Principal’s Message: Term 1, Week 8, 2020

Principal’s Message: Term 1, Week 8, 2020

Vibrant Spirit.  Strong Character.  Tailored Learning

To the families and friends of the St Edmund’s community,

I would like to commence by thanking our parent community for your overwhelming support of our transition to online teaching and learning. This was an inevitable move as nearly all schools in the ACT have made a similar move. Unfortunately the time leading up to this decision was one of much confusion, with educational jurisdictions and government departments demonstrating an extreme lack of communication and planning. It was left up to schools to work their way through a series of mixed messages and political doubletalk.  We have received nothing but positive messages of support from our community of parents who clearly understand the very difficult position in which we found ourselves.  Our focus is always on providing the very best services to our students and community, both in terms of academic progress and student wellbeing, and we will continue these services in an online teaching and learning environment. It is important that we provide as much continuity as possible for each student’s education, no matter of the circumstances. We wish to support our students to remain connected to their current teachers as much as possible.

We will continue providing our student wellbeing services during this time.  Please do not hesitate to contact our Heads of House or College Counsellor should you need to.  I would encourage you to continue your communication with staff from the College as you have in the past.  This might include a question to your son’s teacher regarding his progress, or a discussion with a Head of House or the Counsellor regarding your son’s wellbeing.

Our online teaching and learning program will commence on Monday 30 March and will continue until Wednesday 8 April. School holidays will commence as scheduled on Friday 10 April (Good Friday). The online teaching and learning program for our Junior School students will be quite different to the program for students in Years 7 – 12.  Mr David Kelly, Assistant Principal Junior School, will provide our Junior School parents with specific information.

Students in Years 7 – 12 will be required to follow their regular school timetable online.  The online teaching and learning program will be active.  This means that your son’s teacher will be online at the time of the timetabled lesson, engaging actively with students.  The teacher will take the roll during that time and students will engage actively with the teacher. Our online teaching and learning program will not be a static program where lessons and materials are placed in Canvas with students left to work on these on their own.  As such, if your son is not available on a particular day, we would require you to inform Student Services of his absence (as you would for a normal absence from school).  Teachers will follow up any students who are not actively engaging in the online teaching and learning program. More information will be sent out later about arrangements for assessment, especially for students in Years 11 and 12.  We will work with parents to ensure that students are actively engaging with their teachers in the online teaching and learning environment.

(As I am writing this on Tuesday evening, I am watching WIN News on the television, with the newsreader having just announced that “parents are tackling home schooling on the first pupil-free day in the ACT’. I must stress that this new online teaching and learning environment at St Edmund’s College is not home schooling.  The responsibility for the academic education of your sons is our responsibility, albeit in partnership with parents but it is our professional and moral responsibility to ensure that your sons are educated in the best way possible.  The joys and frustrations of media beat-ups!) 

Of course the College will remain open for the children of those parents who are involved in delivering essential services and for the children of those parents who will find it difficult to have their children at home during this time.  These students will participate in their online teaching and learning program here at school and will be supervised by a member of staff.  These students will will continue to attend the College until Thursday 9 April.

It was quite a surreal and emotional experience saying farewell to our boys on Monday afternoon. There was no celebratory atmosphere as there is on a last day of term, with our boys leaving the College not quite knowing when they will be next returning. Our College grounds are usually quite vibrant and energetic, but this morning they were strangely quiet and sedate.  We will of course keep you informed by email of any developments and news about the nature of Term 2.

 

Uniform Shop Opening Hours

In light of the recent changed circumstances for schools, the Uniform Shop is opening for limited hours.  The opening hours for remainder of Term 1 are Wednesdays 2.00 pm – 6.00 pm (25 March to 8 April).   Please order online before visiting the store to collect. Delivery is also available where applicable.  If you are unsure of the size needed, please purchase your best estimate online. This can be exchanged for free instore if required (for unworn items only).   Term 2 arrangements will be updated on our website once determined.

For online ordering and utilising the Click and Collect mode, please visit www.ranier.com.au Registration requires the exact student name and student number to be entered.  The College password (sted2603) is also required to register. Email Ranier at custservice@ranier.com.au for any problems with registration.

 

Prayer for the Fourth Sunday of Lent

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside still waters;
He restores my soul.

He leads me in right paths
For His Name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil;
For you are with me;
Your rod and Your staff – they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies,
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life.
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
My whole life long.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

 

Joe Zavone
College Principal

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