As we finish for the term, I wish to thank all families who have supported us over the past couple of weeks in these uncertain and very trying times. In hindsight I’m sure we will look back and thank God that we did things as we did. The coming weeks and possibly months are going to be a very difficult time, given that we expect schools to be closed for an extended period.
What a way to end a term! ‘Organized chaos’ is a description that comes to mind. In an ever changing environment we have had to be light on our feet to ensure we continue to be able to deliver our educational program in whatever form it takes. I am sure you will agree that the start of 2020 has been challenging for all of us. We have endured tragedy as bushfires ravaged our regional areas and, more recently, we have faced more uncertainty as we try to navigate the current COVID-19 virus that is sweeping the world. Whilst things have been harder for us, I keep reminding myself of the people in our society who have been devastated by this catastrophe. People losing life, jobs, and businesses, those for whom life will never be the same. So the little bit of discomfort, complexity or hardship we have endured has to be seen in this light.
Term One has flown once again. I’m sure our Year Seven students didn’t expect what has transpired when we first welcomed them into the school nine weeks ago. So much water has gone under the bridge since we celebrated our Opening School Mass and dreamt of the year ahead. It has been an amazing term with so many things happening in such a short time. I’m sure many in the community are looking forward to the Easter break to spend some time with family and to catch their breath after the whirlwind that is Term One.
I hope the holidays provide time for our boys to reflect back on what has been a very positive term here at Salesian College Chadstone. I also hope they can all look back on the term with a sense of satisfaction and pride in what they have achieved, the work they have completed and the joy they have shared over the past nine weeks. We thank God for all the joys, hopes and struggles that the new year has presented and we pray that as a community we will continue to celebrate our individual and collective successes, whilst working together through the tough times that come our way.
I also hope they use this time to prepare themselves both practically and mentally for the term ahead as we sail into the uncharted waters of remote learning. The College has spent a lot of time upskilling staff and reviewing our infrastructure to ensure we are in a position to deliver remotely. As of yesterday we are confident that everything is in place and our success will now rely on the dedication of our students to be disciplined in accessing their learning from home. I would like to publicly acknowledge, congratulate and thank our staff for the manner in which they have entered into this period of time and undertaken the tasks that have needed to be completed, as this has put us in the position to tackle this issue, confident of success.
Parents have been provided with the information outlining our plan for remote delivery, and I encourage them to familiarize themselves with this plan to enable them to support and guide their sons through what is likely to be a pretty tough time as we all get used to working from home in the event that schools are closed.
At this point, whilst not expected, we are planning for Term Two to commence on Wednesday 15 April 2020 with all boys returning on this day unless told otherwise. Any changes to current advice will be communicated as soon as possible to the College Community.
At this time there is great evidence of people helping each other through difficult times. A great spirit of cooperation has been evident and demonstrated by so many in the College community. I wish to thank and acknowledge the work of Nicola Howard (Parent of Harrison Window – Year 7) who has designed an amazing graphic to enable families to understand the remote learning expectations. I am happy to include the file for you to keep as a reminder of our remote learning plan – should we need to enact our plan.
May God bless you all and keep you safe and healthy over the coming months. Let us pray that this ordeal comes to an end sooner rather than later and we can all return to some form of normality and the boys can return to school and we can once again take up our mission of educating and nurturing them here at the College.