UPDATE AS AT 23RD MARCH
Firstly, I wish to thank St Joseph’s School community for your calmness and common-sense approach to the ongoing effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Following on from our initial correspondence regarding our school’s action plan and response to the current situation, I can assure you all, that the school receives regular updates from the Cairns Catholic Schools Office and Government agencies.
The current COVID-19 crisis presents our school with a range of issues to consider & deal with. As a school, we will be directed by advice from governments, public health officials & our own system to look after the health of our students.
At this stage (as of Monday 23rd March) there is no definite plan to close schools but as mentioned in our previous correspondence, planning is well underway to cater for any type of closure.
It is the prerogative of parents to self-isolate their children earlier than an official closure of the school. Some families, due to existing health concerns of other family members have already chosen this option. The school will provide as much support as possible to all families no matter to what decision is taken. Please contact the Office should you decide to withdraw your children prior to any official closure.
Teachers are currently developing plans on how to continue to facilitate student learning if families are self-isolating or in the event of a school closure. If a school closure is to occur, we will use all means at our disposal to communicate this to families. This will include SMS, email, parent portal & the school website.
The amount of online learning provided by your child’s teacher will depend on the timing of any closure. However, teachers will be providing families of sufficient online and hard copy resources. Due to the nature of our ability to communicate with families via email, seesaw, google classrooms etc, continual updates of online resources can be provided on an ongoing basis. A letter outlining continuation of learning plans has been emailed to all families over the weekend and students will begin to bring home devices and hardpack resources from Monday.
This situation is of course a first for all of us. Your continued support of the school and reading of official information is greatly appreciated. We will continue to re-assess school activities based on the best available advice. We will continue to keep you updated as we receive more advice.
Adversity doesn’t necessarily define character, but it does reveal it. The media for its own reasons, has shown us all, aspects of humans behaving in a way that none of us are proud of. Thankfully however, we also see the best of people. Friday for example, as I walked in and out of classes I was really proud of what I saw. Teachers were doing some sensational work. They had made considered adjustments to comply with our expectations around limiting risk to students. Their lessons were focused, and the children were engaged.
Teachers are among many others, who themselves are at least a little concerned, but who are determined to step up, and look after others. We also see character revealed in our health care professionals, aged care workers, families and colleagues – so many facing up to the challenges that are coming our way.
The challenge for us, will be to find different ways to be community for each other for a while. The understanding and support shown for all of our difficult decisions has been a great way to start. No other community is better placed than ours to see this through. Things will get tough, but nothing we can’t handle together.
For the latest COVID-19 updates make sure you visit the dedicated area on the Catholic Education Office website