I hope the start to remote learning hasn’t provided you with too many challenges. It has been very strange being in a school every day with only a few students and staff. The place is definitely not the same and, like you all and our students, we can’t wait for things to return to normal, whenever that might be.
In terms of updates regarding any type of return to school, I have not received any official notification from the government or any other educational body. While this could change at any time, we are continuing to plan for remote learning to be in place for the entirety of term 2 at this stage.
I can report that our teachers have never worked harder and have adapted to the ‘new normal’ unbelievably well. I also receive daily data on the students and speak to those who are working at school and I am very proud of the way they have embraced their work and engaged in their learning. I do not underestimate how challenging this time is for many of our students and their parents/carers so thank you for everything you are doing to stay positive and support the continuation of your child’s learning.
The current situation has meant we have had to make some significant changes to our school calendar, and I wanted to explain the reasons behind some of these changes. Our Parent/Student/Teacher interviews were scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 22nd April. While this event was not able to go ahead, I have requested that teachers who have concerns for students ensure that these concerns are communicated to parents and carers either by phone or email. Alternatively, if any parent or carer would like feedback from any teacher, please contact that teacher via email.
The calendar also had student-free days scheduled for Friday. 8th May and Wednesday, 10th June. Both of these days would have been set aside for teachers to undertake professional learning. We have decided that on Friday, 8th May, we will still have a student free day so to speak. We believe by that time students, parents and teachers could all use a break from the scheduled remote learning and teaching taking place each day. While this might seem a bit strange at this time, it will give students a chance to catch up on work, with no new work being set. It also means that parents and carers who are home can have a break from checking on student work and teachers will have a chance to take a breath, prepare more work, catch up on assessing the enormous amount of work students are completing or take part in online professional learning. If any families still require their children to be supervised at school on 8th May, we will still offer this service. Please just let me know by emailing me at email@example.com. Our planned student-free day on Wednesday, 10th June will be a normal remote learning day or normal school day if, by some chance, we happen to be back by then.
At this stage our College Musical, Year 10 Work Experience, along with our Ski Trip and Top End Tour are all on hold. We will be waiting as long as we can before cancelling any of these events in the hope that they may still be able to go ahead. We have also cancelled the Year 10 and 11 exams scheduled for 9th to 12th June. Assessments will be done in alternate ways in the various class units.
Reports will still be written for each student and assessment of work is still taking place while students are working remotely. The reports will be available to families on the final day of term 2 which is Friday, 26th June.
With students working remotely, this year’s GAT has been postponed. The GAT is a General Assessment Task that each student completing a VCE Unit 3/4 subject must do every year. The scheduled date of the GAT this year was Wednesday, 10th June. VCAA has indicated that the GAT will now be in October or November but have not yet confirmed an exact date. Once more clarity is provided from VCAA around how VCE and VCAL will look this year, we will pass that information on to our senior students and their families.
Please remember that the school does not expect our parents and carers to be teaching their children: that remains our job, so please encourage students to request help from any of our staff. Alternatively, you can do this on their behalf.
I hope you are all keeping healthy and safe and doing your best to stay connected to family and friends. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if there is anything we can help you or your children with.