College’s Response to COVID-19

UPDATE 6 – Muirden Senior College Response to the COVID-19 Virus

25th June 2020

 

Dear Students, Parents/Caregivers,

 

This term has gone very well at Muirden Senior College with regards to COVID19, given the past few months have been very difficult elsewhere in Australia and the World. We have had no students or staff contract the virus, which is excellent news!

 

However, we are concerned about the increased rate of spread of COVID19 in Victoria at the moment.

**It is still a South Australian Government requirement that if you have arrived from NSW, VIC or the ACT and are a non-essential traveller that you self-quarantine for 14 days from your arrival in South Australia. This restriction MAY be lifted from the 20th July 2020**

 

I must warn all parents/caregivers and students that if they travel to Victoria over this upcoming holiday period no matter if they return after the 20th July they will not be allowed into the College for 14 days on their return to South Australia and must isolate themselves from other students who attend the College.

 

I trust that you understand and respect the College’s position on this matter. I am hopeful that next term will see a return to normal activities at the College. This will mean that we can again enjoy the simple pleasures of sausage sizzles, complimentary toast and fruit, and the full use of the student kitchen facilities.

Yours Sincerely

Dr Barbara Harding, Principal

UPDATE 5 – Muirden Senior College Response to the COVID-19 Virus

8th May 2020

 

Dear Students, Parents/Caregivers,

 

First of all I must say it was brilliant to see so many students back at school last week. We recorded at least 90% attendance overall in the first week and this week it has improved.

 

I must let you know that after next week no more classes will be offered via Zoom. If any students are still unable to return then you must notify the College as special study timetables will have to be drawn up. Overall most students are happy to return to face to face classes and it certainly suits the study of SACE subjects.

 

While the Government is prepared for a second wave of COVID-19 infections they, along with the Association of Independent Schools South Australia (AISSA) and the SACE Board, do not anticipate the need for school closures again. In light of this the College is preparing and delivering lessons as per usual.

 

However, the sad news is that the Harry Potter Room, the student’s kitchen, must remain closed next week, as the sharing of a kitchen space is still not permitted.

 

Hopefully restrictions will continue to be lifted and a sense of normality will continue to return.

Yours Sincerely

Dr Barbara Harding, Principal

UPDATE 4 – Muirden Senior College Response to the COVID-19 Virus

22nd April 2020

 

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

 

I do hope you all had a lovely Easter break, albeit an isolated one. We do appreciate the difficulties many have faced during this period of isolation and know that for many students it has not been a great way to learn, particularly when coupled with the lack of socialisation.

 

Moving forward on the latest advice from both the Federal and State Governments, as well as from The Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA), and the SACE Board, The College will resume classes as normal (face to face) from next week, beginning Monday 27th April. We realise that this may present difficulties for some and with that in mind all classes will still be on Zoom to allow each student to participate.

 

The small size of classes, the large classrooms and also the number of couches and ‘social’ spaces within the college will allow for students to maintain their social distancing while still actively engaging in their education.

 

Many of the social events scheduled for next term have been cancelled or modified and I will let students and you know of alternative arrangements.

 

If there is any reason that will prevent your student from returning to classes next week can you please let me know via the front office either on 8212 4342 or officeadmin@muirden.sa.edu.au

Yours Sincerely

Dr Barbara Harding, Principal

UPDATE 3 – Muirden Senior College Response to the COVID-19 Virus

3rd April 2020

 

Dear Parents/Caregivers

 

As we go into the extended holiday break there are just a few things I would like to make you aware of. Firstly, some Stage 2 Subjects are continuing with their classes next week while other classes are expecting students to continue with work, particularly on their long term assignments. While attendance will not be monitored, students should be aware of what they need to do. They can always check on Moodle or email their teacher, or the front office if they are unsure.

 

Secondly, I must emphasise that though classes are on Zoom, student’s safety and privacy are of paramount concern to us. I would like to assure you that all Zoom classes are by invitation only, this is to prevent ‘Zoombombing’ which is now a worldwide cyber problem. Who would have thought!

 

It is also very important that students are ready for all of their classes, just as they would be if they were at school. They must be dressed appropriately; they must be sitting at a desk, not lounging on couches, beanbags or beds. Psychological studies have proven that students who work from their beds begin to associate beds with stress. It is important that beds remain a place where students can feel calm and will associate with rest and sleep. This will hopefully alleviate any extra anxiety that they may already be feeling.

 

Self-Isolation is particularly difficult for teenagers as they typically do like to be social and need contact with their peers. It is important that we remember this as the social shutdown continues and the longevity of the situation begins to take its toll.

 

Term 1 Reports

Reports will be sent out next Thursday 9th April, as per normal. These reports will reflect student’s grades and progress at the end of Term 1.

 

Term 2 – Start Monday 27th April

At this stage we are still anticipating that classes will resume as normal on 27th April, however, we are prepared for classes to still be delivered via Zoom, it will really depend upon what happens over the next couple of weeks. I will keep you and students updated in the next 3 weeks; letting you all know exactly what will happen in Term 2.

 

Also remember that the office will still be open next week should you wish to make contact.

 

I sincerely hope you are all well and remain so. Remember to email me or call me with any concerns you may have.

Yours Sincerely

Dr Barbara Harding, Principal

UPDATE 2 – Muirden Senior College Response to the COVID-19 Virus

27th March 2020

 

Dear Parents/Caregivers

 

I apologize for bombarding you with information, however soon after my last communication the State Government announced that it was extending the holidays by one week.

 

Therefore at the end of next week the College will be on holidays. The last day of this term will be Friday 3rd April. Teachers will still be available via emails during week 11 but timetabled lessons will not be held. Teachers will talk with their students about the early finish of this Term and what that means for the scheduled subject content, some teachers may still have assignment deadlines or tests during the week of Monday 6th to Thursday 9th April.

 

All classes will recommence next term, and I will keep you appraised as to whether this will be via Zoom or whether classes will held physically at the College. The first day for Term 2 is Monday 27th April.

 

The Year 12 school camp, which was scheduled to be held in May, has been cancelled. However, we will be looking at ways at substituting this later in the year with an activity that will make sure our Year 12s don’t miss out on the fun aspects of their last year of school.

 

I do hope you all keep safe during this very difficult time and if you have questions concerning the extended holidays, or anything else please do not hesitate to contact me at bharding@muirden.sa.edu.au

Yours Sincerely

Dr Barbara Harding, Principal

UPDATE 1 – Muirden Senior College Response to the COVID-19 Virus

26th March 2020

 

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

 

First of all I must bring your attention to our new section on the Website, ‘Our Response to COVID 19’. This can be accessed on the front page. You may need to scroll down a little to see it. All communications will be posted on this webpage, on Social Media and of course emailed to you.

 

At this moment in time it is our intention to return to normal (face to face classes) at the beginning of Term 2 (27th April) however this could change, I will keep you all appraised of any changes.

 

As you would by now be aware the college is transitioning to online learning. So as of Monday there will be no classes at the college. Teachers will be working from home, delivering all classes via Zoom. Students have all been sent there subject links via email and are expected to logon to all of their classes.

 

Student timetables remain normal and they are expected to attend every lesson. Failure to attend a class will result in a phone call to parents to find out where they are. Therefore they must be up and ready to learn. It is imperative that they take these Zoom classes seriously just as they would if they were physically attending classes. They have to remember that this is their SACE, their final year(s) of schooling and nothing has changed in that they still need to do work, commit to their studies and meet the same criteria. In order for teachers to ensure they are in attendance students will need to have their cameras on and remain working for the entire lesson. This is not just to catch students out but so that teachers know where all of their students are with their learning and be able to offer help when needed.

 

The SACE Board have provided some direction as to how senior students can fulfil their study requirement while studying remotely. As we do not offer P.E. or Drama or other subjects in which physical collaboration is a necessity, we are well placed to assist all of our students. The SACE are offering advice on individual subjects on how to remotely keep up group work, collaborative learning, supervised tests and supervised assignments. If you want to know more here is the URL link that will provide you with further information https://www.sace.sa.edu.au/covid-19-coronavirus

(any student studying a VET subject will have to follow the directions of their provider).

 

Also please remember that while all classes are online the office will still be open. Kate, Lynne and myself will still be here to answer phone calls, and to trouble shoot any problems students may have with Zoom.

 

Stay safe and I will keep you updated as to further developments.

Yours Sincerely

Dr Barbara Harding, Principal

Muirden Senior College Response to the COVID-19 Virus

19th March 2020

 

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

 

Due to the uncertainty created by Coronavirus, the College will be transitioning to online learning. Next week, Week 9 (March 23rd – 27th), will be our transition week. This means that during that week students will have the opportunity to work from home using the meeting program Zoom or they can attend classes.  Other schools have implemented this for senior classes to ‘flatten the curve’ of spread of COVID-19 and this is our primary concern.

 

The use of Zoom allows students to connect with their teacher and class to allow the teacher to deliver the required content during their normal lesson times. For students who still prefer to come to school, they will be able to attend throughout Week 9 and will be in the classroom with the teacher engaging in the same content that the teacher will be delivering online to their whole class. This way all students will receive exactly the same content, whether they are attending classes in person or not. It also provides the opportunity for students to get whatever they may need from teachers for specific classes – i.e. Art students may need folio and paints. From Week 10 and 11, the intention is that all students will be using online learning and teachers will also be working from home. Lynne, Kate and myself will still be at school if students or parents need to make contact with us.

 

I do acknowledge that the current government stance is for schools to remain open, however we believe we have a unique set of circumstances such as:

  • we are a senior school so our students do not require parental supervision at home
  • most of our students use public transport to get to and from school – this requires them to be in very close proximity with large numbers of people, something that government suggests we avoid
  • some families are choosing to self-isolate and this will result in inequity for our students
  • because we are a senior school, the quality of the learning experience is paramount, particularly for our Year 12s, so we are ensuring that students have access to teachers at normal lesson times via Zoom which will allow consistent delivery of content despite the current uncertainty.

 

There will be no change in recording student’s attendance. I must stress that classes will run according to the current timetable, and the end of this week all students have practiced using Zoom in their classes. Therefore as usual, student attendance will be recorded and parents contacted if the student does not connect to the meeting at the required time. If they experience any problems they must contact the school immediately so the problem can be addressed.  The transition period will allow us to iron out any problems with online delivery and to reassure students and their families that content delivery is still to a very high standard. In subjects that require collaboration and the completion of tests, teachers have modified the timing and/or delivery of tasks so that students are not disadvantaged.

 

Our intentions are to return to a normal school program with face-to-face delivery from the beginning of Term 2, however, we will be closely monitoring the situation and will make a decision closer to the time. We are communicating with SACE to ensure that Year 12s will not be disadvantaged and will inform students and parents of any developments that SACE announces.

 

If students have access to a computer with a microphone and camera at home, we strongly recommend they use that. If students need to borrow a computer from the school, parents must sign a waiver (see attachment) that they will be responsible for damage to the school computer and be prepared to pay for any damages that may occur. No computer will be borrowed unless the waiver is signed.

 

Unfortunately these are uncertain times and the situation is changing hourly. We are encouraging students to wash their hands regularly, use hand sanitizer and reduce the number of times they touch their face.  On this note I must stress that our decision has not been made lightly. It has been made to maximise the health and wellbeing of our staff, students, and their families, while continuing to deliver high quality content and support for our students.

 

If you have any questions please contact our front office on 8212 4342 or officeadmin@muirden.sa.edu.au

Yours Sincerely

Dr Barbara Harding, Principal