Cairns Catholic Schools Focus on Families’ Future

Cairns Catholic Schools Focus on Families’ Future

Catholic schools changed in many ways as the COVID-19 crisis took hold.

Staff moved deftly to enable quality remote learning for all students, while teachers harnessed the latest technology to adapt lessons for home-based learning.

But one thing that has never wavered is a commitment to quality education for all children, now and in the future.

Cairns Catholic Education has introduced a raft of measures to make sure financial stressors do not disadvantage families seeking a quality education in the Far North.

Fee concessions of 100 per cent are available for those who are financially distressed, to ensure no child’s education is interrupted.

New families will be eligible for the same concessions, and there will be no increase in tuition fees in 2021, so there is no reason not to join the Cairns Catholic Education community.

It is this combination of wide-ranging financial relief and advanced technological capabilities that saw Catholic schools excel during COVID-19 restrictions, and in the months to follow.

Cairns Catholic Education’s Executive Director Bill Dixon has received many favourable comments about the system’s ability to adapt to the crisis.

This is testament, he says, to the agility of school staff, and validation of the huge investment in quality systems and technology that Cairns Catholic Education has made in recent years.

“Staff responded with professionalism to keep the welfare and learning of students at the centre of their actions,” Bill says.

The technology in place made the transition that bit easier, despite posing a steep learning curve for many under less than ideal conditions.

Staff, students and families made huge leaps forward in their ability to use digital platforms for learning and communication, adapting very quickly to the online environment.

Schools that were already incorporating digital technologies into their lessons found the transition to home-based learning much easier.

“By the time the coronavirus shutdown occurred, the Science Department already had Microsoft Teams in place as the system to interact digitally with students,” says St Augustine’s College, Parramatta Park Head of Science, Jesse Zell.

Remote learning success: Catholic schools adapted quickly to remote learning and will embed successes going forward in both face-to-face and remote learning as circumstances require.

“You would never in your wildest dreams imagine a school thriving amidst such a challenge.”

Families in the Cairns Catholic Education community can be assured that their children’s education will always continue to a high standard, regardless of any hurdles they may face. Catholic schools recognise and value parents as the first educators of their child. The learning from home experience reinforced the importance of this relationship and ensured families felt supported by their school communities.

Catholic schools are incorporating their learnings from COVID-19 to better position themselves for future disruptions and will ensure successes experienced during online learning are embedded into regular classroom practice to enhance educational opportunities for all students.

Parents must choose the right school for their child, including one that can be responsive to their needs for the future. Catholic schools have proven they are up to the task.

“We are so grateful to Saints for how they fairly and proactively managed all aspects of the COVID-19 shutdown for our son and our family. The learning from home experience was well delivered and organised, and we welcomed the removal of boarding fees during this difficult time,” tells one parent at St Augustine’s College, Parramatta Park.

All families who seek fee relief can be assured that their enquiries will be treated with respect and confidentiality.