July 17, 2020

Principal’s Update

Dear Families, Students and Community Members,


Welcome back to a very different looking Term 3 than we were expecting. It is unfortunate that we have had to go back to remote learning for our Year 7-10 students and understandably this may cause some concern and anxiety. However, as I said in my email to families on Sunday night, we were very successful in our remote learning program for students in Term 2 and we go into this next period with great confidence that we can meet the needs of our students in this space. At this stage schools have been told to plan for the remote learning until at least 19 August.


Arrangements Onsite


Our senior students have settled in well this week with the routine of temperature checks as they enter the College and following social distancing and hygiene requirements to the best of their ability. For students onsite, our canteen is operating with a limited menu during this remote learning period for 7-10 students. With current lockdown conditions, camps and excursions are not permitted until further notice.


A reminder about the temperature checks requirement. We have limited entrance to the school through the gate near the Discovery Centre and the gate in between D1 and the Hub. Senior staff are conducting the temperature checks as students arrive at school each morning. Each day we are giving out a different colour sticker to clearly identify students who have been tested and we can easily see if we have missed someone during Period 1. Teachers have also been asked to have their temperature taken each day – we are all in this together.


If a student has a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius or above, we will wait 15 minutes and test again. If the temperature is still high on the second test, we will ask the student to report to Sick Bay and our Office staff will contact parents or carers to arrange for students to return home. Should this occur, families will be encouraged to seek testing for coronavirus or get advice from their healthcare professional, who can advise on the next steps.


If a student arrives late or during the day, they will need to report to Reception to sign in and be temperature tested before going to class. This includes any Year 10 students who are attending their VCE subject/s.


Remote Learning 7-10


In the context of students learning remotely from home, given our Year 7-10 students have had an extra week of holidays, it is even more important that all students settle quickly into the daily routine of their remote lessons via Google Classroom, following their normal school timetable from next week. Our updated remote learning guide for parents and students will be emailed out to families this week via Compass. In addition, the introductory letter in this email will have the additional information about the process to follow if you need your child/children to attend onsite.


As in Term 2, it is going to be critically important that we work very closely together in partnership to ensure that we provide the best possible support for the ongoing wellbeing and learning of our students and your children. All parent/student letters and advice will continue to be sent via email through Compass. It is essential that all parents have the Compass App installed on a device or access via https://mcsc-vic.compass.education and are staying up to date with any communication being sent by the College, especially during this remote learning period. If you have trouble accessing or have forgotten your password please call the College. A reminder to please contact the College if you or your child have any concerns or questions during this period of remote learning. We want all of our students to be successful and will be available to assist in any way we can.


Access to Devices and Networks 


Our IT team will again work with families to loan out devices if required during this remote learning period. Parents/carers, please contact the relevant Year Level Coordinator if you would like to request a laptop/iPad, or an internet hotspot, and the IT department will then be in touch with you over the coming days to inform you of the process to collect it from the school. They will also be available to offer assistance over the phone each day for any student/parent requiring additional support.


End of Semester One Reports


The End of Semester One reports for all students will be available via the parent and student portals on Compass this Friday for parents and students to access. Please contact the College if you have not been able to access your child’s report at the end of this week. I hope parents take the opportunity to discuss the report with their student/s and discuss appropriate actions to put in place to address any areas for improvement highlighted.


Parent Teacher Student Interviews – Term 3


We had planned to conduct Years 7-12 parent teacher student interviews in Week 6 of this term from 11.00am until 7.30pm on Wednesday 19 August. Given the current circumstances we will need to revise the arrangements or postpone to a later date. I will keep you informed of our plans once we have a better indication of how the second half of term will look.


Course Counselling VCE, VETiS & VCAL 2021


Unfortunately we were not able to run our Senior School information night for Year 9 and 10 students this year. Instead, all current students in Years 9 and 10 had the opportunity to attend the VCE/VCAL subject expo on the afternoon of Wednesday 24 June from 2.30-3.45pm. The subject expo provided students with an opportunity to learn about every VCE and VCAL subject we have for them to select from at Mordialloc College, and VETiS options. Students will be involved in course counselling sessions with a member of the leadership team during Weeks 2 and 3 of this term, onsite or remotely, where their subject selections for 2021 will be finalised (congratulations to all students who followed the process of putting in their selections online during the holidays) in consultation with their parents by phone if required.


Each student will be allocated an appointment, during which time course selections will be finalised and strategies put in place to ensure achievement and effort over the remainder of the year are sufficient to guarantee places in chosen subjects.  We look forward to students continuing their education with us next year but need everyone to meet appropriate deadlines in order for our planning to be completed accurately. My thanks must go to all staff who will give their time to ensure this process is a success. Letters will be going out to students/families over the next week with your appointment time. Please contact Director of Senior School, Joanne Greenhalgh, if you do not receive this notice.


The following article may be of interest: What subjects do I choose for my last years of school? Today’s graduates may average five separate careers around many different employers in their working life. This means an important skill these days is flexibility and the ability to adapt. Click link to read: — https://theconversation.com/what-subjects-do-i-choose-for-my-last-years-of-school-126194


Staffing News


Kaja Strzalka, our EAL teacher will be taking maternity leave from Week 3 of this term, with Friday 24 July being her last day. We wish Kaja the very best with the arrival of her second child. Kaja expects to be back next year. We welcome Ying Yang, who will be replacing Kaja during this period. Ying is a former teacher from Mordialloc College and we look forward to her joining us again for this time.


Liz Commons, a Maths/Science teacher in our Year 8 program, will be taking maternity leave from Week 4 of this term with Wednesday 29 July  her last day. We wish Liz the very best with the arrival of her third child. Liz also expects to return to teaching sometime next year.


We welcome back Katrina Doros from family leave to replace Liz. Katrina is well known by staff and students at the College and, before taking family leave to have her first child, was teaching in the Year 8 program.


Stay well and safe everyone.


Michelle Roberts