Dear members of the Marcellin Family

This week we reached the halfway point of Melbourne’s second lockdown. As many people have noted, it seems quite different this time. For one thing, we are doing it on our own this time as opposed to the national response in April and May. There is also the immense disappointment of being in this situation again when most of us were probably of the view that we had, to a large extent, made it through the worst stage and were heading out the other side. There is no doubt that such circumstances test our resolve and call upon our individual and collective resilience. I’m very happy to report that here at the College, we are doing very well on that score.

Operating a hybrid educational model balancing face to face teaching with the Home Learning Program (HLP) has its challenges but, just like HLP1.0, HLP2.0 has had great support and ‘buy in’ from staff, students and families. This collaborative approach is characterised by a high level of flexibility which is so necessary when we live each day with a certain level of ambiguity in our lives. Teachers are reporting that their VCE and VCAL charges are happy to have the opportunity to be onsite for face to face learning and are so grateful to be spending time with their peers. So far we have been fortunate to not have any covid19 issues interrupting the schedule here as has happened sadly in a number of schools, but we are constantly vigilant in reminding all who are onsite about our hygiene practices, social distancing protocols, mask wearing, and not attending school if even mild symptoms occur.

Feedback from the Year 7-10 teachers has also been quite positive. Well done to our young men here for their level of engagement. Having said that, if there are any ongoing issues that are of concern for you or your son/s, please communicate the specific issue or issues directly with your son’s teacher or the relevant Learning Leader.

I appreciate the current circumstances will be causing a range of challenges for individual families to deal with. Impacts on jobs, businesses, finances, physical and mental health, family dynamics and even just the personal restrictions, are all having to be managed by families. Schooling, while vitally important, is just one of these challenges. So, in this context, to our parents and carers, I want to say thank you so much for the way you have worked in partnership with the College over the past 3 weeks. It has allowed for consistency of messaging and consistency of approach which has resulted in minimal disruption to the learning program and maximum impact on learning outcomes.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge our teachers, and more broadly our entire educational support staff, for their commitment at this time. They, like everyone else, have to manage their sometimes complex individual and family circumstances as mentioned in the previous paragraph. Despite this, they have continued to teach and support your sons to the best of their ability. A great edict of St Marcellin was for those in a Marist community to ‘love their work’. We are seeing that lived out each and every day here at Marcellin College.

With blessings for the week ahead

John Hickey