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Remote Learning 2.0 Parent Emails

Wednesday 26th August 2020

“It takes patience, it takes consistency, and it takes commitment to run long distances”

Michael D’Aulerio, author and long-distance runner

 

Good afternoon, Galen Students, Parents, Carers and Guardians.

 

My email today has two purposes:

To remind everyone that tomorrow, Thursday 27th August, is our next Catch-Up Day.

    1. The Catch-Up Day is still a school day for all students and staff
    2. There will be no online classes other than for certain Year 12 subjects: the students in these classes should have received information from their teachers if the online classes are going ahead
    3. Students who would normally attend school will still be expected to do so but for tomorrow only you may wear neat casual clothes to school instead of school uniform
    4. Online classes will resume on Friday for all students

 

To inform everyone that tomorrow you will receive a more detailed email informing you of the following things regarding our new House structure that starts in 2021;

    1. An outline of the voting process to choose our 4 new House names.
    2. The Galen Board and Leadership Team have worked together to produce a shortlist of 6 final nominations from the list of 31 submitted from the Galen community.
    3. Students, staff, parents carers, guardians will all have the opportunity to vote for 2 male and 2 female new House patrons
    4. Details of the 6 shortlisted nominations will be included in the email
    5. An updated timeline for the next steps

Regards,
Bernard Neal

 


Monday August 24

It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “And this, too, shall pass away.”

We are now into our third week of Remote Learning 2.0 which we were told would last for 6 weeks. I am sure that you have noticed some similarities but also some differences from the first time around. I daresay the same thing applies to your children, too.

I know from speaking with a number of you that the challenges of this situation have many layers:

  • Worrying about whether your child is keeping up, has enough access to the teachers, is coping with the social isolation.
  • Dealing with the fact that your children are at home and needing supervision, and making demands on your time for attention, assistance, company, reassurance and care.
  • The uncertainty of not knowing just how long all this will continue.

And just as the fabled Eastern monarch in the quote above discovered: “And this, too, shall pass away”.

Each day that passes brings us one day closer to when we have school back onsite again. I believe that I speak for all of us when I say we cannot wait for that day to come around! The initial indication from the Premier and the Minister for Education and Training was that Remote Learning would be with us until Sunday September 13th at the start of the last week of Term 3: all schools (and parents!) are waiting for that date to be confirmed.

Please take note of the following matters we wish to share with you at this stage:

  1. The next Catch-Up Day will be on Thursday 27th August.

As stated previously, we have built in the Catch-Up Days once every fortnight but on a different day so that the same classes are not always being missed. The feedback from students and staff alike has been consistently positive about the Catch-Up Days because they provide the opportunity to catch up on everything in this strange and new way of learning and teaching.

 

  1. New arrangements for some Year 11 /12 assessments

The VCAA (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority) has announced to schools that “essential assessments” in VCE, VCAL and VET where it is “not reasonably practicable for those assessments to be undertaken from the student’s home” may be undertaken onsite.

 

There are some strict guidelines around this as you would imagine which will include:

  • temperature checking of all students when they arrive at school
  • wearing of masks at all times
  • maintaining social distance at all times

Teachers of subjects which are affected have been provided with the details of arrangements and they will pass these arrangements on to any students who are involved.

  1. Registering if your child attends school, informing us immediately if your registered child is unable to attend

Can I please remind all parents of the requirements for children attending school:

  1. If your child is unable to attend after being registered please contact the school immediately so e can adjust our supervision arrangements accordingly.
  2. Registering for essential workers and vulnerable children
  • For those of you who are essential workers or have vulnerable children please note that you need to register your child for attendance at school
  • Only children of essential workers or vulnerable children are permitted to register or attend school
  • For purposes of organising our supervision staff we need at least 48 hours notice. If you are registering your child for this coming week all days are now open. If registering for Monday you need complete the registration by Saturday afternoon.
  • Registration is via PAM under  “School Links:
  1. Counselling and Wellbeing Services at Galen
  • Galen will continue to operate our Wellbeing Centre during Remote Learning 2.0
  • If you or your child require wellbeing support please emailwellbeing@galen.vic.edu.au
  • A member of the Wellbeing Team will respond to your email within 24 hours
  • For urgent matters, please email Pat Arcuri – Deputy Principal Wellbeing:pat.arcuri@galen.vic.edu.au or call the school office 03 5721 6322
  • The Wellbeing Team will be emailing a weekly Wellbeing Bulletin to all parents, students and staff offering strategies , coping resources and useful websites

Regards

Bernard Neal
Principal


Monday August 10

Good evening, Galen Students, Parents, Carers and Guardians.

Firstly, thank you for the part you are playing in making Remote Learning 2.0 work so well so far.

Secondly, this is a short email to let you know two things:

  1. A reminder that this Friday will be a Catch Up Day for all students and teachers. This is not a pupil-free day and it is not a “day off” for any staff or students: it is a day to provide time to catch up on any backlog of assignments.
  2. A change of advice we have received from the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) regarding screening of students onsite. Please see below.

Temperature screening for students onsite

As of Tuesday 11 August all students attending the school for onsite supervision will be temperature tested before being admitted to the supervision area.

When students arrive at the Study Centre they will be greeted by one of our First Aid Officers who will take their temperature which will be recorded.

Students with a reading of 37.5°C or less will then head straight into the supervision area to start their school day.

For students with a temperature over 37.5° C we will accompany them to a separate area of the Senior School and take their temperature again after 15 minutes. If the second reading is at or below 37.5° C they may return to the supervision area for the remainder of the day.

If the second reading is above 37.5° C the student will be isolated while we contact their parents to come and collect them. Families should then seek the advice of their healthcare professional who can advise on the next steps and COVID-19 testing.

Regards

Bernard Neal
Principal

 


Friday August 7

Good evening, Students, Parents, Carers and Guardians.

Well done on getting through our first three days of Remote Learning 2.0 !!

I have a number of things to convey to you:

Non-COVID:

    • College Captains & Vice Captains

Anthony Batters, Matt Turnbull, Liz Morrow and I spent all day yesterday and today interviewing 21 Year 11 students who applied for the 4 roles of College Co-Captains and Vice Captains for 2021. We have now completed the process of contacting all 21 individually with feedback from their applications and interviews.

What an incredible privilege to hear these young people speak of their love for the school, their desire to make a difference in making it an even better place and their understanding of what it means to be a servant leader in a Catholic school in this day and age. We encountered such depth of leadership, care, passion, vision, commitment, loyalty, aspiration and inspiration!

As a result I am very pleased to announce the following appointments to senior student leadership:

2021 College Co-Captains: Archie Gemmill and Ailsin James
2021 College Vice Captains: Erin Chadban and Dylan Talbot

 

COVID related

The Galen COVID Response Team met again after school this afternoon. The following points are worth noting:

  • The general sense was that the transition this time had been much smoother and that we had benefitted from reviewing our experience of Remote Learning 1.10 and making a number of changes this time around
  • There have been far fewer issues around IT & SIMON
  • The Year Level leaders and Pastoral Wellbeing Leaders from each year level have been assisting subject teachers in following up students who have been absent from Google Meets and/or Homeroom.
  • For students onsite the supervision system has been vastly improved especially with Michelle Hill taking a leading role in overseeing the supervision and with one staff member with the students for the whole day rather than changing each session between breaks
  • Subject selection processes are continuing with plenty of communication between school and home by a number of Galen staff
  • We were able to confirm a better level of support for onsite students needing additional help

 

Previous information repeated


Registering for essential workers and vulnerable children

  • For those of you who are essential workers or have vulnerable children please note that you need to register your child for attendance at school from Wednesday onwards.
  • Only children of essential workers or vulnerable children are permitted to register or attend school
  • For purposes of organising supervision we need at least 48 hours notice. This is because under the lockdown regulations we need to supply 1 supervisor for every 10 students attending: this is in addition to the teachers who are teaching the actual classes in every period. For example if we have 34 students registered for one day, we need to engage 4 additional supervisors to come in for that day. We need the 48 hours to  contact and engage those 4 supervisors.
  • Registration is via PAM under  “School Links:

If you need to cancel after registering your child please make sure you contact the front office asap.

Counselling and Wellbeing Services at Galen

  • Galen will continue to operate our Wellbeing Centre during Remote Learning 2.0
  • If you or your child require wellbeing support please email wellbeing@galen.vic.edu.au
  • A member of the Wellbeing Team will respond to your email within 24 hours
  • For urgent matters, please email Pat Arcuri – Deputy Principal Wellbeing: pat.arcuri@galen.vic.edu.au or call the school office 03 5721 6322
  • The Wellbeing Team will be emailing a weekly Wellbeing Bulletin to all parents, students and staff offering strategies , coping resources and useful websites

Have a well earned break over the weekend, everyone!

Regards,
Bernard Neal
Principal