Coronavirus Update from John Cortese - 4 June 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians

The College has had a lovely feel about it this last fortnight with our Year 11 and 12 students all back to their face-to-face classes, staff all working onsite again and our supervision program numbers growing each day. We are looking forward to having our Year 7-10 students return on Tuesday 9 June, it’s been a long time since they were last here and they have been missed. Emma Reynoldson has been collecting and responding to lots of student questions about their return. These questions and answers are being published in the SEQTA Student Bulletin each day, please encourage your children to read through these. Thank you for your outstanding support of our Remote Learning Program over the past weeks, it has been greatly appreciated by all of our staff at the College.

Students Returning to School

We welcome back our Year 7 – 10 students on Tuesday. We have been publishing information to students each day in the student bulletin about what school will look like and what the new requirements are in terms of hygiene and behaviours to minimise the risk of COVID 19 transmissions. I know Heads of House, Learning Community Leaders and Pastoral Group Leaders have sent out many wonderful messages to students and families about the return to school as well. Their support of the students over this time has been outstanding.

We would like to congratulate the vast majority of students on how they have adapted to learning online and succeeded with the set tasks and assignments.  Our remote learning programme for all year levels will cease from the end of Friday, June 5 and all students are expected back at school for face to face classes. However, where there is documented medical advice for a student to remain at home for an extended period of time, we will be able to provide some work for students in this situation, but not to the extent of our remote learning programme. For any families in this situation, please contact the relevant Head of House or Learning Community Leader as soon as possible.

In an extended pastoral group during Lesson 1 on Tuesday for Years 7 – 10, Pastoral Group Leaders will explain the requirements of students when they return to school using this document. We would also appreciate you familiarising yourselves and your children with the ‘What you can expect when you come back to Notre Dame College’ document – CLICK HERE to view - prior to returning next week.

Students cannot attend school if they are unwell

  • Students must stay home if they have any cold/flu symptoms or are unwell. You will be called to collect your child if they attend unwell.
  • Parents must ensure that Asthmatic students bring their Ventolin or other preventer/reliever to school and keep it with them at all times.
  • Students who have cold or flu-like symptoms will be sent to a designated area to await parent collection. Staff may be dressed in Personal Protective Equipment when aiding these students.
  • Students will be asked all questions from the COVID Symptom Check App -

 Bus Travel

Please note that ALL buses will be running 5 minutes earlier in the morning, and 5 minutes later in the afternoon. This is a permanent change to ensure all students are not late to school or miss their bus home. For further details please visit

The Department of Transport have issued advice for all bus travellers in light of COVID-19. When travelling on a school bus your child should:

  • Practise good hygiene and physical distancing from others when they can.
  • Sit next to their siblings.
  • Stay home if they are unwell.
  • Practice good hygiene including using hand sanitiser and coughing into their elbow.

In addition, extra cleaning is happening on all school buses, including nightly sanitation. The Department of Transport is working closely with our transport operators and the Department of Education to ensure the transition back to school and face-to-face learning is as seamless as possible. There are further details about Bus Travel on our College Website – CLICK HERE to view.

Student Uniform

Students will return in full Winter Uniform. The uniform shop is open and times are on our website - CLICK HERE.

Parent Access to the College

Parents/Guardians are requested to limit visiting the College, communication through email or phone is preferred.

Learning and Teaching

The College is excited to welcome back all our students on site for the long-anticipated return to classroom face to face teaching and learning. The teachers have worked very hard to quickly adapt to the remote learning program and we value their dedication and commitment. Whilst it has been a challenging and difficult time, it has also provided us with the opportunity to learn new ways of working and supporting our students using a range of exciting tools and features of the Google Classroom, SEQTA and MS Teams.  We look forward to exploring what aspects of the remote learning model we may continue to use and the opportunities to blend some of this as we re-establish routines and relationships to push learning forward.


Assessment has occurred during the remote learning programme and teachers have successfully adjusted many tasks for assessment purposes. It is hoped that students will not be overburdened with too many assessments leading up to the end of Semester.

Academic Concerns

Several students did not successfully transition to the remote learning program. Teachers have followed the academic procedures as per the guidelines and issued notices of concern for students who have failed to make progress with the course work, submit tasks or repeatedly not attended remote lessons.  Heads of House are working closely with students and families to determine some steps to support students successfully transition to classroom teaching.

Subject teachers have determined a minimum expectation for students to have completed by the appropriate return date so learning can smoothly transition to the classroom.  If students fail to meet with these requirements, then a notice of concern will be issued to communicate this to parents.

Year 10 and 11 Exams

Given the original advice was to prepare for remote learning for the entire term the College determined not to run the end of semester exams for Years 10 and 11 subjects.

The Statement of Results will be adjusted accordingly.

Statement of Results

Student achievement will be recorded on the Semester 1 Statement of Results which feature new work habits which reference to student’s ability to adjust to the remote learning environment.

Statement of Results will be issued at the start of Term 3 via SEQTA Engage.

Structured Workplace Learning

Students are encouraged to resume their structured workplace learning and work experience. Students must ensure they complete their paperwork (SWL Arrangement Form) prior to any placement to be compliant with Ministerial Order 55.  Students in Year 10 Industry and Enterprise are able to take up work placement in the upcoming school holidays if the Host Employer is happy to have them. Students, parents or host employers are welcome to contact Belinda Picone (Workplace Learning Administration Officer) if they have any queries This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2021 Subject Selection Process

Despite the disruptions to the learning programs this semester, we continue to plan for 2021. Subject selection evenings will be launched on Monday 20th July via a video link. We are excited to explore alternative technologies to engage with the College community and support students make informed subject choices for 2021.  We will keep families informed via the College Newsletter and SMS. Stay tuned for more information.

Year 12 exams Dates for 2020 VCE external assessments have been revised:

  • General Achievement Test (GAT) - Wednesday 9 September 2020
  • VCE Written Examinations - Monday 9 November to Wednesday 2 December 2020

For any queries related to learning programmes, please do not hesitate to Kris Walker – Deputy Principal Learning and Teaching.

Keep well
Keep safe

John Cortese