Dear Parents, Guardians and Carers,
Thank you for the feedback regarding the class meetings that are being held each morning. I know the teachers are valuing the opportunity to catch up with their grade, and from what we are hearing, so are the families. If you are experiencing difficulties logging on to the meeting please let your class teacher know and they can help you to problem solve the issue or ask someone else to give you a call to talk you through it if they’re not sure.
Small group sessions will start to roll out over the next week as well and will provide the opportunity for more targeted teaching with groups of children.
The 100 days of Foundation celebration was a big hit last Thursday. The children and teachers enjoyed the online dance party. Thank you to the teachers for thinking creatively and coming up with a great alternative.
Again, I am including a reminder regarding on-site supervision. There are specific guidelines released by the State Government regarding remote schooling. These state that, all students who can learn from home will be required to learn from home, except where:
- My/Our child is not able to be supervised at home and no other arrangements can be made as l/we am/are unable to work from home
- My/Our child is vulnerable and I/we am/are requesting they attend on-site Remote Schooling
- My/Our child has a disability and I/we am/are requesting they attend on-site Remote Schooling based on parent choice.
The intent behind this is to ensure the safety of staff and students in schools, by limiting who can attend. If you are working from home, have a day off work, aren’t working at the moment, are studying, or have access to alternative care arrangements, then your child cannot be accessing the on-site supervision.
We are trying our best to limit the number of adults on site to meet government guidelines however, we need your help with this.
If your child needs onsite supervision and meets one of the above criteria then you must send in the intentions each week by Friday 8pm so we can ensure correct ratios. The intention form for next week must be received no later than 8pm Friday 14th August. It is included in the newsletter and also in the notes section of the app. A late notification after this time may result in your child(ren) not being able to attend as extra children effect the staff- student ratios.
I will be including a regular section in our newsletter with ideas for managing anxiety and improving the wellbeing during Remote Schooling. Todays article is by Michael Grose and speaks about helping children overcome COVID induced anxiety. It includes links to other websites that may be of benefit as well.
Finally, I am sure you have heard on the news today that Lavalla Catholic College have had two confirmed cases of COVID-19 and are closed for an environmental clean. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the staff and families at the school.
Stay home, stay safe and keep wearing those masks!
Onsite Intention 17th August 2020 - 21st August 2020
11 August 2020
Help kids to beat COVID induced anxiety
- CORONAVIRUS SUPPORT
by Michael Grose
Since COVID has entered our lives I’ve had countless conversations with parents and enquiries from schools seeking presentations on how to support kids who with COVID induced anxiety.
It’s wonderful to see how kids’ mental health and wellbeing is being prioritised, and importantly, resourced. However these conversations show we still have some way to go as a community to fully grasp the nature of anxiety.
While the current situation we are all living through is extremely difficult, it does present an opportunity to develop sustained growth and vitality in anxious children and young people.
In Anxious Kids, the book I co-authored with Dr. Jodi Richardson we wrote, “Anxiety doesn’t have to be the shadow that clouds the days of children and young people. Understanding that anxiety is a well understood and manageable condition brings anxious kids such relief.”
We wrote this pre-COVID and nothing since has caused me to change my mind. In fact, experiences of this COVID era have reinforced that the more we know about anxiety the less fearful we are and better equipped to move kids from anxiety to real resilience.
There is no cure for anxiety
Just as there’s no cure for the common cold, and it would appear the coronavirus, there is also no cure for anxiety. We know that anxiety runs in families. Children are born with a predisposition for anxiety. There is every likelihood that an anxious child will have at least one parent who experiences anxiety, maybe not clinically, but one who is familiar with a churn in their stomach, the constant overthinking and the desire to over prepare when they face new or unfamiliar situations.
The impact of anxiety can be minimised
Anxiety may be a constant companion for many children but it’s certainly not their best friend. Often, it’s a demon with which they are locked in a long-running, laborious battle where simple activities such as attending school camp or doing at home learning become something they dread. Alternatively, they can avoid events or situations that make them anxious or bring them discomfort.
It’s better to give an anxious child or young person tools such as mindfulness, checking in and deep breathing with which they can manage their anxiety, rather than allow them to miss out and be miserable, or tackle discomfort full on and be stressed out.
You can build anxiety resistance
While we can’t necessarily tackle anxiety at its source and make the situations that overwhelm a child disappear, we can help them to develop a lifestyle that builds their resistance against the very worst of anxiety. Plenty of sleep, adequate diet, regular exercise and sufficient time in nature are some of the lifestyle factors that builds strength against the psychological ravages of anxiety.
You can help kids reduce their ongoing anxiety
While the world waits and prays that we’ll come up with a coronavirus vaccine, we don’t have to wait to help a child or young person with anxiety. A combination of being nurturing and firm (features of the authoritative parenting style) offers the best protection against ongoing anxiety. A child is best prepared to face difficulties when they have a confident, calm adult in their life who says, “I think you can do this,” encouraging them to face their fears. This approach needs to be supported by an empathetic adult who understands the impact of anxiety and makes sure that kids feel safe and secure.
While parenting an anxious child or young person can feel overwhelming and difficult, I encourage you to think about it differently. We can’t change what is happening right now, and we can’t undo it. Help your anxious child to flourish in this COVID era by building their understanding of anxiety. Give them the tools to help them push anxiety into the background. Promote a lifestyle that will protect them from its affects by ensuring they experience nurturing, firm, brave and hopeful parenting. We hope coronavirus will one day disappear, but your child’s ability to be impacted by difficult events will still be an issue unless you take some preventative action now. The good news is that there is so much you can do to help.
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 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Cancellation of Student Activities
As advised in last week's newsletter, school camps for the remainder of 2020 have been cancelled. This includes the Gr 3, 4 and 6 camps. Swimming programs (Gr 3-6) scheduled for term 3 have also been cancelled. Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Limited (DOSCEL) will continue to monitor the advice of the Victorian Government to ensure that the health and safety of staff and students remains the highest priority. This may mean that swimming programs and excursions remain suspended during Term 4, 2020.
Credits for camps were applied to fee accounts last week and fee statements will be sent showing the updated outstanding amount due. Further credits will be applied as activities are cancelled. If this credit results in your fee account being overpaid a refund may be requested. Such requests must be submitted in writing from the responsible fee payer and include the bank details for the refund. Alternatively the credit can be applied against 2021 school fees.
Direct debits will be revised and written notification of any changes to payment amounts will be provided once this has been completed.
Pie orders will be available for collection from the school hall on Thursday the 13th of August from the Church Street Hall entrance between 2:30-3:30pm. Please remember to socially distance whilst waiting to collect your order!
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 19th 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
2020 Premiers’ Reading Challenge has been extended by two weeks.
Victorian Premier's Reading Challenge
This scripture reminds us that God is always present in our everyday lives. Jesus shows us how we can grow in God’s presence: he sent the disciples away so that he could go to the mountain to pray. Jesus found God in the silence. The disciples found God’s presence when Jesus calmed the storm. Where is it that we find God’s presence in our lives? Sometimes God’s presence is loud and clear - just like the storm, others times it is gentle and quiet. God is always present in our lives not just in times of tragedy but through the joyful as well. Talk with your child about how we can be more mindful of God in our day - not only in the midst of the sad times but in the happy times as well.