Dear parents, carers, families and friends of the San Clemente community,
We are certainly experiencing conditions in our world, the likes of which have not occurred in living memory for most of us. Our community elders who experienced war time are undoubtedly the ones who know most about living with restrictions such as the ones we now have to observe and about living a significantly “stripped back” lifestyle compared to the one we mostly take for granted. There is no doubt these are challenging times, but for many, now we can also take stock of what is really valued in society. Many of our families work in and are involved with health, emergency and essential services and along with our elders we salute them, thank them and pray for their wellbeing as they navigate the frontline in fighting COVID 19.
All at San Clemente are aware of the need to provide extra support to our families in different ways and some of the attachments and articles that follow this should be of assistance to families and hopefully will alleviate some of the stresses and anxieties of working through this difficult period.
In relation to online learning, staff at San Clemente have, in very quick time, adjusted to providing online learning experiences for our students. There is no doubt that this has been a great success for many students connecting to their classes and their teachers. But we also understand that it is more challenging for some families than others when it comes to internet connectivity, learning new technologies and, let’s face it, pressure on parents, juggling the needs of several children at home, all of different ages and with different needs. It is important I think, to keep things in perspective. We have tried as a school to keep things as simple as possible but know that online learning is taking some getting used to and to those who are feeling this, don’t worry! No student will be disadvantaged in terms of assessment and reporting through this online learning period. We encourage, and many students and families have taken on, contacting classroom teachers through OneNote or email, a phone call to the school and even passing a message on through a contact at school to seek help. Where possible and to the extent that we are able, support is being constantly provided, but if for any reason none of these approaches provides the help that is needed, there will be a time and place that will allow students to catch up and get back on track. At the time of writing nobody really knows how long the current arrangements for education will be in place, but families should rest assured that as a Catholic community San Clemente will support everyone and all of our students will be cared for spiritually, emotionally, and academically in whatever ways this is achievable.
I encourage families to continue to be in touch with us at school and at our homes through online learning mediums and electronic means. Maintaining connection and keeping spirits buoyed is a prime function of our school at this time.
I finish with the following Gospel quote for reflection in trying times:
“Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God. I will strengthen you, and help you, and uphold you with my right hand of justice.”
Bernard Burgess, Principal