21 March 2020

Update on SMC Response to Coronavirus (COVID – 19)

Our College continues to manage the situation in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak in a professional and strategic manner.  As we enter the final week of Term 1, I again provide this assurance to Monican families.  Your continuing understanding of how the College is handling this situation will be greatly appreciated as this virus continues throughout the world.

No confirmed case of Coronavirus associated with St Monica’s College has been reported.  In an initial briefing to parents on the College website, College protocols were presented should there be a school closure.

Classes have operated according to the College Timetable.  There has been a decline in both student and staff attendance, but not to the extent that classes cannot function.  The College is bound by directions from our Bishops and Catholic Education Melbourne authorities, thus we remain open and functioning as best we can.

The College continues to be extremely vigilant in relation to important matters such as nightly cleaning of the premises, adequate soap and other cleansing items at strategic locations, constant reminders being given on a class-by-class basis in relation to hygiene requirements, and always the College is ready to adopt contingency learning plans should there be a closure called or required prior to Thursday, 27 March (this Thursday).

Our counselling and pastoral care procedures are operating effectively and appropriately.  Encourage your children to use them if they require them.

Whilst the entire society has feelings of anxiety and concern, the Monican community battles on in a spirit of perseverance.  I commend parents and teachers on the behaviour of their children and students as this situation is confronted.  My admiration of the students is immense and genuine.

Parents can be assured that the staff are conscious of their responsibilities in educating and caring for your children.  I place on public record my highest regard for all people employed at SMC.  This situation is grim as much for adults as it is for children.

Should there be school closure, arrangements have been put into place to provide all students with achievable and engaging work when not on school grounds.  Further, specific detail will be provided to families and students should this need eventuate.  Parents need to update family contact details on the Community Portal if details have changed.

Holy Spirit, as families adjust to these difficult times,

We ask that you guide people in their new realities.

Give spouses grace for each other,

Prompt worn-out parents to speak words of kindness

And encouragement to their children.

Help children find creative ways to experience

The beauty of all you have created and continue learning.

B.E. Hanley