DIRECT TO JESUS
Each of us is learning and adjusting to changing circumstances, large and small, every day; indeed every moment of our lives. That is what human life well lived is about. In Jesus we have both fully human and fully divine natures. Though fully God, the second person of the Trinity has deigned to become fully human in order to experience life as a human and to model for humans the nature of God’s love and the human quest for God.
Fully human, Jesus spends a lifetime growing, learning and adapting. A product of his time and place, he is a Jew who culturally despises Canaanites. Losing this debate with the determined Canaanite woman (Matt 15:21-28), changes his perspective on the despised non-Jews and reveals the universal nature of the Kingdom of God. Rather than being converted by Jesus, the woman converts Jesus who “has to enlarge the boundaries of his mission to encompass the outsider: it is not the case that the outsider comes into Jesus’ pre-set mission boundaries.” (Sacred Space, SJIT).
We flatter ourselves that we are open and welcoming to outsiders and hopefully we are. But our end game often is to encourage outsiders to fit the structure and parameters of our group; to live by our rules and behaviour. There is no suggestion of the Canaanite woman being anything other than what she presented to Jesus: a Canaanite woman in pain imploring Jesus to help her daughter. To meet her where she is at. And so, he does. Her wish is granted and her daughter is well again.
She teaches us that we have much to learn from outsiders. Rather than going out to teach them about God, sometimes we need to be open to learning about God from them. Her well placed faith is focussed on Jesus alone, teaching us to bare ourselves honestly and directly to Jesus, who hears us.
Deacon Mark Kelly
USE OF CHROMEBOOKS DURING REMOTE LEARNING
As we continue to work from home during remote learning could I please ask all students in grade 3-6 to make sure that they are using their Chromebooks appropriately and are following the schools user agreement.
We have had several parents contact us in relation to students using their devices to communicate and chat with other students during Remote Learning time which is distracting for the students learning. Could I please ask all parents to monitor their child’s use of their child’s IT, in particular if they are communicating with other children during the remote learning hours of 9am to 3pm.
We have also noticed during remote learning that we have had a significant increase in damage and breakages to student Chromebooks. Could Parents please make sure Chromebooks are being used at a workstation or bench. We remind all parents that Chromebooks should not be taken into bedrooms at night to be used as a communication tool and should be parked in a safe spot, charging for the next day’s use.
HOW TO KEEP KIDS SAFE ONLINE WHEN LEARNING FROM HOME
As remote learning and other social-distancing measures mean young people are spending more and more time online, cyber safety experts warn it is important to be extra vigilant about protecting children from harm.
As the coronavirus pandemic began to affect the way we live back in March, the eSafety Commissioner noted a 40 per cent hike in reports of cyber bullying, ‘harmful and illegal content’ and image-based abuse. And for the month of June, cyber-bullying complaints were up more than 150 per cent on the same time last year.
“Given unsupervised access by young people, with parents distracted because they’re working, it’s almost a given we’d expect some of these behaviours to increase,” says the Commissioner’s education and training manager, Kellie Britnell. “And with some of the criminal behaviour, offenders have got more time on their hands and more live-streaming ability for adults to follow young people’s accounts.”
The increase in cyber bullying is no surprise either. “For those kids who are generally vulnerable at school, this might be an opportunity for someone to exploit that vulnerability because they think they’re not being seen by anyone – who’s going to follow me up, Mum and Dad aren’t going to, and how’s school going to follow me up? I’m not at school.”
Check privacy and security settings
Adjust the privacy settings on apps, games, social media and video-conferencing tools so your child’s profiles are set to the strictest privacy setting and check the safety and security settings on anything that’s newly downloaded.
Video conferencing: Who can see them?
If using video conferencing, young people should think about what they’re wearing. “If they’re using video functionality it means people can see them and we don’t always know who has access to that at the other end,” Kellie says. Some video-conferencing tools might allow users to blur the background or enable a different background so you’re not “inviting people into a young person’s bedroom”.
Is video really necessary?
Consider whether video functionality is necessary, or can your child get sufficient instruction via audio. Most video conferencing allows audio and chat.
Get to know your video-conferencing settings
Teachers should be familiar with a video-conferencing tool’s settings. Some allow users to lock a virtual meeting to prevent uninvited people from joining, and you can disable functionality that you don’t need or see as a potential problem. For instance teachers can remove students from a meeting after it’s finished so they don’t come back two hours later and find they’re looking into someone’s bedroom or hearing what’s going on in a house.
Contact school if something feels wrong
If something coming into your home from school feels off or inappropriate, get in touch. “Don’t be complacent that schools have got this down pat, because they’re trying to work it out like the rest of us and might not have safety at the forefront of what they’re doing.”
Set expectations for online behaviour
“You might think, ‘oh they know how I expect them to behave’, but you actually have to be explicit,” Kellie says. This might mean telling them to remove themselves from a conversation where someone is being abusive or hurtful, calling out the bad behaviour or comforting the targeted person.
Use parental controls and safe search options
Parental controls can help block your child from accessing specific websites, apps or functions. They can also monitor your child’s use of connected devices and set time limits. You cannot rely on these 100 per cent, so use them with other online safety strategies.
Play in their world
Co-view and co-play with your kids so you can get to know their online world. Right now, while we’re spending more time than usual at home, could be a perfect opportunity to do this. Know the apps, games and social media sites your kids are using, making sure they are age-appropriate, and learn how to limit messaging or online chat and location-sharing functions within apps or games, as these can expose your child to unwanted contact and disclose their physical location.
Put onus on the child
If a child or teenager is keen on a new app or tool, get them to research it and ‘sell’ it to you. “Tell them you’ll be asking them what they know about the privacy settings, how they’re going to interact with people, whether unknown people can just join in or take part in conversations,” says Kellie. “It puts the onus back on them, but then you can make a joint decision as to why or why not you’re going to allow it.”
Cyber-bullying: the signs
A child might not tell you they are being bullied online because they worry it will make things worse for them, or that they’ll lose access to their device. Signs to look for include being upset after using their laptop or phone or secretive about their time online, becoming withdrawn, anxious or angry, or a decline in their school work or physical health.
CAMP AUSTRALIA BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CARE
Camp Australia are operating before and after school care at St Ita's Primary School for students of parents who are Permitted (Essential Service workers).
All bookings must be made through the Camp Australia portal. Please note that there will be no students on site from other schools or other areas.
We thank you for your patience and ongoing support as we work through these challenging Covid times. Click here for Camp Australia details.
2021 FOUNDATION ENROLMENTS
Enrolments for 2021 Foundation students have now been processed & we have over 60 applications for next year. All siblings that have returned enrolment forms are secured a place. Please make sure any siblings due to commence school next year that have not returned their enrolment forms as yet, to please do so this week to the office for processing and for inclusion in our class numbers.
We are currently conducting telephone interviews for new families with Foundation students that have returned enrolment forms. Later this term, we will advise our sibling families of a similar process whereby you can choose an appointment date and time to have a short 10 minute telephone interview.
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 newsletter. This new app called SZapp has replaced the Skoolbag app. Please download the new SZapp to your phone or mobile device today.
An important update for SZapp has been released to accomodate for iPhones which have been intermittently receiving push notifications. SZapp version 3.6.0 is available from the App Store now and we advise all iPhone users to install this version to ensure notifications are received correctly.
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 9am-3pm 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.
SCHOOL OFFICE HOURS
The school administration office is available from 8.30am to 4 pm Monday to Friday. Please contact the office via telephone: 5623 7222 or email: email@example.com. Out of hours messages or enquiries will be followed up on the next business day.
NO SCHOOL BUS ON FRIDAY
The local school bus services will not operate this Friday 14th August as this is a student free day for Drouin Secondary. Therefore NO school buses will operate in the Drouin network on this day & interchanges will not be supervised. If your child is on-site remote learning at school and normally catches the bus, alternative arrangements will need to be made to/from school this Friday.
The Conveyance Allowance application is now open for term 3 & 4 for any families that have not already completed an application for this year and they qualify for the allowance as per the criteria below.
You may apply to claim this Government Allowance if:
- You live more than 4.8 kilometres by the shortest practical route from our school and we are the closest Catholic school to your place of residence.
- You live more than 4.8 kilometres from our school and you cannot access a bus.
- You access a bus and live more than 4.8 kilometres from the bus stop.
You must lodge a new application each year. If you have already completed an application for 2020 you do not need to apply again for this year unless your details have changed.
Eligibility is assessed when the School completes your child’s application on the Government Student Conveyance Allowance System (SCAS). If approved, the allowance payable is based on the one way distance to make the journey to and from school. No private car allowance is payable if the journey to and from school could be made using a public transport service or contract school bus. For further information regarding the Conveyance Allowance Program see: www.education.vic.gov.au/travellingtoschool
Please click here to download the Conveyance Allowance Application Form , please complete and return to the school office by Friday 21st August 2020. Late claims cannot be accepted.
CAREMONKEY has changed names to OPEROO
This is a quick note to inform you that St Ita's digital forms and school operations platform provider, CareMonkey, has rebranded as ‘Operoo’: School processes, without the paperwork.
The name change occurred this week. 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 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 however please amend and save the Operoo link to your favourites.