Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Guadium, urges us to “think of the homeless, the addicted, refugees, indigenous peoples, the elderly who are increasingly isolated and abandoned and many others” (EG 210) including “victims of various kinds of human trafficking and women enduring situations of exclusion, mistreatment and violence.” “Let us not look the other way. There is greater complicity than we think”. The issue(s) involve everyone!
How are all these issues related to the “feeding of the five thousand” gospel? (Matt 14:13-21)
Just as Jesus tells his disciples to gather their meagre resources for the seemingly impossible task of feeding the needy crowd of thousands, so he calls us to gather our resources to the seemingly impossible task of meeting the needs of hundreds of millions of poor, marginalised, disregarded, exploited, abused and suffering.
We might say to Jesus, “We wish them all well and we’d love to help but we have limited resources of time, money, ability and courage. What can we possibly do?” That is a common, comfortable cop-out for us. We wring our hands and pray quite sincerely that the Lord will address the suffering of humanity, resolving rightly not to add to that suffering. Perhaps even donating to a cause. But that’s not enough! We need to be listening to the Lord’s response to our prayer. We shy clear of the challenge of pro-active Christian loving, feeling we have little or nothing to offer but he doesn’t let us off the hook. He knows all of our circumstances and our limitations intimately and still he says to us, “Bring them here to me.” Then, rather than looking the other way, we take what we have to Jesus, he blesses it, and gives it back to us so that we might bring fullness to those whose lives we touch.
Deacon Mark Kelly
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL PARENTS AND CARERS.
All parents using the car-line in the Admin Area for drop off and pick up are reminded that there is to be no right turn into the school, cutting in front of cars that are already in line waiting to turn left into school. Parents are asked to go down to the bottom of Victoria Street, through the roundabout and then come back up the hill joining the line of cars entering the school via a left hand turn.
Please do not cut in front of cars in the bus bay area that have left a gap, the bus bay is to be kept clear at all times.
We thank you for your continued support during these COVID-19 times.
COVID SAFE PRACTICES AT ST ITA'S
As part of our responsibility to keeping all in the St Ita’s Learning community safe during Covid-19 times we will be making sure all the previous Covid-19 routines and safety measure are still in place at our school.
We will continue to promote:
- students keeping healthy and clean
- correct hand washing and sanitizing procedures whilst at school
- practicing correct social distancing whilst at school
- safe pick up and drop off procedures at school
- daily morning temperature checks of all students arriving on site.
All students entering our school will have their temperature taken digitally. If any of these students display an elevated temperature they will not be able to enter the school and will need to be taken home exiting the school site.
If your child is showing any signs of illness please do not send them to school. If your child is displaying any flu like symptoms our advice would be to seek medical advice, get them tested and keep them at home until you receive the clearance for your child/ren to return to school.
This Friday we will conduct our fortnightly whole school Google Meet assembly to all classrooms at 2.50pm. At this assembly our school leaders will present the Welcome to Country, a School Prayer and read out the class award and the Holy Spirit award.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT SMART PHONE APPS YOUR CHILDREN ARE USING?
Sadly, there is an all too common conversation that teachers are having with parents and it usually takes place on a Monday morning after the weekend. The common thread in these conversations is related to negative or abusive comments made by one child about another child via various social media platforms.
Whilst Schools have no jurisdiction over comments made by students out of school hours, we are obligated to inform all parents that if comments made are threat related, violent or offensive they need to be reported to police.
I also alert parents that most, if not all social media sites require the user to be 13+ to access them, so if a child is underage and has them on their phone, they are there illegally. My belief of social media is and always will be ”The longer you can keep your child from it, the happier and healthier both you and your child will be.”
Could I please ask all parents to have an open and honest conversation with your child/ren in relation to what Apps they have on their phones and how they are using them socially? One of our greatest challenges is that with the current advances in technology, kids are at the forefront of how to use this technology. Adults are mostly the ones being educated on how to keep up and how to make sense of it all.
At St Ita's, Our Whole School Approach To Positive Behaviours gives a very clear message to all our students, staff and parents that St Ita’s is a place where we show respect for all, compassion for all and we are inclusive of all.
Below is a list of 21 Apps that parents need to be aware of. If any of these apps are on your child’s smart phone or tablet it is recommended that they are removed immediately as they have functions that operate in the background unbeknown to the user.
We thank you for your ongoing support in this space.
‘Stranger Danger’ is better referred to as a small part of teaching children protective behaviours, as 85 per cent of danger or abuse to children occurs with someone known to the child or trusted by the child. The Protective Behaviours Organisations have undertaken work for many years to protect children from all dangers, and help them to be safe in all environments. As such, protective behaviour should focus on stranger danger, predators, relatives or friends and Internet or online risks.
The aim is to teach children to be safe, to be aware of predatory strangers, and to be self-protective. Teaching protective behaviours or ‘stranger danger’ is a delicate balance of raising awareness, without unnecessarily alarming children, or paralysing them with fear. It is equally important to emphasise that the majority of adults are caring, loving and responsible–not ‘bad people’, to globally fear.
As such, a typical child response that a stranger is a nasty, bad person shows their immature naivety or lack of understanding. A typical predator will likely be dressed in friendly clothes, be funny or ingratiating, and more likely be nice, enticing, or bearing treats and offers. A stranger is any person that they do not know.
What to tell your child about a stranger:
- Tell your child not to listen to or be near a stranger–rather to move away or back inside.
- Tell your child to never ever go with a stranger–no matter what the stranger says.
- Share a code word with your child that is easy for them to remember and assure them that only a trusted adult will know the code word that you both share.
- Tell your child that strangers may make up sad stories, like looking for a lost pet, needing help with a sick child, or needing directions.
- Tell your child that strangers may offer treats, gifts or lollies for ‘helping’.
- Have your child make sure an adult they trust knows where they are at all times.
- Encourage your child if they have to walk by themselves somewhere to walk near busier roads/streets.
- If ever frightened tell your child to go into a ‘safe place’ like a shop, police station or school and NEVER get into a car with someone they don’t know.
Practice makes perfect
Having explained ‘stranger danger’ or protective behaviour, you might breathe a big sigh of relief. However, let’s not relax just yet. Research shows that kids often can quote what mum or dad said very well, but when placed in the situation, they more often still give in.
- At home, role play certain situations with your child, such as pretending mum is sick and that a new person needs to take them home.
- Role play or practise a variety of strategies or other scenarios.
- Try a test in a safe environment at home, such as an unfamiliar friend at the front door trying to entice them outside to look at a sick, cute rabbit.
- Research shows that kids often ‘forget’ after a period of time. Thus a yearly family refresher course is very worthwhile.
Active, protective behaviour
- Teach your child never to wander off or go out of sight.
- Teach your child to always walk with and stay with friends–to never go alone.
- Teach and practice saying NO loudly and repeatedly, if they are unsure.
- Teach your child to yell 'HELP', as loudly and repeatedly as possible, until they are heard. Predators hate noise and attention.
- Teach your child to find a safe adult (a policeman or a mum with a stroller) or a safe spot (if they are fearful) such as a school, shop or safety sign. However, don’t tell your child that all uniforms are safe as some predators may be wearing a uniform.
A healthy balance
- Assure your child that most adults are loving, caring and trustworthy.
- Discuss good, safe and friendly people in the world, to avoid fear of all adults.
- Remind your child of helpful adults, like firefighters, teachers, police, doctors, etc.
- Remind your child of ‘good’ adults in their world, who can be trusted.
- Protect them from over exposure to graphic news stories.
- Encourage your child to ‘tell’ if they even think they came across a stranger.
- Encourage your child to ‘tell’ if they felt scared, unsure or uncomfortable (‘yucky’ with any adult).
- Affirm that you will be happy and praise them for ‘telling’–that they will not be in trouble.
- Affirm that you will listen and believe them.
Basic protective safety for parents
- Always know where your children are.
- Keep your kids within your sight or supervision.
- Be alert to other people around you, but not paranoid.
- Be alert to Internet threats–research shows predators are increasingly luring more mature children through the Internet, such as online, through forums, chat lines, and message systems.
- Always keep young children’s computers within your vision (not in their bedrooms), and under your supervision.
- Install a ‘Net-Nanny’ or Parental Control Software program on your computer.
- Teach your child to never ever give out personal or private information.
Non stranger danger
- Be alert to behaviour or interaction, from a relative or friend, that makes you or your child feel uncomfortable.
- Explain to your child, in age appropriate terms, where touching is not okay, such as touching mouths and areas covered by their swimming costumes.
- Be alert to overly ingratiating or endearing behaviour that can lead to separation of child and parent.
- Listen openly at any time your child ‘tells’ about feeling uncomfortable or ‘yucky’.
- Avoid blaming or being judgmental if your child ‘tells’.
- Be alert for a combination of warning signs of potential danger–the greatest indicator is a change in several behaviours. But be aware that these are only warning signs–they may indicate other concerns:
- a return to bedwetting, nightmares or disturbed sleep
- sudden onset of phobias, such as fear of leaving the house or fear of the dark
- increase in anxiety, withdrawal or mood swings at unusual times
- any genital bruising, unusual genital discomfort or repetitive urinary tract infections
- torn or missing under garments
- unusual aggression and/or violent or explicit drawings
- self harming or secretive, inappropriate behaviour
- resistance to being left with a previously trusted or liked adult.
Finally, keep ‘danger’ in balance. While being alert and pro-active with protective behaviours, remember that a child’s world is full of safe, wonderful and positive events.
INSIGHT SRC SURVEYS FOR PARENTS
Please complete all Insight SRC surveys by tomorrow, Thursday 30th July. We appreciate all parents taking the time to fill out the survey either on-line or on the paper copy provided. Please return any completed paper copies if applicable and return to school admin by tomorrow, Thursday 30th July. The data that you provide to us at school helps us to ensure that we are always striving to do our best for all our children.
NEW SCHOOLZINE SZapp replaces Skoolbag
We are now using a new school notification App from Schoolzine which works inconjunction with our new school website. This new app called SZapp will replace the Skoolbag app. Please download the new SZapp to your phone or mobile device today. Skoolbag notifications will cease at the end of July.
SCHOOL FEE CONCESSION
Term 3 school fees are now due for families not on a direct debit payment plan.
For any families impacted financially by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and have concerns about your financial situation regarding school fees, please contact myself on 5623 7222 during the hours of 8.30am-3.30pm Monday to Friday, or via email: 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.
For any families that have recently received a Government means-tested health care concession card, please forward a copy of your card to the office to check your eligibility, as a fee concession may apply. The card must be in the name of the parent/fee payer for a fee concession to apply.
Please don't forget to subscribe to the school newsletter via our new school website to receive a copy each each week. https://stidrouin.catholic.edu.au/
FOUNDATION CELEBRATE 100 DAYS OF SCHOOLING
WHOLE SCHOOL '100' DRESS-UP DAY
Next Thursday 6th August our Foundation students will be celebrating their 100th Day of schooling.
To celebrate, the whole school is invited to dress up as anything to do with 100.
This may be:
- Dressing up as a 100-year-old person with a shawl, glasses, powder in the hair etc
- A Sports Star with 100 on their guernsey or netball bib
- 100 items on them (buttons, ribbons, buttons, streamers)
- Anything else amazing you can think of to help us celebrate.
- Dressing up as a 100-DAY-old person (3 month old baby) in a onesie with a dummy etc.
A gold coin donation for St Vincent de Paul would be very much appreciated.
If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.
The Foundation Teachers
FAMILY MEALS REQUIRED
We are seeking the assistance of generous cooks in our school community to help provide some cooked meals or snacks for our food bank freezer. We do not require gourmet meals, just hearty family meals (ie casseroles, soups, pasta dishes, lasagna, stew, rice dishes, sausage rolls, cake) that children may also enjoy & will freeze well.
These meals are available to all families who may be experiencing temporary family stress and provide a little comfort and convenience when it may be needed. If at any time you are in need or know of someone in need, please call the school office on 5623 7222 & we will do our best to help out. All information is handled sensitively and confidentially.
SCHOOLPIX SCHOOL PHOTOS
This year, our annual school concert is scheduled to be performed in term 4 on Thursday 12th November at the West Gippsland Arts Centre in Warragul, with concert practise to take place at the Art Centre on Wednesday 11th November. (Please note this date will be subject to the removal of Covid-19 restrictions).
CAREMONKEY is changing names to OPEROO
This is a quick note to inform you that St Ita's digital forms and school operations platform provider, CareMonkey, will be rebranding as ‘Operoo’: School processes, without the paperwork.
The name change will occur the week beginning Monday August 3rd. How you use the service, as well as the ownership and operation of the company, will remain unchanged. You can continue using the system, and its mobile application, as usual. Just be aware that, after Monday August 3rd, emails and notifications sent from the system will start appearing under the new name ‘Operoo’. You will also be automatically diverted to the new Operoo website if you go to the old CareMonkey website.
by Mrs Catherine McKenna
LAMONT BOOK FAIR
Thank you to all the families that purchased books in our recent on-line virtual Lamont Book Fair. Your purchases contribute towards new book purchases for our library. Your orders were delivered to school today, please check your child's bag for their new books if you made an order.
This is the last week to order Issue 5 of Book Club for free delivery to the school. Orders close for Issue 5 this Friday 31st July.
All orders must be placed via the Scholastic Book Club LOOP.
Please click on the link below to see the latest catalogue or to place an order.