Welcome back to Term 2. As we move further into dealing with this crisis, we are seeing great character, ingenuity, creativity and resilience emerge. It has been so encouraging to see so many within our community embracing the adversity as an opportunity to grow, challenge themselves and undertake some new learning.
Right now, 91 per cent of the world’s school-aged children are now undertaking some sort of modified learning program as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – that’s some 1.6 billion students around the globe. There is no question that things are different and that there needs to be some new thinking and ways of working for us all as we endeavour to make the most of the opportunities in this current environment. And while experiences may differ, there is no question that this situation is hard for everyone.
I see our teachers working here with the small number of children of essential workers. The time and effort invested into supporting their learning online – especially for the youngest children – is huge, and I appreciate what a demand this is for you all at home. I know too that this is particularly stressful for those of you who are balancing working from home with looking after children, while at the same time competing for bandwidth to fulfil school and work tasks. I want to assure you that we are planning to get students back into school as soon as we are given the go-ahead from the Chief Health Officer of Victoria. We will be prioritising the studies of our Year 12 students both VCE and IB programs, and the need for all students to have some social interaction. We are planning a variety of strategies for phasing the students back on campus which we will be ready to enact as soon as the health restrictions are loosened.
I am enormously proud of all our staff who have been working under immense pressure for a sustained period of time now. We are continuing to respond to feedback from families about the modified learning program, so to support this ongoing dialogue with you, we will be sending a parent survey out in the next two weeks to capture your insights. Thanks also to those members of the parent community who have offered to have a discussion with our innovation team around ways in which we can maximise the benefits of the online learning experience as we come out the other side of this pandemic.
We would like to share our gratitude of all those who have been able to make contributions to the Carey Student Fee Support Fund. Thank you for your generosity and eagerness to support struggling families within our community.
Finally, I encourage you all to get on board with the Carey Community Challenge if you have not done so already. There are now over 350 teams and more than 2000 participants to date. It’s a wonderful way for us all to remain socially connected despite the physical distance, while at the same time staying fit and healthy throughout the term ahead.