From the Principal Class Team
Dear Parents and Guardians
It’s not often that we get to the holidays and there’s a general lack of excitement about not being at school or work; but it certainly feels that way this time. I met with the Junior SRC on Tuesday, and they seemed very keen to be back at school as soon as possible. I know that our staff are longing for this, too, as I suspect are many parents. Nevertheless, a break from spending far too much time sitting, and from the intensity of screens will be very welcome, and is so well deserved by everyone. Hopefully, the weather will continue to be kind and inviting, and we’ll be able to enjoy outdoor gatherings with friends and family.
Farewell & thank you
This term we are sadly saying farewell to two valued members of our Individual Needs team. Christine Dawkins joined St Albans Secondary College in 2011 as a Teacher Assistant and has more recently been responsible for the SPELD reading intervention program. Christine’s unwavering focus on the learning and wellbeing of each of her students, and her commitment to continually developing her own knowledge and skills to better support our students are integral to the way she works. Particularly through SPELD program, Christine has made a significant difference to the lives and educational opportunities of our students. We are sure she will continue to have the same impact in her new position at Creekside K-9 College.
Grace Wendiggensen, one of our Speech Pathologists, is taking up a position at Aspect Australia working with young people and families managing autism. Grace’s extensive experience, together with her thoughtful, inclusive approach has earned her the respect of students, families, staff, and professionals. She has been instrumental in identifying and ensuring support for the learning and social development of many students with additional and specialised needs. Equally, Grace has shared her skills and knowledge to contribute to the development of a highly effective Individual Needs team.
On behalf of the school community, we wish Christine and Grace all the very best in their new roles.
We would also like to acknowledge and thank Jake Duggan for his work teaching English and Humanities this term, replacing Rosemary Sirianni. Jake rose to the challenge of starting a new position and being thrown, almost immediately, into online learning with grace and good humour. Best wishes to Jake, too, from all at St Albans.
Vale, Roy Leutenmayr
Last week we were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Roy Leutenmayr, parent and School Councillor.
Roy was a member of the St Albans Secondary College School Council for the past 5 years; and also served on the St Albans East Primary School Council.
As a Councillor, Roy’s contribution was characterised by his measured approach and his dedication to always considering the best interest of the student and parent communities. He was a loyal supporter of two school communities. On behalf of Council President, Tracy Nero, and our College, we extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to Leba and the children.
New garden and sports area
Not everything has stopped onsite during online learning. In fact, our Facilities Team and others have been very busy using the opportunity to do some significant redevelopment of two outdoor areas. The redevelopment of the garden area between the gym and Nindethana is now complete, and it looks fabulous. The passive reaction space includes seating, shade, a performance area, and landscaped gardens. It will be wonderful to be able to officially ‘open’ the area with a music performance and a traditional SASC barbeque – and some students!
The other exciting development is that onsite construction of our Covered Outdoor Learning Area (COLA) is well underway. Located on the oval, the COLA provides an all-weather cover over the soccer pitches. It measures 61 m x 38, and is large enough to fit the entire school within it for an assembly.
Once the COLA is complete in the next few weeks, new astro turf will be installed to replaced the old surface.
A message for students aged 12 years and over
As part of the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out, from Monday, 13 September, everyone aged 12 and over is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Victorians aged 12 and over are eligible to book and receive their COVID-19 vaccine at a state vaccination centre, Commonwealth vaccination centre, participating GP clinics, pharmacies or community health services.
COVID-19 vaccines are an essential protection against serious illness.
Vaccination is not mandatory, but it is highly encouraged, except where your medical practitioner advises you otherwise.
Students and their parents/guardians or carers should speak with their GP or pharmacist if you have health questions.
The Victorian Government’s aim is to provide an opportunity for all students aged 12 years and over to receive at least one vaccine dose by the end of the school year.
Please discuss your vaccination with your parent/guardian or carer and with your teachers to plan your absence and minimise disruption to your learning if your vaccination appointment is during school hours.
You can book your own vaccination appointment and you may be able to consent to vaccination yourself if the health professional assesses you to be a mature minor. This means that the health professional assesses that you understand the information relevant to your decision to be vaccinated and the effect of that decision.
Your parent/carer can also complete a consent from for COVID-19 vaccination for you to bring to your appointment, or they can attend with you to provide consent in person.
How to book an appointment
You, your parent/guardian or carer can find a participating Commonwealth vaccination centre, GP, pharmacy or community health service through the Australian Government Eligibility Checker. You can book your appointment online or by calling the vaccine provider nearest to you.
You, your parent/guardian or carer can book or change a vaccination appointment at a state vaccination centre through the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 vaccine online booking system.
To find a state vaccination centre and opening times, visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au.
For information on what to bring to a vaccine appointment please visit Checklist: before your COVID-19 vaccination.
A message from our Alumni
Please enjoy this short video https://youtu.be/af1rswmmYBE of our Alumni sharing their positive thoughts and wisdom with the year 12’s.
Many thanks to our former students for staying connected and making a difference.
There have been some changes to the timing of progress reports for Year 11 and 12 studies due to the extended lockdowns.
Progress reports will be available on the last day of Term 3, Friday 17th September. Year Level Coordinators will be making contact as soon as possible to discuss these reports and any concerns they highlight.
These progress reports are now due to Year Level Coordinators in the first Tuesday of Term 4, 5 October. Contact will be made with families within the next week, and they will be available on Compass on the Tuesday of the following week.
There have been no changes at this time to the Year 7 to 10 Term 4 Progress Reports.
As always, if you have any questions please contact your child’s Year Level Coordinator.
A Conversation can change a life – R U OK DAY.
R U OK? Day was observed at the College Thursday 9 September, 2021. It is a national day of action dedicated to reminding everyone that every day is the day to ask, “Are you OK?” and support those struggling with life’s ups and downs. R U OK? are a not-for profit organisation that inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with the people around them and start a conversation with those in their world who may be struggling with life? You don’t need to be an expert to reach out – just a good friend and a great listener.
Use these four steps and have a conversation that could change a life:
- Ask R U OK?
- Encourage action
- Check in
At the College teachers checked in with students and shared videos and resources on how to check in with those around them and get support. Thank you to the VCAL students and the Wellbeing Team for developing resources for teachers and students as well as running competitions and activities to share this important message.
If you need support please consider some of the following supports:
Wellbeing check in
If students need a wellbeing check in there is a button on Compass Favourites (The Star Menu) where they can request a Wellbeing Check in. Or they can click here.
Other supports include:
- R U OK Find help – https://www.ruok.org.au/findhelp
- Reach out– support for young people on a range of topics
- Kids Help Lineor phone 1800 55 1800
- Kids Help Line Web Chat:
- E –Headspace online counselling:
- E- safety advice
IT Help from School
- Click here– also on Compass Favourites (Star Menu)
Sub School Email Addresses
- Junior School inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Middle School inquiries: email@example.com
- Senior School inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
And finally …..
We invited all of our students to send a message of gratitude to their teachers and to our staff for their hard work, care, creativity, patience, generosity, kindness, expertise, and so much more, as you’ll see when you visit our virtual Gratitude Walls via the links below
Junior School – https://padlet.com/09748604/kvbve05wwfkvfdxl
Middle School – https://padlet.com/09748604/dqght36i25iaeg1f
Senior School – https://padlet.com/09748604/m74vk16f4eal64ex
As well as endorsing the students’ gratitude to our staff, we would like to thank you, as parents, once again for your support this term. It is greatly appreciated and a key factor in what we are able to achieve together.
Congratulations and thank you to our amazing students, too, for managing the challenges that this term has presented, for not giving up, and for supporting the work your teachers are doing. We really hope to see you onsite during Term 4.
Very best wishes for an enjoyable and safe break ever the holidays.