With the return of all of our students next week, we’re pleased to have the newsletter back in circulation. I hope you have found the various letters that we’ve issued in the interim informative and helpful, and that you’ve been able to enjoy the fabulous work of our students and staff on our social media pages.
Their capacity to initiate and bring together opportunities for us to share each other’s lives, learn from one another, pray and really stay connected has been second to none (I really mean that – I don’t know of any other school community that has shared so much of itself in such interesting, fun and moving ways during this period). This is a credit to our students and our staff, and something of which we can all be extremely proud.
The final three weeks of the term will no doubt continue to challenge us. Our Year 7s are almost new students again, having now spent more time away from the College this year than they had as students!
Re-establishing routines and working to build new habits that help support the health of all of us will take some time to get used to, but we are committed to doing so as quickly and calmly as possible.
The Year 11s and 12s have been wonderful these past two weeks, and their presence has helped to reassure us that our plans and processes for Covid-19 safety are working as well as can be hoped. They will help us in the coming weeks to enculturate the younger students to the ‘new normal’.
The Assumption College staff are ready to return to school. I cannot truly capture for you the hours and hours of additional work they have undertaken in the past few months, preparing classes, making themselves available and ensuring that each student had at least one point of pastoral connection to an adult at the school.
Many have done this while also trying to support their own children in their learning and care. There have been thousands of phone calls, many more Webex classes (both collectively and for individuals), uncountable emails, home visits, copious hard-copy resources organised and enough to-ing and fro-ing of resources that for many weeks we had three staff on the road full-time getting work and supplementary items to families everywhere.
My experience in speaking with Principals in other schools is that comparatively, our community has had an outstanding experience. I have said many times that this has not been without its ‘blips’ and challenges, but that our staff (and students) have risen to an extraordinary challenge in extraordinary ways. I hope you are as proud of them, and our community as a whole, as we are.
We wish Caitlin Roks all the best as she heads off on maternity leave for baby #3. Happily, Liz Little returned from maternity last week to take up the classes, and it’s a been a smooth transition of teachers in those classes. We wish Caitlin and her family all the very best.
Fred LeDuc has joined us from Catholic Ladies College as the new Leader of Performing Arts (and music teacher). You would have seen some of the wonderful work that he has already had the students undertaking on our social media pages in recent weeks.
Pieter Siebel has returned to us as the Manager of the Marlhes Restaurant. Pieter replaces John Skipper who unfortunately had to return to the UK to care for family at the end of Term 1 (thankfully,he made it home before the borders closed). Pieter was one of the founding staff in the Marlhes Restaurant and it’s simply wonderful to have him back with us.
June 6 marks the anniversary of the death of St Marcellin Champagnat and is therefore his Feast Day. For we at Assumption, it’s one of our favourite days of the year.
Along with other Marist schools and ministries throughout the world, give thanks for his life and remind ourselves how we, like Marcellin, seek to live in the spirit of Mary: being truly present to each other – especially the most vulnerable, valuing simplicity, finding passion and joy in our work and service and living peaceably and joyfully with a family spirit.
Our Champagnat Day Liturgy is usually a highlight on our calendar, and this year, although in video format, is still a very moving, entertaining and provocative experience. Please take a half hour to join our community at this important time.
Saint Marcellin Champagnat, Pray for us.
Mary our Good Mother, Pray for us.
Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Pray for us.
And may we always remember to pray for one another.