Dear Families, Students and Community Members,
Thankfully this period of Remote Learning only lasted for three days, however, last Friday’s announcement highlighted that we are all going to have to continue to be so adaptable and flexible again this year, be prepared for quick transitions in and out of remote learning for short periods of time and that our students need to be ready as well. Our school was excellent in the remote learning space last year and we can excel again. On Friday afternoon we set a very clear expectation with students that when lockdown/s are announced this year, learning will continue online through the Google platform. All students should be a member of Google Classroom for each class they study and should be familiar with the lesson structure we follow online through Google Meet.
We understand that, for our Year 7 students in particular, these few days will be a trial to see how they go adapting to, potentially, a new way of learning. Any issues can be worked through and reflected on once students are back on site, so they are better prepared if there is another lockdown in the future. All parent/student letters and advice are being sent via email through Compass. It is essential that all parents have the Compass App installed on a device or access via https://mcsc-vic.compass.educationand are staying up to date with any communication being sent by the College, especially during any remote learning period. If you have trouble accessing or have forgotten your password, please call the College. A student and parent guide to remote learning was sent out to all families late Friday afternoon via Compass. Please take the time to read this if you haven’t already.
It is really unfortunate that we had to cancel the Year 7 camp that was planned for this week and we hope to secure another booking sometime this year. School photos also need to be rescheduled from 16 February and we will let you know once we have a new date.
A reminder that our fantastic Wellbeing team is available to support students and families whether onsite or in remote learning. Please send them an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to organise a time to catch up online, over the phone or in person. Our Year Level Coordinators and members of the Leadership Team are also available if you need to discuss any concerns. Please email email@example.com or phone the College on 9580 1184.
As announced this morning, we can return to onsite learning tomorrow. All students must come to school with a mask to wear indoors. Our students were excellent last year in following this mandated rule from the Government and Department, however, this year too many are not taking the directive seriously, and we don’t have the supplies to be giving out new ones each day. I am asking parents to PLEASE ensure your child leaves for school with a mask. Students should be able to take responsibility for this, however, we now need your support. We have no choice in this law, and we must respect this directive aimed to protect everyone and keep us safe. Given we are in a secondary environment with over 1100 students and 120 staff, this also applies to Year 7 students regardless of age. I really don’t want to be in the position where we have to send students home because they don’t have a mask. Thanks in anticipation for your support with this. If a student has a medical condition preventing the wearing of a mask, this information can be provided to their Year Level Coordinator and a pass given to them.
Student Attendance and Educational Outcomes
Daily attendance is important for all children and young people to succeed in education and to ensure they don’t fall behind both socially and developmentally. Studies show that absence does affect learning growth and that there are no safe number of days. A child missing one day a fortnight will miss four weeks in a year, and more than a year of school by the time they are in Year 10. It is important that children develop regular attendance habits at an early age. In addition, a student who is half an hour late each day misses the equivalent of 16.6 days of learning each year. This is not acceptable. It is not okay to be away or late without a medical certificate! School participation maximises life opportunities for our young people by providing them with education and support networks. School helps children to develop important skills, knowledge and values that set them up for further learning and participation in their community. If you are having difficulty getting your child to school, please contact the Wellbeing Team at the College to discuss strategies that may assist you. Please find attached our publication: Attendance Matters – A parent’s guide. Please take the time to read this booklet and discuss with your child.Attendance Matters – A Parent’s Guide – 2021 (002).pdf
Our House Swim Carnival was scheduled for Thursday 25 February at the usual pool in Carnegie. However, over the holidays, the pool had a major leak and is closed for repairs. Thanks to Sports Coordinator, Cory Watters, we have been able to secure another date at Oakleigh Recreation Centre, however we didn’t have much choice in terms of availability. Our House Swim Sports have been re-scheduled to Wednesday 24 February (please note: 3.10pm dismissal time back at school), which is disappointing for our VCAL students who are at TAFE on this day. However, if any VCAL student is a keen swimmer they will still be able to participate in the District swimming carnival, representing Mordialloc College, on Thursday 18 March if they see Mr Watters.
Tips for new parents transitioning to secondary school
We really value the home-school partnership and parents staying connected and engaged with their child’s learning in secondary school. There can be a tendency for parents to step back from their child’s schooling but the best outcomes can be achieved when schools and parents work together to create the optimal supportive learning environments at school and at home for learning, aligned to shared values and aspirations. I encourage all parents to stay informed by staying in contact with their child’s main teachers, reading the College weekly newsletter and maximising their use of one of our main means of communication, the Compass parent portal. Through the portal you can do the following:
- Monitor your child’s attendance, and enter explanations for late arrivals or absences.
- Communicate with your child’s teachers and update family details.
- Monitor homework, assessment tasks and view outstanding learning tasks.
- Download and view your child’s progress on individual assessment tasks during the term and end of semester reports.
- View ‘My News’, a news feed of school announcements, alerts and updates.
- View your student’s timetable and the school calendar.
- Book parent-teacher meetings.
- Pay and provide consent for events, excursions and school fees.
You can access Compass at https://mcsc-vic.compass.education. If you have any trouble accessing, please contact the general office so your password details can be checked. Please don’t share your password details with your child. All students have their own password.
Regularly talk about school and the new and unfamiliar experiences with your child. Assist them to develop organisational skills to plan and prioritise; and encourage your child to take advantage of the many extra-curricular opportunities to broaden their interests and talents. Above all else, encourage them to have a positive attitude and be prepared to give things a go!
The Department of Education and Training (which includes all Victorian government schools, central and regional offices) values the privacy of every person and is committed to protecting information that schools collect. All staff, service providers (contractors) and agents, (whether paid or unpaid) of the Department, and this Victorian government school (our school), must comply with Victorian privacy law and this policy. Click this link:- http://www.mcsc.vic.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Privacy-Policy-2020.pdf to read the policy which is on our website.
2020 Kingston Young Citizen of the Year
Congratulations to one of our former students, Mitchell Sundstrom (20 years of age), for winning this award in December last year. Mitchell was selected from an impressive pool of nominees for his volunteer work in creating a digital archive for the Mordialloc College Alumni Association for the last four years. One of the youngest members of the Alumni Association, he has spent countless hours digitising and updating the Alumni’s website with historical images and documents, creating a state-of- the-art and unique online portal for storing historical records. Mitchell, who juggles his contributions to the Mordialloc College Alumni Association Committee with full time tertiary studies and a part time job, has also upgraded the security on the Alumni website and regularly writes articles for the Alumni’s Newsletter, Ventured.
“Through his work Mitchell has transformed the website into one of Kingston’s most significant historical resources which is not only useful for the College Alumni, it is a fantastic resource for the wider Kingston community and history lovers alike,” said Cr Staikos.
Well done to Mitchell, and we look forward to his ongoing contribution as we prepare for our Centenary Celebrations in 2024.
Stay positive and safe.
Ms. Michelle Roberts