Term 2 Newsletter, 2020
Welcome to Term 2 2020
There has never been a comparable time in my lifetime to what we are experiencing now globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Globally, we are all doing our best to respond and adjust to the massive scale of change the pandemic has caused to our everyday lives, to the world economy, to our jobs and to our children in schools. Our staff are totally focused on helping our students to work on succeeding with their education. Our school equally supports our students who need to attend school and our students who are going to learn at home. ETASC students, staff and parents/carers should be striving to display a positive attitude and the best mix of ethics and behaviour which are going to be beneficial to all.
ET Australia continues to be open 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday to Friday so if you have any questions about your child’s education, please call us to discuss how we can help. We think that our school model is well-matched to respond to the current situation that we are all experiencing together. We did not predict where we are, but we are rising to the challenge and working productively to make sure that our students are provided with a positive teaching and learning experience. We welcome ideas and suggestions for improvement from everyone in our school community at any time and especially now, so we are happy to hear from you to share your insights and experiences.
Our plan is to make our school experience as normal as possible for all students so whenever we can, we are implementing all of our activities as normal. One example of this is our Student Pathway Plans. An annual Pathway Plan interview is conducted with every ETASC student in Year7, Year 9 and in Year 10. Pathway Plans provide a framework where ETASC can provide support and guidance for students so they can develop vocational and job goals and make informed decisions about their career path. I aim to be part of every interview with the students so I have the opportunity to meet them. Our Student Development Coordinator, Jasmyn, follows up and monitors every Year 10 Pathway Plan with each student to ensure they are getting the support they need. We believe the Pathway Plan framework positively assists students to make realistic and achievable plans for their future, so Pathway Plans in Term 2 will take place as usual in person with students attending school or via Zoom for those students learning at home.
ET Australia Secondary College Principal
Due to the introduction of social distancing and at the advice of the NSW Department of Education, all school excursion and incursions have been cancelled until further notice.
If this advice changes during the term we will continue to provide excursions and incursions to students in Term 3 and Term 4.
Whole School News
Application to Extend ET Australia Secondary College to Year 11 and 12
We are happy to advise parents/carers that ETASC has submitted an application with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to start a Year 11 and Year 12 campus.
In the past seven years, many of our students and their families have expressed their disappointment that we do not offer students the opportunity to complete their HSC studies at the college. If our application is successful, we will be looking to provide our current Year 10 students the opportunity to continue their school studies with the college in Year 11 in 2021.
The Year 11 and Year 12 campus will be located at 125 Donnison Street Gosford, this is the building next to our current school site. ET Australia owns this building and if our application is successful, we will be building a purpose built education facility on the second floor which will include classrooms, common rooms and other education spaces.
More information will be provided in the coming months as our application progresses.
Multi Modal Teaching and Learning – Term 2
Recently implemented social distancing measures and advice from government to families to keep children home from school if possible, have changed the education landscape for Term 2. Face to face teaching and learning will be significantly impacted so ETASC has spent the last three weeks of Term 1 developing a Multi-Modal Teaching and Learning platform to allow students to work from home in Term 2 if required.
Classes will continue to be run at the college for all students who wish to attend school
In designing a platform, ETASC wanted to ensure we are able to provide students with quality learning experiences while working from home. Another key focus has been on providing students with assistance in real time, using video conferencing, message boards and email to connect students with teachers and teacher assistants during the school day.
ETASC has designed a platform that will include the following resources:
Online Learning platforms:
- Google Classroom
- Zoom online conferencing
- Education Perfect
Hard copy resources:
- Work booklets
- Written texts
One of the main benefits of using the different online platforms outlined above is teachers will be able to provide parents/carers feedback via email when a student is falling behind with their work. Another advantage of using these platforms is they provide the ability to post video conferencing sessions in Google Classroom so students can re-watch clips of direct instructions, help sessions, or tutoring sessions at a later date. These videos clips will only be available to students in that particular class and will not be posted on other platforms like Facebook or Youtube without parental consent.
A suggested school timetable will be provided for students to follow, this will help encourage a home routine. The timetable will outline when specific activities should be completed, times when online support is available, when Zoom conferences will take place, and other extra-curricular activities like afternoon tutoring and extension classes. Students who work with our Learning Enrichment Teachers will have scheduled meeting times every week to ensure those activities continue.
IT support will be available to students and parents/carers during the day and if students are struggling with online learning the college will be open and providing class for those who attend.
Along with these platforms, students will be provided hard copies of booklets, worksheets and texts. These will be available from reception from Monday the 20thApril for pick up. Parents/carers who are picking up resources are asked to drop off their child’s work from Term 1.
A breakdown of classes who are using physical resources is provided below.
A comprehensive ‘how-to’ guide has been developed for parents/carers and students to ensure they are able to log on and successfully navigate the online learning platform. This document has been is now available on ET Australia’s website and can be accessed here.
Regular Pattern of School Attendance Required by Students – Check In
A reminder to parents/carers that in order for their child to continue their enrolment here at the college, students need to maintain a consistent pattern of attendance or provide evidence of engagement in their school work.
Due to the introduction of social distancing measures and the introduction of the Multi-Modal Teaching and Learning platform for Term 2, students who are working from home will have their attendance measured by their engagement in their learning whilst working with in a flexible learning model.
We have previously advised that students will need to submit a form on a daily basis to register their engagement with online learning. After consultation with the Australia Independent Schools association (AIS) we have decided to introduce a different system to register a student’s attendance for the day.
Students who are working from home will be required to attend a Zoom conference with an allocated teacher(s) every morning between 9:00am and 9:40am for ‘student check in’. Students who are working from home must show engagement within flexible learning. Having a student check in each morning will enable staff the ability to establish the student’s engagement and register their attendance accordingly. Students who do not register at morning check in will be mark absent – unexplained and a text message will be sent to parents/carers ask them to explain their child’s absence. If a student is having issues logging into the conference we ask that parents/carers call the school to advise the student is having issues and will be engaging with their learning for the day. This system will ensure students are engaging with their learning, develop a routine similar to school and have a contact point with someone from the school every morning.
ETASC will require all students to engage in this platform on a daily basis Monday to Friday. Students will be required to engage in all required online meetings, e.g. student check in in the morning and help sessions with teachers in the afternoon. This interaction will show school staff that students are continuing to engage in their school work from home.
Students will have access to a class in Google Classroom called Student Attendance, this will contain a link to the Zoom conference.
For more information on school attendance please refer to our College Handbook.
ETASC Staff Working From Home
Due to social distancing measures, ETASC has made the decision to allow staff to work from home. There will still be sufficient staff at the college on a daily basis to ensure those students who are still coming to school for classes are provided supervision and help with their learning.
Staff who are rostered to work from home on specific days will still be available to help students via the chat function in google classroom, video conferencing on Zoom, email or via phone calls if required.
Staff emails are available on page 23 in the College Handbook.
Coping With Coronavirus COVID-19 – Some Tips and Advice
ETASC acknowledges that many students and family units may be feeling a range of emotions in this uncertain time. Though not exhaustive, we have provided a list of some resources and agencies that may be able to provide support, advice or information in this age of mis-information.
- Lifeline provides a free, 24-hour phone line for crisis support: call 13 11 14 or use their web chat function.
- Kids Helpline/ 1800 55 1800 offers free, confidential phone and online counselling for children and young people aged 5-25.
- Beyond Blue also offers phone and online options for those suffering from anxiety or depression.
- Black dog institute offers help and advice for coping with mental health issues
Supporting mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19
- If you or your children are having trouble articulating how they are feeling, you might like to try using this feelings wheel to label and understand different emotions.
- This headspace page is specifically for young people feeling stressed about COVID-19, and provides clear advice about what to do if you’re feeling overwhelmed or need extra support.
- This article from TALi Health also has some extra tips for working through difficult feelings with your children.
- Headspace guided meditation app download and unlock the benefits of meditation and mindfulness.
- Reachout online mental health.
How to talk about COVID-19 with your children
- This guide from ABC provides some simple suggestions.
- UNICEF also has some broader tips for how to cope as a family, and some good FAQs about the virus.
- Emerging minds video talking to your children about traumatic events.
General/other information resources
- A National Coronavirus Health Information Line has been established, and can be contacted on 1800 020 080
- Government information and support including FAQs.
- Taming technology- online safety advice and assistance with all different types of technology.
- Qlife/ 1800 184 527 provides Australia-wide anonymous, LGBTI peer support and referral for people
A reminder that if you have any questions, or are directly affected by COVID-19, please as always, ETASC staff are here to support our community.
Synergetic Parent Portal
ETASC’s school administration software system, Synergetic, has an online portal to provide parents/carers access to information about parent teacher interview booking facilities, student attendance, student personal details and contact details here at the college.
This portal also provides parents/carers the ability to update information.
If parents/carers have not been provided access to the Parent/Carer Portal then please contact the college office so your portal access details can be provided.
As development of the Parent/Carer Portal continues, parents/carers will be emailed when updates are made and new options are available.
Request for Student Leave
The Department of Education’s requirement for school attendance also affects opportunities for families to take holidays during school Terms. Some schools are withdrawing the option of families taking students out of school for holidays. ETASC is flexible but the Minister of Education requires us to ensure all student leave during Term time be approved by the college Principal in advance. A student leave request form is available from reception and needs to be completed 4 weeks prior to the planned absence from school.
Please contact the college office on 4323 1233 if you have any further queries about holidays during school Term.
ET Australia Secondary College – A Non Smoking High School
ETASC is a non-smoking secondary college for ALL students and staff.
Students who are caught smoking cigarettes during school hours will have their cigarettes confiscated and destroyed. Parents/carers will be contacted to inform them of this behaviour.
Any student smoking during school hours will be in breach of school rules. Any student smoking will be treated the same way as any other breach of school rules. Repeat offenders will be placed on a school contract that will stipulate the behaviour required to maintain their enrolment at the college. The school contract with the student will include provision of access to quit programs and access to the college psychologist to develop strategies to use instead of smoking during the school day. Breaching the school contract will result in the student’s expulsion from the college.
Year 7 enrolments for 2021 have continued to increase, anyone who is interested in sending a sibling or has recommended the college to family or friends for next year are encouraged to contact the school office as soon as possible to arrange a tour and enrolment interview.
We currently have places available in the following year groups in 2020:
- Year 7
- Year 9
- Year 10
If parents/carers know anyone who is interested in attending the college, we strongly advise them to contact school office as soon as possible to arrange a tour and enrolment interview.
The Department of Transport’s introduction of OPAL Cards is designed to reduce the involvement of schools in the issue and re-issue of this free service for school children. Parents/carers are now responsible to follow up with errors / lost and stolen cards. Students are advised not to put OPAL cards near phones or other disabled cards.
For more information on Opal Cards please refer to our College Handbook.
Banned items – Reminder
A reminder to all parents and carers that the following items are banned at the college:
- Chewing gum
- Aerosol Cans- deodorant etc
- Permanent Markers
- Laser devices
- Metal of opaque drink bottles
- Cigarettes or e-cigarettes
- Cigarette lighters or matches
If students bring these items to school they will be confiscated.
If students continue to bring these items to school appropriate action will be taken in accordance with the consequences for breaches of the expected behaviours outlined at enrolment and in the College Handbook.
ET Australia Secondary College Term Dates
|Year||Term||Year||Start Date||Finish Date|
|2020||Term 1||7 and 8||Thursday 30th of January||Thursday 9th of April|
|2020||Term 1||9 and 10||Friday 31st of January||Thursday 9th of April|
|2020||Term 2||All||Wednesday 29th of April||Friday 3rd of July|
|2020||Term 3||All||Tuesday 21st of July||Thursday 24th of September|
|2020||Term 4||All||Tuesday 13th of October||Wednesday 16th of December|