8 April 2020
Update on SMC Response to Coronavirus (COVID – 19)
Parents and Friends,
This update is written to inform you and your children about the functioning of St Monica’s College, Epping during this time of learning from home as decided by the State Government.
What will be very important is the role of parents. I understand the pressures you are most likely feeling, but supervision of your children as they study remotely from home will be essential. You cannot afford to allow your child to ignore the work which will be sent from the teachers.
I assure you that the College is approaching this unique situation in two ways – pastoral care for your child and learning for him/her.
In relation to pastoral care, I have appointed a staff Minder to every individual child at the College. This Minder will make email contact with your child at least once, preferably twice, a week. They will email your child directly and ask after his/her wellbeing and how he/she is coping at home while learning remotely. It will not be the Home Room Teacher.
Please be aware that if your child does not respond to his/her Minder, that Minder will seek to make contact with you.
Learning – Introduction
The media release of Premier Daniel Andrews of 7 April commences with the line, ‘Most Victorian students will be educated from home when Term 2 starts…’ For your child, Term 2 commences on Wednesday, 15 April. The Premier states,
‘All children who can learn from home must learn from home – with exceptions only in extremely limited circumstances.’
If you believe that such extreme circumstances apply to you, it is absolutely important that you inform the College Receptions (DRC and DSC, 94098800) via phone by 3.00 p.m. on the day prior to each day your child will require supervision at school.
The DRC Receptionists are Sara Furlano and Maddison Sacco and the DSC Receptionists are Rose Petrakis and Lina Sirianni.
If extreme and exceptional circumstances require your child to be at school on site, please note these arrangements:
- Students from Years 7 – 12 will be supervised in one large space (Sports and Assembly Hall) utilising social distancing regulations. Hygiene will be a priority for these students as provided by themselves and by the College e.g. sanitisers, soap etc.
- Supervision will be available as per a normal school day of classes – 9.10 a.m. until 3.25 p.m.
- Students will be expected to undertake the remote learning work created by their respective teachers as they will not have face-to-face teaching, but will be supervised during this time
- Students will be given recess and lunch breaks, however, they will be expected to follow social distancing regulations.
Learning – Remote Learning off site
Remote learning will be conducted online with teachers using the Learning Management System (LMS) such as Google Classroom which the College has created.
Teachers will email students each Monday morning to outline the work which will be covered during the week and the expectations of students regarding submission of work.
Teachers will be in contact with parents or carers via PAM/SIMON regularly.
The decision has been made that VCE, VET and VCAL teachers can undertake video conferencing with the Years 11 and 12 classes (and Year 10 students undertaking Unit 1 VCE units) if the teachers wish. However, these sessions are optional and not all teachers may choose to use them.
Teachers will only conduct these classes during the time the actual class would occur during normal school days. Video conferencing will only take place on the Zoom application and teachers have been provided with a strict set of protocols which will be distributed by them to their students.
Learning – Other Decisions announced by Premier Daniel Andrews on 7 April
- The GAT test will move from June to October or December
- End of year examinations for senior students will be postponed until at least December
- School based assessment tasks will be reduced for senior students where possible to relieve some pressure on students as they move to remote and flexible learning arrangements
- Universities will be asked to delay the start of the 2021 university year to account for impacts of coronavirus on senior secondary students.
In addition, the Premier announced:
- VCE study scores will continue to be a combination of school-based and external exams
- A small number of students undertaking VET may have the award of their VCE or VCAL delayed until the beginning of 2021 so they can complete mandatory practical or workplace requirements.
Learning – St Monica’s College Decisions
- Examinations across the College are cancelled until further notice
- Teachers will continue to communicate with parents using Continuous Reporting
- Teachers will have the option to work on site or off site
- Term 2 events and activities as printed in the College Planner have been cancelled or will be postponed until a later date
- The Year 12 Emmaus Program has been cancelled for Term 2
Please note that our counselling team is available to meet the needs of students during this difficult time. No Monican should hesitate to use their services.
Our Finance and Business Manager will soon email parents about critical financial arrangements put in place to support parents where such support will be necessary.
I shall continue to send these parent briefings, Principal’s Bulletins and The Monican to homes.
I extend Easter blessings on all households and to all people of good will in our school community.
Jesus, during your time on earth,
You showed your power and caring by healing people of all ages and stations of life
From physical, mental and spiritual ailments.
Be present now to people who need your loving touch because of COVID-19.
May they feel your power of healing through the care of doctors and nurses.
Brian E. Hanley