Newsletter May 26th, 2020
This week’s prayer is a reminder that it is five years since Pope Francis released his encyclical “Laudato Si’ which encourages us all to take responsibility and care for our common home - that being our environment. Sharing the responsibility is something we are called to not only in regard to our health and wellbeing, but just as importantly to the world in which we live.
What a delight and privilege it was to welcome back our Prep, One and Two students today - I’m not sure who had the biggest smiles - our teachers, parents or the children. It has been a hard road for everyone over recent times and for many of you, you still have a few weeks until we can all be back together. Thank you so much to you all for your perseverance, resilience and ‘can do’ attitude in taking on learning at home over these recent weeks.
Already this morning the children seem so happy to be back amongst their friends and teachers. You have all done a brilliant job in preparing them for their return to school - any adjusted routines have been managed with a minimum of fuss. It is so great to see and hear the sounds of happy and enthusiastic children who are so enjoying their return to face to face learning with their teacher.
Thank you also to all parents and families who so clearly took on board all of the protocols and reminders about how we now need to engage and operate to ensure the wellbeing and safety of everyone.
We look forward to seeing all of our Year 3 to 6 children returning to school on Tuesday 9th June.
Please note that until further notice the following protocols will apply at St. Brigid’s:
- Entry to the school will only be via the front gate in Stead St. In this first stage we do not intend to stagger starting times, so students can arrive at any time from 8.30 to 8.55am.
- Parents, carers and grandparents - effectively anyone dropping children to school will not be able to enter the school grounds or school buildings. It is not appropriate that older siblings accompany their brother/sister to the front gate - just one child and one adult. Students attending school will be met at the front gate by a staff member.
- Additionally, it will be a case of drop and go - unfortunately drop off and pick up times will not be occasions for a chat and catch up. We will all need to continue to adhere to physical distancing guidelines. So once your child has been met by a staff member, do not congregate outside the school.
- Non-contact greetings are to be used - physical contact between students/students, adults/students and adults/adults is discouraged during this time.
- Sanitisation stations will be set up in the following places
- On entry to the front foyer of the school
- In the main corridor outside the after school care room
- In each of the classrooms being used by students
- In the staff room
- All students will need to bring their own drink bottles - drinking fountains will not be available for use.
- The school will undergo additional daily cleaning routines in line with the guidelines provided by CECV.
- There will be no hot lunches on Fridays until further notice.
- Students must wear their full winter uniform to school each day. Sports uniforms can be worn on Wednesdays for physical education.
- If your family has had access to a school iPad or chromebook and charger this must be returned asap, as they will be required for use in the classrooms. All iPads will be sanitised and checked for any damage - we will contact you if there are any issues.
- Access to corridors, staff room and all learning areas is limited to staff and students only until further notice. Parents who require assistance are to go to the front foyer and adhere to the physical distancing guidelines, use the hand sanitiser and wait to be seen.
- Our after school care program will re-commence operation on Tuesday 26th May. Please contact the school office if you need to access it’s services.
- At the end of the day, please do not enter the school grounds to collect your child. Your child will come to the front gate where you can meet them. A reminder again that this is not a time for catch ups and chats.
- It is important that any student who becomes unwell while at school returns home. The advice to schools from the Victorian Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brett Sutton is 'children who are at all unwell are advised to be at home, and schools and teachers should exclude unwell children who present to school'. We do ask for your support in regard to this issue.
Need a pick me up! Have a look at this very cute video about physical distancing!
To ensure the health and wellbeing of all students and staff during supervised, on-site learning, each person is required to complete the Australian Government-approved symptom checker here.
If your child in Years 3-6 meets the criteria for on-site learning supervision and they will be attending school, please complete the form sent out to all parents via PAM/SIMON Everywhere. This form can also be found here.
Please note, this form MUST BE COMPLETED EACH WEEK if attending onsite supervision, so that appropriate supervision can be arranged. You must make a booking for each child for the days they will be attending. This form must be completed by the Sunday prior to any attendance at school. If you have any queries please contact the school. We are working with a minimal staff but Gabe is at the school each day.
Unfortunately, with our present restrictions as a result of COVID-19 we will be unable to conduct our annual camps. Our Year Three and Four camp to Narmbool was to be conducted this term and the Year 5 and 6 camp to Melbourne was planned for very early next term. At this stage Narmbool is still closed to visitors, and so are many of the venues we planned to visit in Melbourne. This means the normal planning such as risk management and timetabling that would take place in preparation for such events cannot take place.
2020 school fee accounts will be updated accordingly and camp charges will be removed. For families who were eligible for funding to support your child’s attendance at camps, we will update you as to how those funds can be expended once more details come to hand.
You will have recently received Term 2 Fee Statements. With this, please be rest assured that fee relief is available for families requiring genuine fee support.
Please see the attached letter outlining the fee relief available, along with a Covid-19 Fee Relief Request Form and the Catholic schools Family Fee Assistance Scheme brochure for families holding a means tested Health Care Card, Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card or Veteran Affairs Pensioner Card.
Please return the form and/or a copy of your valid card to the office. Please contact Gabe or the office should you wish to discuss this further.
We are delighted to announce that our After School Care Program is back in operation as of today Tuesday 26th May. As this program falls under the Child Care Scheme, families will not be charged to access these services during this period.
You will recall that last term we announced that Mr Stabek would be leaving us at the end of Week 6 Term 2. The good news is that after discussions with the Assistant Principal at Berry Street, Caine will be with us until the end of Term 2. We have advertised Caine's position and hope to be able to interview before the end of this term.
We know it has been really hard for some of our older siblings (and parents) seeing the younger ones in your family returning to school, while others have to stay at home. Please find attached a link to the Big Life Journal’s Stay at Home Care Package. You have perhaps already tried all of these ideas to help keep everyone engaged and entertained, however it is worth having a closer look - there may be some that are new to you all.
No masses until further advised due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Please see attached letter from Bishop Paul.