COVID-19 – UPDATE 1 28 January 2021

 

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Welcome to MacKillop College for 2021. We look forward to welcoming our students back to the College, in the hope that 2021 will be a healthy year for the entire community. Please be aware, that students are expected to wear the full summer uniform on their return, tomorrow Friday 29 January 2021.

COVID Safe
The College has a COVID safe plan in place that ensures the health and wellbeing of each member of the College community. Based on the plan and the latest advice from Catholic Education Commission Victoria (CECV) there are a number of expectations we have of students, staff and families. As you are aware these requirements will continue to change in line with community standards and the advice of the Chief Health Officer.

If your son/daughter is unwell, for whatever reason, you are asked to keep them at home. As per government advice, if they are showing even mild symptoms, they should be COVID tested and self-isolate until a negative result is received.

To ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff, all members of the community are asked physically to distance by not shaking hands, hugging etc. as well as adhere to COVID safe practices by not sharing food or stationery etc.

Masks in schools
All students will be required to bring a mask to school. Where a social distancing of 1.5 metres cannot occur, all community members will be required to wear a mask.

This means that within the classroom all students will be required to wear a face mask.

Hand sanitising facilities exist across the entire College, including in classrooms and the entrances to buildings. Student are asked to use this when entering classrooms. Posters of the protocols regarding these expectations have been placed around the College.

The College canteen and lunch orders
In line with the CECV guidelines, the canteen is not able to open in its normal capacity, however, is able to offer a full ‘lunch order’ service. Details and a price list are available on the College website.

Visitors to the College
Visitors to the College will continue to be restricted, and we ask that you come into the College only if it is absolutely necessary. We will continue to enact physical distancing protocols at College reception. Parent/Guardian meetings can occur on site with physical distancing requirements in place.

QR code and contact tracing
To support contract tracing, visitors to our Administration Office and our Uniform shop will be asked to register their attendance via a QR code, which links to the Victorian Government tracking service.

We are looking forward to a wonderful year for our students. Please do not hesitate to contact the College should you have any queries.

Kind regards,
Rory Kennedy
Principal

Safer Internet Day – Start the chat

Safer Internet Day is to be celebrated on Tuesday 9 February, and this year the commissioner of eSafety has created the theme of Start the chat. This being an opportunity for all in the community to raise awareness of online issues and to share strategies for our young adults to stay safe while online.

The eSafety commission offers free online safety webinars for parents/guardians. These live webinars provide parents/guardians with the knowledge, skills and tools to support their son/daughter to have safe and positive online experiences. Visit: https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents/webinars to find more information.

The past year has seen the internet bring us together and to share more than ever before, and yet reportedly one in five young people admit to being socially excluded, threatened or abused online. The office of the eSafety commissioner offers strategies and advice on how to keep our young adults safe online, so visit https://www.esafety.gov.au/ for more information.

Questioning fake news

Fake news is a common catchcry in today’s society. Being faced with the onslaught of information and having to decide what is real and what is fake can be daunting. The good news, however, is that there are numerous questions and considerations students can use to assist in determining whether the information at their fingertips can be believed.

Firstly, consider the context of the information. When was it written and from where did it arise? Have changes been made and is there more information available? Is the information relevant and up-to-date?

Take a look at the construction of or how the information is written. Is there obvious bias, any loaded words with duplicate meaning, propaganda techniques being instigated, or any omissions that you can note? Is the article written as fact or opinion, or is it just speculation?

Consider the credibility of the information. Ask yourself: are you familiar with the source of the information and is it reputable and legitimate? Have you utilised this resource in the past and has it been reliable? Have credible sources been cited for obtaining the information? Is it a form of advertising presented in news worthy format? Is the author of the information credible and knowledgeable of the information they are presenting? Can the information be proven correct from more than one source? Is it infringing copyright license?

Corroborate by reading more fully to check and ascertain more information before you decide if you are going to utilise, forward or believe the information you are being presented with. Headlines don’t always tell the whole story as they are written to catch a reader’s attention. Also, a sole article on a topic may not be verifiable. Consult with fact checkers for any information that may be dubious.

Make comparisons with other sources on the information topic in order to gain other perspectives. Your aim is to obtain the biggest picture you can of the topic.

Taking any combination of these questions into consideration develops media literacy within students, which further leads to consumption of information in a critical manner, and consequently our students become vital critical thinkers within society.

Important Dates 2020-2021

MacKillop College Administration Office Hours 2020/2021
The Administration Office will be closed on the following days:

Wednesday 9 December 2020 from 2:00pm
Thursday 10 December 2020 from 1:00pm
Friday 11 December 2020 All Day
Friday 18 December 2020 until Friday 15 January 2021

The Administration Office will re-open in the new year on:
Monday 18 January 2021 – Monday 25 January 2021 business hours: 8am – 4pm Closed 11:30am – 12:30pm daily

Closed Tuesday 26 January 2021 (Australia Day Public Holiday)
Closed Wednesday 27 January 2021
Normal office hours resume 8:00am to 4:30pm on Thursday 28 January 2020

Students return Term 1 2021: Friday 29 January 2021

Feeling unwell?

Following DHHS recommendations, if your son/daughter is presenting with flu-like symptoms, please have them tested for COVID-19. Your son/daughter is to remain home until a negative result is received. You are also asked to take a screenshot of the result and email it to principal@mackillop.vic.edu.au prior to your son/daughter returning to school.

Thank you again for your continued support.

Worried about the return to school?

You’re about to return to school, maybe you have missed lots of things about school like your friends, school staff, or you just want to see something different from your 5km bubble; but you feel nervous, worried or even scared and you’re not sure why. This could be anxiety – a normal response we have that helps keep us safe in all sorts of situations, like when we experience change.

The anxiety you may have around returning to school might make you feel, think and do certain things. You may feel restless, stressed, breathless, tight in the chest, shaky and you may even begin to panic. You may worry and think things like ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I just want to stay home’, ‘what if no one talks to me?’, ‘I’m probably going to fail.’ You may even look for ways to avoid returning to school or start to avoid doing school work. While this can be a normal response to the transition back to being on campus, there are some things you can do to make it easier.

  • Be prepared for the return. Try and keep up with your work and maintain some connections with friends. In the week before, make sure you have everything you need: Your bag ready; uniform ready; get back into routine with sleep and recreation.
  • Use positive, accurate self-talk to challenge the negative thinking that may be happening. Say things like, ‘I have done this before, I can do it again!’ or ‘I’ve got this!’
  • The mind is powerful and so it can be helpful to imagine yourself doing well on your first day. Step through your predicted routine and see yourself experiencing it in a positive manner.
  • Use the tools you have to calm your mind and body before arriving, and during the day. Mindfulness and deep breathing are really helpful and there are lots of good apps too. The more relaxed you are, the easier it will be.
  • Talk to trusted adults about your concerns. They can support you with the above steps and may have some other really good ideas to help you cope.

COVID-19 – 5 October Update 1

 

Dear Parents and Guardians,

 

As was announced this morning by the Education Minister, James Merlino, all Year 7 students will return to face-to-face learning as of Monday 12 October. We are delighted with this news and look forward to our Year 7 students being with us physically here at the College.

Students in Years 8, 9 and 10 will return to the College on Monday 26 October.

Please note that students will be required to comply with a number of recommended protocols to ensure their own and others’ safety upon their return to the College.

Students will be required to follow social distancing protocols and wear masks at all times in both the classroom and while accessing the College grounds at recess and lunchtime. Mask are also required while travelling to and from school on public transport.

Advice received from the Catholic Education Commission Victoria (CECV) states that ‘based on the advice of the Acting Deputy Chief Health Officers, given the current levels of community transmission in Victoria, mandatory temperature testing of all students on arrival to school will not be required in Term 4.’

To avoid crowding and maintain best practice hygiene standards, the College canteen will only be offering a lunch order service. Orders can be completed in homeroom. A canteen price list is available on the College website. Drink taps will not be available for student use. Instead students are asked to bring a water bottle from home.

Parent/Guardians are reminded that if their son/daughter is unwell they need to remain at home, even with the mildest of symptoms. This important action will reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19.

Students are asked to practise social distancing wherever possible. While maintaining a physical distance of 1.5 metres will not always be practical in the school environment, we are asking that you support us by reminding your son/daughter of these requirements.

We look forward to having our Year 7, 11 and 12 students here next week and are pleased that our Year 8, 9 and 10 students will be returning to us soon.

Take care and God bless.

 

Kind regards,
Rory Kennedy
Principal