Principals around the region have been working hard with their colleagues to make sure that they are providing the best service for students to receive a good education during the outbreak.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
Portland Central relieving principal Matt Quirk said the school has prioritised regular communication with families through Skool Loop app, newsletters, Facebook and student emails.
From mid-March, as the COVID-19 situation developed the school, like all public schools, worked with the local community to implement the guidelines of the Department of Education, which according to Mr Quirk were based on specialist advice, including from NSW Health.
"The school initially sent out surveys identifying technology needs and issued devices to families requiring them," Mr Quirk said.
"Teachers have regularly checked in with students via an online timetable and continued the teaching process in remote learning conditions."
Portland Central, which is a primary and secondary school has made sure that all students regardless of year has been catered to.
"The primary and secondary areas also supported the learning with work packages that were picked up by families once per week," he said.
"These are for independent self-paced learning approaches with a variety of options."
One way the school has kept its tight knit community is through online connections.
"The school held online assemblies and completed a short film to commemorate Anzac Day," he said.
"The primary school also organised a travelling Easter hat parade that was a really positive moment for students and families.
"Overall due to careful planning, the school were able to accommodate student and community needs during this time."
Portland Central is currently using Google classroom, Zoom and student emails. The science faculty is also using the STILE online platform.
"The school has also provided alternative learning for students with limited or no access to technology," he said.
According to Mr Quirk, the school has received many supportive comments from the community regarding their communication and organisation during this period of transition.
"Our staff have been committed to providing quality teaching and learning experiences and have adapted to these new approaches," he said.
"Students have responded well to changes and have continued to develop under these conditions."
Students are at the heart of our school, so not having many students here on any day has taken some getting used to.- Portland Central principal Matt Quirk
"But our staff have worked wonderfully to transfer that rapport to remote contact and we are thrilled to be seeing students more in coming weeks."
Mr Quirk said he couldn't deny that the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation has presented challenges but everyone involved with Portland Central School should be praised for how they have adapted, taken change in their stride and always put the interests of the students as their priority.
"The students are accessing the learning, and if they are having issues with the technology, the school has provided work packages that are also able to be completed," he said.
The executive team at Portland Central have been at the school every day coordinating the teaching and learning programs and overall organisation.
"Teachers have very quickly learnt a range of new skills to assist students in the online environment," he said.
"They have remained committed and still maintained a sense of humour throughout."
Mr Quirk said he would like to thank all the parents and carers who have prioritised learning from home while negotiating competing priorities.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.