On Sunday evening, the Victorian Government announced that, on the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, regional and rural Victoria will move to Stage 3 restrictions and metropolitan Melbourne will move to Stage 4 restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
These requirements apply to all schools across all schools in metropolitan Melbourne and rural and regional Victoria.
The changes to schools’ operations will come into effect from Wednesday 5 August, following a student free day on Tuesday 4 August, and are likely to apply until the end of Term 3. This means there will be no supervision of students at St Paul’s tomorrow. I have not been notified if OSHClub is operating tomorrow. Please contact them if you require this service.
As outlined in the Chief Health Officer’s advice on Friday, schools remain safe places for staff and students – but these steps are critical measures to reduce the movement of students and families across the state.
There are implications for our school, and for families in our school community.
A summary of what the changes mean for schools is below.
PREP TO YEAR 10
- Prep to Year 10 students will continue with remote and flexible learning.The criteria for students that can attend on-site has changed as follows
- children whose parents are permitted workers. The Victorian Government will provide further advice about this over the coming days
- vulnerable children in out of home care, children known to child protection and other agencies and children the school identifies as vulnerable
- children with a disability who also fit one of the above two categories.
As of last night we moved into a ‘state of disaster’. We are all being called by the Victorian Government to abide by these new strict regulations. If one parent is working from home, then your child needs to engage in remote learning from home. There has been a tightening up of the criteria for students eligible to attend school during this time. We all know that there are tough and difficult times ahead. We understand the disruption that this will cause to many families, but please know that we are here to support you and work as a team. All teachers will continue with google meet, supporting the academic, social emotional and spiritual needs of the students within the restrictions of a national crisis. We all need patience and kindness.
If your child requires onsite supervision based on the above criteria please email me by midday tomorrow. firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of the Leadership team, Specialists, Admin and LSO staff will work on a rotational basis onsite. We anticipate that we will be a skeleton staff operating at school for the remainder of the term. As you can imagine we are working on a very tight timeframe. Please email me and I can call you if you need further clarification.
- Monday 3 August will be a ‘normal’ day of school under current arrangements, with students attending on site learning asked to take all their necessary learning materials home.
- Tuesday 4 August will be a student-free day across Victoria to enable teachers, especially in rural and regional Victoria, to prepare for flexible and remote learning.
- Wednesday 5 August will be the first day of new arrangements for schools across Victoria
- This is a day ahead of the statewide introduction of the Stage 3 restrictions in rural and regional Victoria, but will provide for a smooth transition and will enable as much continuity of learning as possible.
- Schools will ensure sufficient staff are available for necessary on site supervision.
- Staff not required for on site supervision will work from home.
I will provide an update soon about arrangements for remote and flexible learning at our school.
Thank you for your understanding and support.
Parents needing support with home/remote learning can contact teaching staff during normal school working hours ie Monday- Friday between the hours of 8:00am and 4:00pm. St Paul’s staff access their work emails normally between 8.00 am-4:00 pm and will endeavour to respond to emails within 24-48 hours. However, staff are not expected to respond in this timeframe during weekends, public holidays and term breaks.
I need to ensure the health and wellbeing of staff and ensure they take appropriate break times away from the demands of their busy schedules. Thanks for your support with this.
CareMonkey is rebranding to ‘Operoo’
This is a quick note to inform you that our digital forms and school operations platform provider, CareMonkey, will be rebranding as ‘Operoo’: School processes, without the paperwork.
Operoo’s mission is to help schools eliminate operational inefficiencies so that every dollar and every minute possible can be spent on a students’ education.
The name change will occur the week beginning Monday August 10th. How you use the service, as well as the ownership and operation of the company, will remain unchanged.
You can continue using the system, and its mobile application, as usual. Just be aware that, after Monday August 10th, emails and notifications sent from the system will start appearing under the new name ‘Operoo’. You will also be automatically diverted to the new Operoo website if you go to the old CareMonkey website.
We look forward to continuing to digitize, streamline and automate St Paul’s operations with Operoo.
“Research shows that being open and honest with children is the best way to help them cope with serious situations. Sharing news will help children to not feel excluded, imagine the situation is worse than it really is or, even, blame themselves. Sharing information shows that you trust and value them, which can enhance their resilience. Try not to overload children with too many details. Give small amounts of information, wait and then ask if they have any questions,”
Wellbeing comes from physical, mental and emotional health. For children and young people, there are many things that build positive wellbeing.
Wellbeing can come from:
- understanding and managing emotions
- having good relationships
- experiencing a sense of accomplishment
- using their strengths
- taking part in healthy activities, getting lots of sleep and eating wellMore ideas on how you can look after your child’s wellbeing click here
Victorian State Government Education and Training publication
Wellbeing activities and conversation starters for parents of primary school-aged children is available to support parents with six key elements that are important to well being
Prayers for our school and wider community
As we continue to hear each day sickness and deaths from COVID-19 particularly in Victoria, we pray for those who are sick, the medical staff facing the virus head on each day, for the families who have loved ones in hospitals or nursing homes, for families who are suffering a decline in mental health, for those who have lost jobs, for the children who cannot attend school, for the sick and lonely. St Paul- Pray for us.
Please stay safe and keep in contact. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all.
My next correspondence will be Monday.
The Australian Government Department of Education conducts a school Census on the first Friday of August each year. The Census collects information on students and staff from all non-government establishments that have, as their major activity, the administration or provision of full time primary, secondary and/or special education.
The purpose of the Census is to:
∙ Contribute to the calculation of the annual entitlement in respect of schools receiving Australian Government Recurrent Funding in line with the Australian Education Act 2013 (the Act) and Australian Education Regulation 2013 (the Regulation)
∙ Form part of the National Schools Statistics Collection, the official statistical description of Schooling in Australia
∙ Form part of the school’s profile published by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority on the ‘My School’ website.
All schools in Australia are mandated to participate in the Census to ensure funding from the Federal Government. Please note our Standard Collection Notice be found on the Parent Portal.
The Patron Saint of Listeners (Sr Joan Chittister)
If there were ever going to be a patron saint of listeners, surely it should be Mary's cousin Elizabeth, the wisdom figure to whom she went when she realized that she was pregnant withJesus. If there were ever a moment in history—in life—that needs understanding, needs acceptance, needs personal support, this private moment, this surprising moment, is one of the great ones.
Not to forget that Elizabeth was also pregnant. She had her own reasons to ignore Mary's need.After all.... But the patron saint of listeners knows that listening to someone—really listening to them: the look on their faces, the rate of their speech, the unique sound of their voice, the heaviness of their breath, the slow, slow, slowness of their telling of the story—means being asked to move a boulder off their heart.To miss all those other signs of tension, of fear, of shame, of sadness, of pain because we'reflipping through the pages of a magazine as the person tries to talk to us, is to miss the wholemessage.
It is to make inhuman the human dimension of the world. When we consider chat to be conversation and conversation as nothing important, we reduce our own humanity metric. How tone deaf can a real human being be?
Who hasn't had a secret, a burden, that they could not share with everyone they knew but had to share with someone or collapse from the weight of it? And found no one who would listen. All of them, too busy. Too irritated. Too disinterested. Too into looking at their watch or checking their phones.
Who hasn't tried to talk to someone but couldn't get a word in edgewise as they simply disregarded what you said? And that made you feel what?
Who hasn't wanted to share their pain with someone and only had it denied—as in, that's not so bad; wait till you hear my story!
Who hasn't planned for hours how to say a thing to someone and one sentence into the little speech we’re told to just forget it. And did you? Ever? Who hasn't wanted some advice but never got to explain the situation and so never got any? Then, ignored so often, so completely, how long was it before you tried again? With anyone? What did you do with the frustration that comes from being rendered invisible over and over again? Oh, yes, we're great talkers these days. We message and we send long emails and videos. We crow about what it means for the whole world to be connected. And then we listen to no one but ourselves.
Conversation, ironically, has become a lost art in this wired world, this communication bonanza we're in. Now it's simply a matter of learning to interrupt our way around the world, or of shouting over the tops of everyone else's comments to be the center of attention, the control chief of the
conversation. Or better yet, when we get caught in that kind of a pseudo-conversation, we can just forget it, buy a good book, and quit trying.
The one nice thing about quitting is that, after all, there's absolutely nothing to lose. No friendship—since there obviously isn't one; no conversation because conversation requires a person on each end talking about the same thing; no confidant with whom to share something—because a real confidant wants to share it, not dismiss it. So, what to do? Find a pet, a companion bird…? Or maybe we might all pray more intensely and intentionally to St. Elizabeth, the patron saint of listeners.