learn more about Collecting resources from the College.
In the coming weeks there will be changes and regular contact from class teachers and the College. It will take time to work through any glitches, so please be patient. The CMC staff have been very busy preparing for this transition and I want to thank them for their flexibility and application through the break. As we move through Easter Week I hope that we can reflect on the challenges of those around us and the tragic events that are happening elsewhere. Please keep safe and contact the College if you have concerns.
Mr Brian Turner, Principal
The following is from our Mercy friends in Ireland.
Loving and healing God,
we, the people of Kildare & Leighlin turn to you in prayer,
confident that you are with us and with all people in every moment.
We stand before you as people of hope, trusting in your care and protection.
May your faithful love support us and soothe the anxiety of our hearts.
fill us with compassion and concern for others, young and old,
that we may look after one another in these challenging days.
Bring healing to those who are sick with the virus and be with their families.
May those who have died rest in your eternal embrace.
Comfort their family and friends.
Strengthen and protect all medical professionals caring for the sick
and all who work in our medical facilities.
Give wisdom to leaders in healthcare and governance
that they may make the right decisions for the well-being of people.
We pray in gratitude for all those in our country who will continue to work in the days ahead in so many fields of life for the sake of us all.
Bless them and keep them safe.