Coronavirus Update from John Cortese

Dear Parents/Guardians,

A colleague in another Victorian Catholic College shared this reflection which I really love:

“As long as the advice of our experts is to leave schools open, I will be there as a positive presence for my students. In these uncertain times, a positive adult is good for our kids. Let’s not shut the schools until we are told we absolutely need to.”

(Lindsay Sant, Teacher, St Francis Xavier College Beaconsfield).

Our current focus is to:

  • Continue to minimise the spread of COVID-19 in our school and community
  • Reassure and support students, parents, guardians and carers
  • Minimise the impact of any change to student learning
  • Prepare students, staff, parents, guardians and carers for remote schooling, if necessary, where students are unable to attend school.

The following additional actions are being put in place at our school immediately:

  • Cancellation of all Work Placements and Work Experience have been cancelled until further notice.
  • Marist Basketball and Netball Carnivals have been cancelled.
  • All excursions, including excursions to Aquamoves have now been cancelled until further notice.
  • There are likely to be more cancellations; teaching staff will communicate these directly to their classes as they happen.

Where possible, the school will reschedule activities that have been cancelled to later in the school year.

Students should not attend school if they are feeling unwell and should remain at home until symptoms resolve. Appropriate medical assistance should be sought as required. If your child becomes unwell at school, you will be contacted and requested to take your child home.

Continuity of Learning and Communication between Staff and Students/Families

Today our staff have spent the day preparing for continuity of student learning in the event of a forced closure. We are committed to supporting our students to maintain learning and progress in all of their studies as best we can. We acknowledge that this will be more of a challenge for practical subjects. VCAA have put together some guidelines with regard to the VCE and the impact of Coronavirus which you might also like to review.

The College will continue to use Google Classroom and SEQTA Learn and Engage to communicate with students and their families. Our preference for staff communications with families is the Direqt Message function in SEQTA, please refer to instructions for using SEQTA Direqt Messages. You can reach SEQTA Engage through the Quicklinks on the College Website.

Pastoral Care Details are now live on the SEQTA Engage Dashboard. Here you will find alerts of the following (if your child has any):

  • Academic Procedures, including Late Work Notices, Work Below 50%, Notices of Concern and N Notifications (Not Satisfactory result for a VCE or VET unit of work).
  • Late to school and Incorrect Uniform Notifications will also show in this space.

Overseas Travel

Families who are intending to take their children overseas during the school holidays should reconsider these travel plans, particularly if the travel is non-essential. As directed by the Federal Government, all Australians must self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to Australia.

If families must travel overseas during the school holiday period, I would appreciate prior notification of any travel plans.

During the 14 day self-isolation period, the school will provide your child with a remote schooling program to enable your child to continue their learning at home.

Other Information

Please continue to consult the Department of Health information for the Public on COVID-19.

A new headspace web page has been created specifically for COVID-19.

A Special Report from SchoolTV to address increasing fears and the miscommunication surrounding the Coronavirus.

A reminder that the world is a good place 😊

I will keep you updated with further information as the situation changes. At the present time, school will continue to operate as usual with further adjustments to minimise the potential risk of transmission of COVID-19.

If you have any queries please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Best wishes,

John Cortese

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