Mrs Ferguson

 

Dear Parents and/or Guardians,

 

The season of Lent is a season of encounter and it compels us to take action. It compels us to abandon what we know and bear our own crosses to follow the way of Jesus. Each encounter within the Sunday Scriptures of Lent gives us glimpses of the promise of God’s Kingdom. Lent is characterised by three overarching actions that commence on Ash Wednesday, when we are called to pay closer attention to prayer, fasting and almsgiving. At the surface level, they seem quite self-explanatory but, in light of the Lenten readings, Christ’s encounters reveal a deeper understanding of our call to action.

In these encounters, we see Jesus go beyond the constraints of what his world would have him do. Through glimpses of Jesus’ divine glory, we have the blueprints of our call to action as part of our Lenten journey. In years gone by, Lent was characterised by ‘giving something up’. As we turn to the teachings of Christ and enter the season of Lent, may we be more attentive to those we encounter in our ordinary lives and not ask ourselves what to give up, but how to give more.                                      
Director of Catholic Education Melbourne, 2020

 

This message is something as a staff we discuss and encourage in our children, especially during this season of Lent. It is important for all of us to engage in selfless acts where we are putting others first. The feeling and sense of achievement when we do this is an amazing feeling. We encourage families to discuss this and model this in our everyday lives as well.

 

This week our Parish Education Board convened for the first time in 2020. The School Education Board is a vital part of the governance of the school. There are 5 places in total on the Board for Parents/Guardians who would like to be Parent Representatives. We welcome any new parents who are interested in seeing how the Board works to come along to the AGM. This will be held on Tuesday 24th March. The meeting itself goes for approximately 30 minutes, where we will share a cup of tea or coffee after the meeting.

 

The School Education Board meets twice a term to advise the Principal and Parish Priest on matters pertaining to policy and procedure. The role of Parent Representatives on the School Education Board is advisory only, but we take that advice seriously. The role is also one of support for the work being done in the school, ensuring that it meets Government requirements and also ensuring that the school carries out its mission as a Catholic School in terms of teaching our faith.

 

Cyber Safety Information Evening:

On THURSDAY 12th MARCH we will be holding a Cyber Safety evening that I strongly recommend that EVERY family attend.

 

Marty and Carley who will be presenting on the evening, are experts in this area. Marty is up to date with all the latest apps and technology side, Carley is a psychologist (and a mother of three school aged children) who helps families manage this screen time obsession, anxiety and family dilemmas that this all brings.

The evening is aimed to cater for ALL AGE LEVELS. They will be looking at:

  • The effects of screen time from a young age
  • Age appropriate apps e.g. Roblox, Minecraft, Fortnite
  • Social media apps e.g. TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, Music-ly

As this is a PARENT ONLY session, we will be providing babysitting so parents can attend. Some of our staff have kindly offered to watch a movie with the children in Link 3 so parents can attend this session, as we all see it as beneficial and worthwhile; a MUST for all families. Hopefully I will see you all on the evening.

 

Coronavirus Update:

 

Australian context update (as of 3 March 2020)

 

  • In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus are those who have:
    • recently been in mainland China or Iran
    • been in close contact with someone who is a confirmed case of coronavirus
  • If you are at risk - You need to isolate yourself if you are at risk of getting the virus:
  • If you have left, or transited through mainland China in the last 14 days, you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the date of leaving mainland China
  • If you have left, or transited through Iran on or after 1 March you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the date of leaving Iran
  • If you have been in close contact with a proven case of coronavirus, you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the date of last contact with the confirmed case
  • You do not need to isolate yourself if you have only travelled in Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan

 

Action

 If you develop symptoms while travelling or within 14 days of returning to Australia:

  • Seek urgent medical advice from a doctor. Call ahead to notify the medical practitioner of recent travel
  • Contact the Department of Health and Human Services on 1800 675 398 (dedicated hotline number); and
  • Notify the School Principal
  • Please also contact the school to advise of absence and clearance time for an expected return to school. While absent from school, the school will provide learning activities and support for students to stay up to date with their learning program.

 

Travel Advice

As a school we are aware that a number of students and staff may have planned to travel overseas during the school holidays. The following is current travel advice:

  • Do not travel to mainland China or Iran
  • Exercise a high degree of caution if travelling to South Korea, Japan, Italy, Mongolia
  • Read the travel advice for your destination
  • Understand that travel disruption and restrictions may develop due to the developing situation with Conronavirus COVID-19.
  • Visit the following website for further travel advice: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/ 
  • Follow the above action steps if you develop symptoms while travelling or within 14 days of returning to Australia. Guidelines from the Department of Health recommend Australian doctors consider testing people with a clinically compatible illness who have travelled to certain countries in the 14 days before onset of symptoms. The list is based on the volume of travel between those countries and Australia and China, and/or the current epidemiology of COVID-19, and is updated regularly.

 

Personal Hygiene and Contact

All staff and students are reminded about the importance of simple hygiene practices at all times to prevent the spread of a virus:

  • Wash hands regularly with soap and water, particularly before and after eating, after visiting the toilet or after coughing or sneezing.
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or using the inside of the elbow to cover the mouth and nose.
  • If unwell, stay at home to avoid contact with others.

 

 Further Information

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/ (travel advice)


Uniform:

Thank you to all our families who ensure that their children are wearing the correct uniform to school each day. Our uniform represents who we are as a community, which therefore means it is important that it is worn correctly.

 

Last year the Parish Education Board made a change to the colour of the school socks. To make it more cost effective for families we changed from the royal blue socks to white non branded school socks, which can be purchased from local retailers.

As a Board we agreed that a transition of 2 years may take place with the socks due to families having recently purchased the royal blue socks. We aim to have the white non branded socks as the only acceptable socks by the end of 2021.

 

Coloured House Sports Top

As of 2020, we would like to introduce a separate PE uniform that the students will wear the day they have PE classes, as well as on our Intra House Athletics and Cross Country.

The students will be required to wear their house colour polo shirt (see image) with their maroon school shorts and runners/sneakers.

 

The Year 5/6 students have the option to purchase the interschool sport top to wear on these days. They must have at least of one of these tops to wear.


Both these sports tops are available from the uniform shop. Currently the uniform shop will be discounting the coloured house sports top by 50% until the end of the term, making them $10 instead of $20.

 

By introducing this PE uniform, it helps students to be in comfortable clothing when engaging in physical activity, along with providing parent with an opportunity to launder the everyday school uniform more frequently.

 

Our Uniform Order form can be accessed online

 

Health Care Card and CSEF (Camps, Sports and Excursion Fund):

Are you eligible to receive a rebate on your school fees for school excursions and camps?

 

If you hold a Centrelink Health Care Card (HCC), Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) or a Veterans Affairs Gold Card, you are eligible to receive a rebate from the Victorian Government.

 

The Camp, Sports and Excursion Fund (CSEF) is a Victorian Government initiative which provides payments to schools for eligible students to attend camps, sports and excursions. The amount payable for primary students is $125 and this amount will be used to reduce their school fees.

 

If you are eligible, please collect an application form from the school office, complete and return as soon as possible. If you have yet to notify the school that you have one of the above concession cards, please let Lisa know immediately.

 

Payments will be made directly to schools from March 2020. Once received, these payments will be credited to school fees. Any parent who applied for and received the CSEF last year IS NOT REQUIRED to submit a new form for this year.

 

Wishing everyone a great week.

Christina Ferguson

Principal

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