Welcome to Week 4. The week has been full of speculation around when schools will return and when restrictions will be lifted. All indicators we have is that remote learning will be continuing for some time yet. Whilst this has been a challenge for many, we have been very impressed yet again with another week of sustained effort from our students, our parents and our staff.
With the advent of Covid-19 it has been necessary for FHC to find a way to connect with our community during this period when families are making important choices regarding placement of their Year 6 (2020) student into Year 7 2021, or they are looking to transition into the College for our excellent VCE/ VCAL, Academy or mainstream schooling options from another High School.
Each year we host up to 400 people on Open Night who visit and enjoy touring the school, meeting our staff and students as well as and viewing our great facilities and programs.
Similarly our school tours are usually at capacity at this time of year, with parents and students attending and asking all kinds of questions about our College. Over recent weeks, we have developed a mini website, accessible from the home page of www.fhc.vic.edu.au which speaks directly to parents and students about the transition from Grade 6 to Year 7 at Forest Hill College. Frequently asked questions are answered for both parents/carers and students alike. You can also tour around our school via our video and imagery. If your questions aren’t answered here, stay tuned for a live Q & A session to be announced very soon.
We are very clear in our understanding that learning from home has a unique set of challenges, and opportunities. Having said that it is clear that routines have been established and students are doing a mighty job. I remind you all again that if you fit the following criteria, we are open for your child to be supervised onsite in their remote learning.
- Children in out-of-home care
- Children deemed by Child Protection and/or School and/or Family Services to be at risk of harm
- Children who don’t have access to a computer and/or internet
As you are aware, there is still much commentary on the appropriateness of schools continuing with remote learning. We are all aware that the Premier will be reviewing the State of Emergency this coming Monday.
Forest Hill College is fully supportive of the advice and leadership the Victorian Government is providing. No child is permitted to be on the school grounds without the approval, by the school Principal, of an official application.
Please also be aware that to assist students to catch up with work if they have found remote learning difficult, and to give as many students as possible a break from screen time, the College will not run classes next Friday May 15.
We encourage as many students as possible to take the opportunity to rest their eyes from screens and to do some exercise around home.
This is clearly continuing to be a challenging time for all of us, and we will all be learning and adjusting our practices as the situation evolves. Feedback from our Student Parliament this week about remote learning has been fantastic. The student gratitude for the efforts staff are making has been warmly received and appreciated by our staff.
The DET learning from home website provides information and resources for parents and carers and the link is below
Further information regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) and schools can be found on the DET website, which will continue to be updated as the situation evolves:
Next week we are celebrating a bit of a Rainbow Week in the lead up to IDAHOBIT Day on Sunday May 17.
IDAHOBIT or The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, discrimination against Intersex people and Transphobia is celebrated on May 17 every day and raises awareness of the discrimination still faced by LGBTIQ people around the world.
For many years now Forest Hill College has marked this day as a symbol of our inclusive culture. This year, obviously, we are facing a very different time as we are Learning From Home, and while we have postponed some of our student-run activities until later in the year to celebrate on Wear It Purple Day, we still want to show our support to our LGBTIQ community members, including students, staff, family and our wider community.
A Difficult Time
For some in LGBTIQ communities this time has been even more difficult due to being isolated in a hostile environment, and there is research emerging around the negative effect this is having on mental health of LGBTIQ people, particularly young people at home if they can’t be themselves and are forced back “into the closet”. So, it’s even more important to visibly show our support at this time and for us to be doing the “heavy lifting”.