HOW WE BEAT THIS
Let’s all try a little kindness
An ice-cream vendor and a Catholic bishop have shown Geraldton how to beat the selfishness and negativity that COVID-19 so easily spawns.
While it’s true only researchers can unlock the medical cure, according to psychologists we all hold the antidote to the social and mental challenges ahead.
Three of Geraldton’s independently run schools have decided to shift to online learning next week, with public schools following suit the week after.
Geraldton Grammar, Strathalbyn Christian College and Nagle Catholic College have announced they will shift education online, in anticipation of more COVID-19 restrictions and feedback from parents.
Many parents have already withdrawn students from school.
All three schools have stressed students unable to study from home will still be able to study online at their respective schools — but in isolation.
Strathalbyn Christian College principal Gavin Hirschhausen said the college’s annual pupilfree week was being brought forward by a week, to allow the school to test out its online learning system, Canvas.
“It’s ambitious, but schools need to be ready to move into online learning uninterrupted if the situation escalates,” he said.
“We’ve been using the system for five years so we’re confident in our ability to provide excellent online learning.”
Mr Hirschhausen said a special arrangement would be set up for Year 12 students after discussions with them revealed they felt they also required face-to-face instruction.
On Monday, Geraldton Grammar School principal Neesha Flint sent a letter to parents urging them not to send their kids to school if possible.
For the rest of the week, students have received online lessons using Google Classrooms regardless of their physical attendance at school.
Ms Flint said this decision was not made lightly and was in the best interests of the school community.
On Monday, about 15 per cent of Geraldton Grammar School students had already been pulled out of class by parents.
“From Monday, March 30, we will close the school and move to our online platform,” Ms Flint said.
Nagle Catholic College principal Michael Williams has seen greatly reduced attendance.
“The current situation is making it extremely difficult for staff to properly accommodate the learning needs of students who are simultaneously learning either at home or at the college,” he said.
Mr Williams said because of this, the school would move lessons online.
Late yesterday, Catholic Education WA issued a statement advising parents to keep children at home as of close of school today, if at all possible.
Geraldton Grammar School student Jenni Winterbine does an ATAR maths lesson from home.