From the Board of Trustees …

06 Apr From the Board of Trustees …

Board of Trustees April 2020

Welcome to a new week in what is fast becoming a new norm. ISO in school holidays, with the family, siblings, parents/caregivers and family pets unless they are an essential service employee. Parents/caregivers that is, not the family pets. Plenty of scope for innovation, exercise and making better use of our devices as a learning tool rather than full focus on social media. Although, some of the memes I have seen in recent days regarding the lockdown are pretty funny. All in moderation.

I for one was introduced to TEAMS on my laptop last week as the Board of Trustees monthly meeting was held remotely, in the safety of our own ‘bubble’ at home. Along with the Board’s business as usual, discussions were dominated by the 2019 Student Achievement Report and Covid-19. We as a Board continue to be highly impressed by our student achievement in alignment of our strategic goals and the provision of personalised learning programmes for our daughters. Villa Maria College provides a safe learning environment, promoting achievement and it is evident there are systems in place to ensure each student is tracked, assessed and supported in their learning. Thank you to Sarah Kirk, Assistant Principal (Curriculum) and your team, for your time and expertise ensuring our students are provided with such opportunity to achieve.

As a Board we would like to express our thanks to Deborah, the Senior Leadership Team and staff for their tremendous effort in transitioning the students to online learning over the past two weeks under what we would all agree is unprecedented times. While the school has over the last few years shifted a large portion of work to online learning, the sudden change to Alert Level 4 saw staff working collaboratively and efficiently in a short space of time to ensure all students were provided for and supported online. This work will be ongoing for staff during the holidays and we thank them for their time and commitment to ensure once school ‘returns’ from holidays.

From observations at home during the last two days of term, with online learning in motion we can expect our future learning environment to experience significant change and innovation and with it resourcing. As a Board we are committed to supporting the College community with this change to ensure our students and staff’s needs are not only supported but actively resourced. One of our priorities will be the health and wellbeing of staff and students in managing the changes to our learning environment going forward. Change is inevitable, change is constant. Therefore, the more we can support our students to embrace change, the more able they will be to recover from the present challenge.

The home office has been cleaned out, the garage like many others has been converted to a home gym so the study and boot camp is in action. The positive spin-off of the lockdown is the opportunity to be engaged with each other. We can be guilty of living in a house, going about our daily routine, indulging in social media and Netflix without actually being engaged and interacting with each other. No time like the present to reconnect with a cross fit challenge, board games, Master Chef competition, or a walk in the local park. The ability to slow down, to sit, talk, read and have quiet in the company of family. Take the time to ask each other ” How are you going?” as we all deal with the change, the stress differently, and we are all in this together.

This won’t be our forever. In fact we may never get time like this together again. So cherish the time, make the most of it as there will be an end.

Wishing you and your families a peaceful Easter.

Helen Mahon-Stroud

Board Chair