From the Principal

Situation normal? Nearly, but not really?

As I write this, it is Friday afternoon, 6 November. We have had five weeks of term and four weeks of teaching on campus for most students, with a fortnight for our Years 8 to 10 students. There is a developing feeling of normality, aided by our Year 12 students being either well into the final examinations (IB students) or about to start them (VCE students).

Students and staff are masking, sanitising, and distancing as a matter of course, while online assemblies, Zoom meetings and a cashless canteen also now feel like ‘new normals’. Some of these will certainly change in the future, but we have reached something of an equilibrium, just in time for the Premier to announce and enact further changes on Sunday (two days away from me as I write this, and two days ago when you read it!).

So what changes are coming for schools? In short, not a lot, it seems. We have been sent three progressively updated Schools Operations Guides in the last twelve days, each with only incremental changes in it. I suspect we are now trending to what will be the medium-term ‘COVID-normal” for schools.

From Monday we will be able to conduct larger school gatherings (assemblies and similar), but parents will still not be able to attend campus for them, or anything else. I suspect that gatherings of staff will also still be restricted – I expect that this reflects the differences in transmission, susceptibility, and effects, of COVID-19 in adults compared to children.

And how are our students and staff in this ‘COVID-normal’? In many ways, school activity looks very normal, and other than mask and hand sanitisers, requiring a close look to see the differences. As students resumed on campus, there was understandable uncertainty for some, but that seems to have largely disappeared now and the whole campus has a purposeful and calm air to it.

In today’s Principal’s Assembly, our theme was (Movember-related) men’s health. And it is these things returning to our Tintern-normal, where we address, discuss and act on significant issues and concerns in our society, that really feels ‘normal’ to me.

Factis non verbis

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