As we approach the end of term 1, I am reflecting on how this is not the usual Easter message I share with the community - 2020 certainly has made a lasting impression.
I would like to start by saying that I share many of the same emotions you are feeling - some fear, some nervousness and sadness. A sadness at the enormity of the impact that COVID-19 is having on the lives of so many. The impact on the unwell, the impact on those who have had and who will have their livelihoods impacted. But in the midst of the negative, I am also able to find some positives and particularly things that make me feel proud to be the Principal of St. Michael’s College.
I am proud of the efforts and dedication of the staff at the College. It is easy to take for granted the people you work with during the good times - but the response of the College staff during the past few weeks is exceptional. They have all gone far beyond what is required. I am proud of each of them and would like to publicly acknowledge them. I would like to particularly acknowledge the teaching staff. Their ability to establish and implement a completely new approach to education is something I will forever be proud of and I think this is something the College community should be proud of.
I am proud of our parents for being so supportive and patient - thank you for continuing to work in partnership with the College. I know this new normal is challenging - but keep working with the College, we are in this with you.
I am also proud of the resilience shown by our students. They have experienced immense changes in their lives at home and school over the past few weeks - and yet they are still overjoyed to see their friends and teachers (either in real life or online). I am proud of their ability to adapt and accept the changes.
I can’t wait until the College is full of students again - it’s a little bit too quiet at the moment.
I would like to take this opportunity to share a few key messages.
Firstly, I would like to extend an invitation to any family that is experiencing financial difficulty, to anyone who has lost their employment, had to close their business, had a down turn in revenue, anyone who is worried about their financial security over the coming weeks/months to make contact with me. If we can help by alleviating some financial stress at this time then we would like to. Please come and talk to me firstname.lastname@example.org - please let us help.
My second message is that the well-being of our students and their family is fundamentally important to the College. At the College we will continue to ensure we implement measures to minimise the exposure to disease (we have ample soap and sanitiser). The emotional health of our students is equally as important, your children will be experiencing strong emotions, copying your emotions and watching how you respond. They know things are very different in their world - please make sure you remember that they are children and they don’t need to be worrying about adult problems. Make sure there is still fun, build some positive memories, and make sure they catch up (using technology) with their friends. If you ever get stuck with ideas about how to discuss issues with your children - please contact the College. Our teaching staff and Sister Veronica are only a phone call away. We are all part of the St. Michael’s College community and just because we are not all in the same place does not mean that we can’t make regular contact with each other, check in and reach out for help if you need it.
My third message is that online learning (with some students onsite) is a new challenge for the College. I just ask that everyone remain patient and respectful - managing online learning has its challenges and complexities. Our approach will not be perfect - but what we have achieved is a credit to the quality of the staff at the College.
I would also remind parents that our staff are also experiencing personal issues outside of school (e.g. loss of income, sick relatives, cancellation of weddings) and they have the same worries and fears as everyone else. Please show our College values in your interactions with staff (including via email) as they continue going above and beyond during very challenging circumstances.
And my final message is, I know learning from home will have its challenges. I am a parent too, children know how to push your buttons and they may not understand why they have to do any school work at home. Try your best. Don’t make a stressful situation more difficult.
Please remember that although you may not be at the College you still belong to the St. Michael’s community. Please let us know if you are experiencing any difficulties – we are here to support you.
Stay safe and stay well.
P.S. Sister V is not coping being away from the College and being unable to give hugs (look out when the social distancing requirements are removed).
Chris Allom - Principal
Congratulations to our Representative Softballers. In week 8, the Glasshouse District Girls won all 5 fixture games and lost a hard fought final 6-2 against Redcliffe. the boys also made the finals but lost to Redcliffe 5-3.
Special congratulations to Mahli Mae J, Charlotte S, Zahlia B and Kodey H who were selected in the Regional team to play at the State Championships.