Coronavirus Update from John Cortese 8 July 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

 “Grant that I might so much seek to understand as to be understood.”

St. Francis of Assisi

Yesterday Premier Daniel Andrews announced the latest COVID – 19 restrictions primarily for Metropolitan Melbourne. He also announced that term 2 school holiday break will be extended by 5 days. For students in regional and rural Victoria, including Sandhurst Diocese, and more specifically Notre Dame College, classes will resume as planned next week.

The announcement of an extra 5 days added to the State’s gazetted holidays does not impact Notre Dame College. Monday 13th July is a pupil free day, which has been on the College calendar since the beginning of this year. Students return to Notre Dame College on Tuesday 14th July 2020.

The Premier referred to the fact that the government is looking at the current COVID-19 situation in terms of a return to onsite learning in term three. The extra 5 days of holidays allows more time to consider the situation and plan for an appropriate course of action.

We will continue to communicate and update you with any further information as soon as it come to hand.

Key Points from Premier Andrews Media Conference yesterday

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced further restrictions which come into place today (Wednesday 8th July) at 11:59pm and remain for a period of six weeks. These new Stage 3 restrictions will apply to metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire. For citizens within the stated regions, only 4 reasons exist for leaving home:

  • Shopping for food and essential items
  • Care and caregiving
  • Daily exercise
  • Work & study (if cannot be done from home)

For education:

  • All Year 11 and 12 students in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will commence Term 3 as planned.
  • All students in Prep – Year 10 in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will have an extended holiday period of one week.
  • A return to remote learning remains a possibility.
  • For students in regional and rural Victoria, including Sandhurst Diocese, classes will resume as planned next week.

This is a difficult time for all communities, and we pray that those experiencing difficulty and hardship throughout this pandemic are finding comfort somewhere through a support system.

Please enjoy the remaining holiday period with your family and stay safe

Continue to take care of yourselves and your children.

Keep well,

Keep safe,

Regards,

John Cortese 

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 - https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/symptom-checker/tool

 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 https://www.gssc.vic.edu.au/transition-to-the-single-site/transport-and-bus-routes.

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

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
Regards

John Cortese
Principal

2020 Revised VCE Examination Periods

 

As a result of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on school delivery of this year’s VCE program, the 2020 VCE examination periods have been rescheduled.

The following revised examination periods for 2020 were approved by the VCAA Board on 20 May 2020:

  • General Achievement Test (GAT)
    Wednesday 9 September
  • Performance and Languages oral examinations and Extended Investigation: oral presentations
    Monday 12 October – Sunday 8 November
  • Written examinations
    Monday 9 November – Wednesday 2 December

The 2020 VCE examination timetable will be published before the end of Term 2.

Coronavirus Update from John Cortese - 20 May 2020


Dear Parents/Carers,

 “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will get you everywhere else.”
Albert Einstein

Caritas K’s - Push Up for a Hand Up

Our main fundraising event for Semester Two is the Caritas Push Up for a Hand Up – happening this Thursday May 21, Lesson 3 and 4.

There are no classes running at this time and the College will pause from all other work as we would normally do for the Caritas Ks walkathon.

So for lesson 3 and 4 all staff and students will be dedicated to ensuring this fundraiser is successful and contributing with their push ups, or alternative exercise, under the direction of their House Captains.

This event will be live streamed to all members of our community and there will be a number of guests invited into this space, including the CEO of Caritas Australia.

Some of the main points related to this event are:

  • The opportunity this gives us to create community, House Spirit and gather everyone together again
  • At the same time this is less about us and more about what we can do for others
  • Promotion of the Catholic Social Teaching – The common good: The common good is reached when we work together to improve the wellbeing of people in our society and the wider world.
  • The focus is on Caritas and what they do to assist those most in need
  • This is a fundraising event, but is also an opportunity to raise awareness and participate in doing something about the common good.
  • An opportunity to once again be united as a College, all working together with a common cause

We encourage all families to contribute to the fundraising efforts of this event, via the Caritas Australia website, where Notre Dame College has its own fundraising page https://lent.caritas.org.au/notre-dame-college-shepparton#blank please donate to the House that your child is associated with.

Student Learning from next week 

We have developed a document for all students which outlines some of the changes we have made around the College and our expectations of students.

For Students 

In pastoral groups on Tuesday, pastoral group leaders will explain the requirements of students when they return to school using this document. We encourage parents to read through this document with their child before they return to school. - CLICK HERE

Monday 25 May - Student Free Day

As staff spend Monday working to ensure the College is ready for the Year 11 and 12 students to return on Tuesday, we see Monday as a great opportunity for students to take a day off from their computers and screens, to reconnect with themselves and those around them – adhering to the rules of physical distancing of course.  

Screens have been a wonderful tool for us to continue to provide an education to your child, and for us to communicate with our College community, however taking some time away from the screen gives us an opportunity for our eyes to rest, our bodies to stretch, conversations to flow, and our attention and minds to settle.  All of which supports the promotion of good mental health and wellbeing. 

Below we have listed a range of ideas to get students started on thinking of what they could do with their time away from their school computers.

Students could:

  • go fishing or bike riding or walking
  • bake cakes or biscuits or dinner for the family
  • read
  • get creative with drawing or painting
  • listen to music
  • walk the dog – yours or the neighbours
  • play board games
  • get in touch with or visit grandparents
  • complete a random act of kindness
  • dance and/or sing
  • meditate – or go for a mindful walk
  • look at old family pictures
  • visit a friend
  • do some training in their chosen area of sport
  • take a relaxing bath
  • play a musical instrument

Table1

Table2

Senior Classes

  • Remote Learning for Year 11 (and yr 10 doing an accelerated VCE or VET programme) and 12 students finishes on Friday 22 May – no remote learning for classes are available after that date. It is a student free day on Monday 25 May to give teachers time to prepare for face to face teaching on the next day. Attendance onsite is compulsory from Tuesday 26 May.
  • Year 10s will only attend for accelerated classes. They should not be on campus outside of their scheduled classes and should move straight to class and then directly off campus when it is finished. They will be wearing full Winter Uniform. 
  • If Year 10s need to stay on Campus for the full day their parents will need to register them in the Remote Learning Program - CLICK HERE
  • Year 10 students need to communicate with their other teachers if travel time is going to disrupt their attendance in other classes.
  • The College Library will be open normal hours.
  • No Year 10 and Year 11 Exams will occur as previously scheduled on the College Calendar.

 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 - https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/symptom-checker/tool

Work Placement

As per CECV advice, students can resume their Structured Workplace Learning for the remainder of Term 2.

Belinda Picone (Workplace Learning Administration Officer) is currently contacting the employers to determine that the workplace has the appropriate health and safety measures in place that are consistent with the advice from the Chief Health Officer.

Any queries, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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. Placement at GV Health and the Shepparton Law Courts are still paused until further notice.

The correct complete paperwork (SWL Arrangement Form) must be submitted prior to any placement so we are compliant with Ministerial Order 55. Students, parents or host employers are welcome to contact Belinda Picone with queries.

Bus Travel

  • Buses will be running as normal. Please note there were slight changes to the timetable at the commencement of Term 2. Procedures for ensuring hygiene on busses will also be shared on our website when we receive these from the bus companies. Details on our website - CLICK HERE.


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.

2021 Enrolments

  • We will not be accepting cash for payment of the Application for Enrolment fee for Year 7 2021 students or any other new students.  Please pay online as per instructions in the Enrolment Pack or refer to our website - CLICK HERE
  • The process for re-enrolments for existing students will be communicated to families in coming months.

Leave Passes

  • Please ensure notes for leave passes are given to students prior to attending school.  Any requests for leave passes for same day appointments that are received during the school day may not be delivered on time as we will not have a Student Messenger. A reminder that all leave passes for medical appointments require a certificate of attendance when the student returns to school.

Continue to take care of yourselves and your children.

Keep well,
Keep safe,
Regards,
John Cortese 

Coronavirus Update from John Cortese - 12 May 2020


Dear Parents/Carers,

“Whatever they grow up to be, they are still our children, and the one most important of all the things we can give them is unconditional love. Not a love that depends on anything at all except that they are our children.”
Rosaleen Dickson

Very exciting news for Victoria this morning that we will be returning to face-to-face classes this term, I cannot wait to be seeing all of our students back in their classrooms. As we look forward to this transition back to face-to-face classes, we extend a sincere thank you to all of you who have been supporting our students in their learning over the past weeks. We recognise this hasn’t always been an easy task. As a College we are very grateful for the efforts you have made in ensuring our students have been able to keep up with their learning in the Remote Program.

In the words of our State leaders this morning, “We have one chance at getting this right”. Our key to success will be your continued support through the next stage of our transition back to face-to-face classes. For our Year 7-10 students the next four weeks might feel like a very long time as the anticipation and excitement of their return builds. There may also be some of our students who are feeling a bit anxious about transitioning back to face-to-face classes. We encourage you to continue accessing the Wellbeing Resources our Wellbeing Support Service have made available to you on our College Website – CLICK HERE to view. Our House Heads, Learning Community Leaders and Pastoral Group Leaders are also a great resource for you and your students as you begin to move through this next transition.

Timeline for Return to Face-to-Face Classes

Monday 25 May - Pupil Free Day

  • There will be no classes on this day. It might be a good day for students to spend away from the computer screen if they can.

Tuesday 26 May - Students of Prep, Years 1 & 2 and Years 11 & 12 Resume Face-to-Face Classes

  • Year 10 students undertaking a Unit 1 VET/VCE subject will attend classes and will need to be registered in the on-site supervision program for the whole day whenever they have a Unit VET/VCE class.
  • Remote Learning continues for Years 3-10.

Monday 8 June – Queens Birthday Public Holiday

Tuesday 9 June - Students of Years 3-6 and 7-10 Resume Face-to-Face Classes

On-Site Supervision Program

The on-site supervision program will continue to run until Friday 5 June. Registrations are currently open for next week – CLICK HERE to register.

Registrations will open on Monday 18 May for the period Tuesday 26 May – Friday 5 June. Please note there will be no on-site supervision program on Monday 25 May, this is a pupil free day and students will not have any classes.

Return to School – Conditions

A COVID Safe Plan for the College is currently under development. This will include protocols around hygiene, social distancing, cleaning and other activities for both staff and students. We will have details available to the community prior to the commencement of face-to-face classes.

Pease note that there will be no school or house assemblies, camps or excursions in Term 2.

Continue to take care of yourselves and your children.

Keep well,
Keep safe,
Regards,
John Cortese

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