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Easter - A Time of Hope, Joy and Renewal

I wish our extended ATC community the peace and joy of the Risen Christ as we prepare for the upcoming break and for the sacred time of Easter. I hope that this time is a special one for all as we regather, re-group and re-energise after what has been another adventurous term.

The Risen Christ popped up unexpectedly when I was hosting a prospective parent and their son just the other day. A fantastic Year 5 fellow pulled us up and wanted to speak with the boy saying, “I am so happy here. I have made lots of friends. This is a good school. We have cooking club!” He continued to list all of the things he enjoys doing at ATC. His vitality and joy were infectious! Recognising the Risen Christ is the challenge of the Emmaus story and the Christian belief that Jesus is present amongst us in the here and now. This young man, his hope, joy and positivity remind us of that.

Thank you to all of our students who have served, learned and led to the best of their ability this term. They have earned a break. I hope the upcoming holiday is an enjoyable, restful and renewing time for you, and for our dedicated staff and their families. Thank you to everyone for making this term, while difficult, one that has been representative of who we are as Ambrose Treacy College.

Pandemic Management

Pandemic management continues to be challenging for parents, staff and students alike. Like most of Brisbane, we have seen a steady increase in COVID positive and close contacts over the past week. We presently have five teachers absent as positive cases and two teachers as close contacts. We currently have five members of our non-teaching staff absent as positive cases and one as a close contact. This is representative of approximately 7% of our staff.

We are now at approximately 9% of the student population absent as COVID positive, which is 120 students with an average of 13 positive cases per year level. There is a similar number of close contact cases, either as a family member of one of our students or a child or sibling of other members of the family not connected as attending ATC. We are monitoring this closely and acknowledge that there has been growth in cases since school has returned from the flood event.

As communicated, last week, I very much encourage students and staff to return to wearing masks at school in any situation they wish. I noted a strong number of students and staff doing this on Friday and again today. We will monitor the data as the new term commences and will make decisions regarding the wearing of masks for the new term and communicate this prior to the commencement of term.

Online Learning

I know that our community is very grateful for the efforts of our Teaching Staff either teaching directly online or making online connectivity available for all year levels throughout this most unusual term. I applaud them for their efforts in this regard.

Sustaining the service of having both physically and virtually present students, especially our younger students, is extremely challenging for teachers. I thank them for their efforts as we have managed the dual challenges this term of the pandemic and the flood.

We are at a point where we are reviewing this service for the commencement of Term Two. This decision will be informed by our own internal data, public health policy and what is the best interests of continuity of learning. As I have flagged on numerous occasions, our first priority is the teaching and learning continuity for the Senior School.

We will continue to monitor the data and I will inform the community of our decisions regarding our approach and plans for the commencement of Term Two on Wednesday 20 April.

God bless.

Chris Ryan