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Moving Forward with Planning and Purpose

Thank you for your ongoing support and patience as we manage the matters coming out of the flood incident. The faith and cooperation of our community has been vital through this time.

We have sourced two demountable classrooms for two of the Year 4 classes. We look forward to their arrival and these should be fully operational for the commencement of Term Two. We have been advised that due to labour shortages, it is likely that the repair of our Year 4 classrooms will take up to five months.

The other repairs throughout the school in Music rooms, Clontarf, IT, Finance and some classrooms are gradually being addressed. Some of these will be completed for the commencement of Term Two, but the damage caused by flooding, rising damp and mould in the music practice rooms and IT which are both located on the ground floor of the Edmund Rice Building, is going to take at least all of Term Two to remedy.

The ovals are a significant challenge for our Physical Education classes, sport fixtures and play breaks. This work has commenced and is likely to take all of April and possibly the majority of May. Alternate arrangements for Term Two sport training and fixtures are being developed and will be communicated as soon as possible.

Pandemic Management

The flood certainly acted as somewhat of a circuit breaker for our community and numbers declined. We have experienced a moderate upward trend since returning to school. At present, we have 61 COVID positive student cases and 47 close contacts. We have 3 COVID positive staff cases and 2 staff close contacts.

We have ceased the practice of writing to targeted families when there are positive cases. We will contact focus groups if there are specific trends about which we are concerned and I liaise with Queensland Health regularly about this advice. For example, the most students absent at one time we have experienced in a Junior School class was 5, whereas some schools have experienced as many as 20 students absent from one class.

Please be assured that we are monitoring carefully and will communicate with you, especially if trends of concern emerge. We expect that numbers will rise prior to the Easter break, in line with what is happening throughout the country.

A reminder that our online connectivity for absent students remains for students with COVID, not as a strategy for general illnesses. There will come a time where we cease this practice. The strategy was deployed to manage significant student and staff absence and on the whole, while not easy, it has been largely successful. Again, I thank our dedicated teaching staff for their management of this, both from the classroom and from their home when required.

National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence

Our focus on College Assembly last week was the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence. The theme of positive relationships is always vital in any community or workplace. The more boys and young men hear and understand that violence, whether it be verbal, emotional, psychological or physical is never the answer, the better.

Wherever there are groups of people, there is the potential for relational tension, discord and potential for escalated problems. Amongst boys, there will be difference, misunderstanding, competition and poor choices from time to time. While it is important to have a low tolerance for these poor choices, it is also important to model and facilitate constructive problem solving and restorative methods of holding behaviour to account in order to support and empower boys to participate in resolving issues.

Please find a copy of our Anti Bullying Policy by CLICKING HERE.

This policy applies to employees, parents, carers, students, volunteers and people visiting the school site. The basic beliefs underlying the policy are:

• Every individual has value in a community.
• Every individual has the right to feel safe from bullying or harassment in all its forms.
• Every conflict can be resolved. Victims and Aggressors both need help to resolve conflict.
• Every individual in a community is responsible for the safety of other individuals in that community.
• Every individual in a community is responsible for ensuring that other individuals in that community can reach their potential in a supportive and non-threatening environment.

As I said at our Celebration of Excellence last year, our community is gloriously imperfect and that is what makes us human. There will be problems and challenges ahead. Our opportunity as a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition is to continue to strive to nurture and promote a culture of kindness and compassion. When this culture is challenged, please feel welcome to contact our Formation Team or Counselling Team to discuss and plan how we can help.

Future Enrolments

We are presently facilitating the Year 4, 2023 and Year 7, 2025 enrolment process and are enjoying strong interest in the College, particularly at the Year 7 entry point. This interest is now developing into a situation where waiting lists are forming for years ahead. This makes coming to ATC in the Junior School an attractive way of securing a position at the College. It is important that we share this story with our community and thank you, because it is your referrals and recommendations to which so many candidate families mention. Thank you for your support of our growing College community.

Community Prayers

I ask the community to please keep the Greene family and the Bardini family in your thoughts and prayers following the recent loss of a relative. Please also keep Jack Thompson, Year 9, in your prayers after the recent loss of his grandmother. We hope that the passage of time will help heal the pain of their passing. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, may perpetual light shine upon them, may they rest in peace. Amen.

Gold bless.

Chris Ryan