Dear Parents and Carers
It has been an evolving and challenging experience for everyone this week in our community and I know that we are all feeling the pressure of the rapidity of change that is occurring as a result of COVID-19. Around the globe, so many countries and their leaders are having to make decisions never before imagined or considered – nothing is different here in Australia as we look to our leaders for guidance and protection and nothing is different here in our Mercy community.
Everyone at OLMC, staff and students alike, are doing their very best to connect to what is now the “new normal” – to deliver continuous learning experiences and to maintain our strong and positive Mercy relationships. In such a period of rapid transition, I am truly grateful for the professionalism of the teachers and of the support staff, all of whom have families and concerns of their own and who place the students at the forefront of everything that they do. We are all only human and are doing what is humanly possible. Thank you to the many parents who have expressed their support for these efforts. They provide encouragement when it is most needed!
If there is a positive, and I believe that we must always look for one, it is the way we here at OLMC have been ready and able to utilise technology to instantly support students who are accessing the OLMC Continuous Learning Program. Nothing is perfect but we have worked on resolving issues collaboratively and that sense of commitment and shared purpose is invaluable.
I thought that you might like to hear some reflections from two students who wrote to me recently about their experiences of the Continuous Learning Program– a student in Year 7 and a student in Year 12:
From Ruhaani in Year 7:
“Dear Mrs Wood
I hope you are doing really well. Although I’m really enjoying online learning I wish I could be at school. It is just easier that way and more efficient to receive information, but I guess you have to do what you have to do, and I do understand it’s for the better.”
And from Abi in Year 12:
“Dear Mrs Wood
I would like to say that online learning has been a great experience for me so far. I have been able to take control of my learning through my teachers' guidance and this has helped me develop as an independent learner.
My peers and I are benefiting from and enjoying the zoom meetings with our teachers.”
Positivity, agility, autonomy, collaboration, independence, resilience, concern for others! What great qualities our students are demonstrating here. I am so proud of them. Whether our students are at home or at school, I am encouraged that these qualities are being strengthened at this time and in so many ways.
As you would expect, OLMC staff are demonstrating these same qualities. At a time when there is more work rather than less, they have embraced the challenges of delivering quality learning for the students and embraced the professional learning it also offers them. The ZOOM lessons being successfully offered to Year 12 will now, having been tested, be offered to all classes at least once before the end of this term. We know that girls learn best when they are strongly connected and in a supportive and engaging environment and we are doing our best to provide this for them. We do appreciate the support of parents, as we work with you in partnership to create a solid foundation for your daughters. When you talk positively with them about their learning and these new modes of delivery then you are helping them to make sense of this “new world” and helping them to recognise the opportunities it offers them. You help them to control their uncertainty and you build their coping mechanisms and confidence. Thank you!
I will be communicating with you all again via email before the end of this term. I will communicate any changes from the government or health authorities as soon as they are conveyed. The College remains open for all students to attend until Tuesday, 7 April when the term break begins.
In the meantime, please take care and know that you are all in my prayers.
Mrs Marie Wood