The year 2019 ended abruptly with the devastating bushfires. In 2020 we dealt with the complete unknown as Covid19 hit our shores and the World. In 2021 as we try to adjust to life with a new kind of normal, we find ourselves again contending with extreme weather as La Nina brings the rains to the Bellingen Valley.
At Chrysalis we are used to the odd flood day, our students enjoy the excitement of the surprised day off from school and the parents take the opportunity to bunker down at home or reconnect in the street with neighbours and friends nearby.
This year however the odd flood day has turned into a bigger logistical challenge with the multiple landslides caused by the extending periods of rain.
It started out with the need for families to be able to be provided with a safe school environment to send their children as the flood waters receded and we were again able to move around. The older classes were able to work from home with Google classroom delivering their curriculum work and zoom sessions with the teachers to aid in said work and keep up with their music lessons.
But as the extent of the damage and the realisation of the enormous challenge ahead for the road to school to be opened, thus impacting the ability of Chrysalis to be able to offer School to it students to finish out the term, it was time for Town School to be set in full swing!
Locations had to be found, equipment had to be sourced, and in all aspects, Chrysalis had to relocate. Classes were spread over 4 locations. We had three in Bellingen itself housing Kindergarten, Classes 1-3 and another location for Classes 4-8. And finally, a location had to be found for the Dorrigo Students, where we set up a school for all Classes K-8 to attend.
We have all been forced to change and adapt to our new surroundings, including the Admin team who set up at a central location in Bellingen to coordinate the day to day running of Chrysalis Town School.
To watch and marvel at the passion and dedication of our teachers, supporting and holding our children in what must also be a difficult and unsettling time for them has been humbling. Everyone has pitched in. We have stepped up to roles we would not normally do. And we have made it work for the sake of our Chrysalis Community.
And to that we wish to extend a great big thank you to all involved. From the Admin Staff to the Teachers and Teachers Aids; to the Bus Drivers who jumped on board to ferry our Thora Valley kids to school on our newly created bus service; to the cleaners who adapted to new locations. And to all the other staff involved in this unprecedented challenge that we were forced to face, we thank you.
A huge thank you also goes out to our extended community of Bellingen, Thora and Dorrigo. As we have put out the call to all types of Business’s to support our vision and help us facilitate Town School we have received nothing but kindness and generosity. And finally, to the students who have adapted so beautifully to change.
And now as we rest over the Easter School holiday break we wait and hope that we will be able to return to our beloved Thora Campus at the start of the new term.
Chrysalis school would like to give a loud shout out to the greater Bellingen, Thora and Dorrigo communities. Thank you for your generosity and warmth of heart. Thank you in particular to The Bellingen Showgrounds mob, St Marys Parish, St Margaret’s Anglican Church, St Stephens Uniting Church, The Bellingen Youth Hub, Mousa, St Stephens Anglican Church (Dorrigo), Windsong Travel, the Bellingen Library and the Dorrigo Library. Chrysalis School has been able to continue, and this wouldn’t have been possible without us all coming together.