Living, working and learning remotely has been a new experience for all of us. It has provided challenges but also opportunities to grow and develop, make new connections and to support one another.

We started Term 2 three weeks ago with some idea of what teaching and learning remotely would actually look and feel like. We had plans like all schools, however, we knew these plans would evolve and change over time and they did, with the College introducing stages 2 and 3 across the next two weeks. Three weeks into remote learning, I feel we have settled into routines and structures which are both flexible but provide structure and support to staff, students and parents/carers.

During remote learning, living our College values is even more important.

Without the resilience of all members of our community (students, staff and parents/carers) I am certain, little would have been achieved. Things do not always go as planned. Sometimes technology doesn’t work, sometimes plans change, sometimes we get it right and sometimes we learn and adapt but our community has been resilient, taking challenges, working outside their comfort zone, trying new things but most importantly not giving up when it has been difficult.

Every day we are asking our students to demonstrate endeavour. Working from home without the classroom teacher being there for every period, requires students to be problem solvers and self-directed learners. We all face the challenge of staying motivated without the same level of human connectedness. Hopefully, when we come out of this environment, our community will continue to embrace these skills which will equip them for a life of learning.

I would like to acknowledge the students and parents/carers who showered the College with emails thanking our staff for the work they have undertaken to ensure each student has a learning program to continue their education throughout remote learning. Thanks also must go to our staff who have modified work, sent emails of encouragement to students, prepared countless lessons for students delivered online and supported one another during this time. Compassion begins with kindness and there has been a remarkable amount of kindness shown recently within our community.

Our students need to be congratulated on the way they have transitioned to online learning and the respect they have shown to each other and the staff on the Microsoft TEAMs platform. As is to be expected of Mooroolbark College students have risen to the occasion. Well done and congratulations.

We all know this time can be challenging so please do not hesitate to contact the College for support. The same supports are in place that exist when we are physically at school. All staff can be contacted via email and the College reception is operating remotely on 9727 8100. Contained in this newsletter is a summary of our teaching and learning and pastoral care arrangements (incorporating Stages 1, 2 and 3), contact numbers and external support services.

Remember the most important thing we can do is look after ourselves so that we can look after others. Please take time for yourself and reach out if you are struggling during this period of isolation.
Please stay safe and connected.