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From the Principal – Update #13

Dear Parents and Carers,

As promised this update will provide more detail related to the Term 2 structure as we move into a different approach to learning. We will continue to build on this as more detail becomes available.

This information is provided to parents on the basis that:

  • All public schools will remain open
  • Parents continue to be encouraged to keep their children at home if they are able to do so as outlined by the Premier and Minister for Education and Training. Those who need to send their children to school to maintain employment, children of essential workers and those who require schools to support them overcome particular vulnerabilities, however, may choose to do so.
  • To ensure that all students’ needs are met, staff will be present on school sites.
  • All students will be taught: those attending schools, and for those learning at home this will look different and is outlined below. Our planning will include access to a range of mixed delivery including online, paper and possibly face to face.
  • Student well-being remains a priority.

Students are expected to continue to engage in the teaching and learning program as we move into Term 2.  It is critical that students have access to regular contact with their teacher or at least the available resources.

We do expect that teachers will retain the authority and responsibility to do and use what they know is best for their students in their learning program. Parents are not expected to take the place of teachers. However, there will be further opportunities, beyond those already in place, for parents to become active partners in their children’s learning.

Our aim continues to be:

  • providing ongoing access to the curriculum for students in varied ways
  • providing the best available resources supporting quality learning
  • keeping students connected to school, teachers connected to students and our school connected to the community
  • ensuring learning is available for all students so we will have varied approaches of access, i.e. Connect, Print form and electronic USB.

From the start of Term 2 (Wednesday 29th April) students and parents will have access to the following:

  • ongoing and updated online curriculum material through Connect
  • printed curriculum work packages (it will not be possible for these work packages to have all of the Connect detail, so where possible Connect access is desirable) and
  • Electronic materials that can be loaded onto a personal USB with the Connect content for home computer use (this would need to be updated as more information is added to Connect)

For students accessing Connect online these procedures are essential:

  • Student log into Connect to access the work set for them in each of their subjects and courses
  • Connect will be structured so that the learning area information has a similar view for ease of access
  • They will in most cases have access to their teacher at their usual class time through Connect
  • This teacher access will most likely be via email communication with the teacher but may also occur through discussion in Connect
  • We would ask that students only use their Department of Education email address to contact their teacher
  • Some requests from students could take up to 48 hours to receive a reply given the level of individual requests
  • To support health and well-being of our staff we are asking staff to consider replies only during the school day until we can gauge the volume of requests
  • It is unlikely that classes will have access to web based video feeds such as Webex or other approved tools. The bandwidth available in the Region at this time will not always support this for larger numbers of students and staff at any one time
  • We will trial some video linking with some groups to see how we can problem solve this issue

Password Reset:

  • Please phone the school for advice if you have been locked out of your account.

The work available in Connect will have:

  • Clear and sequential instructions either in a PowerPoint form or other sequenced instructions
  • Activities and tasks that are more easily accessible and linked to the instructions

The Assessment:

  • We will not have a focus on formal assessment but teachers may collect some feedback from students though a range of activities that will inform planning and lesson developments and allow teachers to check for understanding.
  • We are still awaiting a decision in relation to Year 11 and 12 structures for all students related to assessment, course expectations and further procedures. This information will come to us from School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) and we will share this detail once it is available. This impacts all General Courses, Vocational Education and Training (VET), and university bound students (ATAR).
  • We will not necessarily record assessment formally unless it can be validated, but learning activities will inform general teacher judgements and the learning program.

At this time the use of Connect has increased enormously across the State and this has meant that the Department has had to increase the server capacity x 3 times to cope with the amount of work that has been posted by schools.  The issue is now that our local NBN Co internet speed has slowed because of the impact of people working from home and student downloads.  At this time any Webex or other similar video streaming is proving to be very difficult but we will continue to trial this type or communication.

We hope that our community can find ways to prioritise health and wellbeing that will support all members of their families. As we evolve in this new learning space we do not wish to place families under additional stress through the expectations of student learning. We do recognise that in a lot of instances the routines and continuity of learning may assist with student wellbeing.

Domenic Camera


6th April 2020