Community Update - 24 March

24 March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

Thank you for your continued messages of encouragement and support. The message I wrote yesterday morning was redundant by the afternoon given the number of changes that were made during the course of the day. No doubt some of the issues I am going to address today might be redundant by the time you read them. The Executive continue to meet daily to determine the best path forward. The communication each day is to provide some direction for you as a family.

A number of enquiries have been received in regard to whether someone in our community has tested positive to the COVID-19 virus. This is not the case. As a College, we will be informed immediately by the Government Health authorities and given a course of action which we will follow.  We will immediately notify the community, so that all community members are aware of the situation and the associated risks.

The Federal Governments position on schools has not changed. The Prime Minister in his speech on Sunday evening stated that we do not want children to lose a whole year of their education. Until advice from the medical experts' changes, Hillcrest will continue to be open and operate as normal. There is nothing comparable to students being at school and learning in a classroom that is purpose built for learning. We have highly skilled teachers who spend hours preparing a learning path to engage and monitor students’ progress in a whole range of skills. While we can replicate some of this through an on-line platform, and we have been working tirelessly to build an exceptional platform for all students, the reality is nothing can fully replace the experience students get from being at school each day.

This pandemic will pass. However; it is likely to have a significant impact on schooling for the next six months or more. Schools in the Northern Hemisphere closed when the pandemic reached critical situations and as the students were moving to their summer vacation. In Australia, we do not have an extended summer vacation until much later this year and instead may find ourselves in a position where students are absent from school until August/September. 

As a College we fully support the decisions that each individual family make in relation to the COVID-19 situation. We commit to delivering to each family a world leading, future focussed educational experience underpinned by a biblical world view, no matter whether students are at home or at school. Some families have determined for their own reasons they will begin self-isolation and as a school we want to support these families as best as possible.

There will be two types of learning packs being distributed in the JLC this will include:

  • A Weekly Overview and resource pack of the learning in the classroom from P-6 will be sent to all students in the JLC tomorrow. If you do not receive these learning packs, please contact your classroom teacher and they will be sent as a matter of priority. 
  • Secondly, a Prep-4 Learning Pack is being distributed to students today. This is ONLY to be used in the event of a closure and is purely a backup plan for not having access to teachers at some point. I reiterate it is purely a proactive measure should there be a closure and there be a short time where teachers and families are unable to connect online. We do not foresee this happening but have provided it just in case. If you are learning from home, you should be utilising the Weekly packs sent via your teacher. 

SLC students have access to their OneNote platform and are using email to connect with their teachers. This is working well and the next stage of expansion will increase the connection between student and teacher.

Today I am pleased to announce the launch of our online learning platform Hillcrest Connex.

These four areas will provide your family with a comprehensive portal for advice on how lessons will run, activities for students, emotional and physical supports etc. We are truly excited by the development of these platforms which will enable families to access educational, emotional and spiritual content.

We will begin transitioning to this platform next week to support students who are self-isolating and/or sick. There is the potential that schools may be required to close so we will enable parents and students’ to access this site from next week so they can begin to familiarise themselves with this platform.

To maximise the learning experience through Hillcrest Connex, it is the expectation all students from Years 7-12 have a functioning stylus to use with their device. Staff will be reinforcing this expectation over the coming days to make sure all students are ready. If your child has lost their stylus or it is not working, they can be purchased through stores such as JB Hi-Fi or Harvey Norman.

We intend to remain open as normal while the Government Health authorities allow. Families sending their child/ren to school can be confident we are looking after their best interests. Our additional cleaning precautions and hygiene practices are still in place and we have purchased several temperature sensing thermometers for our First Aide Officers to use. We have modified the curriculum to ensure that there is limited contact between students where possible. We view Physical Education as being critically important and are delivering lessons focussed on individual fitness.

Years 3 – 6 photos POSTPONED
Years 7 – 12 photos POSTPONED
PK – 2 photos POSTPONED
JLC Mother’s Day Stall CANCELLED
Prep Mummy and Me Day CANCELLED
3/4 & 5/6LUMOS Space Incursion
19 – 20/05/2020
Year 1 David Fleay Excursion CANCELLED
Years 5 and 6 Readers Cup CANCELLED
Years 5 and 6 Moderation PD CANCELLED
Prep – 2 Under 8’s Day MODIFIED
Year 4 Botany Bay Day MODIFIED
Prep Currumbin Sanctuary Excursion CANCELLED

Several parents have been contacting us regarding the Year 12 QCAA changes. As such please find the link to the website provided to the College:

The SLC has made the decision they will be allowing students who do not have examinations scheduled to go home this week during the Thursday afternoon activities times lot. If parents wish for their student to remain at school, supervised study will be available in the Resource Centre. Please click the SLC Students Thursday Afternoon link and complete the online form if you would like your student to remain at school.

NSW/QLD Border Closures

With NSW/QLD Border closures from Wednesday, 25 March, all staff and students who live in NSW will be provided with a current ID card and a letter of authority that states they attend Hillcrest Christian College. This is will enable border crossings each day as guided by the Government conditions and exemptions.

As information is constantly changing we will continue to update you each day.


Jeff Davis

Executive Head of College