ST ITA’S COVID-19 OPERATIONS
With the knowledge that Covid-19 cases are developing throughout the Baw Baw Shire we will do our very best to keep you informed of possible COVID-19 exposures in our school community.
The Victorian Government’s change of strategy, announced on Friday 22nd, and the Department of Education guidelines produced for schools on Sunday 24th, mean that we also need to change our communication approach to our community.
The parameters for determining a close contact in a school setting have changed to the following:
- A Primary Close Contact is now considered someone who has spent 2 hours or more in cumulative total contact in the same room as a confirmed case of COVID-19. In primary schools, this is likely to be the whole class or level including specialists and ESO’s (Teacher’s Aides) over the infectious period.
- Schools contact families to do the contact tracing, following Department of Education guidelines.
- Students move from moderate risk to high risk if they are unvaccinated or with a household contact of a positive case.
- Parents of students over 12 years of age will be asked for the student’s vaccination status, and evidence, if contacted during Primary Close Contact tracing.
- Unvaccinated students have a 14-day isolation period and vaccinated students a 7-day period of isolation, assuming negative test results for each on their last day of isolation.
- In most instances, schools with a positive case on site will only close for 24-48 hours while contact tracing takes place. The closure may also only apply to one section of a school.
With the opening up of regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne and the return of schools to closer to normal operation in the coming weeks, we will do our best to contact families as quickly as possible of any Primary Close Contacts when we know off a positive COVID-19 test result for a staff member or student who has been at school for their infectious period.
Please know that we will continue to be diligent in ensuring that our community observes all recommended COVID-safe protocols, and we will be communicating with you quickly as situations evolve. It is clear from cases appearing last week, that it is not a case of ‘if’ a school will have a positive COVID-19 case but ‘when’.
What is crucial to keeping our community as safe as possible in these challenging circumstances, as well as keeping our students on-site, is the continued open communication of our school families in regard to positive COVID-19 results. We are very grateful to the families who have informed us that they or their children may have been exposed to a Covid-19 positive individual this term.
We are all in this journey together and together we will get through it as we work through this new COVID-19 environment. I will be in touch in coming days as news of further easing of restrictions for school operations from November 3rd onwards.
As kids settle back into the routines of school it’s important that they are given the opportunity to talk about the changes that have taken place with remote learning and lockdowns. We know that kids have been challenged in relation to their academic, social and emotional growth when it comes to settling back into school life.
As a dinner conversation starter, instead of asking “How was your day?” Try a couple of the following to promote a good family discussion:
- What was the funniest thing you saw today?
- What was the yummiest thing you tasted today?
- Who was the friendliest person you encountered today?
- What was the best thing you learned today?
- What made you smile today?
Make sure that everyone at the table contributes to the answers.
Sometimes children might offer a response which can cause worry or concern in a parent. When this happens, always make your child’s teacher the ‘first port of call’. When you have a concern, it’s always best to make a time with your child’s teacher to discuss it, as often this resolves worries quickly and easily. This also helps build a positive supportive relationship with your child’s class teacher and research tells us that teacher/parent relationships are paramount in achieving student success.
STAYING POSITIVE DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging us in ways we could never have predicted just a few weeks ago, from unprecedented amounts of family time to homeschooling to working remotely — or not working at all. These sudden, rapid changes in the way we live, coupled with uncertainty, can feel overwhelming, especially for parents of young children. While we may know that it’s usually helpful for everyone in the family when parents stay positive, it’s sometimes easier said than done. Here are some things to remember:
It will not be this way forever. This is a difficult time, but it is just that — a time.
Recognise what you are doing well. It may be tough right now, but you have managed some things really well. Think about the physical, logistical, mental and emotional struggles you may have encountered in the last month, and the good — even great — way you approached and handled those challenges. You have all done an amazing job!
Remind yourself of what is good in your life. Some circumstances right now may be hard to change, or contribute to your feeling helpless. But there are other things in your life that are good and inspire gratitude. Making a list of the good things that you appreciate — large or small — can help shift your focus in a positive direction
PARENT CLASS REQUESTS FOR 2022
Parents are asked to place any class 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 email@example.com no later than Friday 19th November. (requests received after this date will not be implemented)
- The request must be based on individual student needs and not for preferred teachers, friendships groups or social relationships that occur outside of school
- We do not offer any guarantees with parent requests. Factors for consideration will help to inform our process of grouping students – the request via a parent does not guarantee student placement
- Requests from parents will be only considered for the upcoming school year.
- I will meet with and inform all relevant staff of parent input prior to formation of classes
We appreciate the parent input and will do our best to make things work for your child, so long as the request is deemed fair and in line with the guidelines above. Once groupings have been decided and announced to the school community in mid-December, there will be no changes made to classes as it creates a domino effect across the level.
FAMILIES LEAVING THE ST ITAS COMMUNITY IN 2022
If there are any families that know they will be moving on from St Ita’s in the 2022 school year, it is important that we are informed of your intentions so places can be offered to those families who are currently on waiting lists. Please contact our School Admin if you are moving on 03 5623 7222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
COVID-19 FINANCIAL SUPPORT - SCHOOL FEE CONCESSIONS
2022 ENROLMENTS NOW OPEN
We strongly advise families to return application forms for their 2022 Foundation students to guarantee enrolment for next year, our places are filling quickly.
If you require an interview and school tour with your child, please contact our school Admin on (03) 5623 7222 as soon as possible to book a time (COVID-19 Dependent).
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.
SCHOOL FEES & FEE CONCESSION
School Fees for 2021 are due and payable by December 2021.
BPay details are available on your school fee statement. All school fees are now due and payable and all accounts must be finalised by the end of the school year they are due, December 2021.
Direct Debits can be implemented at any time, if any families would like to pay their fees by instalment weekly, fortnightly or monthly, please complete the below 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: email@example.com
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.
by Mrs Catherine McKenna, Library Teacher
SCHOLASTIC BOOK CLUB - ISSUE 8
Book Club Issue 8 - CLICK HERE
Orders close Tuesday 26th October for free delivery back to school.
You also have the home delivery option with an addition fee of $7.50
ONLINE PARENT COURSE – NO SCAREDY CATS™
Anxiety in children is at an all-time high.
Parentshop® has developed No Scaredy Cats™, a parent-led program to give parents the tools to help their anxious children to become more resilient.
At this time, when it is difficult to get support, Parentshop® are delivering an online parent version of No Scaredy Cats™, presented by the course author, Michael Hawton MAPS.
CLICK HERE for dates and to sign up for the webinar
SWALLOWING WIDOW’S PROPERTY
Wealthy beyond the imagination of people in Jesus’ time, ordinary Australians squirm a little when we hear today’s gospel (Mark 12:38-44). Jesus always has a special place for “the poor”; indeed they are central to his Good News. He has a very good sense of who holds overwhelming power in his society and forever he is reminding the haves of their obligation to the have nots.
Jesus’ illustration upholds the nobility and dignity of the have nots. This particular have not, this desperately poor widow, has a closer relationship with her creator than do the haves, the crooks and cons who actually swindle her out of what little she has. Wallowing in the wealth that most Australians enjoy, relative to the rest of humanity over time and place, of course we squirm! “Are we not entitled to earth’s fruits which have fallen to us either by good luck or good management?” That’s a qualified “yes”. As soon as we start to defensively protest, “I earned this with the sweat of my brow, or I inherited this, no-one takes what is mine etc.”, we begin to resemble those long-robed scribes in the seats of honour. Uh Oh! Creations abundance is for all humanity. Our task is to ensure the distribution is loving and equitable.
So what is the answer? Well, firstly we need to review whether we are swallowing the property of widows? Are we penny-pinching landlords, overcharging business operators or ungenerous workers, cheaters of taxation or voters against the poor? No! Good! Earth has furnished us with abundance and we are entitled to our share, so how do we play our part making distribution equitable? One response, as Christmas approaches, is to seek out the poor in Australia and around the world and find ways to generously give until it hurts. Then we might know a little of the widow’s generosity and her closeness to God. (hint: Plan International/ Caritas/Care Australia/Catholic Mission/ Vinnies).
Deacon Mark Kelly
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION 2021
In light of ongoing complications related to COVID -19, the decision has been made by Fr Peter to defer First Communion celebrations until early next year. We apologise for the late notice but hope that putting it off until the early part of next year may be better for both preparation and celebration.
At this stage Fr Peter is looking at having the Confirmation ceremonies late November or early December, possibly at evening Masses, a Friday or Saturday night. We will keep you informed when we know more.
For further inquiries please contact Thérèse on M: 0499 116 428