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A Formative Week

Camp Week 2020 was an enormous success. As I visited campsites last week, communicated with staff in Canberra and attended the Year 12 Claddagh parent debrief, the reviews and feedback from students, staff and parents have been most positive. Something that particularly struck me on my visits was the calmness and positivity of most of our boys as they worked together on the challenges presented to them. Feedback from instructors and facilitators across the sites was also very positive which is very pleasing.

As I wrote last week, my hope is that these ‘deeper water’ experiences have a formative impact on our boys and that over their years at ATC, these experiences from Year 4 to Year 12 shape and mould their world view, capacity and willingness to be Signs of Faith for their families, communities and beyond. Thank you to our staff for their outstanding contribution, our parents and caregivers for their faith and support and our students for their whole-hearted participation.

It is now important that we transition quickly back into routine and normal scheduling. Many boys will be tired after six weeks of term and camp. Thank you for supporting your son to be well rested and back on track with school work, study and his regular activities.

Haircuts

With it being Week 7 of Term, some students who were well prepared for the start of the year are now in need of a tidy up haircut coming into the last month of the term. Heads of Year and Heads of House have been asked to work with boys on this and I thank you for your proactive support from home in having haircuts done please.

COVID-19

You will have received my letter to all parents and caregivers last Friday afternoon. Proactivity in working together in the coming weeks and perhaps months to manage hygiene and health is important. Please review the contents of the letter and have the resource on hand. Most importantly, have a calm, optimistic and realistic discussion with your family about the situation. It is understandable that some students, staff and parents will be anxious about this and our communication and care is important. Please be in touch with our Formation Staff or Counselling Team if assistance is required.

Our approach at school will be to be calm, optimistic and realistic in our messaging about this topic. We will emphasise the importance of:

• hand washing
• water bottle sharing
• face touching
• limiting hand to hand contact
• communication if experiencing symptoms such as fever, sore throat, persistent cough or significant nasal congestion.

Please discuss these strategies with your son.
We are entering a period of heightened concern about hygiene and health throughout the community and our conservative approach and low tolerance of presenting symptoms at home and school working together will be important. It will be difficult to assess the difference between a common cold or flu like symptoms and the symptoms of COVID-19 so our patience with one another and respect and care for one another as we work together is paramount. Please click here for up to date information from the Queensland Department of Health.

Staff Update

I am pleased to announce the following staff appointments we have made over the last week and I would like to welcome:

• George Ioannau who will be working in the IT Department as the new IT Service Desk Officer, commencing Monday 9 March 2020.
• Susan Burge who has been appointed as the new School Officer in the hospitality room, commencing Monday 16 March 2020 in a part time capacity. Susan will be replacing Judith Thorpe who will now be working with Mae’s team in the Tuckshop Monday to Friday.
• Georgia Holden who has been appointed as a Middle and Senior School teacher commencing Term 2
Last week, Sarah Hart met with me to inform me she has accepted a position with Autism Queensland and will finish at ATC at the end of the term. We wish Sarah all the very best for this professional opportunity and thank her for her contribution to ATC. On the weekend we advertised for the position of Coordinator Inclusive Practices on the Employment Page of the ATC website, The Courier-Mail and SEEK for commencement in Term 2. Closing date is Monday 16 March.

Prayers

I would ask the community to please keep Hamish Snowden (9 Bodkin) and Hayden Snowden (6 Bodkin) in your thoughts and prayers following the recent passing of their Grandmother. We hope that the passage of time will help heal the pain of her passing. Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord, may perpetual light shine upon her, may she rest in peace. Amen.

God Bless

Chris Ryan

Year 5 caving adventure during Camp Week