MAC News 6 2020
Dear MAC Community
Thank you for the positive, enthusiastic way you have engaged with our approach to Remote Learning throughout the past few months. The response of our community to the challenge of these times has been inspiring. I am proud of our collective efforts in supporting one another and getting through what will no doubt be one of the more challenging experiences in our educational journey and lives in general. The impact of the pandemic has been felt by all to varying degrees. Working from home, feeling disconnected from our family and friends, financial hardship and decline in our mental wellbeing have been the reality for most. While life is slowly getting back to normal, many are still feeling a degree of anxiousness and worry. It is important that you reach out for support and I would strongly encourage you to contact the school and our fantastic wellbeing team. Those of you who are continuing to experience financial hardship, please contact the school if we can assist with uniform purchase, food bags and/or fee payment plans.
It has been wonderful to see all our students return to school this week. Students have adapted well to the logistical changes such as the staggered starts and departures, and earlier dismissals at recess and lunch. This has helped tremendously in minimising congestion in the corridors. Students are making use of the washing taps available and responding very well to reminders about hand washing, sanitisation and other hygiene measures. It is great to see smiling faces and students engaged in learning in what has been empty classrooms for months. Some students are working hard to catch up before the end-of-semester reports and are being supported by their teachers.
As you would be aware students and parents were invited to complete a Remote Learning Survey by the Department of Education. That survey will remain open until 26 June if you have not yet completed. Please check the post below about this. The Compass post with the survey link and PIN was sent out on May 21. Staff are currently reflecting on their teaching experiences and examining what worked well, what practices can they retain to improve the quality of learning experiences for their students. Teachers will be asking their students specifically about what worked for them and what they could continue to do to enhance learning.
I would encourage all students to discuss and reflect on their experiences with their parents and carers? What worked well? What didn’t? What did you learn about learning? What did you learn about yourself as a learner? What did you learn about your capacity for independence? What did you learn about the power of collaboration? What did you notice about the importance of connection?
Updates and Reminders
The arrangements indicated in the Return to School Stage 2 Policy will remain in place until the end of the term. These will be reviewed in line with Department of education Guidelines and the needs of the school.
Please refer to the charts below for the Mentoring arrangements for the next two weeks.
|Week 10||POSEIDON D, E
APOLLO D, E
ARTEMIS C, D, E
ATHENA C, D,E
|POSEIDON A, B, C APOLLO A, B, C
ATHENA A, B
|Week 11||POSEIDON A, B, C
APOLLO A, B, C
ATHENA A, B
|POSEIDON D, E
APOLLO D, E
ARTEMIS C, D, E
ATHENA C, D, E
Students are now able to purchase lunch over the counter as well as ordering and paying online. Where possible students are encouraged to pay by card.
The uniform shop is located onsite near the Heads of House at the old sick bay. Please note that the long sleeve polo is now available. Undershirts should not be visible underneath dresses and short sleeve polo shirts.
Leggings are not permitted. Students are able to purchase tights from the uniform shop.
The old spray jacket is no longer part of the school uniform and was phased out 3 years ago. Families who need assistance in purchasing the current school jacket should contact the school.
Earrings should be either a small stud or sleeper. Hoops and drop earrings are not permitted as they pose an OH&S risk.
Hoodies must not be worn. Students are encouraged to wear the long sleeve polo with the jumper and jacket. Student may also wear a plain black scarf.
Semester reports and Student Led Conferences
Semester 1 reports will be published to parents in the first week of Term 3. We would like to give parents, carers and students the opportunity to discuss the Semester 1 Reports with teachers. We are current looking at how we might be able to facilitate this whilst adhering to the social distancing measures still in place and the advice from for the Department, which at this stage is stating that all conferences need to be done remotely. We will have more information regarding this during Term 3.
I would like to wish you all the very best for the rest of the term and thank the MAC staff for their outstanding work this term. They have well and truly earned their break.
Ms Dani Angelico, Principal
Inside this issue
- Survey Reminder: How did learning from home go for you and your child?
- Poseidon news and reflections
- Developing positive coping strategies
- Letter of thanks to parents
- Secondhand Uniform Shop
- Student Wellbeing: Coronovirus – The Transition Back
- A message from the MAC Parents and Friends Association
- Onsite and Online Uniform Shop
- Community News and Advertising
Survey Reminder: How did learning from go for you and your child?
Learning from home is a big change for schools, teachers, students and families.
The information you provide will be used to drive school improvements.
- The survey is conducted online and should take 10 minutes to complete.
- The survey can be completed on any internet enabled device (desktop or laptop computer, tablet, smartphone) and is compatible with most browsers.
- The survey will be open until Friday 26 June 2020.
Please be assured that your responses are completely confidential. The survey is conducted anonymously and it is important to us that you complete the survey as honestly as possible. Your comments to the open-ended questions will be provided back to the school.
Please follow the instructions below to complete the survey. NOTE: Only one parent from your family is invited to complete the survey.
To complete the survey, simply:
1. Click on the link below, or copy and paste the text into your browser. This link will take you directly to the survey.
2. Select the School name below.School Name: Mount Alexander 7-12 College
3. Enter the School PIN.
The PIN was sent out to families on May 21. You can find the Compass post by looking at the News items and scrolling down to the post called: “Survey Reminder: We want to know how learning from home going for your child?”
4. When complete, please click on the ‘FINISHED!’ button at the end of the survey to submit your answers. Please note that the survey will time out after 60 minutes of inactivity.
Please do not hesitate to contact myself or Dani Angelico if you have any general queries about the survey. For specific technical or participation related queries, you may also contact the Department or the supplier administering the survey, ORIMA Research.
- Should you have any technical queries regarding the survey, please do not hesitate to contact ORIMA Research on 1800 654 585 (toll free), or by email: email@example.com
- Should you have any participation or survey-related queries, please contact the School, or the Department by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for taking the time to participate, your feedback is important to us.
Kate Stevanovic, Leading Teacher Student Leadership and Empowerment
Poseidon news and reflections
The last weeks of Term 1, right up to the end of the first week of June, placed us in a position we had never been in before. COVID 19, social distancing and restrictions placed us all in a challenging position – our teaching and learning was at the forefront of those challenges.
As Head of Poseidon House, I would like to congratulate all our students for their commitment to transitioning to remote learning, working collaboratively in breakout rooms, using google hangouts and for submitting tasks at the end of each lesson.
On a personal note, I am sure you have heard of my injury and therefore my absence from MAC. My passion for Poseidon House is no secret and it was with reluctance that I have had to temporarily hand over my responsibilities as Head of House. At this point in time, I am still uncertain as to when I will return however, reading chronicle entries for Poseidon students is very much a part of my daily reading routine. The positive points my students are earning themselves and House Poseidon, truly puts a smile on my face each day. At the time of writing this report, Poseidon students should be proud knowing they have earned a total of 2076 points since the beginning of the year for our House.
I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all the students, parents and MAC staff who have taken the time to text, email, call and Zoom with words of encouragement while I have been in hospital and in rehab. I would also like to thank the Student Engagement and Wellbeing team for supporting Poseidon students in my absence.
Go Poseidon!!!! I am so proud of each and every one of you and look forward to my return so we can continue celebrating your successes together.
Sophie Dalabiras, Head of Poseidon House
Remote learning was a formalised chaos, as for being a year 7 and just starting high school it was tough. I was quite sound since I was using a whole bunch of devices near me however the work load felt like it was more than normal school. Even though most of the students went smoothly during remote learning sometimes the link won’t work or wifi wasn’t cooperating with you that day or you accidentally turned on your camera in a break-out room. Nevertheless it had it’s ups, for example you could eat whenever you want just make sure your camera wasn’t on and wear whatever you want. You couldn’t wear your pajamas so the common trend was hoodies. Some teachers attempted to have fun in a zoom call such as showing our pets or relatable memes, but overall they still kept up their attitude even though it felt like no one was listening. Predominantly, online schooling was a challenge but I am very fortunate to have Mount Alexander to have provided me easy to understand work and extremely fortunate to have an accessible device at home.
Going to shops was the only reason I would be going out unless it was going for a walk or exercising. Attempting to go to your local woolies or coles was like getting drafted to go to an upcoming world war 3. When you were entering the groceries you would have to be bringing hand sanitizer or buying some yourself. There were large stickers or tape on the ground indicating social distancing which is obviously 1.5 metres. When numerous restrictions lifted one by one it was like lifting a cage with hundreds of animals free, it was hectic especially if it was on the TV. When trying to go in the store it was like dodging the numerous bullets coming from different directions. To justify it was quite a hectic way of facing coronavirus which I will never forget.
Justine Escano, Entry POC
Online learning has had its ups and downs. I have definitely felt like I am slowly counting down the days till I am allowed to return to school and see friends and teachers. In Poseidon house I feel like our house leaders have made an amazing effort to create online activities including the spoon challenge. These activities have given me something enjoyable to work on with my house. Online learning has been a good experience but ultimately, I can’t wait to get back to school!
Lotte Van Hulsen, Year 10 POC
Developing positive coping strategies
Working out the right coping strategies to help you handle different situations can be tough, but it’s worth it. Find out more about different coping strategies, including how to put them into practice, and tips for what to do when they don’t work.
Why positive coping strategies are useful.Positive coping strategies are any actions you take to manage and reduce stress in your life, in a way that isn’t going to be harmful or detrimental in the long term. People who use positive strategies are not only better able to tackle challenges and bounce back from tough times, but they are also much happier.
Finding the right coping strategies.
Pretty much any coping strategy which isn’t going to be harmful or ineffective in the long term is worth a try. However, you will probably find that some strategies work better for you than others in terms of how well they reduce stress and help you manage. It’s also worth noting that some strategies will work better or worse depending on the particular event /situation.
To find the best coping strategies for you, list the types of situations that you find difficult to manage. Pick a few ways to reduce stress (listed below). When the stressful situations arise, try out one of your strategies. Keep notes on how it went – things that worked, or didn’t. You’ll soon work out which strategies work well for you, and which situations favour certain strategies over others. Keeping tabs by writing things down will also help you make using positive coping strategies a habit.
A mega list of coping strategies
Turn to someone you trust. It can be a relief to share your thoughts with someone else, and it can be good to work through problems with the help of another person.
Write it all down. Keeping a notebook handy for you to scribble your thoughts in whenever you feel like it can be a great way of expressing yourself. You may find it helpful to write about what is worrying you, or express yourself in a more creative way.
Set aside regular time for yourself. Even if it’s just ten minutes of ‘you’ time, taking some space for yourself where you turn off your phone, spend time alone, exercise, meditate, or listen to music can really prepare you for tackling stress or challenges.
Walk away. Work out which situations you are likely to get most stressed out by. If you feel like you’re getting too angry, end the conversation, take some space, and don’t resume talking until you are calm and ready.
Overcome negative patterns of thinking through self–talk. Self–talk can help you see things from a more positive perspective and give a huge boost to your confidence.
Reduce your load. Sometimes you just have to accept that you can’t do everything. Keep track of your schedule and how you feel each day, and working out your optimal level of activity. You should be busy, entertained, and challenged, without feeling overwhelmed.
Consider the big picture. When you’re going through a stressful situation, ask yourself these two questions. ‘How important is this?’ and ‘will it matter in the long run?’ If you realise it doesn’t, it’s probably not worth getting too stressed out by.
Learn to forgive. Move on from hurt, regret and anger. Whether you are angry at yourself or someone else, it doesn’t help you to hold on to negative feelings like resentment.
Hone your communication skills. If you know how to communicate a problem well, it will help prevent conflict from escalating, and could help solve the cause of the stress in the first place.
Build your optimism. Optimism involves learning to think positively about the future – even when things go wrong. That’s not to say you pretend that everything is fine when it isn’t. Instead, it’s about looking objectively at a situation, making a conscious decision to focus on the good. It can be hard to do, but if you practice, you’re likely to get better.
- Learn how to set goals
- Relax, man. Relaxation is a great way to refocus your thoughts, particularly when things are becoming a bit overwhelming.
- Build your gratitude. Take some of your focus away from the negative things, and take 5 minutes each day to identify 3 things which you are thankful about.
If you need something stronger
You don’t have to work this stuff out on your own. Counsellors are great at helping build and develop coping skills. They also can be good to talk to if you prefer not to talk to friends or family, or if your problems are making it hard to carry on with day to day stuff.
References and further information: www.reachout.com.au
Michelle Hynson, Secondary School Health Promotion Nurse, Monday and Tuesday.
Letter of thanks to parents
The Secretary of the Department of Education and Training, Jenny Atta, has provided a letter of thanks to parents and carers for their support during the remote and flexible learning period. The letter acknowledges the hard work, understanding and commitment of parents and carers during a challenging time for families.
Read more: Letter to parents
Secondhand Uniform Shop
The Secondhand Uniform Shop (run by the PFA out of Room G20) is currently still closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, but we look forward to re-opening in Term 3. Stay posted for dates and details!
PFA Executive Committee
Student Wellbeing: Coronavirus – The Transition Back
As lockdown restrictions are slowly being lifted to varying degrees, we enter a time of transition and adjustment. The circumstances of this situation have significantly impacted us all. For some it has been an opportunity to reflect on what is important, whilst others have embraced the opportunity to learn new things.
Many young people may be excited at the prospect of restrictions being lifted; others may feel mixed emotions. Reactions will differ depending on how well they cope with stress and change. Keeping a check on your child’s mental health and wellbeing as they adjust to new routines, will be vitally important.
There is still a lot of uncertainty ahead of us, so focusing on the things you can control or enjoy doing or even value, can help establish predictability and familiarity for the whole family. Adult carers need to provide young people with reassurance by acknowledging any concerns and fears they may have at this time. Consider this to be a normal reaction, however it may be best to focus more on their feelings and emotions, rather than the practicalities at this stage.
In this Special Report, we share a few ideas to help ease this time of transition and adjustment. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.
If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.
Here is the link to your special report https://mountalexandercollege.
Carmel Nielsen, Student Wellbeing
A message from the MAC Parents and Friends Association
The following message was sent to the school from the Parents and Friends Association. It is a heartwarming message that was well received by all MAC staff.
Dear MAC Teachers and Staff
Tuesday marked the first “normal” day in the Term 2 calendar, during one of the most tumultuous periods many of us have lived through. COVID-19 has changed the world around us and having a very real impact on all aspects of society. Through the gloom, the teachers and staff of Mount Alexander College have swiftly responded, showed incredible flexibility, resilience and determination, and been leaders to the student cohort. These traits, and a mountain of effort, have meant much to the students and families that make up the MAC community and provided an anchor to many in otherwise stormy seas. The school has done an extraordinary job. In this year of turmoil, their commitment and dedication to our children’s education and wellbeing has been wonderful.
We say thank you…the MAC PFA
Onsite and Online Uniform Shop
The onsite uniform DCS shop is open every Monday and Thursday from 3 to 4pm. The DCS representative Fred runs the shop and can be contacted during business hours on 0425 796 053 or email@example.com. The onsite uniform shop is situated near the Heads of House Office, which can be accessed via the Wellington Street entrance.
The online store is now up and running and you can elect to have the uniform items brought to the school for pickup free of charge, or to have the items of clothing sent to your home address. To purchase online, visit www.dcsuniforms.com.au/mount-alexander-college/
Please note that there are some new items of clothing now available including a long sleeved polo shirt with the school logo.
Community News and Advertising
MAC Parents & Friends
The next PFA meeting has been postponed. Stay tuned for how PFA meetings will work during this time of social distancing. If you want to get in contact with the PFA, you can send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
MAC Community Group Meetings – Cancelled