Dear Parents, Guardians and Carers,
Welcome back to Term 4. It was lovely to see and hear all the children as they settled back into school. Whilst the children are excited to be back and see their friends, it is yet another change that they have gone through this year and may be experiencing some anxiety about it. The following is adapted from https://www.psychology.org.au/ and gives some tips for families to help families transition their children back to school.
Transitioning back to school in the COVID-19 era can present many challenges for parents and children. Many parents have reported that learning from home has given their child the opportunity to work at their own pace. Many children have also benefitted from the 1:1 support which has helped with learning.
The shorter school day and flexibility for rest breaks has also meant that fatigue has been less of an issue. In addition, anxiety has improved for some children as a result of these factors. Given this, it is no wonder that returning to school comes with a mix of relief and excitement along with a new set of stresses for children and parents.
Many parents had conversations with their children about the importance of learning from home to keep them healthy and safe. Some children may now worry about the safety of returning to school. To help your child feel safe, have a conversation with them explaining that:
- the decision to return to school is based on medical advice
- children do not usually get sick from COVID-19
- everyone at school is working hard to make sure that children are safe
- anyone who is unwell will stay at home
- the government is keeping an eye on things – if it starts to be unsafe, decisions about what to do will be made
- reassure your child that it is normal to have mixed emotions such as excitement, relief, worry and anger
- discuss what they are looking forward to and what they are worrying about reinforce good hygiene practices.
- the drop off and pick up procedures will be different and how you will manage it as a family
After school, it will be important to:
- talk to your child about their day, including what they enjoyed, what they felt worried about and what they are looking forward to tomorrow
- schedule extra family time as your child is likely to have missed being at home with you
- your child may feel more fatigued and will benefit from quiet activities to recharge.
In other news, you will have noticed when you picked up your children from school that the trees outside the staffroom have been removed. These trees were beginning to create damage to the paths, drainage and buildings and we had been advised that they needed to be removed. The decision to do it now was to make way for a demountable building that will house the two classrooms we need next year.
We have begun the process of planning for the 2021 school year. If parents have a genuine reason for class placement requests for next year, could you please put them in writing addressed to myself by Wednesday 21st October if you haven’t already done so. An enormous amount of time and effort is put into the creation of class lists and many factors are taken into consideration by the staff. A written request will be considered on its merits but is not a guarantee. Who is teaching which grade has not yet been decided so please do not request certain teachers.
At St Michael’s we work on a whole school approach to class planning and are blessed to have a committed teaching staff who collaborate to give the very best learning opportunities to all students in our care. Please be aware that a request has to be made for this current year, we will not be referring to requests made 12 months ago as circumstances change.
If your family situation is changing, we would also appreciate you letting the Office know. An accurate indication of student numbers assists us enormously in our planning for 2021.
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.
Jesus came to share the Good News and to bring God’s message to all people. In Sunday’s Gospel we hear this message through another parable. In this parable, Jesus once again uses the vineyard to tell his story. Some vineyards are well-tended but produce bitter grapes, while others are tended by wicked people and produce a good harvest. Jesus wants us to learn how to live in the love of God and one’s neighbour, and to know what mattered most in life. One positive of living with the COVID pandemic this year, is learning what matters most in our lives. It is when things are taken away from us that we come to fully appreciate them! May we all continue to embrace our loved ones and stay focused on the things that matter most in our lives.
Socktober - Sock it to Poverty
October is World Mission Month and Pope Francis wants us to “Rise up from the couch - with your boots laced - and turn your hands into signs of love ….” Catholic Mission works hard, providing essential support for key projects in countries around the world, including areas in remote Australia. During 2020 the focus is on empowering children and young adults with disability at the Arrupe Centre in Cambodia.
What can we do about that here at St Michael’s Primary School?
At school, the children will have the opportunity to learn about different communities around the world and some of the fantastic things that Catholic Mission are doing to help people who don’t have the same privileges as we do.
Also, on Friday 16th October we are going to have a Crazy Sock Day at school to raise money to support the Socktober Appeal. For a gold coin donation the children are able to wear crazy socks to school on this day with their sports uniform. In the past we have seen some fantastic ways that socks can be worn - see how creative you can get!
Over the last 6 weeks we have been raising money for cancer council. Currently we have raised $3,408. Every dollar we raise for Cancer Council goes towards helping people who have been affected by cancer. This includes funding life-saving research, prevention programs and support services for anyone affected by cancer. Liam shaved his hair off and Millie cut 30 cm off her hair to donate for a wig. On the 22nd of September we had our haircuts. Some of you are probably asking why we did this. Well the reason is that 6 months ago our Nan was diagnosed with cancer. We did this to show how much we love her and appreciate all that she has done for us. Thank you to everyone who has supported us by donating. If you would still like to donate, you can by following the link is down below. To donate press the give now button and fill in the information.
Liam and Millie Bermingham