by Antonia (office staff)
The 2020 school year so far has been a whirlwind of events and the Alia College school community has been working through it all together. Our focus has been on ensuring classes are running and students and staff are supported in whatever way possible to get through these unusual pandemic times.
With so much going on, we have neglected to update our online blog so far this year. Apologies.
Presently, the Alia College community is working through lockdown 2.0.
This morning I attended an online whole school meeting. I came into the meeting to hear people saying it was Jono’s birthday, naturally we all then sang Happy Birthday to Jono. Bob (Principal) was singing too, but had his mic off. There were calls for him to then sing a solo – with his mic on this time. He was saved when someone called out that it was also Aiden’s birthday. We again sang Happy Birthday, this time Bob’s mic was on.
Students then turned the conversation to coronavirus in the USA and Trump’s approach and attitude toward the pandemic. This was a colourful and emotional conversation that didn’t go for too long.
Kelly then showed us all a book she received in the mail from Hagan (teacher), she expressed her disappointment that it was just a book in the mail. There were some suggestions as to what she might have been happy to receive.
We were momentarily interrupted with the audio of a scuffle between two students (siblings at home together), we could see the odd limb come into screen.
Then Joe, who was running the meeting, Joe, could be heard discussing breakfast with a mystery voice. Chloe (teacher) inquired as to who Joe was speaking to. Turned out to be his older brother Oscar, a former Alia student. We then asked him to get on the mic and tell us how he was going, he obliged.
Sylvie then shared a website she had come across, she just had to share, https://www.jellygummies.com/. She presented her screen to all in the Google Meet. Another student asked, “how do you find this stuff”. “Well, it all started with researching frogs in Science with Amalina (teacher)”. Sylvie continued to share her screen and took us all through the process of getting from frog research to Jellygummies. It was interesting to see her internet rabbit warren.
Joe pointed out it was class time, called for any last “Appreciations, Concerns, Lies, Statements, Confessions, Questions, Announcements, Jokes, Hypotheticals, Moral Dilemmas…”
Meeting was closed and each of the 30 people online, slowing left the meeting.
At Alia College for Term 3, VCE students (Year 11-12 students and including any Year 10 students studying a VCE subject), from Tuesday 14 July returned to a mix of on-campus and online classes. Each teacher determined the most appropriate way to deliver their classes, taking into consideration the nature of the subject and the students. Students in Year 7-10 resumed online classes on Tuesday, 14 July 2020.
Despite some VCE classes and all Year 7-10 classes being online students are welcome to come to campus as they had been throughout the previous lockdown. Everybody who comes on campus is expected to engage in physical distancing and good hygienic behaviours. Students whose behaviour creates too great a concern in the matter of hygiene will be required to stay home and attend online.
Despite each member of the Alia community generally being at home in their own space, or in a space somewhere in the school, we come together through the online space of Google Meet. Wonderfully, the same good humour, random topics, people’s idiosyncrasies that are such a part of Alia on-campus are still all in good form online.
At Alia, each day begins and ends with a homeroom meeting led by students. A couple of times a week, in place of homeroom, we have a whole school meeting. We have continued this online.
At student meetings we call for Appreciations, Concerns and Announcements. Typically, if you would like to speak, you raise your hand. If you have something on topic, you raise your hand and show two figures. This meeting system has been refined over the years and has been adjusted to online with mics simulating a raised hand.
When Joe, a current student at the school, runs meetings (as he did today online) he chooses to elaborate on the basic call for Appreciations, Concerns and Announcements. Joe (in a rapid-fire style, without drawing breath) calls for “…any Appreciations, Concerns, Lies, Statements, Confessions, Questions, Announcements, Jokes, Hypotheticals, Moral Dilemmas, Items of Interest, Things You’ve Been Up To, Quotes by Anybody or Replies to What Has Already Been Said by Anybody”.
During these lockdowns Alia College has moved classes online and has continued with our regular timetable, with some minor adjustments. Despite being online, I am pleased that we are still connected, and the spirit of the Alia school community is still strong.