Woke was once an innocuous word describing arising from sleep. It has come to mean adherence to a set of values – essentially issues of social and racial justice (and is now being used as a put-down by people opposed to those values). Nevertheless, particularly as we enter Advent and anticipate Christmas in this challenging year, it seems to fit just right. “Stay awake! Be alert!,” our gospel insists (Mark 13:33-37).
Emerging from Covid restrictions this Advent, we have much too eagerly anticipate. Advent is about reflection, awareness, improvement, in preparation for welcoming Jesus in our midst. We might ask ourselves if we are staying awake, being aware of our lives, accepting our weaknesses and struggles and ready to change. Have we simply bunkered down and ignored the world or are we alert to the increased sufferings of the poor, the outcast, the lonely, the despised and rejected?
What prevents us being “woke” to injustices? Are we distracted by our own pleasures, laziness, jealousy, pride or selfishness? Reflection brings new awareness, but where do we start on a path of renewal, of being awake and watchful? Jesus knows our struggles but he likes to hear us ask for help. It shows we are already aware and serious.
Advent, with its messages of hope and faith, is time to renew our faith and commitment to God through simple honest prayer (1 Cor 1:3-9); an opportunity to be more loving to those within our own homes and communities – we’ll find ways; to reconcile with those who have hurt us – that can be a hard one but so rewarding, and to share our times and our treasure with the less fortunate – maybe it is time to give through one of the many programs aiding our brothers and sisters in need in Australia or overseas. Then we will really be ready to welcome Jesus into our hearts and homes at Christmas.
Deacon Mark Kelly
BOOKING FOR SUNDAY MASSES
While there is now no need to book in for weekday masses, it is still required to book in for Sunday masses.
To make this easier we are now offering on-line bookings.
For those who cannot do this it will still be possible to phone the parish and book in.
Go to https://www.trybooking.com/BMZOK
This will bring up the list of Masses.
Click on book now button and follow the prompts.
Click on the Mass you wish to attend (please only choose one Mass).
Then click on the number of tickets required. (Please note Children over 12 months need to have a ticket booked).
Then fill in your details.
Click on purchase ticket. TICKETS ARE FREE.
Make sure that you have completed the purchase of your ticket by checking your email confirmation. If you do not get an email confirming your ticket please contact the office. (You don’t need to print or bring your ticket.)
Bookings for Masses for 28/29th November will be open from Friday 20/11 until 3pm Friday 27/11.
Warragul and Drouin Masses are strictly limited to 80 people and Neerim South 50 people.
You must book in to come to Sunday Masses. Please do not just turn up, you must book.
If you need help, or have any questions please call Prue at the Parish Office on phone: 5623 1642 between 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday.
CLASSES FOR 2020
We are currently in the process of putting our classes together for the 2021 school year. This important task whilst time consuming, is extremely important so that we have the right balance of students across each class in our school.
All students have been asked by their teacher to nominate 2-3 peers that they know they can work well with. We explain to children that this is not about being in a grade with your best friends, as “best friends does not always guarantee best learning.”
The reality is sometimes kids get their best friends in their class, sometimes they do not. Not being with their best friends is never a given and it is not a factor that we use when setting up classes and grouping children for an academic year. The reality is that the bigger a school gets the harder it is to place children with best friends.
I often say to parents, it’s a great opportunity for a meaningful teaching moment when a child comes home devastated that they are not with their best friend for a year or that they didn’t get the favourite teacher that they wanted. Building resilience and working through tough times is the key discussion to have in this space.
Over the last few week’s we have given parents the opportunity to submit requests for their child’s grade next year based on individual student needs of their child. It is important that all parents understand that this opportunity to submit requests is not based on preferred teachers, friendships or social relationships that occur outside of school. We also want parents to understand that making a request does not come with a guarantee that the request will be put in place. In saying that we will always support students as best we can in the social, emotional and academic sphere.
As parents, we try to structure our child's life in such a way as to remove instability, provide predictable routines, and minimize emotionally difficult changes. However, no matter how hard we try, change does occur and sometimes it is impactful.
One of these changes that happens in every child's life is moving into a new Year level at school. Every year we have a few students who struggle going into another grade level for a whole host of reasons. Most of which relate to anxiety, the fear of the unknown or not being with their friends.
Stepping into a new classroom environment can be a challenge for both child and parent. The first days and weeks of a new classroom with a new teacher can be exciting, but they can also be filled with uncertainty and anxiety. The following tips and strategies will help your child quickly adapt to their new grade.
There is nothing that will help your child maintain a positive attitude toward their new grade than your positive attitude. If you are concerned about the transition, and you let it show, your child will be concerned too. It is okay to discuss your child's fears and expectations, but reassure them they are going to have a great year. Sometimes it is helpful to let your child know that every other child is going through the same thing they are.
LET THEM KNOW YOU ARE IN IT TOGETHER.
Nothing is more reassuring to a child, especially a younger child, than knowing that you're going to be with them every step of the way. No, you are not going to sit with them in class, but you will be there for them before school, after school and will even be available during school, if needed. Volunteering in your child's classroom can be an effective way of helping a struggling child adjust to their new classroom environment. Making sure, you are physically and emotionally available for your child will help them make a smooth transition to their new classroom.
GET YOUR CHILD INVOLVED.
Getting your child involved in school activities is a great way to ease their fears and help them quickly adjust to their new classroom. While you do not want to force them into anything, you want to encourage participation in classes and activities that will foster new friendships and help them feel a part of the class community – and less like an outsider. Older students who participate in school activities, clubs, or sports tend to feel more connected and perform better academically. Getting involved in extracurricular activities outside the classroom can help a child feel more connected inside the classroom.
GET SOME SLEEP
More and more studies confirm what many parents have known for years, getting a good night’s sleep is necessary to have healthy, well-adjusted kids. Getting enough sleep prior to a new school year is also important. To make transition easier, we recommend starting your child's new school-year sleep routine several weeks before school starts. This will help ensure that their transition to a new school does not include transitioning to a new sleeping schedule at the same time.
GO THROUGH THEIR FIRST DAY AHEAD OF TIME.
Why wait until the first day of school to figure everything out? The unknown is what scares students the most about their first day of school in a new classroom. Sometime before the first day of school, take your child on a trial run. Walk them to their bus stop. If they are going to walk to school each day, walk to the school with them using the route you have decided on. If your child will be going to school with friends, invite them to come along on your trial run. Take your child to school ahead of time and help them find their classroom. Taking your child on a trial run of their first day will help make school less daunting.
SEND YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL PREPARED.
Most schools will let parents know ahead of time what supplies and materials are required for students. Arriving to school with the appropriate supplies and materials keeps children from feeling like the odd man out. This is particularly true of younger students who are sensitive to feeling different or left out. It is also important to make sure lunchtime and snack arrangements have been made. If they take lunch to school, prepare a good lunch the night before so it is ready to go in the morning.
DO NOT GET RUSHED.
The morning of the first day of school can often end up being a mad house – especially if you have more than one child to get ready. In order to avoid the morning rush, get everything ready the night before. Make sure supplies are organized and in backpacks, lunches are made, clothes are laid out, and your child has a plan in place for their first day of school. Planning the night before will allow your child to get plenty of sleep, get out the door on time and not feel any additional anxiety.
Parents often overlook the importance of a healthy diet for children, especially when they are going to school. A treat now and then is a welcome treat, but healthy snacks and a healthy lunch should be the norm. It is also important that children eat a healthy breakfast every morning. Children who skip breakfast do not have the energy or ability to focus and often have a hard time paying attention in class.
TAKE YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL THE FIRST DAY.
It may be helpful to take your child to school on their first day in their new classroom so you can introduce them to their new teacher and help them find their way around. Taking your child to school the first day, especially if they are in their early primary school is a wise and supportive idea.
WORKSHOP & CONFIRMATION
TONIGHT & TOMORROW - CONFIRMATION WORKSHOP 2 VIA ZOOM AS FOLLOWS:
Wednesday, 25th of November, at 7pm
Thursday, 26th November, at 7pm
Parents will receive an invitation to join their meeting of choice 20 minutes before the meeting starts to allow time for families to join by 7pm.
Thank you so much for your patience in these difficult times.
If you have any enquiries, please text Thérèse on:
Mobile 0439 306 642
St Vincent de Paul Drouin wish to thank all of the wonderful St Ita's community for their generous food donations to help replenish their food pantry to assist local families in need. It couldn't be done without all of your support. Thank you.
LAST DAY OF TERM
The last day of term 4 for all students will be on Wednesday 16th December at the normal finish time of 3.20pm. Buses will run at the normal time of 3.30pm.
FAMILIES LEAVING THE ST ITA'S COMMUNITY IN 2020
If there are any families contemplating a move from St Ita’s in the 2020 school year it is important that we are informed of your intentions so places can be offered to families who are currently on waiting lists. Please contact our school Principal if you are considering a move on p: 5623 7222 or via email: email@example.com.
PARENT CLASS REQUESTS FOR 2021
Parents are asked to place any requests specific to the needs of their child/ren based on the following understandings and guidelines:
- All requests for consideration must be directed in email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday 27th November. (No requests will be considered after this date.)
- We do not offer guarantees with any parent requests. Factors for consideration will help to inform our process – it does not guarantee student placements
- The request must be based on individual student needs and not for preferred teachers, friendships groups or social relationships that occur outside of school
- Email requests from parents will be considered for the upcoming school year only. Email request can be sent to email@example.com
- I will meet with and inform all relevant staff of parent input prior to formation of classes.
Thanks to those parents who have put in written requests relating to their child. We appreciate your input and will do our best to make things work for your child if the request is deemed fair and in line with our request procedures. Once groupings have been decided upon, and announced to the learning community in mid December, there will be no changes made to classes as it creates a domino effect.
DROUIN REC PICK UP/DROP OFF
This is a reminder to parents that the procedure for the Drouin Rec Reserve pick up and drop off is currently by a car-line queue only. The speed limit around the Drouin Rec is only 10km and we ask all parents to please slow down when entering the Rec reserve and driving to/from the car line queue. Please wait patiently in line until you reach the front of the queue in front of the school access gates where your child will be assisted by teachers on duty.
Cars should not be parking to drop off or pick up children at the Drouin Rec Reserve. If you wish to park and pick up children please do so along Victoria St and walk to the front of the school administration to collect your child.
CHRISTMAS IN A SHOE BOX - 1 WEEK LEFT
The St Ita's & St Vinnies Drouin Christmas in a shoe box gift exchange inconjunction with Toyworld Warragul closes next Friday 4th December.
Please don't forget to return your green form to the school office, as we have a list of all the different age groups that St Vinnies require gifts for, for children in need in our local area this Christmas. This way we can provide you with an age group to donate a gift for so all these children receive an age-appropriate gift.
Please visit Toyworld Warragul in the next week, advise you are from St Ita's and are choosing a gift or are donating money to our wondeful local St Vinnies for those in need this Christmas. Please leave your gift with Toyworld Warragul as they are storing and delivering to St Vinnies to assist in keeping everyone COVID safe.
The last day for school canteen lunch orders will be on Friday 11th December.
The school canteen will be closed as of Monday 14th December.
School finishes Wednesday 16th December.
2020 school fees are now due & payable. All school fees must be paid in full by the end of December. Please contact the school office this week should you need to discuss your 2020 school fee payment.
For all families on a direct debit plan, please use the statement as a reference only and contact the office if you require any amendments to your plan.
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 below and return to the school office prior to 04 December 2020 for payments commencing in January or by Monday 1st February 2021 for payments commencing February 2021. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com so that he can explore confidential financial support arrangements with you.
by Mrs Cath McKenna
Borrowing will cease this week. We ask that all books be returned promptly so we can begin stocktake.
Please make use of the local library instead and the fabulous online resources available to us all. Please check out the links below.
The students know how to locate books in our library, which transfers to any library in the world that use the Dewey Decimal System. Visiting a library and looking up books could be a great outing!
We have had a great term in the library !
by Mr Joe Black
JUNIOR HOUSE ATHLETICS CARNIVAL.....AND THE WINNER IS.....
Congratulations to the following students whom took out the grade champion medal for each grade level.
Foundation Boys - Hayden Nooy
Foundation Girls - Ivy Chugg
Grade 1 Boys - Angus Brunt
Grade 1 Girls - Willow Major
Grade 2 Boys - Mason Horton
Grade 2 Girls - Charlotte Bills