23 Mar 2020
From the Principal
During this time of social unrest, it is timely that we see this as an opportunity to return to our faith and trust in God’s providence and unconditional love for each of us. We have seen many images of hysteria and irrationality in these past weeks, but we have also witnessed kindness, compassion and unbridled solidarity despite ‘social distancing’. Last night, I watched U2 front man, Bono, sing from his home just outside of Dublin, a song he had just penned, ‘Let your love be known’, which was inspired by footage of Italian citizens singing on their balconies whilst the country is in lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You can’t touch but you can sing across rooftops
sing to me down the phone
sing and promise me you won’t stop
sing and you’re never alone.”
These are simple words, inviting us to get the simple things right during these surreal times. During this Lenten season, never has it been more appropriate for us to pray, fast and give. May we hold dear in our hearts and pray not only those who are suffering, but also for those who are nursing people around the clock to see them to good health; may we be the ones to place extra items in our shopping trolleys, not for ourselves, but to leave at the door of an elderly neighbour; and may we be the ones who use isolated times at home to build relationships and spend quality, sacred time together… and maybe, even sing.
SCHOOL RENEWAL AND IMPROVEMENT PROCESS (SRIP)
Many thanks to those of you who informed us of their preparedness to be involved in the SRIP process by way of 15 minute interview to share your 'parent voice'. The College SRIP has been postponed to a later date that will be advertised in due course. Parents who are still wishing to be involved, please contact the College on 4637 1600.
This week, the situation around Covid 19 has necessitated ongoing updates from the College, which were disseminated on Monday 16 March and Wednesday 18 March. The information provided in this newsletter summarises the more significant information for both students and families.
While there is no school closure planned at this stage, we await directives from state and federal governments. In the event that a school closure does occur, in order to best prepare for the online delivery of curriculum, the Toowoomba Diocese has declared a PUPIL FREE DAY next FRIDAY 27 MARCH, which will allow staff time to prepare online resources to assist in the facilitation of continued learning, predominantly via Canvas and other online platforms and tools.
Continuity of Learning
In the event of school closure, lessons will be delivered at the same time as indicated on your daughter’s normal timetable. The College expectation is that all girls check in with their teacher so that attendance may be tracked, and engage in these lessons during regular timetabled slots. All students are presently being instructed on the correct use of learning platforms from home. In terms of practical subjects, eg. dance and drama, up-and-coming assessment routines may be practiced from home.
Assignment work will continue as normal. Students are to upload their submissions to Canvas. Where applicable, exams will be scheduled at later dates. We will continue to monitor advice from QCAA, the state governing authority on curriculum and assessment.
As per previous our notification, many sporting activities have already been cancelled. Wednesday sport activities, where we play internally, will continue.
What will Students Need at Home?
It is expected that teaching and learning will continue as normal here at the College, unless notified of a change. If closure is expected, then we will move into remote learning by using Canvas and other methods. To access remote learning, your daughter will utilise her laptop and charger. For our remote students, home devices may be utilised, or, for those who do not have access to the internet or devices, hard copies of work previously provided must be completed.
Other tips include:
Provide your daughter with a learning space in an open area (e.g. kitchen table — public area where IT use can be supervised) and comfortable chair. Ensure she charges her device laptop daily. Please ensure she reads her timetable carefully because lessons will be scheduled according to her current timetable. It is advised that your daughter has breaks from screen-time and has lunchtime breaks that are not teaching times. Following the St Saviour’s College timetable will assist with routine and breaks. It is important to maintain routines and patterns during this alternative schedule.
These resources are accessed through Canvas (https://dotcs.instructure.com).
Hygiene and Social Distancing
Staff and students continue to be briefed about the importance of vigilant hygiene practices during this time. Social distancing will continue to be a key response to this virus and to contain its spread — no hand shaking, 1.5 metre safe distancing, etc. We have cancelled or postponed non-essential social gatherings until further notice. Our national and state authorities continue to make it clear they will look at appropriate measures to slow transmission rates to limit the pressure on our health system as necessary. It is clear from comments made by the Prime Minister that broad school closures will be considered as part of the containment strategies.
To follow the Australian Bishops statement on COVID-19, and the reception of communion and Church practices, ministers have been asked to be the sole distributor of the hosts and use hand sanitiser before handing out the hosts. The distribution of wine will not occur. The Sign of Peace is by a wave, nod, smile or similar acknowledgement, saying “Peace be with you” or similar.
Currently, we ask parents to follow normal procedures and advise the office if your daughter is absent from school. Continue to refer to the ‘Time Out’ chart distributed home. If you have reason to believe that your daughter has been exposed to the virus, please seek medical attention immediately and alert the College as soon as possible on (07) 4637 1600.
SHAVE FOR A CURE
Congratulations to the Youth Ministry Team for their efforts last week to ‘shave for a cure’. It was an outstanding display of communal and College spirit. Thank you to ‘deputy’ Mission and Identity Leader, Eliza Morcom, for her leadership in this most worthwhile event.
Blessings for the week ahead. May our loving God continue to hold us and members of our wider community in the palm of her hand.