Dear Parents, Guardian and Carers,
Thank you for all the work you are doing to support Remote Learning! We know it is a challenge especially when balancing your own commitments so we appreciate all you are doing. Again, this week I have included an article from Parenting Ideas in this newsletter, it offers tips and strategies to help you during this time.
“Wear your favourite hat” day was a great start to our Funday Fridays. We will continue this throughout remote schooling with different ideas each week. This Friday it will be “Crazy Hair Day” I am looking forward to seeing all the different hair styles!
Thank you to the Parents and Friends group and Yarragon Bakery for their support of the school pie drive fundraiser. COVID made it more challenging than normal but it was a successful fundraiser for the school and the pies were delicious!
St Michael’s Parish are going to run a Parish Liturgy via zoom, fortnightly, for the next few months, beginning tomorrow Wednesday 19th of August at 7:30pm. All family members are welcome. To register ring the Parish Office on 5174 2060. An email with a meeting ID and password will be emailed to you.
On-site Intention forms for next week (24th – 28th August) open today. It is a requirement that these be completed each week. These are found in this newsletter and on the school app under notes. They must be emailed through by 8pm Friday 21st August to ensure we have adequate staff on site for supervision.
Stay safe, stay well and hopefully we can gather as a community again soon!
Onsite Intention 24th August 2020 - 28th August 2020
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
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic 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 and the Gr 3-6 swimming program have been applied to fee accounts. 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, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staying the course in COVID times
COVID-19 continues to test us in ways that were unimaginable at the start of 2020. It’s becoming the defining event of this generation and a reference point for decades to come. We’ve had depression kids, war kids and now we have COVID-19 kids.
The impact of COVID-19 is felt differently across the country. Currently, Victoria is in Stage 4 lockdown while other states are on high alert. Not every student is working from home, but most students are COVID conscious, knowing that they’re only a corona cough or virus-filled hug away from remote learning.
Encouraging kids to stay the course when they’ve been denied access to the classroom, peers and community activities is now a common parenting challenge. Denial is generally tolerable in the short term, but the novelty of changed circumstances soon wears off. The following strategies will assist both parents and kids to stay the COVID long course:
Accept difficult emotions
‘There’s nothing so bad that we can’t talk about, but there are behaviours that we won’t accept’ is a mantra that serves families well. It’s okay for children to feel frustrated, annoyed, angry or upset about their change of circumstances due to the pandemic but that doesn’t give them permission to behave disrespectfully, miss school requirements or fail to assist at home. It helps if parents validate how their children feel, then encourage them to focus on fulfilling school and family expectations.
Some children and young people will protest the COVID induced changes that have been imposed upon them. In some respects, it may be admirable for children to push for a better deal, but the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic means that the individual needs to bend toward the greater community good. This is simply a case of accepting and making the best of the situation at hand.
Take it one day and week at a time
On family bush walks my young children would rarely complain when the tracks were windy. The complaint levels rose when paths were long and straight as the finish line seemed such a long way off. In a similar vein during our current times it’s smart to keep kids focused on getting through each day and week rather than look too far ahead. Six weeks of Stage 4 may seem intolerable, so it’s better to focus on getting through each day and week.
Be the hope person
Help children and young people understand that they will get through difficult times. “This too shall pass” is perhaps the most apt meme for our times. If your hope bucket is emptying out, seek out positive friends and relatives who can top it up. Our own resilience needs nurturing if we are to last the distance.
The internal parenting manual that guides us probably doesn’t include chapters dealing with remote learning, lack of peer interaction and kids’ disappointment. Most of us are treading new parenting ground so it’s best to be open to change, accepting of difficulties and forgiving of inevitable parenting stumbles.
Michael Grose (Parenting Ideas)
Hello to everyone, my name is Sally Darby. I have been a parent at St Michael’s for seven years and am a long time member of the School Advisory Committee. The School Advisory Committee is not the same as the Parents & Friends who do an amazing job at fundraising and organising school events. The School Advisory Committee has a different role to play, giving parents the opportunity to represent the parent body and to give the parent perspective on different issues and input into decisions made at the school. As a parent who works full time, I can’t always attend everything during the school day so I really enjoy that I can still play an active and positive role in supporting the school community and meet other great parents through the School Advisory Committee.
We are always seeking new parents to be a part of the committee and will be holding our AGM later this year. We usually meet around once a month for about an hour, so it is a very small demand on any busy parent’s time. We’d love to see some new faces at our next meeting. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to know more about the kinds of things we discuss or any further information. Everyone is welcome.
All of today's readings speak of the inclusiveness of God's call. God's love and invitation is for the people of every nation. All are invited, all are welcome. No one is more special than anyone else. So, who are we to discriminate on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, age, social status... ? If we want to help build the kingdom of God then we need to move out of our ‘comfort zone’ occasionally and reach out to those who have been rejected for one reason or another. At school we talk to the children about treating everyone with respect, and not judging people based on the way they dress or the colour of their skin. But rather, we reminded the children that each and every one of us is a beloved child of God.
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.