Dear Parents and Caregivers
Like the end of Term 1, Term 2 has begun in way that no one could have ever imagined. We have found ourselves all being asked to do things outside of our comfort zone, with greater purpose, as the act of social distancing could ultimately save the life of another. Over the last month our focus has very much shifted from our normal daily routines and this has been a result of the uncertainty of the times and our personal reflections. We are all now dealing with the challenges associated with the changes to the way we live, learn, work and connect.
As a College we have been busily planning for the changes that we are now encountering which has placed our students and teachers in an online teaching and learning space. New systems and procedures have been drafted, tested and finalised to support this new approach. Our learning management system CANVAS, is providing the platform for our teachers and students to connect, learn and strive to overcome the challenges with online learning. It is no secret that students and teachers thrive best in a face-to-face learning environment that places relationships at its core and this is the greatest challenge with online learning.
The transformational change required of the educational sector in a matter of weeks has been phenomenal. Our teachers assisted so adequately by our school officers, are rising to the challenge and working tirelessly to ensure continuity of learning and just as importantly, that the connection between our students and the College is maintained. I would like to acknowledge and sincerely thank the Teachers, School Officers and my fellow College Leadership Team members for their incredible efforts. I would also like to congratulate the students for their efforts during this first week. I have taken the opportunity to sit in on a number of online Teams meetings and spoken with a great many teachers who have been very pleased with the efforts of the students.
I would like to highlight the extensive information regarding online Learning, communication, academic / pastoral / counsellor and financial support that is included in this week’s newsletter and I thank my colleagues for sharing this information.
A special welcome to our new staff, Mrs Kirstie Andrews our teacher librarian, Mrs Shai Eather who is replacing Mrs Paula White who is on leave for Term 2 and to Mr Brendan Stokes who is replacing Mrs Shelly Fawell who left us at the end of Term 1. We hope that you enjoy your time at St Joseph’s College. We also welcome back Ms Jessica Trinder from maternity leave who will be undertaking a part-time position.
As a Catholic community who have just experienced an Easter period like none we have ever experienced before, may we draw strength from the Easter message of the Risen Lord and the transformational power of Jesus to help us navigate this extraordinarily challenging time. May we pray that we all become grateful for the simple things in life. We will no doubt become more appreciative of the opportunity to spend time with family and friends and we may in fact end up experiencing greater connectivity than we have ever before.
Best wishes for the upcoming fortnight.