March 17 – College Update on COVID-19

March 19, 2020

Dear all members of the St Patrick’s College community,

Happy St Patrick’s Day. While we were saddened to have to cancel our traditional St Patrick’s Day Mass and Assembly today we were fortunate to be able to celebrate by delivering giant, green donuts to each student and staff member which helped to bring smiles to many faces.

In relation to ongoing concerns around COVID-19 coronavirus, members of the College Leadership team are meeting daily to address day-to-day operational issues as they arise.

We are constantly being provided with all the latest advice from the Department of Human Services, from the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria and from our governing body, Edmund Rice Education Australia to ensure all decisions made are compliant with advice from the Australian and Victorian Chief Medical Officers.

It is our intention to provide daily updates to staff, students and parents regarding any decisions made.

We remind all parents too that anyone who has returned to Australia from any other country since midnight on Sunday, March 15 is now required to isolate for 14 days. This will also impact all members of our community who are still intending to travel overseas during the coming school holidays. If you are in either of these categories please let the College know immediately.

Across all year levels teaching staff are planning for use of the Microsoft Teams App for delivery of lesson content in the case of a school shutdown.  This allows for worksheets, activities and live webinars to be communicated to students, working on the assumption that staff and students have Wi-Fi access at home.  Course content will be readily available in Learning Areas.

For our Senior VCE students the immediate focus is to ensure continuity of learning for all students with their VCE subjects as directed by their subject teachers.

Prior to any possible closure, in the event that a student is unable to attend a scheduled class, the student should be making contact with the teacher.

Teachers will be able to supply students with work through a variety of channels including via email, Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams.

If a student is missing a SAC, they will be required to catch up on the SAC once they return to school. Students who have already missed a SAC, should make every effort to catch up on the SAC as soon as possible. Students will be able to come into school at the moment to complete SACs in isolation. If there is a disruption to scheduled classes, then subject teachers will make every effort to continue to support student learning.

The VCAA is looking at ways it can support schools to meet the challenges of COVID-19 and ensure continuity of learning and delivery of assessment to students, in particular those completing one or more VCE Unit 3-4 and/ or VCE VET Unit 3-4 sequence in 2020.

The VCAA is taking a flexible and agile approach to meeting emerging issues and is relying on schools to be similarly flexible and agile in ensuring continuity of learning and delivery of assessment.

A reminder too that tomorrow’s planned SPC House Athletics Carnival has been cancelled and will be replaced with classes.

We thank you all for your understanding and co-operation to date and remind you to maintain due diligence by keeping your son at home if he is unwell and seek medical advice.

I wish you all a good night.