Rollout of Common Platform to Support Remote Learning
Dear Parents and Carers,
Thank you for all you support with our new remote learning program that began yesterday. I am really enjoying seeing all the learning happening with our students via the Seesaw platform (although I am missing everyone terribly!) Thank you also to our patient parents and teachers for all their efforts with this. In Thursday's newsletter we will be sharing some of the great learning experiences that have been happening throughout the week from students working remotely both at school and home.
As I have mentioned before, each day we are met with new challenges and the goal posts continue to be moved. As an education system, we need to ensure the safety of all our children as we rapidly move to remote learning. We need to also ensure our IT system can support remote usage and that security is never compromised. The Director of Catholic Education Canberra and Goulburn, Mr Ross Fox has called for the immediate roll out of a common learning platform, Microsoft Teams. This platfrom provides a high level of security and is utilised by the Australian Defence Force. Please note that Seesaw will still be our learning platform - Microsoft Teams will be the common platform overarching this to support with security and reliability across our 56 schools in the Archdiocese.
As you can appreciate, this will involve some Professional Learning for our teachers. Therefore, Ross Fox has asked that we finish our remote learning program for Term 1 this Friday, 3 April. Week 10 will be a pupil free week for our system, so that teachers can participate in Professional Learning and collaboration. Please see the letter below from Mr Ross Fox:
Please note that our ELC will continue as normal for Week 10. As stated in the above letter, we will be providing care for those families who are essential workers and cannot look after their children next week. Please contact me ASAP, so I can organise care for your children at Holy Trinity for Week 10. For other families, enjoy this extra break, that I am sure is very much needed.
Thank you again for your support, understanding and patience. Please continue to keep in your thoughts and prayers those in our community suffering hardship or sickness as a result of this health crisis.
Dear Parents and Carers,
Thank you so much again for all your support, especially over the last two days, to enable Holy Trinity staff to prepare for Remote Learning. This is new ground for all of us, and we will navigate this journey of learning together steadily and with patience!
Catholic Education's position still stands- if you can keep your children at home with our new Remote Learning model this is strongly encouraged. However for our essential workers, Holy Trinity remains open. As of next Monday, we will have a high number of staff working remotely for various reasons and will still continue to offer a quality education collaboratively.
In the foyer of the school , we still have packs to support learning for families to pick up some time during next week. We will also continue to communicate with our community via email and School zine.
Have a lovely weekend with your beautiful families.
Dear Parents & Students,
Student & Family Counselling Services
I am writing to update you on the efforts CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn are making to continue to provide services in light of the Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).
The health and welfare of our clients, families and staff are our highest priority. Our organisation is on high alert and we have enacted a number of strategies to ensure we are able to respond to this national health pandemic.
We are working closely with the Commonwealth Health authorities to follow all guidelines as directed and as such, have put in place hygiene and self-protection measures that can prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
Counsellors will continue to provide support and are able to connect with students and parents via telephone or online using the Zoom platform.
- Appointments will be available during school hours on the counsellor’s usual working day/s in the school.
- Appointments can be made by phoning our receptionist on 6162 6104 or by emailing email@example.com. Please provide the following information in your email – name of student, school year, name of school, name of counsellor (if currently working with this person) and a brief outline of the reason for the referral. We will then make contact to arrange an appointment time and discuss your preference for a telephone or online session.
- For telephone sessions, if the call is missed, a second attempt to make contact will be made. If this is still not successful, the Counsellor will send an email to negotiate another time. It would be appreciated if you are not available at the scheduled time, that an email to cancel the session is received.
- For video sessions you will receive an invitation via email with a link to your Zoom session. You do not need to already have a Zoom account; you will be invited to download the software once you click on the link. The same process as above will be followed if you do not accept the session.
Privacy & Confidentiality:
- Please make sure you are in a private place for your session; where others cannot hear your conversation or see your screen. This is your responsibility; please advise the Counsellor if this is not possible.
- Should your counsellor become concerned about your safety or the safety of another student, the usual limitations around confidentiality exist.
- Parents of primary school children: the need for privacy and confidentiality will be discussed with you when making the appointment. Many families have rules at home about phones and devices in bedrooms or other private places, so this will need to be discussed with your child.
The Student & Family Counselling Team
COVID-19 Fee Relief
I acknowledge the unprecedented economic impact on families as a result of COVID-19 and associated government directives, especially after last night's new announcements.
Consistent with our enrolment policy “no child is to be denied Catholic schooling simply because of an inability (as opposed to an unwillingness) of a parent/guardian, to meet financial requirements”.
Effective immediately are the following fee relief measures:
- Credits (for amounts paid) will be placed on fee accounts for cancelled excursions (excluding non-recoverable deposits), sporting events or activities as a result of COVID-19.
- All debt collection activities will be suspended until further notice
- Fee concessions will be available on outstanding fees at the end of Term 1 for those families eligible for Government COVID-19 supplement payments.
- Fee concession will be available for Term 2 fees for families eligible for Government COVID-19 supplement payments.
We anticipate delaying fee statements for Term 2 until there is greater clarity about the duration of the pandemic. General fee concession arrangements are being considered and will be communicated once finalised.
If you have been financially impacted by COVID-19 or have any concerns around fees, please contact me directly.
Message Error re 2020 NAPLAN Online Testing
Dear Parents and Carers,
Our apologies re the last message sent about NAPLAN Online Testing. This was a scheduled message that was forgotten to be erased when NAPLAN was cancelled last week. Please IGNORE! NAPLAN is definitely cancelled for 2020.
Once again our apologies,
2020 NAPLAN ONLINE TESTING
ACT schools will participate in NAPLAN Online testing from 12-22 May 2020.
All students participating in NAPLAN Online 2020 are expected to have done a practice/familiarisation test prior to the May NAPLAN tests. ACT schools undertaking NAPLAN Online this year will participate in a practice/familiarisation test between 23 March and 9 April 2023. The practice test does not assess student performance and has been developed to replace one of the familiarisation activities that schools have traditionally undertaken.
As a parent, you can become familiar with NAPLAN Online tests by visiting the public demonstration site, http://bit.ly/naplanonline. The purpose of the site is to familiarise students with the type of items they will see on NAPLAN Online and related functionalities. This level of familiarisation is worthwhile to help students understand and be comfortable with the format of the test.
As part of undertaking NAPLAN Online, the Education Directorate works closely with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and Education Services Australia (ESA). ESA operates the NAPLAN Online platform which will contain personal information. ACARA will collect anonymised information about each student who takes the test online from the Education Directorate.
For additional information please contact [include contact details of NAPLAN Coordinator or principal].
Further information on NAPLAN Online, including the public demonstration site, is available at www.nap.edu.au/online-assessment/naplan-online.
Today's COVID-19 Update
Dear Parents and Carers,
I am aware there is confusion in the Australian community around messages from the various levels of government. I write to provide clarification for you in relation to Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn.
Current Health Advice
The current health advice does not recommend or require school closures at this time. The Minister for Education in the ACT has stated that schools are safe places for students and staff and that schools are open for all students that need to attend school. We will continue to closely monitor health advice to ensure both student and staff safety.
You may wish to access the national health advice as follows:
Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn
Our position is as follows:
- In line with the NSW and ACT Governments, Catholic Education encourages parents to keep their children home if they are able. If you do decide to keep your child/children at home, please notify the school in writing.
- Our Catholic schools will remain open to students until the end of Term 1, Thursday, 9 April. This is to support parents and carers, particularly those providing essential services at this time, who are unable to provide care for their children. Students will be supervised at school and participate in Phase One of a remote learning program, beginning Monday 30th March until Thursday the 9th of April. Phase Two of reomte learning will begin in Term 2.
- At this time, low or minimal attendance of students at schools will support teachers to prepare for remote learning for all students. We are committed to providing students with quality learning opportunities as we prepare to offer a single program of learning that may be accessed in school or remotely. This will develop with time. No student will be disadvantaged by the current changes.
- To give teachers adequate time to create our Holy Trinity remote learning program for every Year level, we will be working together as a staff on Thursday and Friday of this week. Can I please strongly encourage you to only bring children to school on these days that have parents working in essential work places.
- Catholic Education in Canberra and Goulburn is prioritising the safety and well being of students, staff and families.
I encourage you to visit the COVID-19 Information and Updates resource page on The CE website which contains current information, resources and useful links. This page is updated regularly.
I understand the concerns in our school community during this challenging time. I hope this letter clarifies some of the confusion for you. I ask for your continued patience and cooperation as we work through the current issues.
I am available should you have any questions or concerns,
The Sacrament of Reconciliation
Due to the Caronavirus (Covid-19), we will not be proceeding with the celebration of First Reconciliation on Thursday, 2nd April. In due course, when circumstances permit, we will notify you of a new date of celebration.
I thank you for your understanding.
We continue to keep each other in prayer during these challenging times.
Media Release from Ross Fox
Dear Parents and Carers,
Please see attached media release from Ross Fox:
Thank you for your patience and support,
COVID -19 Update
Dear Parents and Carers,
begin today by thanking you for your best wishes and understanding at this challenging time. There are many things on everyone's minds, most importantly the health and well-being of our families and those close to us. I have just spent considerable time with Ross Fox, the Executive team at CE and all Catholic Schools Principals in our diocese. It has been decided that Catholic Schools in our Diocese will remain open until the end of Term 1. This includes our ELC and Before and After School Care. Please see the letter from Ross Fox below. If parents choice to keep their children at home after today, we will be sending home materials to help with learning.
I wish to acknowledge the tremendous work of all our staff. They continue to provide engaging and effective learning experiences, whilst keeping the students happy and positive in these challenging times. I am incredibly proud of our staff and feel privileged to be working with such such caring and dedicated professionals.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need clarification or have any questions or concerns.
Dear Parents and Carers
I write in relation to the operation of Catholic systemic schools in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn in the coming weeks.
I can confirm that
- Being mindful of the decision for ACT Public schools to commence pupil-free days on 24 March, Catholic schools will also be altering their operations.
- You may choose to keep your child/children at home. I would ask that you notify the school in writing, in the usual way, if you intend keeping your child at home until the end of Term 1.
- As far as possible, the plan is for schools to remain open to students and families who need to attend school for the rest of Term 1 as long as we are able to operate safely with sufficient staff and resources.
- We will be in preparation for a full transition to remote learning in Term 2.
Our priority, at this challenging time, is to ensure the continuity of learning as far as possible in a safe environment for all of our students. We will also provide particular support for students and families who need our assistance. While remote learning will not be perfect in the first instance, we will work together to ensure that it improves in quality and sophistication.
In yesterday’s Gospel we heard how Jesus gifted the blind man with sight. He then drew him into the light of faith. As citizens and people of faith, we must work together. We must respond to the advice and directions of health advisers and government. We must take appropriate action in the founded hope that the light of Jesus will guide and sustain us in the face of many challenges.
I thank you for your patience and understanding at this time of uncertainty.