There will be an email sent out later this week that will outline the before and after school arrangements for the drop off and pick up of children and other protocols that have been put in place for the resumption of face to face learning at St Michael’s.
Just a reminder there will be no school for any students on Monday 25th May. Foundation to Grade 2 will resume face to face learning as normal on Tuesday 26th May. Grades 3 – 6 will continue remote learning until Tuesday June 9thwhen they will resume at school. Children whose parents cannot work from home during this time in grades 3 to 6 and need to be supervised on site must fill in the intentions form found on the website each week.
We know some children will be starting to think about what returning to school will be like, as they reconnect with their teacher and friends. The following article is from ABC Life and is about how to Help kids with the transition back to school.
"What if my friend gives me a big hug?"
With school resuming in most states after weeks of lockdown, many kids will be busting to see their friends and get out of the house. But for some, the thought of returning to the classroom is enough to induce a bout of anxiety. Over weeks of online wellbeing sessions, teacher and friendship skills expert Dana Kerford has heard a steady stream of concerns.
"Of the 4,000 plus kids I've worked with in my online classroom, many of them have expressed anxiety and nervousness around going back to school," says Ms Kerford, who founded a company teaching friendship strategies.
As well as concerns about social distancing and how they will be able to safely interact with their friends, some kids are also concerned about how to reconnect with their friends. "Many friendship groups have changed or dissolved during coronavirus, so there's this underlying uneasiness," Ms Kerford says. "Where do I fit?" and "Is that group I was in still my group?" are among the concerns she has heard recently.
Children's anxiety expert Karen Young says even if your child is eager to go back to class, they may need help with the transition. "It might still be jarring because they've become settled into a new routine," says Ms Young. "This is not like going back to school after the holidays. They've been disconnected from their friends for such a long time."
Signs your child might be worried
Ms Young says parents should be aware their kids may not share their back-to-school worries. "You might get the 'What ifs' — such as, 'What if I go to school and I get sick? What if I go to school and something else happens?'" says Ms Young. Other signs could be trouble sleeping, restlessness, bursts of anger over seemingly benign things, withdrawing, or complaints about headaches or feeling sick in the tummy.
Helping kids transition back to school
We can help our children by encouraging them to express how they feel about going back to school, and validating their concerns. Ms Young suggests a conversation opener such as: "It's a big thing going back to school and it's OK if you feel a bit worried. That's really understandable and normal."
After validation comes strength: where we tell our kids it might be a bit hard at first but it's going to be OK, and we know they're going to get through this. "This is very different to saying there's nothing to worry about," says Ms Young. "They don't buy that anyway, and it also just increases their anxiety because they feel the person they have turned to for support doesn't get it."
Thinking it might be easier to keep kids home?
If stress levels are running high in your home, you may be tempted to let your child stay a little longer, especially if they have siblings in other grades or schools who are not starting back yet.
Georgina Manning, a counsellor and student wellbeing expert, was asked by one mother if she should allow her child in prep to stay home, because it might be too hard for her little one to go back to school earlier than her grade three sister.
Ms Manning says you might be asking for trouble with this approach. "The anxiety will be worse if she goes back two weeks later than her friends, when the class has all settled back in. It's best to rip the bandaid off quickly and just go," she says.
Teachers can help kids settle back in
It isn't just kids and parents who are anxious. Ms Young has received many emails from teachers just as concerned about how to best support their students transition back to face-to-face learning. "With social distancing in place, teachers will need to convey that welcome and warmth to put their children at ease in other ways," says Ms Young. "It can happen by your face lighting up when you see them." That may mean spending more time on the social and emotional side of learning. "Academics are second to relational safety. Because if you want them to learn, they have to feel safe," says Ms Young.
Keeping our own anxiety in check will also help our kids
As for us parents, we can help our children by managing our own emotions. "If a parent feels anxious about dropping off, the child may pick up on that and may see the situation as anxiety-provoking," says Ms Manning. "But if a parent is really relaxed, the child will model that." And remember, our children are often more capable than we think. "We underestimate how resilient kids are and how easily they can adapt," says Ms Manning. "Once kids are back with their friends and back with the teacher, they'll settle back in."
The leadership team at St Michaels Traralgon will provide a care and supervision program for some students. These students must meet one of the below criteria:
- The child’s parents/carers are classified as essential worker/s and cannot work from home during school hours
- The child is in statutory (court ordered) out of home care
- The child may be at an immediate risk of harm
It would be expected that this would only be necessary during the days you are at work, if you are working part- time then the days you are at home your child would be learning at home with you. We know that we will have families who meet one of these criteria and whilst the majority of staff will be working from home, we will have staff available to provide supervision during this time. To ensure we have adequate numbers please fill in the intention form each week.
|Students who can learn from home, MUST learn from home.|
Victoria's Chief Health Officer, Doctor Brett Sutton has amended the current stay at home directions to provide further clarity about childcare arrangements. You can have another person come to your house to look after your child if you need to go out for one of the four listed reasons (food and supplies, medical care and care giving, exercise, and work or education), or if you are working or studying at home. You may also drop your child at another person’s house to be looked after, while you are out, if it is for one of the four listed reasons. This may help some families who have concerns about how they will manage their work commitments during this time.
The intention form for Grades 3-6 for week 7 is due by Thursday 21st May by email to email@example.com
Onsite Intention 26th May - 29th May 2020
The Office team will also be working remotely for Term 2 therefore the office will be unmanned.
- If you need to contact the Office please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the school mobile on 0455 952 026 and they will pass on messages via email to staff.
- If you have any questions regarding remote learning please contact your child's classroom teacher via email.
- Please refrain from contacting all staff via personal mobiles/email or social media.
As per the fee letter sent to families on 6th April 2020, Important Message about School Fees, there will not be an automatic reduction in school fees for term 2.
School fees are an essential portion of resources for the operation of our school and assist our leaders and staff to enhance curriculum and teaching programs. Therefore, we are asking, for those who can, to continue to support the school financially.
If you have concerns about your financial situation, please contact Maria Churton, School Administration Officer at email@example.com so that we can explore confidential financial support arrangements to enable your child(ren)’s education at our school to continue.
2020 Camp Fees
At this stage all camps are still proceeding and therefore camp fees have not been removed from fee accounts.
Grade 4 camp - September, due 07/08/20
Grade 3 camp - October, due 30/10/20
Grade 6 camp - November, due 30/10/20 (this fee is not due in term 2 as shown on fee statements)
We will keep you updated on any activities that are cancelled such as camps and swimming and where no alternative is available those fees will be removed and not payable.
Thank you for your understanding.
Welcome to the 2020 Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge.
Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge
The Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge is now open and St. Michael’s Primary School is excited to be participating. A new application is being used this year that offers a range of exciting features including:
- access to a library catalogue (including book images and blurbs)
- a modern user-friendly interface
- rewarding students with badges as challenge milestones are achieved
- the option for students to mark books as a favourite, give them a star rating or complete a book review
The Challenge is open to all Victorian children from birth to Year 10 in recognition of the importance of reading for literacy development. It is not a competition; but a personal challenge for children to read a set number of books by 4 September 2020.
Children from Prep to Year 2 are encouraged to read or ‘experience’ 30 books with their parents and teachers. Children from Year 3 to Year 10 are challenged to read 15 books.
All children who meet the Challenge will receive a certificate of achievement signed by the Victorian Premier and former Premiers.
To read the Premier’s letter to parents, view the booklists and for more information about the Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge, visit:www.education.vic.gov.au/prc
As you know, reading helps ensure children develop important foundational skills –
setting them up for school and for life. Just as importantly, reading also helps our kids imagine, explore and learn more about the world around them.
This year, everyone who completes the Challenge will receive a Certificate of
Achievement – and with more than 12,000 titles on the Challenge’s reading list, there really is a book for everyone.
For children not yet at school, the Challenge invites parents and carers to experience
40 books with their child. For students from Prep to Year 2, the Challenge is to read or experience 30 books and for students in Years 3 to 10, the Challenge is to read 15 books.
I also encourage you to visit the Challenge Facebook page: facebook.com.au/VicPRC
There you can join the community of avid readers to share stories, stay informed and