Welcome to week 1 Term 3.
In tough times it is important to first acknowledge the challenges we face, put them in some perspective and find a way forward. Yesterday throughout the morning we were experiencing a growing sense of unease, and our concerns were made evident when the 5th lockdown was announced around 4:45pm.
This was not what we wanted to hear. Just as the College was getting back to a very normal existence, none of us wanted to hear that we were returning to remote learning. We had Year 8 and 9 on Camp, students getting ready for inter school sport on Friday, Course Expo planned for Tuesday evening next week and of course our wonderful production ready for opening night on Wednesday next week. Students and staff were moving around free of masks and we were all feeling great. It is important to remember we will get back there to that point again.
We have made the decisions to run the events we had planned, but most likely later this term. Our students have shown resilience and flexibility beyond our wildest imaginations across the last 18 months. It will be a very emotional time for all of us when the curtain opens and the Addams family first show begins. It has been 18 months in the making. Countless setbacks have been overcome, and with typical Forest Hill College grit and determination, this show will go on. I am attending a meeting with Production staff this afternoon to discuss our options. Once we are in a position to announce when we will run the show we will let everyone know.
Despite the setback this week, we did have some great things happening. Camp looked amazing. The Giant Swing, Rafting, the Mud Run to name a few looked spectacular. Set in an amazing location near the Prom, this camp was enjoyed by many. It created some very challenging experiences for our Year 8 and 9 students, but I am sure they have discovered some new strengths and an increased understanding of how well they can overcome challenging tasks. These are great skills to have as they make their way towards our Later Years program.
On the back of NAIDOC week, with the theme “Heal Country” it was exciting to see our student Cailin, a member of our AFL Academy meet one of her heroes, Eddie Betts, at the Mullum Mullum Indigenous Meeting Space this week.
My gratitude goes out to all of our wonderful staff who, without notice moved efficiently to online learning overnight. They are dedicated and passionate and I thank all of them for the amazing work they have done to shut down onsite operations and move so efficiently to remote and flexible learning, and teach online today. I am immensely proud of all of them. I have had the privilege of observing some lessons online this morning and I am humbled at their capacity and willingness to deliver remote learning with no notice. Not all schools are doing this today. Thank you.
To our wonderful students. Once again, you are amazing. Like our staff, I am privileged to work with you all. Our community is strong. The way our students and parents have adapted to this challenge is humbling.
If you need any support, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Lets all stay positive, safe and strong. Together we will rise above this challenge.