As the school term finishes for our staff today, could I take this opportunity to offer my sincere thanks to each of you as parents, caregivers, staff and students for your understanding, compassion and support for each other in these most challenging times. Each day new challenges are thrown to us and for many our lives have taken on whole new ways of working, parenting, teaching and learning. You have all risen to the challenge, and we will only build and develop further successes.
This week the staff were able to spend time on building the learning platform, testing the existing technologies and exploring new ways of learning. The whole staff had an online videocall through Microsoft Teams and this was very successful. We see this as a great tool for staying connected as educators and also as a community. We imagined how this might help us connect directly with our students, as a class or small group. A videocall to parents and caregivers might help us to understand better any concerns or issues that arise.
We also developed our See Saw app further, explored the Read and Write application which shows great potential for supporting all learners to engage more fully in reading and writing and today we walked through the ‘Explain Everything’ app that helps teachers to create great visual learning and instruction.
Over the past fortnight we have been developing a ‘St Pius X Connected Learning Parent Handbook.’ This will be a valuable resource for all parents assisting learning at home. It also explains how the learning at school, for those children whose parents are required to work or are in essential services or are students whose particular circumstances require them to be at school, will engage in the same platform, the same learning.
That is, no child will be disadvantaged in either setting, the learning will be the same. Children at school will be assisted by an educator and this will not be the child’s usual teacher as they will be supervising the learning of all of the class, regardless of their location. As well, they will be busy planning, developing, assessing and responding to each child’s learning through See Saw and One Note (for senior students).
Before and After School Care will continue to be available in Term 2 unless we are advised otherwise.
This Handbook will be posted to you in Week 2 of holidays and also distributed via Schoolzine. The Handbook details each of our responsibilities in connected learning, guides for learning timeframes each day and expectations on educators in relation to connecting with children daily.
Once again, my heartfelt appreciation to you all. May you experience the most blessed Easter, may the risen Jesus give you hope and enlighten these bleak times, know that we will come through this as a community, state, country and world. May we continue to show to our children how we manage crisis together, how we show resilience and ‘never give up’ and that blaming others doesn’t help solving today’s challenge and reality.
Once we are through this, there will be even greater need to be for, to be with each other, to be the face of Jesus to all of those devastated by COVID -19.