A big thank you to all our parents, students and staff who once again, have navigated their way through the unknown waters of a term interrupted by COVID-19. We totally understand the challenges and frustrations that COVID-19 creates in our community but we must also remain open to the fact that at the end of the day, we are about creating safe climates within schools to ensure each person in every learning community is kept as safe as possible. The Health Department and DOSCEL are responsible for setting rules and conditions to make sure we are doing our very best for all in our learning community to limit any outbreaks.
After the school holidays, I’m confident that we will be able to make some changes to a few of the current COVID-19 practices and restrictions, so we can start rebuilding a sense of community in our schools by promoting parents getting back, actively involved in the St Ita’s community.
Depending what happens over the next fortnight, and if we can keep COVID-19 cases to the current number, I’m hopeful that we will be able to initiate the following changes in our school;
- Run our whole school assemblies every second Friday, inviting parents of children presenting class news and school prayer.
- Run school tours for all our new foundation enrolments
- Introduce the class sausage sizzle on the school site for parents to meet their children’s teachers from 11.45-12.45pm. We got through our foundation BBQ earlier this term and it was a huge success. The next BBQ (Date to be advised) will be for our Grade 1 students, parents and siblings.
- Allow parents the opportunity to participate in Parent Helper Induction and work in a support/helper role in the classroom
Our car line drop off and pick up will continue as normal at the school admin loop and the Drouin Rec Reserve and we ask that you adhere to a 10 km speed limit. Please do not park in these areas and walk your children onto the site. Any parents wanting to park and walk their children to the gates at the school site can park in the Church Car park and walk up the ramp to see their children through the gates.
One of our greatest challenges working in a COVID -19 environment with no active cases is a mindset of. Its not here in our community so its business as usual. Sadly we can not operate this way. Whist I understand parent frustrations and value their opinions and thoughts on COVID-19, it’s important that parents understand we are expected to follow rules and regulations as set out by our employer DOSCEL and by State Government departments. I thank all parents for their continued support in making sure St Ita's is a safe teaching and learning community and look forward to getting some things back to normal in Term 3.
FAREWELL TO MRS. LYN McMAHON/HYLKEMA
It is with much sadness that we say farewell to Mrs Lyn McMahon/Hylkamia who is finishing up at St Ita’s after 27 years working with our students as a Teacher’s Aide/ESO. Lyn was passionate about supporting the learning of all students she worked with and one of her great strengths was teaching children how to work on improving their social skills. Lyn was also an outstanding contributor to supporting kids with their LLI (Levelled Literacy Intervention.)
We wish Lyn all the very best in her retirement and say a heartfelt thanks for all her efforts to support and assist our students across the last 27 years.
FAREWELL TO MRS. CAITLIN HATCH
We also say farewell to Mrs. Caitlin Hatch who is finishing up this week and taking maternity leave. We thank Caitlin for her time with us and wish her all the best on the birth of her new child.
COPING WITH STRESS
STEP 3. STOPPING CATASTROPHIC THINKING
Over the last 2 weeks, our school newsletter supplement for parents has outlined The 5 Essential Steps To Help Children Cope with Stress. Today we look at step 3. How to stop catastrophic thinking with children.
The famous author Mark Twain once wrote, “Some of the worst things in my life never even happened.”
Do you have a child who automatically assumes the worst-case scenario in any risky or new situations? If so, you have a catastrophizer on your hands.
Catastrophizers exaggerate their worries and place enormous pressure on themselves. The default mechanism in their thinking always goes to the most negative outcome possible. The results will not just be bad, it will be catastrophic!
Catastrophizers will not just mess up if they give a talk to their class at school. They will make total fools of themselves and the whole class will laugh at them, or so they think.
They will not just fall over in a game. They will break a leg, end up in hospital and miss out on going to school camp, or so they think.
They will not just get a dirty look from their teacher if they arrive late for school. They will be kept in at lunch-time, miss out on sport and have all the other kids making fun of them if they are late, so they think.
Catastrophizing makes kids feel miserable. Worse, they often do not want to do anything because they expect the worst possible outcome.
So what to do with a catastrophizer? Your approach will depend to some extent on your child’s age.
Under-fives generally do not overtly catastrophize, however even young children can be negative. Make sure you model upbeat, positive thinking as young children take their cues from their parents, particularly the parent they spend most time around. Being a significant adult in the life of a child carries some responsibilities, and presenting the world as an exciting, positive place full of possibility is one of those responsibilities!
School-aged children need to be encouraged to keep things in perspective. Challenge your child’s propensity to catastrophize. Here are five ways you can use to challenge your child’s catastrophic thinking:
- “What’s the most likely scenario?” Sometimes it is useful to introduce a dose of old-fashioned rational thinking. “Yep, you could break your leg if you go skiing. But the odds are that you won’t.”
- “Does it really matter?” “You may be right, but is it the end of the world as we know it?” One way of dealing with hard-core catastrophizes is to admit that they could be right, but even if they are right and the worst-case scenario does happen, the sun will still shine tomorrow. Take kids to the worst possible scenario and they may see it’s not so bad.
- “Where does this fit on the disaster meter?” Catastrophizes get themselves in a knot about relatively insignificant things. Okay, making a fool out themselves may not be insignificant to kids, however compared to plenty of other events…well, perspective is a good thing. Help them get some perspective by giving their worry a score out of ten, on how important the issue really is.
- That’s unhelpful thinking.” Sometimes kids’ thinking is so out of whack with reality that they become anxious about minor things. Thinking such as, ‘everyone must like me’, ‘I must never make a mistake’ and ‘bad things always happen to me’ are extreme and need to be replaced by more moderate, realistic thoughts. E.g. “It would be nice if everyone liked me but not everyone will. It’s important to have some good friends.”
- Replace extreme words for feelings with more moderate descriptors: Today’s kids talk in extremes – ‘awesome’, ‘the best’ and ‘gross’ roll off their tongues easily these days. Extreme language leads to extreme thinking. So encourage kids to replace “I’m furious” with “I’m annoyed”, “It’s a disaster” with ‘It’s a pain”, “I can’t stand it” with “I don’t like it”. Sounds minor but by changing kids’ language you change how they think about events and, more importantly, how they feel. I suspect that many parents will identify strongly with some of the above.
Yep, we all catastrophize from time to time, particularly when we are under stress. It takes a cool customer to moderate their thinking the whole time. So be mindful of your child’s need to jump to the worst from time to time. A bit of reassurance is all that has needed in these one off scenarios.
But if you, like your child, are a serial catastrophize, then it will be useful to challenge your
unhelpful or extreme thinking when it happens. Not only will you model realistic thinking for your kids, but you will get an insight into what you need to do to change your child’s catastrophizing.
SCHOOL FEES & FEE CONCESSION
Term 1 School Fees are now overdue & Term 2 School Fees are due by Friday 14th May. BPay details are available on your school fee statement. School fees are due by the 4th week of each term and must be paid in full by the end of the school year they are due, December 2021.
If any families would like to pay off their fees either weekly, fortnightly or monthly, please set up a direct debit schedule by completing a Direct Debit Form and returning to the school office at your earliest convenience. Please calculate the total fees payable by the number of weeks/payments required for your fees to be paid by December 2021. 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 and have not already advised the school office, 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 with the student details listed on the card. A CSEF (Camp, Sport & Excursion Fund) form must also be completed. Application forms must be completed each year.
If your current Health Care Concession Card has expired, or is due to expire and your card is re-issued or any details have changed, please send a copy of your new card details to the office as soon as possible for the concession to be checked and applied to your fees.
PARENT ACCESS MODULE (PAM)
We have developed a parent portal to access school reports, notify student absences, contain student medical history, contact details and permission notes. This portal is accessible via https://pam.stidrouin.catholic.edu.au/
To access this site parents will need to choose 'Forgot Password' and enter the email address that was used for Operoo. You will then receive an email with a change password request.
If you require any further assistance, review the user-guide on the school website or contact the school administration on email@example.com or 5623 7222
TERM THREE SCHOOL CLOSURE
Our Term 3 whole school closure will be on the first Monday back after the mid year break, on July 12th. On this day, all St Ita's staff will be revising our current student assessment procedures and using our student data to inform our teaching practice going into the second semester. Children will not be required on this first day back of Term 3.
2022 ENROLMENTS NOW OPEN
Enrolments are now open and we are now taking bookings for enrolment interviews and school tours. (COVID-19 Dependent).
If you require an interview and school tour with your child, please contact our school Admin on 5623 7222 as soon as possible to book a time.
All parents will be required to complete a student questionnaire prior to the commencement of your interview (this takes a couple of minutes and you will receive it on arrival). You will also receive an enrolment pack with an enrolment form enclosed.
We strongly advise you to book your interview and return your application form promptly to guarantee enrolment for next year.
OLIVIA’S PLACE FUND RAISER
This Friday, 25th of June will are having a plain-clothes day as a fundraiser to help support Olivia’s Place. Students can bring a gold coin donation to help support this wonderful volunteer organisation who are currently running their winter appeal.
As an extra special treat, all students participating in our fund raiser will go in the draw for a special SGO Candles and Co. Pamper Hamper valued at $130.00. The SGO Candles & Co. Pamper Hamper will be drawn at our end of term whole school assembly on Friday. Good Luck to everyone in the St Itas Community!
BUS FREE DAYS
School buses will not be operating in the Drouin network on the following days in Term 2 & Term 3. All bus travellers will need to make alternative arrangements to/from school on these days.
Term 3 - Monday 16th August 2021.
First Communion Candidates
Even though we said farewell to Mrs Adrichem last year, she has kindly kept in touch with the school, and is currently working with all grades for this year’s school concert. Without giving too much away, Mrs. Adrichem is using puppetry and the children are enjoying some very exciting workshops this week, building the puppets to use on concert night.
Who is Jairus?
Jairus is an interesting, if fleeting, character in scripture (Mark 5:21-24,35-43). Certainly parents relate immediately with him. We don’t know how much he knew about Jesus or how interested he would have otherwise been about him. As an important synagogue official he probably shared the general disapproval of Jesus by religious authorities. By the same token he must have heard, or perhaps even witnessed, impressive accounts of healing by this teacher from outside the religious establishment.
We know too how preconceptions can evaporate in the face of our child’s immediate crisis. Jairus didn’t hesitate. He could have sent servants or his wife but it seems he knew - that bloke from Nazareth can save her and I need to find him myself and humbly beg him to do so. Never mind what religious authorities or anyone else might say or think. Never mind the effects on my community standing or my career. My beloved daughter is dying and I will do whatever I must. Perhaps it was awkward kneeling before Jesus and begging, but he was desperate.
Even after her apparent death, Jesus unwaveringly told him to “Only Have Faith” and so Jairus did. Those were the words that he needed to hear. Without trust, Jesus curative action would be frustrated and the vibe of the disparaging and distrusting mob was so negative, he has them ejected. With only the faithful couple and the disciples around him, Jesus raises the girl. Amid the “astonishment” we can picture the joy of Jairus and his wife as their beloved daughter is restored to them in full health. What does Jairus do next? We don’t know, but it is hard to imagine that the encounter left him and his family unchanged. Probably they became devoted disciples. That we might have the faith of Jairus!
Deacon Mark Kelly
An Invitation is extended to our Grade 6 families who wish to have their children continue their journey of initiation into the life of the Catholic Church Community of Warragul & Drouin, through the Sacrament of Confirmation this year. This Sacrament is for children who have celebrated the Sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. Your family will receive an invitation letter with more details via Operro through your school.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Sacrament of Confirmation Process please come along to our Parent & Child Information Evenings on Wednesday 21st July at 7.00pm, St Ita’s Church, Drouin or Thursday 22nd July at 7.00pm, St Joseph’s Church, Warragul.
For more information please contact Thérèse at Parish Office 5623 1642 or on Mobile : 0499 116 428
The Parish and school community of St Ita's would like to congratulate all our students who completed their Sacrament of First Communion last Sunday. Please receive our prayers, thoughts and best wishes as you continue on your Sacramental journey.