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


5.00pm Sunday 2 August

Adaptability and resilience are indeed essential attributes this year. Some of the immediate arrangements from Stage 4 Lockdown as follows:

We will change our previously announced class-free day this week from Friday to Tuesday to align with advice from the government. This means:

Years 11, 12 and Year 10 Higher Studies students

  • On-campus classes as scheduled Monday
  • Online classes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Years 7 – 10

  • Online classes as scheduled Monday, Wednesday Thursday and Friday

Where students are not able to work from home as per the Victorian government directions, parents/carers are asked to email Deputy Principal Julie Feeney or call 9754 6611. Transport may be able to be arranged for students who normally use the College Charter bus service.

Buses, Café Bene and the Uniform Shop will not operate from Tuesday until further notice.

Students may collect resources from their lockers on Monday or Tuesday. Students must report to Main Reception for a temperature check before going to their locker. Parents should not come onto the campus grounds.

 

1.00pm Thursday 30 July

No classes Friday 7 August.

Next Friday marks the mid-point of the scheduled lockdown and as per last term, we believe it’s timely for a catch-up day for students and teachers.

The pandemic challenges individuals and families in different ways and our focus on wellbeing underlies sustainable learning. We are indeed fortunate to be part of a supportive community of students, parents and staff.

Students are of course welcome to email teachers should they require assistance on Friday and teachers will respond when they are able, mindful of other meetings and duties on this day.

The College will be open and supervision will be provided for students whose families need or wish them to attend.

Please note also new hours for the Uniform Shop - Tuesdays 1:00 - 4:00pm.


10.00am Wednesday 15 July

Planning for the return to online lessons is progressing well. We have made some changes to the daily schedule to accommodate the different needs of senior students on campus and Years 7 – 10 students working from home, commencing Monday 20 July. The revised schedules provide additional opportunities for VCE students to work with teachers and to use the additional supervised study times.

Students are advised to print a copy of their daily schedule.

The revised schedules can also be found in the updated edition of the Mater Christi College Guide to Continuing Learning Term 3 – 2020, which also includes wellbeing tips for parents and students, instructions for the use of Zoom, contacts as well as other details.

Where Years 7 - 10 students are not able to work from home per the Victorian government directions, parents/carers are asked to email Deputy Principal Julie Feeney or call 9754 6611.

Reminder: Semester 1 Progress Reports and Zoom Progress Meeting bookings will be available from 3.00pm this Friday via MyMCC. Further details here in e-news.

Buses will be operating at the usual arrival and departure times.

Café Bene will be open until the end of recess each day and will provide pre-ordered lunches

Uniform - students may wear either full winter or PE uniform when attending on campus. Usual expectations relating to make-up, hair, jewellery etc apply.


5.30pm Monday 13 July

Years 7 – 10 Lockers

With the new guidelines from health authorities, please note the process for collecting resources from student lockers.

Years 7 – 10 students can collect resources from their lockers from tomorrow. We ask that families follow the procedures below. Please do not come to the College if you feel unwell.

  1. Contact Reception 9754 6611 or email mcc@materchristi.edu.au to arrange a time to come to the College.
  2. Students are to report to Main Reception at the agreed time. They will be accompanied by a staff member to undertake a temperature check at the Health Centre.
  3. Parents should not come onto the campus grounds.
  4. After the temperature check, students can promptly collect resources from their locker and leave the College.

 


3.30pm Thursday 9 July

Term 3 Arrangements

It is indeed very disappointing for everyone that we have returned to lockdown conditions.

Judith Locke recently suggested that the only solution in the current pandemic is alter our reaction to it. Do what you can to get on top of your studies/work, socialise and do activities you enjoy, within the current restrictions, and not worry too much about what you can’t currently control.

Archbishop Comensoli also offer words of encouragement in his letter to Catholic communities. “Now is a time for attentiveness to the care of one another. In the face of our own despondency and fears, our fatigue and anxieties, may we learn to hold firm in faith and hope, and experience sustaining moments of love.”

As a community we have shown that with endeavour and support we can make the most of the difficult circumstances and continue with positive and effective learning, and enjoyment.

It is a time for us all to be adaptable and resilient. At this stage we cannot provide definitive advice beyond the arrangements for next week.

Years 7 – 10 students

School resumes Monday 20 July, however, there is uncertainty about whether classes will be at school or online. We will await developments and advice about that. During next week, teachers will prepare materials for the possibility of extended online delivery of lessons.

We will arrange supervision and activities for students who are not able to remain at home Monday 13 – Friday 17 July. Please email Julie Feeney if your daughter will attend school on any of those days.

 

Year 11, 12 and Year 10 Higher Studies students

  • SACs as scheduled from Monday 13 July.
  • Classes as scheduled from Tuesday 14 July.
  • Arrangements for the following week to be advised after government decisions re attendance at school.
  • Café Bene will NOT be open next week. Students will need to bring their own lunch and refreshments
  • Charter Bus service resumes Monday 13 July.

 

Temperature checks. We are awaiting further details for temperature checking procedures. We have been advised that if a student has a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius or above, we will be required to contact parents or carers to arrange for students to return home. Families will then be encouraged to seek testing for coronavirus or the advice of their healthcare professional who can advise on next steps.

 

Other arrangements

Parents and visitors may only enter the campus for essential matters and must report to Main Reception.

Anyone who feels unwell must stay at home. Anyone who becomes unwell during the day will be directed to the Health Centre. Everyone must practice safe hygiene at all times – regular handwashing, clean desks, covering face with elbow if coughing, disposing of tissues in bins. Additional daytime cleaning will continue.

 

Winter Uniform

We look forward to seeing all girls wearing their winter uniform well when we return for classes. Some reminders:

  • The College winter skirt length needs to come to the top of the knee. As an alternative to the winter skirt, students can wear plain navy trousers, available by order through the Uniform shop. This item provides a warmer uniform option for the winter months.
  • Black or navy tights or white socks (long or ankle length) and black leather school shoes (lace up, T-bar or strong instep strap styles) are expected.
  • Sports shorts may not be worn to school during Terms 2 and 3.

Click here for full details of uniform expectations and Uniform Shop times.

Traffic

More parents are opting to drive their children to school in recent weeks, resulting in an increase in the volume of traffic in Bayview Road. We ask that all drivers be familiar with our traffic management plan to ensure safety for all.

In particular, it is important that cars enter Bayview Road from the South end, not the Belgrave end, during peak times

 


4.30pm Tuesday 7 July

In line with today's announcement from the  Victorian Government, there are changed arrangements for the start of Term 3. At this stage:

  • Years 11, 12 and Year 10 Higher Studies students will return to school on Tuesday 14 July.
  • Years 7 - 10 students will return to school on Monday 20 July.

The College Leadership Team will meet on Thursday and we will post further information here after we receive more details from education authorities.

 


4.00pm Friday 5 June

Years 7 - 10 return to school information

We are delighted at the prospect of the return to school of all students from Tuesday 9 June. VCE/VET/VCAL students and their teachers have experienced a safe return so we are confident about extending this support across all levels.

We will resume face-to-face teaching, with all classes operating for 75mins.  The school day will begin at 8:45am and finish at 3:05pm.

Buses will return to the regular before and after school timetable.

Reminders for students...

If you are unwell, and especially if you have any of the following symptoms, fever, cough, sore throat or flu-like symptoms, you should not come to school.  Parents will need to notify student absence via the Absence Line as usual.

Full winter or PE Uniform can be worn until the end of Term 2, with full winter uniform from start of Term 3.  The usual College expectations will apply for phones, hair, jewellery, make-up and footwear.

If you need new uniform items, please check the Uniform Shop details.

What can you do to help yourself prepare for returning to onsite learning?

  • Re-establish a healthy sleep routine in the lead up to returning to school. This includes going to bed at an appropriate time, turning off notifications on devices, and getting up at the regular time on school days to allow for getting ready, breakfast and transport to school.
  • Reach out to friends and re-connect if you haven't had the opportunity to speak to them for a while.
  • Organise your school belongings - this includes your uniform, charging your i-pad/laptop, and packing your school bag (No drinking from water fountains, so bring your own water bottle).

 Will the school look different?

  • Yes and no - we have new lockers and extra signage to remind us all to be respectful of each other.
  • There is temporary fencing around the E Building for the next three months as builders upgrade our Science rooms, two at a time.
  • Students will access E building rooms via the skywalk unless advised otherwise.
  • Room changes will be published on Schoolbox and include changed access arrangements.

Do I have to physically distance from other students?

Physical distancing is not considered necessary between students.

However, you are expected to respect the needs of others and move quickly through areas of congestion. Where possible, keep some space between yourself and other people, especially staff members.

The most important measure is to practice good hygiene.  Wash or sanitise hands often, wipe over surfaces and follow coughing and sneezing etiquette.  Above all, if you feel unwell, stay at home.

What hygiene measures will be put into place?

  • You will be asked to use disinfectant to wipe over your desk before the start of classes.
  • You are encouraged to use hand sanitisers which will be available all around the school.
  • Our cleaner is wiping frequently used surfaces, door handles and clean bathroom areas throughout the school day.
  • Charter buses are thoroughly cleaned prior to students boarding.

What happens if I feel unwell at school?

  • Tell your teacher, go to the Health Centre and follow the directions of the nurses.  Most likely you will need to go home and seek medical attention.
  • When you are able, contact your teacher via email or check on Canvas to catch up with any work that was missed.

Who can I talk to if I have any concerns or questions?

  • As always, you might speak first to your parent or teacher or Pastoral Group teacher.
  • If you need more support, you can contact the Counselling Centre for an appointment.

What will happen if I haven't finished all my remote learning classwork?

  • Teachers will understand that everyone will be at different stages in the classwork and will provide support as needed.
  • You need to ask your teacher for help and do your best to catch up.
  • There will not be the regular homework requirements for Year 7 students for the rest of this term.

1.00pm Friday 22 May

Information for students for return to school

Firstly a reminder... Monday 25 May is a statewide Planning Day so there are no classes.

We are delighted at the prospect of a return to school for VCE/VET/VCAL students from Tuesday 26 May and all students from Tuesday 9 June. Once back at school, classes will be face-to-face only, while Zoom will continue to be used for Years 7 – 10 classes until 5 June only.

If you are unwell, and especially if you have any of the following symptoms, fever, cough, sore throat or flu-like symptoms, you should not come to school.  Your parents will need to notify your absence via the Absence Line as usual.

Full winter or PE Uniform can be worn until the end of Term 2, with full winter uniform from start of Term 3.  If you need new uniform items, please check the Uniform Shop details.

 

What can you do to help yourself prepare for returning to onsite learning?

  • Re-establish a healthy sleep routine in the lead up to returning to school. This includes going to bed at an appropriate time, turning off notifications on devices, and getting up at the regular time on school days to allow for getting ready, breakfast and transport to school.
  • Start some 'psychological stretching' by physically getting out and about in the community.
  • Reach out to friends and re-connect if you haven't had the opportunity to speak to them for a while.
  • Organise your school belongings - this includes your uniform, charging your i-pad/laptop, and packing your school bag (No drinking from water fountains, so bring your own water bottle).

 

Will the school look different?

  • Yes and no - we have new lockers and there may be some extra signage to remind us all to be respectful of each other.
  • There will be temporary fencing around the E Building for the next three months and builders will be upgrading our Science rooms, two at a time.
  • Room changes will be published on Schoolbox and include changed access arrangements.

 

Do I have to physically distance from other students?

Physical distancing is not considered necessary between students.  However, you are expected to respect the needs of others and move quickly through areas of congestion.  Where possible, keep some space between yourself and other people, especially staff members.

The most important measure is to practice good hygiene.  Wash or sanitise hands often, wipe over surfaces and follow coughing and sneezing etiquette.  Above all, if you feel unwell, stay at home.

 

What hygiene measures will be put into place?

  • You will be asked to use disinfectant to wipe over your desk before the start of classes.
  • You are encouraged to use hand sanitisers which will be available all around the school.
  • A cleaner is being employed during the school day to wipe frequently used surfaces, door handles and clean bathroom areas.
  • Charter buses will be thoroughly cleaned prior to students boarding.

 

What happens if I feel unwell at school?

  • Tell your teacher, go to the Health Centre and follow the directions of the nurses.  Most likely you will need to go home and seek medical attention.
  • When you are able, contact your teacher via email or check on Canvas to catch up with any work that was missed.

 

Who can I talk to if I have any concerns or questions?

  • As always, you might speak first to your parent or teacher or Pastoral Group teacher.
  • If you need more support, you can contact the Counselling Centre for an appointment.

 

What will happen if I haven't finished all my remote learning classwork?

  • Teachers will understand that everyone will be at different stages in the classwork and will provide support as needed.
  • You need to ask your teacher for help and do your best to catch up.

 


11.30am Monday 18 May

We are very excited that our students will soon return to classes at school.

Following the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has announced that students and staff can return to on-site schooling in two stages:

  • Tuesday 26 May: Years 11 & 12, and Year 10 Higher Studies students return.
  • Tuesday 9 June: All Year levels on-campus.

We understand that some families may feel anxious about this move back to classroom teaching and learning, however we are assured that this decision has been taken on the basis of the best health advice available to our state. Our priorities for returning to school are to:

  • ensure the health and safety of everyone at the College
  • ensure the continuation of an effective learning program for all students
  • provide ongoing opportunities for wellbeing and socialisation

Our arrangements reflect the direction from the Department of Education and Training which states that:

“The school workforce will be supported to practice physical distancing, but physical distancing is not considered necessary between students in the school setting.”

We ask that all students, parents and staff are aware of and follow our arrangements and expectations.

Hygiene Expectations:

Anyone who feels unwell must stay at home. Anyone who becomes unwell during the day will be directed to the Health Centre.

Everyone must practice safe hygiene at all times – regular handwashing, clean desks, covering face with elbow if coughing, disposing of tissues in bins.

The College will conduct enhanced cleaning, including cleaning of high-touch surfaces throughout the day. Additional supplies of hand wash, sanitisers and disinfectant will be provided.

Students and teachers will be asked to sanitise their hands at the start and end of each class and will clean tables and seats with disinfectant spray and paper towels at the start of each class.

Students will be asked to sanitise their hands when stepping onto and off Charter Buses.

 

Physical Distancing Expectations:

All Staff need to adhere to safe physical distancing requirements, limiting movement, using emails, phones & Zoom for communication, meetings etc where possible. Appropriate arrangements for separated workspaces and movement around the school will be in place.

Adults need to observe physical distancing while interacting with students.

Students must respect the physical distancing needs of adults, eg keeping safe distance when moving along corridors and through doorways.

Students must respect physical distancing preferences of other students. They are to follow directions to minimise crowding and at lockers, Café Bene, along corridors and at doorways etc.

 

Attendance:

From Tuesday 26 May

  • VCE (including Year 10 Higher Studies), VCAL and VET on-campus classes resume using the current ’50-minute timetable’ with face-to-face teaching only.
  • All Years 7 - 10 classes will be conducted via Zoom, with students at home, unless requiring supervision at the College, in the Learning Commons.
  • Charter buses will operate for the shortened day times, departing at the regular morning times and then at 1:15pm at the conclusion of classes.

From Tuesday 9 June

  • Class and bus schedules as usual for everyone. Classes for all Year levels will return to ‘75-minute timetable’ for face-to-face teaching only.

 

Other arrangements:

Students may wear their winter or PE uniform until the end of Term 2.  Full winter uniform expectations will apply in Term 3.

The Uniform Shop will be open for winter uniform purchases by appointment only. Please refer to opening times and booking details.

Café Bene will be open until after morning recess until 5 June. Normal operating hours will commence from 9 June. Pre-ordering and MaterShop cards “topped up” online are strongly encouraged.

Parents and visitors may only enter the campus for essential matters and must report to Main Reception.

Monday 25 May is a statewide Planning Day so no classes will be operating.

Progress Meetings have been re-scheduled for Term 3, via Zoom.

Final day for Term 2 is Thursday 25 June, 3:05pm

 

 


1.30pm Tuesday 12 May

Returning to classes at school

We are delighted to look forward to students in Years 11 & 12 and Year 10s doing Higher Studies returning to school on Tuesday 26 May.

All other students are scheduled to return to face-to-face classes on Tuesday 9 June.

This is exciting news, a welcome relief for some but not without its challenges and new questions.

We expect to receive more guidelines from authorities, however, planning is underway to arrange a safe return for all, students and staff, especially to ensure appropriate hygiene and social distancing requirements. More details soon.

We are extremely grateful for the generous support of all members of our College community during these lockdown times, and especially commend our students for their participation via Zoom to their regular classes as well as other community activities.

Let us continue to work together to keep everyone safe, healthy and actively learning.

 


12.15pm Wednesday 6 May

Two important updates to note today.

1. Let’s take a well-deserved breather!

We wish to again commend our students for the positive way they have adapted to online classes. With the support of teachers and parents, our girls have shown themselves to be agile and resilient learners, truly invaluable lifelong skills.

We too are learning a great deal from our experiences and conversations with students and parents. The feedback from students and teachers has indicated a terrific spirit of determination and cooperation.

The feedback also indicates that this has been an intense few weeks for students and teachers alike and that it’s time to create some space for everyone to catch up.

So, we will take a well-deserved break with a ‘Class-free, Catch-up Day’ on Friday 15 May.

We suggest that all students and teachers use this day to get on top of their work commitments, take a complete break on the weekend and be fresh and ready for classes on Monday.

We also know that social distancing and online classes is not always smooth sailing. The latest short videos provided by SchoolTV, provide helpful suggestions:

Wellbeing Checklist for Secondary Students

Dealing with Disappointment

 

2. Unit 3/4 Assessment

  • Unit 3 Course Assessment will recommence next week in accordance with VCAA guidelines.
  • Students have been advised about the VCAA guidelines and our processes and expectations relating to assessment activities.
  • The changed VCAA timelines enable us to schedule a ‘SAC Week’ for the first week of Term 3 for the longer exam-type SACs. Details for these will be communicated nearer the time.
  • The rescheduled GAT and the end-of-year exams will still happen and remain the most significant determinant of ATAR.
  • The VCAA end-of-year exam timetable is expected to be released this month. This announcement may help us to plan the final month for our class of 2020.

While 2020 has been big enough for most of us, it is important to begin some thinking for 2021 and checking for upcoming tertiary virtual tours and events through our Careers News. A number of Victorian universities and colleges are participating tomorrow and Friday in a Virtual Careers Expo. Take a look.

 

 


5.15pm Tuesday 28 April

VCAA has today released advice to schools regarding assessment for Unit 3 studies. In brief…

  • Schools are encouraged to recommence SAC and SAT assessments.
  • Teachers will be asked to use a range of authentication strategies to ensure the integrity of assessments.
  • Students can expect to provide evidence of authenticity and will be required to declare work as their own.

Subject teachers and Coordinators will review our assessment programs in view of the new guidelines. Some assessments will be delayed, others will change in format. Students will be advised as early as possible of the revised schedule.

At every stage, we have encouraged our students to focus on their coursework. This has been the best approach in the circumstances and students who have followed that advice can be confident about their readiness for any changes in assessment.


5.00pm Thursday 23 April

Year 12 Hoodies: They've arrived and we are setting up a 'click and collect' for an unprecedented early distribution. The Year 12 girls deserve a treat.

APOLOGIES! A message was misinterpreted. The Hoodies have not arrived. Stay tuned.

1.30pm Thursday 23 April

Unit 3/4 Assessment: The anticipated assessment advice from VCAA yet to be announced. In the meantime, Unit 3/4 teachers are focussing on coursework, and SACs are deferred for another week... or until further advice.

Canvas: Parents can now view their daughter's class activities, assignments, assessments etc through Canvas, our Learning Management System. Details were emailed to parents today and an Introduction to Canvas Webinar is scheduled for Monday evening.

Student Surveys: The quick check-in surveys with students were informative and very encouraging. The positive approach of the girls is inspiring.

Parent Check-in: Over the next two weeks, we intend to contact all parents by phone to hear how things are going from their perspective. For many families, this is a particularly challenging time, so we want to know how we can best support each girl.

Online Classes: Our technology platforms are excellent and our approach is based on well-researched best practice. At the same time, we are still learning lots about effective teaching in online environments. The preparation and collaboration between teachers is outstanding, and the guidelines remain a valuable resource for students and parents: Mater Christi College Guide to Continuing Learning

Community Activities: Building community is important for wellbeing, especially during iso. This week we held - Move it Monday, Trivia Tuesday, Wellbeing Wednesday, House Mascot Thursday, and an Anzac reflection for Friday. Follow us on Instagram or Facebook to help affirm student engagement.

Mater Christi College Community Hub: Yesterday we announced the creation of a business directory which we believe will be of value to all families. In the first instance, the Community Hub will be open to current parents who are small business owners or self-employed to advertise their wares or services. An invitation to list businesses was emailed to parents.


11.00am Thursday 16 April

We received an update from VCAA this morning regarding changes to the VCE and VCAL. The College Leadership Team is meeting today to discuss the implications of the new advice and will inform Year 12 students and families of any changed arrangements.

View the VCAA update which addresses many FAQ, including:

  • When will this year’s General Achievement Test (GAT) be held?
  • When will this year’s VCE examinations be held?
  • Why aren’t exams being cancelled and the GAT used for the ATAR?
  • Are there any changes to School-assessed Coursework or School-assessed Tasks?
  • What about individual study scores?

3.00pm Tuesday 14 April

Below is a link to the details of our online learning procedures.

Mater Christi College Guide to Continuing Learning

This is a working document and as we learn more from students, parents and teachers we will provide updates. We will also focus on key features of these guidelines through future posts and social media platforms.

We are all a bit nervous and excited about the weeks ahead. There are sure to be hiccups along the way, but we are confident with our platforms, our research into best practice and our preparation. We also feel optimistic about the goodwill of students as we all try to make the most of these exceptional times.

The Guide includes:

  • Tips for Parents
  • Guidelines for Students
  • Wellbeing Tips
  • Shape of the Day
  • Getting Started with Zoom – A Guide for Students
  • A Typical Zoom Lesson
  • Who to Contact
  • Digital Technologies User Agreement

 


4.00pm Wednesday 8 April 2020

Email today from Mary Fitz-Gerald to parents and carers.

I hope that despite this extraordinary period of lockdown, that you and your family are safe, well and have enjoyed new experiences of relaxation and rest.

As outlined in my email last week, while we are all coming to terms with the financial impact of this pandemic, we remain committed to provide a full online program for all our students for Term 2 and beyond as required. Please do not hesitate to contact me or our Business Managers should you need further support.

As you are aware from the recent statement from Premier Andrews, “School is going to look very different in term two” and perhaps the rest of the year. It is further stated "where students can work from home, they must work from home."  

Our online classes are scheduled to resume on Wednesday, with teachers focusing on engagement, enjoyment and essential learnings. We understand that this places new demands on students and parents. Education Minister James Merlino offers four strategies:

  1. Assure students of your support in these uncertain times.
  2. Set up an appropriate workspace, especially in a shared area for younger students.
  3. Keep in contact with the College, as per usual with Pastoral teacher, Subject teacher, or if appropriate Year Learning Coordinator.
  4. Communicate regularly with your daughter as to her progress and how she is feeling.

We need to plan for those students who meet the criteria set by the government for being on-campus. I ask that you respond promptly to the EdSmart request which will be sent to all families shortly.

The government and education authorities are continuing to develop a plan for the completion of Year 12 studies. In the meantime, students will be encouraged to focus on their coursework and related assessment activities. In addition to their regular program being online, teachers and support staff will provide support, especially to manage stress, exercise and balance their expectations.

The College Leadership team has been in regular communication over this term break. We will continue to support students and families with guidelines and ideas for this new way of schooling. Your feedback from our trial was much appreciated and ongoing monitoring and feedback will also be important.

These are indeed challenging times, but history tells us of the opportunities for learning that such can provide.  Let us all work to remain calm, to assure our students of our support and communicate regularly.  As per our College theme, we need to be 'informed, compassionate and creative'.

In the midst of this challenge, may we celebrate the peace and joy that Easter provides to each one of us and our families.

 


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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