Senior School learning at home

Written by Michaela Brighella. Posted in Newsletter

Term 2 approach

We resumed school on Monday 27 April for the start of Term 2. We are continuing the learning at home program. We realise that by the end of any holiday period parents are often keen to send their child or children back to school, and the kids are usually as keen, but it is really important that we continue to prioritise flattening the curve, and have students learning at home if they can do so.

Thank you again, for your incredible support at the end of last term. The feedback was very positive and also helped us pinpoint some common issues. We have endeavoured to address them this term.

Learning from home expectations of students

Please view the Term 2 Guidelines for learning from home for Senior School students and parents here.

A copy has also been provided to all Senior School students. Homeroom teachers will also go through these with students. The Guidelines have varied a bit since last term in response to our collective experience.

New ‘bell times’ with extended lunch time

In response to feedback from parents, students and teachers, we have modified the bell times. It includes a longer Homeroom time on a Monday which we will use for various things during the term. It also includes an extended lunch time. This is to reduce screen time and provide a time in the middle of the day for students to get outside. 

Please view the Term 2 Senior School bell times here.

Monitoring attendance

We are required to track student engagement. In the Senior School, your daughter is expected to log into Homeroom and every period each day and remain connected as per the teacher’s expectations. This may be, for example, only ten minutes of direct instruction. Each teacher will make this clear to students each lesson. Staff will contact you if there appears to be an issue with your daughter’s attendance over the course of the day or a series of lessons within a subject. If your daughter is unable to participate in the scheduled learning please let the office know as you usually would and ask your child to email their teacher/s.

Accessing ICT Support

  • Students can access Microsoft Teams through the app installed on their computer, or the Microsoft Teams icon on the SEQTA Learn dashboard.
  • Students yet to connect to Microsoft Teams, login into SEQTA Learn, select Portals and view the Connect with Teams (Students) to get started.
  • For any ICT problems you may have, please contact the ICT Help Desk helpdesk@smc.tas.edu.au as soon as possible, and copy the class teacher into the email.

General Information

Essential Workers

If you are an essential worker, or unable to facilitate the learning of your child at home, can you please let us know your child will be at school. We ask all students coming to school to wear PE uniform, with all its warm layers. For these students, the online program will be managed at school by a staff member, as many teachers will be working from home this term.

We will only have three entry points to the College and access to parents and carers will only be available to drop and collect Kinder and Prep children. There will be staff at Harrington Street and the lower Brisbane Street gates to meet children. Parents and Carers can also enter through the upper Brisbane Street gate.

If a teacher believes a child or young person is unwell, they have been instructed to direct them to the office who will contact you to collect them immediately.

Our Catholic focus

The sanctity of human life and the call to community are two key Catholic teachings that apply to our current circumstances. Humanity is taking on extreme measures to ensure we minimise risk to life, particularly for those who are vulnerable. It seems now more than ever, we recognise the intrinsic connection we have with all humans and our responsibility to one another. We will endeavour to help students, age-appropriately, understand the richness of these teachings in the time ahead and look with hope to the future. Prayer and reflection will continue online as an important dimension of living and sharing our faith.

Student health and wellbeing

We know for some children and young people, these circumstances have exacerbated difficulties. Students can access counsellors through school and participate in phone or digital sessions.

Everyone benefits from healthy food, daily exercise and a regular sleep pattern. For all of us, it is important more than ever that we seek a balance that supports our own wellness. Factors to consider are online time, being outdoors, socialising, recreation and spiritual time. The extended lunch in the Senior School day was designed to support this balance but some young people may need encouragement to use it wisely.

At this stage, the message from the Tasmanian Government is that we will continue this form of educational delivery. No timeframe has been specified. We will continue to follow Catholic Education Tasmania’s requirements in accordance with Government direction.

We won’t be sending the usual Term 2 letters. Please keep abreast of The Fountain, our newsletter, and these emailed parent updates. Get in touch through the usual channels if you need assistance at any time.

I hope we are serving the needs of students as best we can in this complex environment. Staff have put in considerable energy to making the best of things. Students have risen to the challenge. Thanks for working with us.

Best wishes for your family in the coming term, as we keep the world in our prayers.


Helen

Helen Spencer
Principal

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