“You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church.” We draw great consolation from this passage (Matt 16:13-20) anointing Peter (and his successors) as the foundation of Jesus’ Church, holding the “keys to the Kingdom,” underpinning the apostolic succession which is the basis of our Church today.
We are reminded though that “Church” is not the “end game”, Church is but a conduit leading us to the Kingdom of God, which is a different thing altogether.
“The divine wish for us is to become the people we were created to be by falling more fully in alignment with God’s vision for the world, thus ushering in more swiftly the complete reign of God. That, and only that, is what gives God true worship. Pope Francis is a constant critic of any other priorities.” (An Astonishing Secret, Fr Daniel O’Leary, 2017)
Peter is invested with the keys, but moments after this astounding authority is bestowed upon him, he makes the first of his many errors and derelictions as leader, illustrating that he and his brothers still have a lot to learn. Only in faithfully proclaiming the Kingdom of God is Peter empowered to lead, to bind and to loosen.
Peter and the apostles and their successors are not fierce gatekeepers of some narrowly defined future Kingdom in the clouds, but rather proclaimers of the Kingdom with us and around us, even in the here and now. God’s Kingdom was Jesus’ whole message and purpose and that continues to be the role of the Pope, the Bishops and the Church, proclaiming Jesus through friendship with sinners, seeking the lost, welcoming, listening to and walking with those who suffer, concerned with people’s happiness - “a big-hearted Church in which we go to work every morning for the reign of God, knowing that God has made the sun rise on the evil and the good….. to see Jesus alive and up close, understanding his message, grasping his deepest insights, and feeling the heat of his passion for God and humanity.” (Pagola p446-450)
Dear Parents and Carers,
As we move into the third week of Remote Learning, I would like to thank all our parents and carers who have done an amazing job supporting your child’s Remote Learning from home. Your efforts and the feedback and support for the work the teachers have put in place is greatly appreciated.
As we learnt in Term 2, Remote Schooling is significantly different from face to face learning for students, staff and families. Put simply, it is tough and the last thing we want to do is increase stress levels in homes. A ‘bad day’ is ok and is probably a message to take a break and catch your breath. But if one bad day turns into two, we don’t want it turning into three so please reach out to the classroom teacher and or myself and let us know how you are traveling.
Whilst I totally understand the frustrations and the challenges that Remote Learning can present, I also understand the importance of us all working together to get through these tough times. The only way we are going to stop the Covid-19 spread is by strictly following the Stage 3 restrictions put in place by the State Government and our Employer DOSCEL. This means we have to remain vigilant in limiting access to our school site to only those who have a legitimate reason for their child to be at school for Onsite Supervised Remote Learning.
All students who can learn from home MUST learn from home, except those:
- Whose parents, guardians or carers are unable to work from home and no other arrangements for care can be made. If a parent is at home then children must learn from home.
- Who are deemed to be vulnerable including;
- children in out-of-home care
- children deemed by Child Protection and/or Family Services to be at risk of harm
- children identified by the school as vulnerable (including via referral from a family violence agency, homelessness or youth justice service or mental health or other health service).
- With additional needs who require learning adjustment and who also meet one of the above criteria.
If you meet the above criteria and require onsite supervision, please register your intentions each week by completing the Onsite Intentions Form. This will enable us to ensurethat we have sufficient staff on duty to supervise students in attendance.
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 in attendance. In addition, all students attending on-site Remote Schooling will have their temperature taken each morning.
If you have any questions in relation to the on-site Remote Schooling arrangements, please contact the front office on 56237222 or email@example.com.
The information set out below outlines the learning content and expectations for students and families. In setting up for Remote Schooling this term we have taken into account what worked well in Term 2 via feedback and suggestions from staff, students and families.
The core curriculum areas for all our remote learning students are English (Literacy), Maths (Numeracy) and Religious Education. There will be daily spelling, writing, reading, number and maths learning tasks. All students will be expected to complete work set in these areas unless explicit adjustments are made by the classroom teacher. As a guide, we would expect this work to be completed by 1pm if students start at 9am and take a 30 minute break.
Opportunities will be provided for Music, Library, Physical Education, Japanese and Digital Technology. Specialist Teachers have put a lot of time and effort into preparing their lessons and its important all students have a go at completing the tasks over the course of the week.
At various times each week, students will have the opportunity to participate in a class or level Google Meet. These meetings may offer an outline of the weeks learning, a prayer or a meditation or even a daily connect to share time with your class or level teachers. Students may also be invited to engage in a small group Google Meeting for Literacy or Numeracy, however these will not be every day for each child. A reminder, students are expected to wear appropriate clothing and not be in a bedroom when engaging in a Google Meet.
Some work tasks completed in Remote Learning will be considered assessment tasks. Teachers will provide direction as to which work tasks are to be submitted for assessment and feedback and how this is to occur. You can also contact your child’s teacher where you feel adjustments or extension of learning is required. The important thing is that you communicate your concerns to your child’s teacher via Class dojo, during Google Meet or a phone call.
Once again, families will again see there is a clear routine to the learning. Although students can sometimes mistake this as repetition, regular routine is a strong support for student learning, especially in a situation like this.
Could I please outline some important points to all parents and carers:
- Remote Schooling is not home schooling. Home schooling requires parents/carers to fully develop, implement and assess the curriculum for children. In Remote Schooling, the curriculum is being planned, implemented and assessed by staff, although this is being done in a very different way than usual as children are offsite.
- There is no right or wrong model with Remote Learning, it’s what works best for you and your family. We understand that Remote Learning will be different for all families.
- No child can fail Remote Learning. The work teachers set is to support all student learning and where possible we’ll adapt it to the needs of the individual.
- No child will be required to repeat a year due to struggling with Remote Learning.
- The remote learning kids do at home, is exactly the same learning as supervised onsite learning kids do at school.
- There is no set time agenda for daily remote learning. It’s what best works for you and your family. Some kids function well in the morning some kids function well in the afternoons.
- You are not teachers and we don’t expect you to be teachers. If your child is challenged or struggling please let their teacher know and they will contact them to help them through any challenges.
- The Google Meet sessions (which vary from grade level to grade level) are where teachers will outline the learning for the day or the week for your child. Please support your child to make these a priority.
MAINTAINING OUR MENTAL HEALTH DURING COVID
During remote learning the most important task we all need to undertake is to make sure we are all maintaining our Mental Health. This is something we need to do on a daily basis. Managing our mental health during difficult or challenging times is the most important thing as it allows us to function as best we can day to day.
Below are some simple tips from the mental health experts at Beyond Blue to help you cope with any anxiety, distress or concern related to coronavirus (COVID-19) - especially if you’re in a hotspot and need to follow stay-at-home restrictions.
The team at Beyond Blue, one of Australia’s leading mental health organisations, has put together some tips to help you manage your mental health in the current context.
Tips for looking after your mental health:
Media coverage: find a healthy balance and limit news and social media if you and your family find it too distressing.
Sources of information: access credible information from government and health authorities (i.e. Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Australian Government and World Health Organisation (WHO)).
Maintain perspective: remember that experts around the world are working hard to help. Also, while coronavirus can affect anyone, those with the disease haven’t done anything wrong so don’t make assumptions.
Stay calm and be practical: follow advice from credible sources, and resist the urge to panic, as this makes it harder for authorities to manage the outbreak effectively.
Stay connected and/or seek support: keep in touch with your family, friends, colleagues or professional support services by phone, video call, social media or email.
Stick to a routine: aim to get plenty of sleep, maintain physical activity, eat healthy foods and allocate specific work hours and breaks. If you’re feeling frustrated about your current experience it can help to think about what positive habits you might be able to develop, such as spending more time with the family members within your household, getting to know your neighbourhood and cooking more.
Financial support: visit the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to find relevant information for Victorians, or call the National Debt Helpline.
TRY THESE FAMILY ACTIVITY IDEAS DURING COVID
As the coronavirus pandemic continues with stage 3 restrictions, we are having to spend most of our time at home. With schools and many of the places where families socialise closed for business, children are spending more of their waking hours in their house and backyard. So, if you have kids to keep entertained, how do you fill in the seemingly endless hours ahead? Don’t despair … there are plenty of options and new experiences to discover.
Make a list
Compile a list of potential activities with your children and vote each day on which ones to complete. As you think of new ideas, add them to the list.
Get the blood pumping
Make a regular time to exercise or keep fit together – take a walk around the block, play footy or go for a bike ride. It doesn’t matter what you do each day, as long as you move.
Build cubby houses
Use chairs, a table and blankets to build an indoor cubby space.
Go on a treasure hunt...
Set up an indoor treasure hunt for younger children. Give them a list of things to find – use pictures for those too young to read a list – and whoever finishes the list first wins.
... Or a bear hunt
Take a turn round your ’hood to spot the teddy bears popping up in front windows and on verandas as Victorians join the worldwide movement to keep younger kids active and entertained – in a nod to children’s book favourite We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. Several Facebook groups offer photos and details. Put your own teddy out too.
Turn your hallway into a bowling alley
“Line up some empty plastic bottles and use an old pair of socks wrapped into a ball to create a quick and easy game of indoor bowling,” says Professor Julie Green, executive director at raisingchildren.net.au. “Make it harder by adding some weight, like sand and water, inside the bottles.”
Have a picnic
Set up an indoor picnic, or an outside picnic, if space and weather permit.
Make some playdough
Mix two cups of plain flour and half a cup of oil then add some food colouring. Slowly mix in water until you get the consistency you want.
Dust off the boardgames
Invest in some of the latest boardgames and play them along with classics like Cluedo and Monopoly. Some of the best-selling games right now include strategic card game Exploding Kittens, Dobble – described as an updated and reinvented version of Snap – and Dixit. This game involves players looking at cards, inventing a story to go with them, then other players guess which card inspired their weird and wonderful story.
Teach them to cook
“Get creative with what’s in the pantry,” says Julie. Use online apps for some recipe inspiration. Some apps allow you to enter the ingredients you have to hand and then suggest suitable recipes.
Bust a move
Go online and use YouTube videos to do a family dance or yoga class each day.
Don’t forget chores
“Having chores to do in family routines helps children and teenagers develop a sense of responsibility and some basic skills like the ability to manage time,” says Julie. “These are skills children can use for life. Even a young child can start to look after their toys. Older children can help with putting out and sorting washing, washing the car, cooking family meals and feeding pets.”
Watch a TED talk
If you have teens at home, watch a TED talk together. Let them choose a topic that interests them – from Egyptian myths and the impacts of climate change to the search for dark matter in space.
Give teens mini projects
“Give teens a project like weeding and replanting the garden, researching a holiday for when travel is an option. Give them a budget and let them plan and look for any handy free online workshops,” says Julie.
Make a movie or music video
“Make a movie. Children can write a script, put together costumes and design sets and then film using an iPhone or iPad,” she adds.
Organise regular FaceTime sessions with friends
Avoid children feeling isolated by having regular FaceTime sessions with family and friends. “Grandparents could use this time to read a story to younger children. Or set up FaceTime or another video calling app to do an activity ‘together’,” says Julie.
Have a jam session
Teach your kids to play an instrument and have a good old jam session together, or crank up the music and dance around the house having a family sing-a-long to some of your favourite songs.
Assemble some paints, paintbrushes, fresh paper or canvases and let the kids unleash their inner artists. Set them up in the backyard or garage with some drop sheets in case things get messy.
2021 FOUNDATION SIBLING 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. Any siblings due to commence school next year that have not returned their enrolment forms as yet, please contact the office this week to discuss your inclusion in our class numbers.
We are currently conducting telephone interviews for new families with Foundation students that have returned enrolment forms. Next week, 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 with Mr Osler.
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.
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.
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.
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.