UPDATE

Information and advice from health and education authorities is evolving as more is understood about coronavirus COVID-19. This page will post advice and information which relates to the Mater Christi College community.

For particular questions, please email mcc@materchristi.edu.au


4.30pm Thursday 26 March 2020

Relevant changes will be noted on this page during the school holidays. We will also send an SMS alert to parents if there are significant developments for the College.


4.00pm Wednesday 25 March 2020

No developments to report.


5.00pm Tuesday 24 March 2020

No developments to report.


5.30pm Monday 23 March 2020

Term 1 has finished earlier than anticipated.

We can provide a supervision program until Thursday for school-aged children whose parents work in the health, police and emergency services.

Call the office 9757 0851 after 8.00am tomorrow or call 0438 270 744 for details.

2.10pm Monday 23 March 2020

As announced by the government late yesterday and confirmed by CECV this morning, school holidays commence tomorrow with classes scheduled to resume Wednesday 15 April. So, term 1 finishes today for students. We will monitor developments and advise of any further changes via this page.

Today’s experience with online lessons went remarkably well. The engagement of students and teachers was really impressive and we commend the positive approach of everyone involved. We recognise there is much to learn, but we can proceed with confidence, even optimism. Teachers will continue to work together this week to develop on-line lessons in preparation for the possibilities ahead.

Telephone Progress Meetings will proceed this Thursday between 2.00 and 6.00pm. Please note the updated arrangements for Progress Meetings

While our telephone message bank is down, please call the College on 9757 0851 or 9757 0852. During the school break, we will continue to monitor the College email account  mcc@materchristi.edu.au . For more urgent matters please call Mary Fitz-Gerald (0438 270 744) or Julie Feeney (0424 499 171).

The Uniform Shop will NOT be open tomorrow as previously noted. We will advise the times for the Uniform Shop re-opening.


6.15pm Sunday 22 March 2020

With the State Government announcement today that school holidays will be brought forward to commence on Tuesday, we have revised our plans for this week.

  • Tomorrow will proceed as planned:
    • For Year 12 VCE and VCAL students, and Year 11 Higher Studies students, classes and programs as usual on-campus.
    • For other Year levels, classes will be delivered via online lesson as per the usual timetable and students may participate in these classes from home or attend school as usual.
  • Students attending school are asked to move to the areas listed below to commence online lessons at 8.45am
    • Year 7 – Learning Commons
    • Year 8, 10 and 11 – Scholastica
    • Year 9 – Seminar Room

With the commencement of holidays, tomorrow may be the only opportunity to empty lockers in preparation for their replacement. Students may need to collect anything they need tomorrow and take their padlock before 5.00pm.

Tomorrow will be an important day for students and teachers to experience online lessons, to uncover issues and provide feedback when requested. The challenges unfold on a daily basis and with our best efforts, we work through these extraordinary times.

 


4.00pm Saturday 21 March 2020

No changes to report


4.00pm Friday 20 March 2020

We are conscious of the immense pressure on individuals, families, communities and workplaces during these extraordinary times. We are all processing volumes of new information, challenges and uncertainty. As far as possible, we will strive to keep our communication succinct while inviting any questions or clarifications via mcc@materchristi.edu.au

Thanks for the positive feedback regarding our preparations for a potentially disrupted year. We are determined to provide students and families with continuity of learning as well as supportive routines.

Congratulations and thanks to teachers and students for their preparedness to participate responsibly in next week’s “Online Lessons Trial”. We are looking forward to creating a positive learning experience for students at home and at school.

We ask parents to respond to the EdSmart email to indicate intentions for home or school-based lessons for next week.

On Monday morning, Year 12 students should go to their normal classroom and other 'on-campus' students to the Hall.

Absence Notification

  • Attendance rolls will be marked for each class as usual, as per the timetable – both on and off-campus
  • As usual, if a student is unwell and cannot participate in any lessons, notify the College via absences@materchristi.edu.au

How students can prepare for online lessons:

  1. Set up a clear work area with minimum distractions
  2. Ensure your device is charged and you are ready to start each lesson punctually
  3. Be a responsible learner
    1. Actively seek support from your teachers
    2. Avoid distractions, use headphones and if possible, find a quiet place away from other people in the house
    3. Use your devices correctly – FOR LEARNING. Remember your User Agreement.
  4. Email your teacher or call the College if things are not working
  5. Stay connected. Contact your friends if you need extra support
  6. Reflect on your experience so that you can respond thoughtfully to our survey which will be sent out later in the week

More tips and ideas for students and parents will be posted during the week. Together we will learn lots.

Uniform Shop hours for next week - Tuesday 24 March 1.00 - 4.00pm. It's time to organise winter uniform.

 


12.30pm Thursday 19 March 2020

Arrangements for classes next week

Like other schools, we are experiencing a significant decline in student attendance. With daily meetings of our Leadership Team, we are planning for multiple scenarios and managing staff and student concerns. We have not had any confirmed case of Coronavirus from within our school community.

Our main goal for next week (23 – 27 March) is to thoroughly trial our online delivery of courses using video-conferencing, CANVAS and other platforms. This trial period will enable teachers and IT staff to address issues of connectivity and operational requirements.

We believe this is vital preparation for students, teachers and our systems ahead of potentially extended periods of enforced school-closure.

Classes next week:

  • For Year 12 VCE and VCAL students, and Year 11 Higher Studies students
    • Classes and programs as usual on-campus for Unit 3/4 and Year 12 VCAL
      • Opportunity to complete or set up Unit 3 SACs
      • Enable ongoing direct contact with teachers to work through potential future arrangements
  • For other Year levels:
    • Classes will be delivered via video-conferencing as per the usual timetable
    • Students may participate in these classes from home or attend school as usual

Related points for next week:

  • Suggestions for managing online classes at home will be posted shortly
  • Charter buses and Café Bene will run as usual
  • Teachers will advise Unit 1 students of revised arrangements for SACs. The VCAA is encouraging schools to be flexible and creative with student assessment whilst ensuring appropriate authentication occurs.
  • All lockers will be replaced during the upcoming break, so students will need to clear their locker and take their padlock home before the end of term.

 

This will be an important week for us all to learn as much as we can about online learning and our systems. We will review the week and invite feedback from students, parents and teachers.

Please direct any questions or ideas to principal@materchristi.edu.au

We know that not everything will go perfectly, but we will be giving this trial our best efforts. These are extraordinary times and we are grateful for the support of all.


8.10am Thursday 19 March 2020

We have received notification from the Bindaree Group that their staff member has been cleared of any health concerns. This means we are looking forward to welcoming Year 9A back to classes today.


5.10pm Wednesday 18 March 2020

Please note the changed arrangements for Progress Meetings


4.10pm Tuesday 17 March 2020

  • This UPDATE page is now accessible through the Quicklinks tab of the College Homepage.
  • We are very conscious of the number of families who are choosing to keep their daughters at home. We respect this choice. Trials and preparations are ongoing for online delivery of courses.
  • Any student who misses classes should check Canvas for the details of work for every lesson. We strongly encourage students to maintain their daily school routine and timetable.
  • Some very successful online sessions have been already held with Year 9A who are working from home this week.
  • The VCAA has released guidelines for the management of VCE assessment requirements. In short, they are encouraging schools to be flexible and creative with assessment modes. That is good news and a realistic approach by the VCAA. VCE teachers will advise students of relevant arrangements for SACs.
  • We understand that there is talk that one of our teachers has tested positive for COVID-19. That is not true. We will keep our community updated with the facts on this page.
  • All off-campus VET programs have been cancelled except for those at Box Hill TAFE which is continuing until further notice.

4.45pm Monday 16 March 2020

We recognise the importance of acknowledging a single point of truth in regard to College directions, and thereby avoid unnecessary alarm from rumours and gossip lines. Hence the College will provide a daily update on this page for parents, staff and students.

  • On advice from Catholic Education Melbourne and Department of Education, the following activities are cancelled:
    • Athletics Carnival
    • College Tours and Taster Days
    • Year 11 Outdoor Education Camp to the Otways
    • Year 7 and Zenith class excursions to Yarra Ranges Tech School
    • VCE Drama Excursion to VCAA Seasons of Excellence
  • Progress Meetings scheduled for Thursday 26 March will be conducted via phone. Details to follow soon.
  • While our phone system is being repaired, please notify absences by email to absences@materchristi.edu.au
  • We are applying ‘an abundance of caution’ and asking Year 9A students and their siblings to remain home while we await advice on the health status of the group leader who was unwell.
  • We await advice re likelihood of school closures, and continue our work to provide online learning resources.

We are very grateful for the understanding and support of parents. We need to hold our students’ wellbeing front and centre as we work through these challenging times where much is unknown.  What we do know is that working collaboratively, respectfully and calmly through this new landscape will provide a clearer guide and support our students best of all.


7.30pm Sunday 15 March 2020

We have received a notification from the Bindaree Group that one of their staff members on the recent Grampians Adventure Is unwell with flu/cold-like symptoms.

We have also been advised that one of our students from the trip is unwell. This is not particularly unusual, but given the situation of COVID-19, we will notify relevant authorities and act on their advice.

In the meantime, we have asked that all Year 9A students who attended the camp last week to remain at home tomorrow, Monday 16 March.

This step is not required under any government protocols, but we believe is a sensible precaution until we learn more.

And as a reminder, what to do if unwell

We advise unwell students and staff to remain at home until symptoms are resolved and to seek medical assistance as required. Should any College member be in direct contact with someone who has been identified as having or possibly having the virus, they are to stay at home and notify the College immediately.

 


7.30pm Sunday 15 March 2020

Email sent to parents Friday 13 March 2020

In view of unfolding advice regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, I am writing to outline how we are responding to this extraordinary situation.

We are monitoring and are guided by advice from relevant authorities:- Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) and WorkSafe Vic.

Subject Programs

We are advised that school closures are likely.  Fortunately, we have excellent online learning resources and are ready to provide support for students if closure is required.  Already students and teachers are using a range of online learning tools (CANVAS as our Learning Management System, Edrolo and the Box of Books platform) and plans are in place to add Zoom video conferencing so that teaching activities can take place while students remain at home.  Further preparations are underway to ensure students have access to teachers and especially to ensure that VCE students are fully supported to maintain their learning goals.

We will provide a structure around online delivery should students need to work from home.  Parents and students will be advised as to our arrangements, likely linked to their current timetable.  We will be expecting students to connect for online meetings and chat opportunities in addition to subject requirements, especially to provide a positive link and to support individual needs.

Extra-curricular Programs

Following the advice of authorities and in view of current uncertainties around travel, insurance, deposits and general planning, we have no choice but to cancel several activities.  The excursions to Borneo, China, America (G’Day USA), Central Australia and the Senior Snow trip will not proceed in 2020.

While I appreciate that this will disappoint some, we believe this decision enables students and staff alike to maintain an important and essential focus on the core programs.

We will review our participation in all other activities nearer each event in the context of the prevailing circumstances and advice at that time.

What to do if unwell

We advise unwell students and staff to remain at home until symptoms are resolved and to seek medical assistance as required. Should any College member be in direct contact with someone who has been identified as having or possibly having the virus, they are to stay at home and notify the College immediately.

If you are travelling or intend to travel

We are guided by the Australian Government in relation to travel restrictions and self-quarantine. As the situation changes frequently and rapidly, we encourage regular reference to the Department Of Health website.

Staff and students who have returned from overseas are required to notify the College (Deputy Principal or Heads of School) before they return to school.  All staff and students who have returned from any country deemed to be an area of concern are required to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days.  Currently, those countries are China, South Korea, Iran and Italy and may extend to all of Europe.

What we all can do

Together we share a social responsibility to support containment measures so that our health system is not overwhelmed to the detriment of vulnerable members of our community.

In partnership, we can support each other and especially our young through this extraordinary period. In addition to keeping in contact with the College, parents have a critical role in helping the school manage this situation:

  • Insist on good hygiene practices
  • Exercise good judgment by keeping your daughter home if she is unwell
  • Talk to your daughter about this situation, as she may be feeling anxious or stressed. Michael Carr-Gregg provides practical suggestions about this.
  • Encourage your daughter to be proactive and committed to her schoolwork, and to stay connected with the school and her teachers
This is an evolving and rapidly changing situation, and we will continue to monitor and implement the most current advice in all aspects of our response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

We have placed further information and resources on the Update page of the College website and will continue to advise families of significant changes by email.

Please do not hesitate to contact me or Deputy Principal, Julie Feeney, should you have any further queries.

 


11.15am Wednesday 11 March 2020

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg and SchoolTV have prepared a special report for parents to manage the emotional tone around the coronavirus issues.

Click here to view a 6-minute video on how to manage children's concerns about COVID-19


10.15am Wednesday 11 March 2020

Ten ways to reduce your risk of coronavirus

  • Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
  • Isolate yourself at home if you feel sick. If you take medication ensure you have adequate supplies.
  • Phone your GP first if you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do.
  • Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep, and now is the time to quit smoking. Call the Quitline 137 848.
  • Don't wear a face mask if you are well.
  • Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol.
  • Get the flu shot (available April).
  • Shaking hands is optional!

10.15am Wednesday 11 March 2020


Why containment is important...

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