Term 1, Issue 04 - Principal | Siena College
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From the Principal

Pandemic

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath -
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that you are connected
In ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now)

Know that our lives
are in one another's hands
(Surely, that has come clear)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love -
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live

We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, Amen.


Frontier Space

Going into the final week of term we find ourselves in a frontier space. From next Monday, Siena College will operate using an online model of learning and teaching. Any frontier space brings with it all manner of emotions – fear, vulnerability, scepticism as well as excitement, innovation and energy. Maybe a combination of these emotions and more! Our frontier as educators at Siena College is to continue to provide excellence in learning and teaching and excellence in care and connection for all within our faith community. This is our foundation, our commitment and our endeavour in these strange times. As the saying goes, by this necessity we have become mothers of invention.

I am very pleased and proud of all staff at Siena who have demonstrated such commitment to our students and to each other. This week in particular saw the bringing together of Learning and Teaching, Wellbeing, Information Technology, Marketing and Development and others to produce guidelines for student learning and wellbeing in an environment of online learning. We even have our College Captains, Laura and Adrienne issuing regular student friendly messages of connection to all. Parents and students will receive this very impressive support material this week. I reassure all members of our community that we are not closed off from each other next week; all can make contact with each other via telephone, email or Teams. My thanks to all families who have extended their appreciation to staff for their extended work at this time, all for the benefit of their daughters.

Our VCE students have raised very reasonable questions regarding their learning in the weeks ahead. We met with Year 12 students yesterday and will issue correspondence to all parents and students of Unit 3 and 4 studies, outlining very specific expectations and supports. In addition, we remain in very close contact with VCAA to be updated on the latest processes for delivery of course material and assessment. Like every school, we are working to ensure consistency and adherence to regulations as they are developed in this circumstance.

These final weeks of term also take us into the final weeks of Lent. Our prayer in this newsletter reminds us of the value of ‘centering down’ with God and others during this time.

I wish all families abundant blessings of hope and joy as we enter the Easter season - new life!

Elizabeth Hanney

Principal
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