ACT CATHOLIC SCHOOLS PLAN FULL RETURN TO SCHOOL
Dear Parents and Carers
I would like to express my deep appreciation to each of you for your support and loyalty to the school during what has been a challenging time for you and your families. You have been magnificent supporting your child in their learning during this period. Staff have been incredible in the way they have adapted to provide a remote learning program and we have all missed your children and their energy, humour and joy.
From an academic and welfare perspective it has always been our priority to return to face to face teaching when it is safe to do so.
Following extensive discussion, review of the medical advice and guidelines, and considering the regional context where there are almost no reported cases of Covid-19, the Director of Catholic Education has authorised that all students will return full time to St John Vianney’s on Monday 18th May, Week 4. If for any reason there is an increase in the safety concerns for the students and staff before the 18th May this decision will be reviewed.
Please be aware that we will continue the Remote Learning Program next week (Week 3) in the same way that we are now for all students whether they are at home or at school. Parents are encouraged to keep students at home wherever possible next week but the school continues to be open to the children of essential workers and children who need to attend for personal or family reasons.
Attached to our newsletter are two documents. One of these is Catholic Education’s announcement regarding how systemic catholic schools are returning to face to face teaching. The other document is a letter from Dr Kerryn Coleman, ACT Chief Officer, in relation to returning to face to face teaching in schools. We are pleased to have received this detailed advice. It addresses a number of issues raised in relation to return to face to face teaching. Dr Coleman’s letter includes the advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) on reducing the potential risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools and this advice was also used in CE Guidelines. I will expand more on these in next week’s newsletter
Noting the advice is from the ACT Chief Health Officer it is consistent with the advice available from NSW authorities and the Australian Government.
As we prepare to have the children return to school for face-to-face teaching, it is essential that measures relating to personal hygiene and the health and safety of all members of our community are known and understood.
Below is some clear information on the arrangements and measures based on the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) guidelines, which aim to establish, where reasonably possible, best practice in relation to health and hygiene at schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The full document can be found here:
We hope this will give you confidence in your child’s return to school and assist you in supporting the staff as we welcome students back into classrooms.
Extra hygiene and safety practices in place for when the children return to school
- No child is to attend school if they are showing any cold or flu-like symptoms. They must remain at home, and stay away from school until they are no longer showing symptoms or have attended a GP who has instructed that they are fit and safe to return.
- Increased cleaning schedules and resources onsite during the school day to wipe down and disinfect high-touch areas, including classrooms and common spaces, in addition to regular daily cleaning.
- Provision of extra hand sanitiser across the school.
- Provision of extra hand soap for children to wash their hands frequently, particularly before and after recess and lunch time.
- Frequent reminders to ensure children are practising good personal hygiene. This means, covering mouths and noses when coughing and sneezing, frequent hand washing, not sharing food or drinks and minimising physical contact
- Please ensure your child brings a water bottle to school each day
- If your child, or family members or other close contacts are tested for COVID-19, your child is not to attend school until the results of those tests are known and are negative. Please advise the school if this situation occurs.
- If your child has a medical condition that places them at greater risk from a return to face-to-face teaching at this time, please contact their teacher so that we can discuss their needs in greater detail and develop an appropriate plan for their circumstances.
- We are attempting to minimise the number of adults coming onto the premises to reduce the possible risk of COVID-19 transmission. Please make appointments ahead of time and if possible, telephone or use email as the preferred method of contact with your child’s teacher or staff member.
- When dropping your child off to the school please ensure that you stay in your car, ensuring that your child walks through our school gate onto the playground. If you need to come into the school please adhere to social distancing protocols.
- If you are signing your child in at the front office because you are late, you may need to wait in a line that adheres to social distancing requirements.
- At this stage, there will be no assemblies or large gatherings of students for the remainder of this term. An exception to this is any evacuation or emergency procedure that may be required. (Fire alarm etc.)
- If your intention is to keep your child at home please contact their teacher so that we can discuss their needs in greater detail and develop an appropriate learning plan for their circumstances.
- After 18th May, if a situation arises where it is deemed not safe by health authorities for students or staff to be onsite, we would be able to move back to our comprehensive remote learning program as required
I again thank you for your ongoing support of our school. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like any further clarification on any of these matters.
I continue to keep your family and the wider community in my prayers.
When Mr Rodda suggested I write about my remote learning experience, I sat back and reflected on this unique roller coaster ride.
With children in both Year 1 and Kindergarten, a 3 year old and a high intensity job, at first (and in the words of Gloria Gaynor) I was afraid, I was petrified. These feelings soon evolved in to uncertainty: How long will remote learning continue? Am I doing enough to assist my children? What is the field of vision of the iPad camera and can the teacher and class see my “lounge” clothes when I look in during live sessions? Are my children going to realise that Im lying when I say that Mums know everything?...and where in my fridge and cupboard have the Year one’s meal worms gone?
There is one thing that always quashes these feelings of uncertainty, and that is knowing that the teachers are there. Whilst I may feel like the children’s personal assistant (“here is your 9:15 live check in sir”), I am reassured in knowing that I am not expected to be the teacher. The teachers are doing a fantastic job in setting up the daily activities and ensuring our children are provided with the best learning experience possible in such extraordinary circumstances. My kids love seeing their teachers during the live check-ins and pre-recorded videos, and are enjoying access to the various new programs that the school has taken the time to identify as providing best additional support for our children. Thank you to all of the teachers and school executive, for your time, your knowledge and your sacrifices.
I am loving the opportunity to be front and centre during my children’s learning journey and am grateful that I now have the answers to the most closely guarded secret “so what did you do at school today”. I will admit that there’s been moments when I’ve thought of ringing the school to see if I could get a child transferred out of my class, but touching base with fellow parents/carers of the class has always provided the support to keep swimming. So I also give many thanks to our fantastic school community and in particular to the families of year one and kinder, you have kept my head afloat.
I look forward to seeing everyone when we return to school and I look forward to seeing the meal worms again...hopefully...one day.
Scholastic Book Club has become a Virtual Book Club this term! Orders can be placed and paid for through Loop, alleviating any need for cash to change hands.
When orders arrive at SJV, I will contact you to organise collection.
All orders need to be in by 8 pm, Monday 18 May 2020.
Any queries, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on the link below to see Scholastic's current catalogue
We would like to wish all our mothers in the SJV community a wonderful and safe Mother's Day this Sunday. We hope that you are able to spend some quality time with a few of those you love.
We hope those who have ordered the Mother's Day Breaksfast Drive Thru enjoy this special treat and have a great start to your Mother's Day Weekend.
Remote learning continues to be exciting and please see below for some our our students thoughts and comments.
We have been having alot of fun showing our learning in lots of different ways online
Year 3 & 4
SJV Enroling now for 2021.
For the 2021 enrolment period we will be holding one-on-one virtual tours with our Principal. If you would like a copy of our prospectus, or to book one of these sessions, please visit our enrolment page:
This week each of the Preschool classes have enjoyed watching Mystery Readers via video links. Thank you to all the families who have sent a recording in. The Stingray and Turtle children also appreciated Mystery Readers delivered in person by Mrs Lynch and Mrs L. Throughout the week, children have been identifying people who are special to them, the things that make these people special and memories they have shared together. Handmade cards and gifts have been created for these special people. We hope that all of our mothers and special people have an extra special day on Sunday, Mother’s Day. We congratulate Mrs Foster who taught the ELC children on Wednesdays last term on the arrival of a daughter yesterday, just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day.
The Teddy bears placed around Canberra over the past few months have helped to brighten people’s days when spotted in windows and on walks. As children and staff have been speaking about the teddies they have spotted so we have decided to make a teddy bear trail for the local community. We invite you to take part by bear decorating a bear, writing your name in its foot and an action people can do to strengthen their wellbeing in its tummy. Please return all decorated bears to the envelope on the window of the ELC entrance by Monday 11th May. Information about the trail location will be included in next week’s newsletter.
Each week we will be interviewing one of our fabulous teachers so you can get to know a bit more about them.
This Week is Mrs Mackenzie
What is your favourite sport/sports team?
The Canberra Raiders.
What is your favourite Music/Band?
I enjoy all kinds of music - mostly catchy songs. Anything I can sing along or bop too.
What are some of your hobbies?
Playing sport, exercising, reading, knitting and gardening.
Do you have any pets?
Yes, a chocolate Labrador called Sally and a cat called Bender.
What is your favourite food?
Chicken Schnizel with chips and gravy.
Where did you go to Primary School and what subject did you enjoy the most?
I went to Redland Bay State School, which is in Queensland in what was a rural/farming area. My favourite subject at school was Art and PE.
Why did you become a teacher?
I have always enjoyed engaging with children - making kids laugh and having fun with them. I enjoy making fun, meaningful and interesting lessons for them. Seeing students flourish in this setting keeps me coming back for more.
What inspires you and why?
My faith, my family, I love learning from others and gleaning from their wisdom. Everyday I try to find something to be thankful and grateful for.