Brothers and Sisters All
Pope Francis this month issued his third encyclical (letter addressed to Catholics and people of good will all over the world). Entitled “Fratelli Tutti’ or “Brothers and Sisters All”, the Pope’s letter echoes the themes of this week’s gospel (Matt 22:34-40). The greatest commandment, Jesus tells us (Matt 22:37-39), is to love God and our neighbour absolutely. He leaves us to enact the commandment, to love God and neighbour in the practical reality of our lives. In every situation we face, his commandment is not about protecting systems and ideologies but responding to this simple call to love.
Elsewhere, Jesus elaborates (Luke 10:25-37) with the “Good Samaritan” parable which is at the heart of Pope Francis’ new letter. The Pope calls Jesus’ Good Samaritan story “the criterion for judging every economic, political, social and religious project (FT 69, 72). We are moved to respond to our sister or brother in need, whoever they are, wherever they may come from – [turning] outwards, to act as neighbours, and to reach out to all those in need.”
Like Jesus, Pope Francis does not hesitate to call out evil and error in the world. Fratelli Tutti challenges “individualism” which does not make us freer or more equal brothers and sisters. He urges preservation of our planet, calling out those following a meaningless and shortsighted strategy of sowing fear and distrust in the face of external threats. He challenges the nonsense idea of “trickle-down economics” which assumes the poor will benefit by policies preferencing the rich. And he identifies the scandalous suffering, death and wastage of food as a consequence of world food markets.
“Hunger”, pronounces Pope Francis, “is criminal! Food is an inalienable right.” And health care as well. He decries a system in which health policy is subject to the dictates of finances. Human dignity and alternative social structures need to be paramount.
Deacon Mark Kelly
CHANGED TRAFFIC CONDITIONS AT DROP OFF AND PICK UP
Yesterday I was contacted by a representative of the Baw Baw Shire in relation to traffic congestion during before school drop off and after school pick up. In particular, we are looking at ways of easing traffic on Hopetoun Road and Victoria Street over the next 3 weeks due to road works that are currently happening.
Starting tomorrow, we are making a change to families using the car loop at Admin for drop off and pick up.
All Family surnames A-G can be dropped off and picked up at School Admin Loop.
All Family surnames H-Z can be dropped off and picked up at Drouin Rec Reserve.
We thank you for your ongoing support and patience during the next 3 weeks.
Due to current Covid-19 restrictions our students cannot meet together for assembly in our hall. On Friday 6th November, all our students will participate in a Google Meet Assembly on-line at 2.45pm in their classrooms. Our Liturgy team will run the Welcome to Country and prayer. Individual class awards and the Student of the Week will be read out to students by our School Captain. A copy of our Friday assembly will be posted on our new school website for parents to enjoy.
SUPPORTING ST VINNIES
The St Ita’s community have always gone above and beyond to help support the amazing work of the Drouin branch of St Vincent de Paul Society. Our “Vinnies” group, as it’s affectionately known, is located within the St Ita’s Parish and works to support and assists those in our local community struggling with poverty, homelessness and tough times. Our student group, Mini Vinnies also works hand in hand to support this amazing group of volunteers.
Each year St Ita’s supports the St Vincent de Paul Winter Appeal however due to Covid-19 we have not been able to help as much as we want to. I met this week with Drouin St Vincent de Paul President, Frances Godfrey and Treasurer, Isabel McLean and we explored different ways that our school could help support them.
One of the biggest issues Vinnies currently face is keeping their Food Banks stocked with basic food supplies. I was hoping as a school community that we could help support their food bank by specifically supporting them to stock up on the basic foods such as;
- PASTA SAUCE
- UHT MILK
- TINNED FOODS
During this term we want to run a food drive to help replenish the shelves of the non-perishable food stocks in the St Vinnies Pantry via a plain clothes day in mid-November. We hope everyone in our school community can get together and help this amazing group who do so much for those in need.
WATER BOTTLES required daily
SENDING STUDENTS TO SCHOOL WHEN THEY ARE SICK
Over the last few week’s we have had a number of children presenting to sickbay with gastro like symptoms. When talking to the children about how they are feeling, we always ask if they let mum and dad know they were feeling unwell. On many occasions, the response is, “yes, I told them, but they said I had to go to school”. Could I please ask all parents to be vigilant in making sure children stay at home if they are feeling un-well. Please keep your child at home if they are running a fever, have colds or flu or if they are displaying any signs of gastro. Please keep them at home until the illness has cleared for at least 24 hours. Now more than ever, it is important that we work together to keep everyone in our learning community safe and free from illness during this Covid phase of return to school.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS & SCHOOL CLOSURE DAY
This term the school will be closed on the Grand Final Day Eve Public Holiday & the Melbourne Cup Day Public Holiday as well as a school closure day for report writing on Monday 2nd November, the day prior to Melbourne Cup Day. Students do not attend school on these days as the school will be closed.
As children come out of remote learning one of the things that schools are noticing is that some students are struggling to get back into the routines of school.
School refusal can occur when a young person finds it difficult to attend school because they experience emotional distress, such as anxiety, in doing so.
This can present as feeling ill or unhappy in the morning before school with a desire to stay at home. The good news is that with some strategies and the right support, things can get better for your young person.
EFFECTS OF SCHOOL REFUSAL
Some young people may feel worried and not want to attend school occasionally, but for some, the difficulties around attending school can persevere and result in them repeatedly refusing to attend school.
Repeated school refusal can negatively impact a young persons’ learning and development. It can affect friendships as well as social standing due to missed opportunities to connect with friends and other students.
The longer the issue persists, the more difficult it can be for your young person to get back into the routine of going to school, so it’s important to respond early.
SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR
School refusal can manifest in many ways. Things to look out for might be:
- distress and anxiety about going to school
- tearfulness before school, sometimes resulting in conflict with family members
- frequent complaints of physical illness before or during school including headaches, tiredness, stomach upsets or diarrhoea
- poor teacher/student relationships
- refusal to get out of bed, leave the house or get out of the car to go to school
- difficulty attending school after disruptionsto usual school routines such as holidays, school sporting events or school camps
- frequent absences from class including being late or periods spent in the sick bay.
WHAT CONTRIBUTES TO SCHOOL REFUSAL?
School refusal is complex and differs for each young person. There might be a few contributing reasons that lead to school refusal. Some common factors include:
- anxiety related to being separated from family
- worry related to social interactions
- changes to school environment such as transitioning from primary to high school or to a new school
- learning difficulties or conflict with teachers
- anxiety about exams or public speaking
- being affected by bullying or friendship difficulties
- an unsettled family life – separation or divorce or illness.
HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR YOUNG PERSON RETURN TO SCHOOL
If you’re caring for a young person who is refusing school, early action can help prevent behaviours from becoming longer-term habits. Modelling effective communication and problem solving at home can encourage your young person to do the same.
You can support your young person by:
- finding a time when you both seem calm, then ask your young person about their concerns and worries about school. These issues can start to be addressed if they are known. Sometimes it can help to ask direct questions:
- are you being bullied?
- are you struggling with the school work?
- are you having issues with the teachers?
- is something else bothering you?
- exploring different ways your young person can try to manage their worries. Focus on their strengths and ways to positively engage in day-to-day activities
- learning relaxation techniques together, such as breathing exercises, to help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety
- creating a plan together that explores ways to manage the beginning of the school day, school term, school year, social situations or school work, depending on what is troubling your young person
- making the time at home seem less appealing by reducing screen time and focussing on homework, discouraging them from refusing school
- speaking to the school and developing a collaborative plan. A clear and well understood plan between a young person, parents and the school can be a useful tool in addressing school refusal
- considering if your young person may benefit from professional support to assist them with strategies and to better understand the underlying reasons for their school refusal.
SPORTS DAY FREE DRESS DAY - tomorrow
All students are invited to wear to school their favourite footy team colours/sports team TOMORROW, Thursday 22nd October instead of their school uniform to celebrate the AFL Grand Final.
(Please note the school is closed on Friday 23rd October for the AFL Grand Final Day Eve/Thank You Day Public Holiday.)
The Health nurse, Sarah Howes will be visiting our Foundation students next week. Please return all questionaires tomorrow morning, Thursday 22nd October for collection by the nurse.
SCHOOL CANTEEN - new Summer Menu Items
Take a look at the new yummy canteen items added to the summer menu, try either a Bento Box or a Chicken & Avocado Salad Bowl. You will find them under "Cold food" on Flexischools.
The canteen is open for recess and lunch orders every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Please order via Flexischools.
Term 4 school fees are now due & payable by Friday 30th October. For all families on a direct debit plan, all 2020 school fees must be paid in full by December 2020. If you are on a direct debit plan, please use this statement as a reference only and contact the office if you require any amendments to your plan.
The 2021 school fee schedule is also available on Care Monkey.
If any families would like to set up a weekly, fortnightly or monthly direct debit schedule for next year, please complete the Direct Debit Form and return to the school office at your earliest convenience or prior to 01 December 2020. Please calculate the total fees payable by the number of weeks/payments required. For any assistance please contact the school Admin office via email on: email@example.com
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.
If your current Health Care card is due to expire this year and your card is re-issued, please send a copy of your new card details to the office as soon as possible for the concession to be checked and applied for next year's fees, if not already done so.
For any families impacted financially by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and/or have concerns about your financial situation regarding school fees, please contact Mr Andrew Osler on 5623 7222 during the hours of 9am-3pm Monday to Friday, or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org so that he can explore confidential financial support arrangements with you.
SCHOOLPIX SCHOOL PHOTOS
The Schoolpix School Photos will take place on Wednesday 18th November.
Please make sure all students are neatly presented, wearing their full summer uniform with black school shoes and school jumpers. Grade 6 students are required to wear their bomber jacket in place of the jumper. All students with long hair must tie their hair neatly back using our school colours: red, white, blue or black.