Parent Bulletin 20
Friday 18 September
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update September 2020
As we come to the end of Term 3, we would like to acknowledge and celebrate all your achievements and efforts in what has again been a challenging time for us all.
Students have demonstrated our school PRIDE values yet again - they have persevered through remote and flexible learning, shown respect to the diverse local community by abiding by the stage 4 restrictions and protecting vulnerable people, integrity in their positive approach to doing their best in every subject and excellence in their commitment to contributing and participating in their online lessons.
Key dates for Term 4
Week 1 (5th October - 9th October): Remote and Flexible Learning for all students. Year 12s will be attending on site for Mon-Tues for Synchronised Assessment Period (SAP) sessions, and Wednesday for the General Achievement Test (GAT). They will then return to remote learning for Thursday and Friday.
Please note: The GAT will be conducted at Strathmore Secondary College, not at Moonee Valley Racecourse.
Wed 7th October: Parent/Student/Teacher conferences via phone calls are being conducted from 10.00am to 6.00pm. These will be open to parent bookings from the afternoon of Friday 18th September.
Week 2 (12th October - 16th October): VCE classes return to on-site learning. 7-10 students remain learning from home (Year 10s attend only their VCE class on-site).
There will be further communications regarding arrangements for Term 4 from the Department of Education and Training (DET) which will be provided to you as soon as they are available.
Here is the form for students needing to attend on-site during remote and flexible learning. Students whose parents are permitted workers or vulnerable can attend. Parents/carers need to complete the form and return to the college.
On behalf of our school, I want to say a big thank you to all our students, parents and carers for your continued resilience and support during Term 3. I know remote and flexible learning has not always been easy, but through our collective efforts, our students have continued to make valuable progress in their learning. You can be confident that our school will support any student who has fallen behind to catch up.
Term 4 is important for every Victorian student, and our teachers will strive to deliver high-quality learning for everyone. Whether we’re teaching remotely or face-to-face, our focus for Term 4 is on making sure that every student is supported in their wellbeing, learning and transition needs.
The Victorian Government has outlined the staged return to on-site schooling as part of its gradual roadmap towards reopening.
Term 4 on-site schooling arrangements for students.
Subject to the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has released a staged approach for students to return to on-site schooling.
The purpose of the plan is to get students back in the classroom as soon and as safely as possible without putting at risk all that has been achieved through the period of restrictions to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
To achieve both these aims, the return to onsite learning needs to be staged, just as the easing of all other restrictions is staged.
There are two reasons for this.
The first is that in metropolitan Melbourne, health authorities need to monitor the impact of students and parents beginning to move across the city again before schools move to a full return. Having one million students return to school all at once could compromise the ability to monitor this impact.
The second reason is that VCE students must return in week one of Term 4 and must be able to complete the three-hour General Achievement Test (GAT) that week. In order to ensure the focus is on these students and the appropriate safety measures are in place, this means no other students can be on-site on our secondary campus the week before the GAT. This is the best way to ensure the ongoing safety of the whole community.
Term 4 Arrangements
For our school, the following arrangements apply:
5–9 October (first week of Term 4)
From 12 October (second week of Term 4)
This will continue until a date is set for the return of all students to on-site learning, based on health advice.
Health and safety measures
The Term 3 remote and flexible learning arrangements were put in place to significantly reduce the movement of more than one million students and their families across Victoria, to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Thanks to you and your family for contributing to this on behalf of our school community.
As on-site schooling resumes, we will continue to have in place strong measures to protect the health and safety of students, staff, families and the community. This includes staggering start and finish times, restricting parent access to school grounds and continued emphasis on hand hygiene and physical distancing where possible.
Whether your child is, or children are, returning to face-to-face learning or will be continuing with remote and flexible learning, please be assured we will be focused on three key priorities in Term 4:
Mental health and wellbeing
Our highest priority will be the wellbeing, particularly the mental health, of every student and member of staff. This means effectively mobilising all available resources to support our most vulnerable students and enabling staff to access the relevant support services.
Learning and excellence
Some of our students have thrived in the remote and flexible learning environment, others have maintained their learning progress, and some have fallen behind, despite their best efforts and those of their families and teachers. Our priority will be supporting both those who need it to catch up and those who have progressed to continue to extend their learning.
We will make every effort to ensure successful transitions for children moving into Year 7, and the Year 12s moving into employment or further education and training.
We know some families are worried that their child may have to repeat a year due to the disruptions of coronavirus (COVID-19). There is little evidence to support the benefits of repeating a year to catch up. Instead, schools will use teaching strategies that draw on the best evidence available to help students meet their learning needs.
Parents, families and carers can be confident that the best option for almost every child is to stay with their peer group, whether that is moving from Grade 6 into Year 7 at secondary school, or students moving up any year level in between.
Our school, working with you, has shown it can be flexible and adaptable in responding to the challenges of coronavirus (COVID-19) and will continue to meet student needs as we look towards the end of the 2020 school year and ahead to 2021.
Have a safe, happy and well deserved holiday.