Tracey Stackpole, Administration Officer at St Brigid’s, Moridalloc, said it was an emotional moment when the students waved goodbye to the school grounds, several weeks ago. She shared a few thoughts with us about what COVID-19 has meant for her personally and the school community:
‘It just happened so suddenly; it wasn’t like other changes where you have time to prepare. One minute the school was full of kids, and the next minute it was empty. It was even more surreal because the school community had just moved into a new building and we were celebrating a new beginning, when suddenly we had an abrupt ending of sorts’ she said.
‘Since that day we’ve continued to educate and support our students; some who are children of essential workers who attend classes at school, and many others learning from home. To remain connected with our families, our Principal Michael Russo and Deputy Wendy Sullivan hold a live daily update for the whole school community.
We’ve also maintained school traditions such as ANZAC Day where we had a display at the front of the school. Many of our families walk past the school for their daily exercise and we had a lot of people commenting that they were glad to see the display, and that the school still looks like they could come back at any moment.
Another way we stay connected is the students send in pictures of themselves or work they’ve done that we put into a weekly ‘wrap-up’ newsletter. As a bit of fun, all our staff do a short online dance on Fridays and we encourage our students and families to join in.
Even though it’s a difficult time, I try to focus on the positives. We’re getting feedback from our parents and students that they are safe and that they still feel a part of St Brigid’s. Right now, that’s more than enough to make me feel grateful.’