Back to remote learning

Lakeside College prep teacher Amy welcomes her class to a day of online learning. Photo: STEWART CHAMBERS 239331_03

By Shelby Brooks and Gabriella Payne

For the second time this year, schools scrambled to return to online learning after the snap lockdown was announced on Thursday 27 May.

Although difficult, it seems our dedicated teachers are more prepared this time round and quickly sprang into action.

The Gazette spoke to a few local principals to hear how their school communities were coping with the sudden change.

Lakeside College principal Tom Brennen said the return to remote learning had been going well.

“Once the announcement was made, our administration team made sure loan devices were ready for students and we were prepared to welcome those students onsite who need to be on campus,” he said.

“Our teaching staff worked promptly to pivot to remote learning on less than 24 hours notice. We commend all the College staff for their commitment and dedication.

“Students are missing being at school psychically of course but our classes undertake a significant amount of online interaction which assists them with both learning and well-being.”

Parents have been contacting the College expressing gratitude for the school’s communication and remote learning programs.

“Gifts of chocolate seem to arrive quite regularly from families which is a lovely thought!,” Mr Brennen said.

“We are proud of the way our community has faced all of the challenges Covid-19 has thrown our way. We are particularly blessed to be part of a Christian community that really cares for each other at all times. As we say, our God and our community will always see us through.”

Beaconhills College headmaster, Tony Sheumack, said that while it was disheartening to enter another lockdown, the school had quickly swung into action and were making sure that staff and students well-being was a top priority.

“Like all Victorians, the Beaconhills College community was disappointed at news of the recent outbreak of Covid-19 and the prospect of another lockdown, announced by the Victorian Government on Thursday 27 May.

However, the College has a comprehensive online learning program which swung into action immediately, with remote learning starting the following day,” Mr Sheumack said.

“This program is supported across all year levels by our team of dedicated teaching staff.

Little Beacons Learning Centres continue to operate as normal at our Pakenham and Berwick campuses.

As per previous lockdowns, the College is offering a blended learning program at each campus for children of authorised workers and vulnerable children who qualify for this program,” he said.

“Our student and staff well-being remains top of mind, and we will continue to support all members of our community in every way we can during this time.”