Dear OLMC Parents and Carers
Welcome back to Term 2! I trust that Easter brought blessings to your families, together with much needed spiritual nourishment. We were fortunate as a community to acknowledge Easter as we finished Term 1. When the students returned yesterday to their Continuous Learning Program they were able to commence with a House Assembly, checking in and reconnecting with their House sisters and experiencing an acknowledgment of ANZAC Day, a significant cultural and historical event that has contributed to the shaping of our nation. The qualities exhibited by the ANZACS - those of service, loyalty and courage - continue to stand us in good stead during the current pandemic.
I know that, for many of you, the two weeks of April holidays would have been very different from what you had anticipated in January 2020. Cancelled overseas trips, cancelled domestic vacations, even cancelled visits to family members have contributed to our changing social landscape at present. We have all had to practise social distancing, not just in the supermarket but also from our neighbours in our streets. Some of you will have been working from home alongside caring for your children for many weeks now. In similar ways, many staff at the College have continued working during the break to prepare for Term 2, all the while caring for their own families. It reminds us that we are all in this together! In spite of the current circumstances, I hope that you have found some time to have a relaxing break and that your daughters have returned with enthusiasm for Term 2. Reconnecting to peers, familiarity and routine will help your daughters to process the demands of this new environment and teach them the coping mechanisms that will serve them well in their lives.
The Managed Return to School Plan, which I have sent to you all, outlines our phased approach to the return of students to the campus this term. Commencing from Week 1, 28 April, the College is open, particularly for children of essential workers and vulnerable students. The government authorities rightly consider teachers and support staff of schools as essential workers and we have therefore responded positively to our responsibility to open the campus. I would like to acknowledge the ongoing work of all staff from Term 1 onwards, including during the non-term time, to devise and deliver continuous learning to all students of the College. Nothing has halted for staff in terms of planning, preparation and delivery of learning and I deeply appreciate their efforts. I also wish to acknowledge the vital role of the Pastoral and Inclusive Learning Teams, who are continually monitoring our students’ engagement and wellbeing and the Mission Team who are supporting the spiritual and prayer life of us all. As a Catholic faith community, we know that all of these elements underpin effective student learning.
The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely challenged everyone. In uncertain times that is one thing of which we can be certain. The unrelenting complexity that is COVID-19, coupled with the almost daily updates to advice delivered by Federal and State politicians and Health authorities, demands of us resilience, agility, collaboration and kindness. Sometimes fear of the unknown or circumstances over which we have no control can drive a very emotional response from us and make us lash out at others. This is not our Mercy way. The way we treat others, our tone and language in speaking with and writing to others and our actions, should always be dignified and kind. For this reason, I wish to thank the many families who have taken the time to write with kindness, expressing their gratitude for the efforts of College staff. I have made sure to pass their good wishes onto the staff. As a Mercy community, whatever Term 2 brings, we will be ready to support every member of our community.
One of the ways that we can support each other at this time is to access goods and services in our OLMC community. We understand that many businesses may have been impacted heavily by the pandemic. Therefore, we have established an OLMC Community Business Directory that provides an opportunity for members of the OLMC community to promote their business and assist in connecting all our members in supporting those businesses now and in the future as they return to normal trading.
If you are interested in adding your business to the Directory, please click the link below to complete an application form. If you have any questions, please contact the College Development Officer, Mrs Susan Giacomelli firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the link to the form:
I want to advise you of the following information, which you will find useful as we return in Term 2:
The College Uniform Shop is open during the school term every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 8.00am – 9.30am.
- To ensure the Uniform Shop is safe there will be a limit of one family in the shop at any one time.
- The Uniform Shop will be open on Saturday, 9 May. Strictly appointment only via the College website.
- Purchases can also be made via our online uniform shop, by e-mail email@example.com or by phone.
The College Canteen will re-open in Week 3 of Term 2. From Week 3 the Canteen will be open daily before school from 8.00am and during recess and lunch. The Canteen menu can be found on the College website https://www.olmc.nsw.edu.au/enrolments/canteen/
As the term progresses, and further advice and instructions to schools is provided by the relevant authorities, I will maintain constant communication with you, providing you with updates regarding learning and all developments. Remember that you can access COVID-19 Fee Help if needed by submitting the application for Fee Deferral, which is located on the College website.
We need to rely on each other now more than ever. We need to focus our attention, collaborate and use our collective wisdom for our collective good. Some of the adjustments we have made to our lives provoked by COVID-19 will produce some positive changes that we may choose to embrace for the future. When we model patience and agility for our students our example will be one of the most important gifts we can give to them!
The College is open, the campus has been cleaned and hand sanitiser and soap is provided onsite for all staff and students. Learning continues, community continues, faith continues. We are doing everything we can at the College to keep everyone safe, well and healthy just as you are within your own families. We are missing the students’ presence and looking forward to their return commencing Week 3!
Until we are together again, you continue to remain in my thoughts and prayers.
Mrs Marie Wood