From Mr Phillips
This past fortnight has seen the return of some of our students onsite. Our Year 12 students and some Year 11s have returned to complete their final weeks of study before final assessments commence for VCE exams and VCAL studies. I was further reminded this week that the end of year is fast approaching for Year 12 as students are now completing their performance exams in Dance, Drama and Music and orals in language studies. Teachers of Year 12 are also finalising school-based assessments and applying the guidelines for Consideration of Educational Disadvantage, that is available for every student in 2021.
We have encouraged the Year 12 s to step out and dress up and this has resulted in several themed dress days. Earlier in the week, the yard resonated with the sounds of games of “Tiggy”, as students relived their primary school days! There was lots of animated conversation and excitement on display throughout the week as individuals and classes reconnected, following the GAT. Congratulations to all students and staff who have managed such a smooth transition back on site and we look forward to having everyone back in the very near future, commencing on Tuesday October 26th.
As we prepare for more students to return onsite, the Department of Education and Training is working with the Department of Health to minimise the disruption to learning for all other students in the event of a confirmed case at a primary or secondary school. When there is a confirmed case, the school will generally be closed for an initial 24 hours while cleaning of any affected areas takes place, and while Department of Education staff work with school leaders to identify primary close contacts – who will then be contacted by the Department of Health for the standard contact tracing process. Meanwhile, all other students will be able to return to onsite learning – generally the next day, unless there are further cases immediately associated with a school, in which case further contact tracing may be required. In addition to a trial of rapid home testing for school communities, the Department of Health is working with the Department of Education and Training on an additional, wider trial of the use of rapid antigen testing in school settings as part of the suite of COVID safe measures for schools.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions we continue to adapt and update our Term 4 Calendar. Changes are often out of our immediate control, given that it is our responsibility to follow the DET operational guidelines and the advice of the Chief Health Officer. Please regularly check the calendar in Compass, which will provide you with important key dates, especially as they relate to semester two assessments and planning for 2022, year level events and College activities. Our Gala Music Concert and the Art and Technology Exhibition will both be moved online in 2021 and the dates are to be advised. .
This will my last contribution to RSC News, as I embark on short period of leave in the coming weeks before exiting stage left and on to other challenges. There will be some further opportunities to say farewell, but I am looking forward to spending more time with my family and like most, eventually reignite the passion to travel and recharge before a yet to be determined second act. My nearly 25 years at Ringwood Secondary College have provided lots of joy and I have learnt so much. Before arriving at RSC, I had worked in several schools but none of them had the sense of community that we have here. I think that is what has kept me here for such a long time. Thanks for the good wishes I have received and there is no doubt I will miss this school and our community.
Michael Phillips, OAM