EP4 | Newsletter

Principal’s Message

Anthony Elmore, Principal
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Thank You to Our Parents and Students

Veronica Wasiak, Deputy Principal
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Congratulations Students

Emma Bailey, Assistant Principal Learning & Development
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Year 11 Student, Tegan Clark Performs Budapest

Principal’s Message TRANSCRIPT:

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Hi, it’s Anthony from St Michael’s. Welcome to episode one of our college newsletter for term two. What a different and unusual time we are in at the moment, but we are all in this together. May, as we know, is the month of Mary and also is a day for Mother’s Day. We know for us in the Catholic community, such an important prayer for us is the Hail Mary. And that very first line within that prayer, Hail Mary full of grace. And when I listen to that prayer, when I’m in meditation with that prayer, it is so relevant to Mother’s Day. When I think of my mother, when I think of Rebecca and the role she has as mother to our children, and all mothers everywhere, that word grace, how so true for mothers all across our community, the St Michael’s community, and here on the coast. To all mothers, we wish you all a very happy Mother’s Day for this weekend.

This time of alternative education provision is a different time for us all. But I’d like to thank each and every one of you for your support of our students and our staff, as we navigate this time together. The learning and teaching at the college is continuing during this time, as we continue to support the one mode of delivery for all students, for the majority of our students who are at home and continuing with their learning, and for those few students that are coming to the college, that one mode of delivery is supporting every single one of our learners. I encourage all families and students to continue to connect with our teachers, reach out through Microsoft Teams, reach out through emails, through conversations, and make sure that the learning is being supported and continues at this time. In a few short weeks, we’ll be back here on campus together, and we look forward to that.

We’re entering that time now, where we’ve been at home in our learning for probably about six weeks, when we consider these school holidays. And this phase that we call that third quarter. This will really define how we as a community deal with this time of alternative education provision. For all of our students, for all of our staff, I encourage you to continue to follow the guidelines that we have set as a community, to take it easy, to be kind to yourself, to follow that learning that is provided by the teachers. We do not expect families to become teachers. That support is there from St Michael’s. We’re all in this together. In maintaining belonging, care, and connection, we are so excited that we launched our Principal’s Pizza Parties, and the excitement of students nominating to win those virtual parties. So pizzas delivered to the doors of our students and that connection over Teams. I know that particularly my 10 year-old-daughter told me, “Dad, you already round enough from this time of COVID, you don’t need to eat too much more pizza,” but I’ve been loving the pizza parties and the connections, so make sure you keep an eye out for how to win that pizza party for you and nine mates. And I’ve been loving it too. Belonging, care, and connection, so important here at St Michael’s.

To provide you an update on what we’ve also been focusing on here at the college, our journey towards air conditioning is continuing, our electricity and energy upgrade is underway, and we have brought contractors in around that. So we are still on target to have L Block and R Block air conditioned by the end of 2020. So I thank the community for your ongoing support in that regard.

In week four, our term two fees will come out to families. You will see when that fee statement comes out, that we have already automatically allocated our 10% discount on tuition to all families. Also, you’ll notice that we have offset any levies that we did not use in term one, and that we will not use in term two, we’re giving those back, offsetting those back against your fees. And so more information will come out to families in support of you in the term two fee statement.

As we continue our journey together, I encourage you, remain connected, reach out to us. We are here to support you. Connect, reach out, pray. We are all in this together. St Michael’s and our families, our students, we are all on this journey together. Thank you, and take care.

Veronica Wasiak, Deputy Principal TRANSCRIPT:

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Hi everyone. Welcome to Term II, week three and I hope that everyone is doing really well out there. I just want to yell out a big shout out thank you to all our parents and students out there. The way that you have all engaged with the pastoral check-in online has been absolutely fantastic and that’s been a really important part of what we’ve been doing here at school. But being able to identify students that are maybe having some problems with their online learning, but also those students that are just having a few issues in terms of just being maybe just down in the dumps because of the isolation, we’ve been able to connect with those students. But it’s also been awesome the amount of positives that we’ve been getting, that families are going really well and students are going really well with their online learning. So keep it up, absolutely fantastic effort and let’s try and get to the full 870 check-ins.

Another awesome thing that has been happening is the face-to-face pastoral check-in, that connection is happening. Students, can I ask you to please keep doing that. Not only is it great for you, but it’s great for our teachers as well, being able to get online and see your beautiful smiling faces has been absolutely awesome. Keep doing it, we love it.

Also for parents out there and for students, another thing that has been happening is our year level pages. Get in, have a look at those, lots and lots of wonderful things happening there. We’ve got student performances, there’s trivia questions there, there’s all sorts of interactive activities and lots of things that are happening on there and just is also a space where students can get on and have a chat with each other and also their teachers. So everyone, I know it’s really tough at the moment, but please stay positive, stay safe and a happy Mother’s Day to all our mothers out there. Catch you next time.

Emma Bailey, Assistant Principal Learning & Development TRANSCRIPT:

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Hi. I hope all of our students and families are keeping well at this time. I take this opportunity to congratulate on behalf of the Learning and Teaching Team and all of our teachers, our students for the way that they’ve engaged in this online platform. I’m heartened by their resilience and their persistence as they work through this platform at this time. I also thank our families for their ongoing support and commitment to their children and our students.

I take this opportunity to provide an update around reporting and assessment. With regard to reports, these were issued earlier this week. And in Years 7 to 10, these include an outline of students’ academic progress and their learning habits. For Year 11 and 12, these reports include students’ learning habits. An updated Year 11 report will be provided to families at the end of this term, which will include an academic mark for students in their applied and their general subjects.

With regard to assessment, we continue to modify our Year 7 to 10 assessment items so that students can engage with these in an online environment. With Year 12 assessment, we’ve taken on the advice of the Queensland Curriculum Assessment Authority to modify some of those assessment items in reducing the number of assessments in subjects and also the conditions of some of those assessments so that they can be accessed online. An update of the assessment schedule for Year 12 students was shared with our families and our Year 12 students over the holiday break, and this is available on our parent portal. We’ve gone through a similar reflective process with our Year 11 assessments as well, and this will be updated and provided to our Year 11 families and students when it is finalised, and it will also be available on our Parent Portal.

We continue to see our teachers as lifelong learners as they engage in collaboration and professional practice so that they’re able to ensure that the work that they are doing is on point with regards to their teaching practice so that students are not just being provided work to do, but they’re able to engage in that work so that they can continue to move their learning forward. We continue our focus around improving student literacy and providing those opportunities for writing across all of our subject areas.

We wish you all the best, and we can’t wait to see you back here with us. Take care.