20 May 2020

Dear parents and carers,

Thank you for your continued support during these past few weeks of remote and flexible learning.

As you would have heard on radio and television, students will begin to return to school from next week and staff are really looking forward to teaching in the classroom. While families and students have managed online learning incredibly well, it will never replace the valuable interactions, enquiry and support that is possible in the classroom. Staff want you to know how appreciative they are of the support you have provided your children during this time and understand that this had added considerably to your task of managing the lockdown.

However, it is now time to begin on our pathway back to face to face teaching. Following advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has advised that schools can begin a staged return to on-site schooling.

In the first stage, for our secondary college, Years 11 and 12 students will return to school from Tuesday May 26th.Online learning will stop for these Yr.11and Yr.12 students from Tuesday May 26th. All VCE students are expected to attend regularly from that date.

To support all school staff to prepare for this transition, Monday 25 May will be a pupil-free day.  No classes will run on this day.          

From this date Year10 students undertaking a VCE study, including a VET study, should also attend school for those VCE classes where possible. If this not possible for your Yr.10 child,  our teachers will make sure the work provided to students attending at school is also provided to your child.

For those students who cannot be supervised at home and vulnerable children, the existing model of on-site schooling will remain in place during the two-week period from Tuesday May 26th to Tuesday June 9th. The current process that we are using to enable parents and carers to indicate the days or part-days for which on-site schooling is required will continue for this two-week period. For these students the school must be notified the week before to organise supervision and this can be done by completing the booking form available on the College website under the Coronavirus link and emailing it to the college at thomastown.sc@education.vic.gov.au

All other students in Yrs. 7-10 will continue learning from home until Tuesday June 9th.

In the second stage of our return to on-site schooling, students from Yrs. 7-10  will return to school from Tuesday June 9th. From June 9th online learning will cease except for vulnerable students.

After June 9th all students will be expected to attend school as normal. This means if you choose to keep your child/children home after their year level has returned to on-site schooling, we can no longer support their learning from home.

This does not apply to children who need to be absent for health or medical reasons. For those families, please contact us so we can make an appropriate plan.

This same approach is being taken by all government schools in Victoria.

To support the health and wellbeing of all our students and staff, our college will continue an enhanced cleaning routine and we will encourage frequent hand washing.

If your child is ill or is feeling unwell, they must not attend school. They must remain home and seek medical  advice. The same advice has been given to all staff.

While the Victorian Chief Health Officer has advised that students will not be required to maintain physical distancing at school, there will be a number of important changes to our school operations, consistent with health advice. This will apply until further notice. I will provide more detail about our local school context as soon as possible, but,in the meantime, it is important to note that these changes  will include:

  • With exception of the main front gates, all entries will be closed during the day to control entry.
  • Parents are asked to drop students away from the college as per our normal advice. Car parks at the TRAC and IGA are in walking distance to the school.
  • To minimise the risk of infection there will be no access to the college site for anyone other than immediate school staff and students.
  • Parents who wish to speak to the principal may phone for an appointment. Urgent issues will be dealt with appropriately.
  • Friday June 5th will be Semester One Report Day. Appointments will be made for all students and interviews will be via telephone or video conferencing.
  • Semester two will begin early, on June 9th so it is important all students are back at school by that day to begin their new semester.

We understand that some families may feel anxious about this move back to classroom teaching and learning. The Education Department assures you that this decision has been taken on the basis of the best health advice available to our state.

More information is continually available on the DET website and this can be reached by clicking on the Coronavirus link on the College  website at www.thomassc.vic.edu.au or  https://www.education.vic.gov.au//department/Pages/coronavirus.aspx to access the Department website directly.

Thank you for your continued support and patience during this time. If you have further questions please don’t hesitate to call the College on 94650844 or email the College on thomastown.sc@education.vic.gov.au

Yours Sincerely

Leonie White

Principal


At Thomastown Secondary College, students are supported to strive for Individual Excellence in all aspects of their studies and in the way they carry themselves within their school community.

They are curious, creative and enthusiastic about their learning. They are encouraged to be respectful, to work collaboratively and to accept responsibility for themselves.

Teachers at Thomastown have a deep knowledge of each of their students, their particular strengths, interests and needs. Students, parents and teachers work together to promote the full development of the child.