4 May 2020

Community COVID-19 Update #9

Dear Parents and families of CBC Fremantle

I hope this communication finds you all in good health and ready for the wet weather ahead.

Firstly, can I once again thank you for all your feedback and especially for the way you have supported the College during the COVID-19 situation. It is only with your goodwill that we have managed to chart a way through and, although nothing is over, I can assure you of the staff’s gratitude and the fact they have found inspiration in their dealings with you and your sons during this difficult time.

We had quite a few more boys return to the College today and hope that trend continues whilst the authorities tell us it is safe. Certainly, the number of active cases and low daily rate of new cases is comforting, but things can change at any moment as we saw in Victoria today. The experience of the past few weeks will put us in good stead should things need to revert but, for the moment, it will come as no surprise that a return to the traditional learning platform is imminent. The College Leadership Team (CLT) met today and determined this would happen as of Wednesday. The decision-making considers the responses we received from parents, staff and the information received from our two ‘sister’ schools, where we share siblings.

Although we anticipate a gradual return to school by the boys, this is not an exact science. There will be hiccups, unforeseen situations and anomalies, but I am sure that a calm and reasonable response will overcome anything that is thrown at us.

Logistical and pastoral arrangements will be forwarded to you from the relevant members of the CLT. It is really important that we carefully transition our boys back to school. The Pastoral and Academic Boards are working diligently to assure all your sons that help and support is at hand and we are conscious that some boys are returning a little anxious and will require some TLC. I have requested all staff to be as pragmatic as possible as the boys return. Issues such as uniform, hair and grooming are being treated ‘softly’ since the purchasing of uniforms has been problematic, with supply and social distancing requirements, and many boys have either struggled to access a hairdresser or taken advantage of the break to grow their curls. Right now, their safe return and positive transition back to on-site learning is the priority, but we are aiming to return to ‘normal’ by mid-term at the latest. Please support us, and your sons, by being patient and asking whenever in doubt.

Mr McDonnell is in touch with several schools on a daily basis, constantly discussing such things as assessments, testing regimes, reporting and exams. This situation is slightly challenging whilst the government continues to allow parents to keep their sons from school as the issue of fairness and equity for those continuing to learn from home is a factor. The learn-from-home platform will not be able to completely replicate on-site learning, especially with some practical areas, but we are doing everything we can to make it as efficient as possible. I have read many articles recently about how the last decade has dabbled with the attractiveness of on-line learning and yet the last couple of months has emphasised the many subliminal benefits of relationships in the teaching and learning process. I hope to see as many of the boys return to the College as soon as you feel comfortable in sending them back.
In conclusion, thank you for your ongoing trust and faith. It is greatly appreciated. Feel free to contact me should you need any further information.

Warmest regards,

Mr Domenic Burgio