This year was always going to be historic for Greater Shepparton Secondary College, according to executive principal Genevieve Simson.
“Prior to New Year’s Day the college didn’t even formally exist,” Ms Simson said.
“Yet by the end of January, we were welcoming the first students of GSSC — they arrived in new uniforms, in many cases on new bus routes to new campuses, with new classmates and to a new group of teachers.”
Ms Simson said Term 1 saw the staff, students and wider community of parents and carers experience many more "firsts” that came with the merger of local secondary schools.
By the end of term, GSSC was rapidly preparing for another first — remote learning.
When term two commenced GSSC joined every Victorian primary and secondary school in the history-making move to learning from home.
Ms Simson said remote schooling was an important part of helping to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the wider community.
“For the GSSC school community, remote learning meant managing more change for ourselves, our students and our school community.
“For teachers, it has meant an immense effort to equip themselves with new and improved remote learning skills. They’ve shown great dedication, and great innovation, to reach out to students.”
Ms Simson said thanks was owed to all — staff, parents, carers and students — for their efforts during unprecedented circumstances.
She said support staff, from information technology experts to health and wellbeing specialists, also rose to the challenge with more than 700 laptops loaned to students and help for families requiring extra support.
“Our parents and carers have worked positively with the college and have been supporting our teachers’ efforts while they turn their lounge rooms, bedrooms and kitchen tables into temporary classrooms.”
Ms Simson said students, who experienced the most change, deserved credit for the way they have responded to the challenges of remote learning.
“We look forward to welcoming them back to the classroom, where they can keep up their good work.”