As the term closes, there are many thanks I would like to pass on. A sincere thank you to the parents of the School. It has been a different term. While I hope all were delighted as the School re-opened for on-campus teaching, I also thank the many who played a critical role as ‘home educators’. We enjoy our role as educators at school but we also know it was a different experience to discover you were now ‘Mum or Dad teacher (at home)’. There was a degree of “no choice...get on with it”. It was a lot to take in and there was very little time to prepare. So thank you, to all who played the essential role and stayed home to teach.
You may be interested to know the financial state of the School as the coronavirus now seems to be reducing its impact. Clearly, there has been a significant financial impact on the School. Naturally, we were unable to collect fees for boarding (for the period of the shut-down) and there was a complete collapse of income from many of the activities around the pool, gym and so forth. The total loss of income was, of course, why we were eligible for the JobKeeper program. This was a great relief! We have been deeply appreciative of this assistance.
You may remember that the School offered a discount on the term’s fees. We also asked that you might consider assisting the School by the donation of a little extra (if that was possible). When we were considering what we should do about the term’s fees, we were confronted by the difficulty of not being able to plan how many would seek the reduction of fees; we had scenarios that were very worrying. Nor were we able to see into the future to know if there would be financial support from those able to help. The final(ish) result has been that the discounts and the gifts have resulted in a loss of $11,000. I think that is a remarkably positive result. To those who donated, we are deeply appreciative of your willingness to support this school. We have therefore been able to give some assistance to support enrolments. It indicates a wonderfully supportive parental community. This pandemic has brought great financial uncertainty to the School. The support of the parents has delivered great stability to the School. In all sincerity, I am deeply moved by the high community support that has enabled us to weather this moment in our history. It has, by any standards, been a memorable moment.
It would be highly remiss of me to not recognise the support of the staff during this term. Oddly, it feels like a very long term. While it has only been nine weeks, we have had to generate and master on-line delivery of our programs and then transfer back to the ‘old normal’. Sounds easy, but the reality was a little more complex. There was no blueprint and the best planning was really based on, “that seems sensible (and it should work)”. It is not too much to say, “we have great staff here”. The Senior Leadership Team is a group I have come to deeply respect. Competence and sincerity really have their worth at times like this.
Finally to the girls. So much that has been good about the term has been possible because you have been so willing to be part of the new approaches. They did not always suit and some parts of the experience have required a willingness to be happy with a denial of the activities you most love. Yet you made it work. That willingness has been another gift to the School.
With holidays now about to begin, I wish all families the very best and hope that you make the most of the time you now have together. It is a time to explore a new rhythm of life. Girls, use the opportunity to explore activities that do not fit the hours available while at school. Above all, stay safe.
I look forward to seeing all at the start of Term 3. I look forward to even more ‘old normal’. That does not preclude looking for ways of retaining those moments of discovery and joy for life that I found in “the term I will never forget”.
Mr Peter Crawley