Alpine Closure Term 1 2013
15th February 2013
Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Families.
As you are well aware, we have been battling to find a satisfactory and safe solution to provide a program at Alpine for our students scheduled to attend in term 1 2013. I have been very grateful to all our community for their good wishes and patience, as well as some very creative suggestions! We realise in what high regard and esteem the Alpine School experience is held.
The School Council of The School for Student Leadership (Alpine School) met last Wednesday night and considered the various options available and issues preventing them as a result of the Harrietville-Feathertop fire. We summarise some of our discussion below. There is considerable concern for safety and operational functionality of the school in light of the following:
- Proximate and unpredictable fires
- Great Alpine Road closure for estimate three to six weeks due to considerable fire damage to trees and concern for land slip in rain events.
- Tree falls
- Uncertainty of supplies
- National Park closures
- Water supply issues
- Parent concerns
- Staff wellbeing and concerns due to fire effects of their houses
- Recent tragic fatality of fire-fighters
- Costs and viability of alternative locations (up to $90,000).
As a result of this, the School Council has recommended to the Department of Education that all Term 1 programs at Alpine Campus only be abandoned and the following occur instead:
- Move the term 1 program to term 4A and make it a 5-week program
- Reduce the existing term 4 program to 5 weeks.
- There would be no visiting weekend in either term 4 program.
- Student in the current Term 1 program will attend in what we will now call “Term 4A”.
- Term 4A dates are Sunday 6th October to Saturday 9th November.
- Term 4B dates are Sunday 17th November to Saturday 21st December.
Because term 2 is already fully subscribed, we do not consider this term an option as an alternative and we are already conducting 5-week programs in this term. Similarly, term 3, the winter term, is already fully subscribed and there are issues around duration and snow which create additional challenges. It was felt term 4 allows families and schools sufficient time to reorganise their diaries and make alternative plans. Past experience suggest this will also have less effect on the already selected term 4 cohort.
In the unlikely event the fire situation changes and the Great Alpine Road reopens earlier than advised, term 1 WILL NOT TAKE PLACE at Alpine. It will remain in term 4A.
The School Council has considered the options that have been presented, is extremely aware of the need to provide safety and security of planning for our whole community and is saddened that the decision had to be made. It is our opinion that this is the best option in the unfortunate circumstances of the emergency of the fire.
We are also aware that some schools, families and students may choose to withdraw from the proposed alternative term 4A or 4B programs. If this is the case, please advise your coordinator at your home school so he/she can make arrangements for a replacement student in your team.
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