An Update regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Dear College Families
Thanks for your ongoing support and encouragement. I trust that the Easter break has been a time of refreshment and reflection.
Update on Learning for Term 2
In keeping with the latest information from both State and Federal Governments, our College Campus will continue to remain open in Term 2 for all families that require it.
An edited version of the NSW Government Decision in an Independent Schools context:
“Students in government schools will be returning to their schools one day per week from Week 3 of Term 2. After that, there will be a gradual increase in days in the hope that schools may be fully functional by Term 3. Learning from home will remain an integral part of the phased return to face-to-face teaching. Schools will be encouraged to ‘roster’ students in a way that enables siblings to attend school on the same days. Parents are still encouraged to keep their children at home on the remaining days unless they are unable to be supervised at home. The Premier stressed that the process was not to be too bureaucratic and while parents would be encouraged to comply with the guidelines, no student will be turned away should the parent wish their child to attend school.
Independent schools, like other schools, want to return to face to face teaching and learning with students as soon as practical. However, schools are known as safe places for students to learn and teachers to work and we must do everything we can to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of our students, teachers, other employees and people entering our campuses”.
In line with the recommendation of the NSW Premier, and to provide some certainty for parents, here are the plans for a graduated return to WAC:
- The first two weeks of the College term will continue in the Off-Campus Learning format so students who attend will continue to be supervised as they are taught, often remotely, online by staff. This will be similar to our response to the pandemic towards the end of Term 1.
- In Week 3 (beginning Monday, 11 May), there will be a staggered return for students to the College. There were four strong considerations in formulating this plan:
- The maintenance of a reasonable level of social distancing and hygiene.
- The opportunity for students to re-engage with peers socially and with staff.
- That teachers will focus on one type of teaching delivery; (not to prepare lessons for students in attendance, and, at the same time for students off-campus in the same class group)
- That siblings in different grades could attend on the same day in consideration of parents.
- In Week 3 (beginning Monday, 11 May), students from all grades will return as follows:
- Acacia: Monday, 11 May
- Grevillea: Tuesday, 12 May
- Sollya: Wednesday, 13 May
- Telopea: Thursday, 14 May
- Wollemi: Friday, 15 May
- At this stage, it is likely that this arrangement will also be in place for Week 4. Staff will continue to deliver all lessons in the Off-Campus format. Students attending will be encouraged to keep socially distant. They will be present and interacting with staff and with each other but lessons will not be the usual classroom lessons.
- We have extra concern for Year 12 in their HSC Year. In this regard, we are able to recognise the need for social distancing and still cater for Year 12. Whilst this may not the case elsewhere, we have decided that Year 12 should attend full-time (every day) from Monday, 11 May. Therefore, Year 12 will be taught in classrooms and not in Off-Campus Learning mode.
- Transition will also be expected to return on their normal days from Monday, 11 May. The Transition program will also revert to the normal classroom delivery without the Off-Campus provision.
- Students attending the College are expected to wear normal winter uniform (or sports uniform on sports days). Parents will be called to collect students not in College uniform.
Our commitment to high quality education, regardless of the format, remains resolute.
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan has published a message for Year 12 students, explaining they will receive a leaving certificate for 2020 – and there will be no mass repeating of Year 12.
The Education Council has also discussed options for senior secondary arrangements and University admissions. Students will be able to achieve a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (for the majority of students in NSW, this will be the HSC) this year to facilitate access to University, further education and employment. To ensure students applying for University entry interstate are not disadvantaged, the Education Council also decided that Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) results will be released in a nationally consistent window of dates beginning in 2020.
Off-Campus Learning adjustments
Again, I could not be more proud of the efforts of staff and their dedication and time commitment in the provision of Off-Campus Learning. We have been delighted with parent, staff and student feedback and have made a few changes in response.
Whilst we continue with the Off-Campus Learning model, the use of Zoom Conferencing will continue to be a useful teaching and learning tool. Please be advised that these sessions may be recorded to provide students who are sick or injured, with ongoing support. (Please note that recording a conference is expected of staff if it is a one-to-one session). If a session is to be recorded, this should be indicated by the teacher, at the beginning of the lesson. Recordings will commence prior to the students entering the lesson and continue until all students exit the lesson or the lesson is closed. Files containing recorded and/or live learning sessions will be placed in the College authorised IT system and are not held on the teacher’s personal drive.
Students from Years 5-12 are asked to have their cameras turned on during Zoom conference sessions from the start of Term 2. Students should be in an open area of their home, wearing the relevant College Uniform and seated at a desk. Parents may have a significant reason for not wanting their child’s camera turned on whilst learning. If so, please contact the relevant Pastoral Care Coordinator (see below) by Friday 24 April by 3.00 pm.
Years 5-8: Mr Stuart Houweling: email@example.com
Years 9-12: Mrs Emily Madden: firstname.lastname@example.org
Waratah Weekly On-line
Please continue to read the Waratah Weekly online. Communication is so important in the new circumstances we all face.
As explained in my last letter, the College Council and the Corporation Board have agreed that the Term 2 Service Charges be halved for every student at the College. This arrangement will not change, given the earlier than expected and staggered return of students to the College for regular classes in Week 3. The Service Charges have been halved for Term 2.
Primary Building Deferred
With the uncertain economic landscape, the Anglican Schools Corporation Board has made the decision to defer the Stage 12 Building Project for three months (our final facility for Pril11.ary classes). This decision is regrettable yet understandable. Please be assured that the College is in a very sound financial position. We are confident that students will continue to be taught in purpose-built, air-conditioned facilities in 2021 and beyond.
“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters to what lies within us”.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”.
(Martin Luther King, Jr)
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.
Dr Stuart J Quarmby