The spirit of the Olympics is a message for all of us as we commence our fourth week of online learning. In many ways, the Olympics has been a positive distraction from the challenges of online learning especially the lack of social interaction with other members of our valued community. Olympians, for the past five (normally four) years, have prepared themselves for this significant sporting event. Now, as a result of the global pandemic, many of these athletes have had to endure many challenges such as a lack of preparation time, a lack of international competition, quarantine requirements, a lack of crowds, a lack of family presence and the list goes on and on. Regardless, the athletes have pursued their dreams of competing at the highest level against the best in the world.
As you watch the competitors, it is important to note that the Olympics continues to represent the ideals of human nature and the human spirit. They promote a genuine sense of shared mission, with fellowship and camaraderie and a commitment to self and the pursuit of personal excellence. These are all ideals that we share in educating our students at St Dominic’s College. As we continue to educate the hearts and minds of all our students, let us be mindful that our students have dreams and it is our responsibility, as a loving community, to foster these dreams and help them become a reality, for all. This is especially necessary during these unpredictable times.
Navigating through the past three weeks has been challenging for staff, students and our families. We are all trying to find the balance between work, family commitments and remaining safe and healthy. The NSW Government announced on Thursday, 29th July that the public health order and its restrictions would continue until Saturday, 28th August. The NSW Government also stated that Year 12 students are set to return on Monday, 16th August. This has significant implications for our Year 12 students and all students learning online.
The College is currently communicating with Year 12 students and their families about what this decision by the Government actually means for them and their HSC Trial Examinations. I would like to stress with our community, that in finalising any decision about the return to face-to-face learning, the health of the staff, students and their families will be a priority. As in 2020, the College will maintain regular communication with all stakeholders, so that, when it is safe to return to face-to-face teaching and learning, the College will have a COVID-19 safety plan that will ensure a successful and safe return.
I am extremely proud of all our students who continue to step up to the challenges of COVID-19
and demonstrate the true St Dominic’s spirit. I am also very grateful for the ongoing support from our staff who have been diligent in promoting the academics while concerned with the emotional and social development of our students. The flow of communication from all sectors of the College has been constant and I highly recommend all parents to engage with their child to ensure they are maintaining a rigour with their studies but more importantly, that they are coping with the online learning. If any parent needs support or guidance, please do not hesitate to contact teachers or school leaders who can assist them in support of their child.
One other disappointment of this lockdown period is that we have had to postpone many of our college events. Our staff are currently planning how many of these events may either be held in an online capacity or held later in the year. Events such as the Year 7 to 11 Academic Award Ceremony, the Year 8 Urban Challenge and the SDC Athletics Carnival are significant events as they acknowledge the academic success of students, provide valuable social learning and add to the College spirit. We all look forward to reconnecting with the College events later this term.
The Waterford Program, every Wednesday, provides students and staff valuable information and activities to support them while ‘isolated’ at home. I encourage all students to engage in these initiatives as they provide invaluable support for individuals and their wellbeing.
I encourage all members of our community to work collaboratively with each other, remaining hope-filled and hopefully building a better world for all, even in the current online capacity. As we foster our commitment to the common good, may we live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
Let Your Light Shine
Mr M. Ronchetti – College Principal