Dear Parents, Guardians and Carers,
Phased Return to Classroom Learning
The Victorian State Government has announced that Victorian school students will begin a phased return to classroom learning in Term 4, 2020.
This means that all students at St Michael’s Traralgon will continue with the Remote Schooling arrangements (with current exemptions for on-site remote schooling continuing) for the remainder of Term 3, 2020.
Term 4 Arrangements
Decisions relating to the return of face to face classroom learning will be based on the advice of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer and may be subject to change as set out in the Steps for schools in Victoria’s roadmap for reopening – How we work in regional Victoria.
5 to 9 October 2020 (Week One)
It is anticipated that following the conclusion of Term 3 school holidays, Remote Schooling will continue for the first week of Term 4, 2020 (Monday 5 October to Friday 9 October 2020). This will give the Victorian Government and the Chief Health Officer time to monitor and review the daily average number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in regional Victoria.
From 12 October 2020
Subject to public health advice, from Monday 12 October 2020, all students at St Michael’s will return to face to face classroom learning and will be expected to attend school as normal.
Health and Safety
The School will continue to ensure that the health and safety of students, staff and the wider school community remains the highest priority with physical distancing measures and hand and respiratory hygiene practises remaining in place for all staff and students. The School will also ensure that increased cleaning remains in place.
In addition, all students will continue to receive a temperature check every morning before attending school, with a non-contact infrared forehead thermometer.
In accordance with requirements from the Victorian Government, primary school students are not required to wear a face covering irrespective of the students age. However, individual families can make their own decisions regarding their children wearing a face covering whilst attending primary school.
Parents, guardians and carers are encouraged to inform their child(ren) that school staff will be using face coverings and reinforce with their child(ren) the need to keep 1.5 metres apart from other people, to wash and dry hands thoroughly and regularly, and cough and sneeze into a tissue or their elbow.
Students who are unwell must not attend school until their symptoms resolve and appropriate medical advice is obtained. This includes those showing even mild symptoms of COVID-19.
The symptoms to watch out for are:
- chills or sweats
- sore throat
- shortness of breath
- runny nose
- loss of sense of smell.
In certain circumstances headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea may also be considered.
The School will continue to implement the current drop off and pick up arrangements to limit the number of students and families congregating on or near school grounds at the beginning and conclusion of the school day.
Our highest priority has been and continues to be the health and well-being of students, staff and families. This could not have been achieved without your on-going dedication, support and understanding as we all navigate our way through Remote Schooling and a return to classroom learning. On behalf of the entire staff of St Michael’s I offer you our sincere thanks.
If you require clarification in relation to the return to classroom learning or additional support, please contact the school via email@example.com.
Onsite Intention 14th September 2020 - 18th September 2020
Wellbeing strategies for parents
- WELLBEING AND MENTAL HEALTH
by Michael Grose
The coronavirus pandemic and its associated disruptions are beginning to take a toll on our mental health and wellbeing. You don’t need to look far in your community or social networks to identify a worrying trend of people experiencing a range of challenging emotions including mood swings, despair, anger, sullenness and lack of motivation.
People who usually pride themselves on being able to manage most difficulties that come their way now find themselves suddenly unable to cope, leading to a profound sense of disappointment. A number of people have spoken about feeling guilty for being a less than perfect parent, partner, teacher, work colleague or friend during these times.
This inability to cope is understandable. Our capacity to adapt to acutely stressful situations such as natural disasters has been severely depleted by the long-term nature of the pandemic. It’s common in situations of great uncertainty to feel exhausted and experience periods of burnout. Coupled with this is a sense of loss that many people feel – loss of connection to friends and family, loss of freedom and a loss of a way of life.
There is no handbook for functioning in a pandemic however it’s apparent that we need to accept that our lives will be different for some time. It also helps to expect less of yourself, which is the opposite to how high-achievers and perfectionists ordinarily operate. Feeling comfortable with uncertainty takes some getting used to as most of us have an innate wish to feel in control.
Daily wellbeing treats
Self-care is a proven remedy to most wellbeing ailments, but it’s ironic that for many of us our self-care activities have been restricted by the coronavirus. Coffee with friends, a massage or a visit to the gym and other such activities are out for many people. However, this doesn’t mean that we should neglect our mental health and wellbeing. Instead we need to look closer to home for our regular wellbeing treats. Things that help include regular deep breathing to start the body’s relaxation response, practising moments of mindfulness to shut down mental chatter, finding hidden exercise opportunities to promote mood-enhancing endorphins and spending time each day in calm-inducing green space.
Resilience bank account
During my conversations one person described living in this era as “always feeling a little off balance, like standing in a dinghy in a rough sea and not knowing when the storm will pass.”
Our mental reserves are constantly been called upon, so it’s necessary to build regular practices into our lives that build our resilience. Hopefully, most of us had bulging resilience bank accounts before the pandemic hit but it’s never too late start. Attending to areas such as sleep, good nutrition, regular exercise, relationship-building and self-care help keep our resilience buckets filled up.
Humans are adaptive and can get better at anything with practice, including living through a once in a century pandemic and all the changes it brings to our lives.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
Hey everyone, I hope we’re all well and that we will be back at school soon. I’m glad to hear that everyone seems to be going well with their remote learning. I do hope that you were able to spend time with your dad and your special people over the weekend and that you were able to use some of the fun games and activities that we created for you in our Date with Dad night .
Marley (School Captain)
In this Gospel Jesus speaks about the strength that comes from numbers. Jesus tells his disciples that “Wherever two or three people are gathered together in my name, I am there with them.” This is the power of prayer, most importantly of prayer as a community. Prayer as a family, whether it be around the dinner table or a bedtime prayer is the beginning of developing the sense of praying as a community. We start each school day praying together - even in our Remote Learning setting we continue to pray together as a class. While we are living under Stage 3 restrictions take time to share a prayer, a story or a song with your children. Use the many resources at our fingertips on the internet to pray as a community - big or small it doesn’t matter. As it says in the Gospel “Wherever two or three people are gathered together in my name, I am there with them.”
Remote Learning - Religion
During Week 8 the children focused on the ‘Season of Creation’. This is a global event; celebrated by many different churches, in different countries with an important thing in common - our planet. The Season of Creation begins on the 1st September and lasts until the 4th October.
Pope Francis shares one important message with us: “This is the season for letting our prayer life be inspired anew, to reflect on our lifestyles, to undertake prophetic acts for creation. It’s time to call for courageous decisions and direct the planet towards life not death.”
The children in each year level responded to this message in a variety of ways but they all wrote their own prayer of thanks for the beautiful world that we live in. Here are some of the prayers that were written by the Grade 1/2 children...
Links for Book Club:
- Issue 6 Catalogue PDF style - https://www.scholastic.com.au/media/5667/bc-620.pdf
- LOOP – Family Book Club Login - https://mybookclubs.scholastic.com.au/Parent/Login.aspx
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