Community Update - 20 March

20 March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers 

I would firstly like to thank the parents who have positively responded to the daily communications we are providing our community. The College will continue to remain operating based on the advice of Chief Medical Officers and all levels of Government. These are difficult times and your encouragement, ideas and support are greatly appreciated.  

This morning the Senior Learning Community held their first digital Chapel Gathering service where all students participated from their classrooms. This was a significant test of our system and our internal infrastructure held up incredibly well. We have recently upgraded our IT infrastructure which enables us to stream live events to all students simultaneously. Technology will play an important part to our learning programs should schools be required to close. The success we experienced today has given us confidence moving forward. 

I would like to acknowledge the team who are cleaning the College from top to bottom every day. They are working extremely hard and doing a tremendous job. If you see them around the College, please thank them for their commitment and efforts in this very difficult season.  

I met with our Head Cleaner last night to go through what is happening at the College. The cleaning of all targeted areas is occurring more often and with great effectiveness. The only challenge is students are using the new hand sanitising dispensers too much. This really isn’t a problem, but rather we had to find another supplier for the sanitising fluid to ensure we don’t run out. We currently have enough supply to go through to the middle of next term. 

We have been informed the Federal Government have cancelled all NAPLAN testing for 2020, which is one challenge schools and students across the country won't have to manage.  

The following decisions have been made for your consideration today; 

College Updates
  • A separate email requesting your preferences for alternative Sparks and Flames activities next week will be sent by the end of the day 
  • PE classes will be modified to ensure students are not undertaking activities that might allow for the transfer of COVID-19  
  • All communication will be sent to students in the Senior Learning Community to ensure they are fully informed of College updates 
  • Students are being shown new features of our online learning platform each day. We released the Chat feature and students are starting to use this in class  
  • Parents will be given additional information regarding how to use our online platform shortly. We are aware parents require this information and we aim to release this as soon as we have thoroughly tested our programs 
  • Students who are part of the Basketball Excellence program will be receiving information about this program independently 
  • We are continuing to ensure students are implementing social distancing in classes and around the College and ask for your help to reinforce this practice at home as well. 
Items still to be considered
  • Information to parents in the event of a forced shutdown
  • After walking through the College again this morning, I am encouraged how our staff and students have responded to the current situation. Student attendance in most year levels is very high and they do not seem to be particularly fearful of this current situation. Parents are doing an excellent job of supporting their children through this time 

The graphical analysis of this pandemic shows that things will get worse before it gets better. This is why we need to understand this is a long-term problem which will take several months to walk through. As a community, I would ask that we adopt our Christian values at this time and find ways to help each other.

I shared recently in a Newsletter item that Love is the greatest thing we can offer, and at this time this is truly the most important thing. Most of all we especially need our students to understand that as a community need to find ways that help others while we protect ourselves. Some of these might include; 

  • Posting a letter to elderly neighbours or calling if they are feeling lonely 
  • Mowing elderly neighbours’ lawns and gardening if they need help 
  • Washing neighbours’ cars  
  • Sending cards and positive messages to nursing home residents 
  • Making videos of encouragement and sending these to people who need encouragement 

The list is endless and does not necessarily involve direct contact but will mean direct love. We are truly blessed to live in a wonderful country and supporting each other through this season will make us stronger as a community in the longer term. 


Jeff Davis

Executive Head of College