09 September 2021

From the Principal

Article by Mr Michael Exton

From the Principal

Dear Saint Ignatius College Geelong community members,

Return to onsite learning for Year 12 students from tomorrow

As you are probably aware, the Hon. Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria, announced yesterday that lockdown restrictions would be lifted in most of regional Victoria from Thursday night, following advice from Victoria's Chief Health Officer.

Regional schools will reopen for onsite learning for Year 12 students who live in regional Victoria, while remote learning will remain for all other levels. This means that our Years 11 & 12 students studying VCE Unit 3 & 4 subjects and Year 12 VCAL students will have onsite classes from tomorrow. Years 7 – 11 students will continue with remote and flexible learning.

Onsite supervision will remain available for vulnerable children and children of essential workers in all year levels. This service remains at our College under the arrangements that are currently in place.

As was the case before this lockdown period, we will still need to be vigilant about ‘COVID-19 Safe’ practices. For students attending school, this will mean that they will be required to wear masks on buses, in classrooms and outdoors unless an exemption applies.

Deputy Principal Michael Timms has emailed all students about the arrangements for the remainder of this term from Friday. A summary for parents and carers is as follows:

  • Years 7 – 11 students continue with remote learning from home.
  • All buses will run as usual from this Friday.
  • Year 12 students attend school each day from Friday.
  • Year 11 Unit 3 & 4 students attend school on days they have their Unit 3 & 4 VCE subject. They can stay at school for the day and undertake their usual Year 11 classes via remote learning (please bring headphones.)
  • Please note that for Years 7 – 11 students this Friday, there will be a compulsory morning Homeroom period, and then classes for the rest of the day will be by announcements.

Some reminders & updates

  • Parent, Student & teacher Conferences will be held via Zoom next week, Thursday 4 pm to 7 pm and Friday 9 am to 12 noon. Deputy Principal Bernadette Donnelly has emailed parents information about how to book conferences.
  • There will be an online information session via Zoom for Years 11 & 12 Units 3 & 4 VCE and Year 12 VCAL Parents and Students this evening from 6 pm to 7 pm.
  • The last day for classes this term will be Thursday 16th September.
  • The first day of classes for term four will be Monday 4th October.
  • We are monitoring the situation regarding the Year 9 Camps scheduled during the first two weeks of next term. Contact was made with the organising company yesterday. The advice was to wait until next week and check the health authority advice regarding the conduct of camps. Year 9 Parents and Students will then receive email notifications about whether their camp will run. This decision will be based on the official health advice for school camps.
  • We are still waiting for confirmation that we can perform “Wicked” in early December. We need permission from the rights holders for this. We will inform our school community as soon as we know whether we can or cannot go ahead with the show. As you would understand, our ability to stage “Wicked” will also depend on the pandemic restrictions at the time.

Introduction of bus fares for many bus routes

As has been foreshadowed for many years, a significant change in the provision of student bus services will commence at the start of the 2022 school year. This will mean that a bus fee will be introduced on many bus routes. Whether a fee will be payable and how much it will cost depends on the type of service.

A letter has been emailed to parents about this, with an attached document explaining what applies for each type of service where bus fares will be introduced. The bus fares information document is also available on the College website under Enrolments > Bus Information.

Please contact our Bus Coordinator, Mrs Deb Pisarskis, if you have any questions (E: buses@ignatius.vic.edu.au or Ph. 03 5251 1136.)

Saint Ignatius College has an excellent educational reputation and has been well supported by many wonderful families from across the Geelong over many years. We want such families to be able to continue to access our College, and we are committed to working with various authorities to see what can be done to make future bus fares as affordable as possible.

Staff news

This is the last newsletter for this term, and I would like to inform you about some staff changes beginning next term.

Mr Brad Manczak
will return from term three leave. Thank you to Ms Sarah Rothwell for covering Mr Manczak’s classes. Ms Tess Duddy will be finishing her Music teaching. We will welcome Mr Michael Wilding to the Performing Arts Faculty. He will teach Years 7 & 8 Music classes and coordinate our Bands & Year 7 Music programs.

Information Librarian, Ms Tahnee Bruynen will be replaced by Ms Melina Torres while she is on parental leave.

Ms Tory Wood
will continue her leave, and her position has been advertised.

And our Development Manager, Mrs Claire Hewitt, has informed me she will be finishing at the end of this term. Mrs Hewitt is a long-serving staff member whose dedication and enthusiasm for promoting the College is well-known and greatly appreciated. Mrs Hewitt has made a significant contribution to the growth and development of the College, and I will pay tribute to her more fully later in the year.

On behalf of our College community, I extend my best wishes and thanks to all staff taking leave or finishing their time at our College.

Thank you and best wishes

As the end of the third term draws close, I thank all parents & carers for your ongoing support, particularly during this latest period of remote and flexible learning, as we work together to support our students’ learning continuity and well-being. I wish all families patience, peace, and strength during the continuing uncertain and challenging times. May our students enjoy a relaxing and rejuvenating time over the coming two-week break.

Michael Exton