Dear Parents & Guardians
Over the past week I have spent time working with students online and in the classroom, I have also spoken with teachers and parents and the overall feeling is that this lockdown is proving to be much harder and far more demanding than the previous versions.
In response I have been looking for information to share and I was lucky to receive an article:
Firstly, in heightened situations where your child is struggling with a lack of control over an emotional state, reduce your height and work from a side by side or shoulder level and reduce your eye contact. A great example of this as an activity is to walk the dog and take a break.
Secondly, is the ability to recognise small moments where non verbal positive reinforcements help regulate the focus on the task being worked on. Look for times where your child is working and managing their learning and offer smiles, nods, thumbs up and other interactions that suggest “I see you working and I think you are doing a great job!” This does not disturb the work and indicates control by the student over the learning.
Thirdly, look for successes in the things your child is doing and ask yourself “What is working well?” Identify those factors that generate positive working conditions and copy them next time. The action to avoid is the one where you see something and your response is “Yikes, what’s wrong here?” Stop and have a break, go for a walk and come back to the learning or work where you can put more of the successful behaviours and conditions in place.
Finally, students work well with boundaries and routines and they need you to be the one that puts them into place. It may take a little practice but it will have positive outcomes for the student now and in the future. Have a time where everyone changes out of their ‘pjs’, have regular bedtimes and times your child gets up in the morning and limit ‘online time’. Attending ‘Zoom meets’, working in the ‘online space and then presenting work means looking at screens all day. Having a break and getting up and walking away from the ‘device’ may in fact be the best learning your child will participate in today!
With the tighter restrictions being announced by the Victorian State Government onsite supervision of students requires those parents wishing to send their children to school to provide St. John’s with their authorised worker permits. I am obliged to provide a safe working environment for all of the staff who attend school to engage in supervision as well as for the students who require it. At our highest of 69 students, my ability to do this is being compromised as is my ability to follow the St. John’s COVID safety plan. If any of these developments in the current lockdown causes you any concern, please do not hesitate to contact me via the Office.
A big thank you and well done for all the efforts being made to support your children at home and at school while navigating these challenging times. Remember you are not alone and that as a community we are well placed to be able to reach out and support one another. It is why I very much love being part of the St John’s school community.
Keep well and stay safe.
ZOOM Parent Teacher Interviews Survey:
Of the School Population - Parents attended ZOOM P/T - 92%, Parent answered the survey - 61%
Of those who responded -
Were the ZOOM P/T informative - 96%
Would you support future ZOOM P/T - 75%
Do you Prefer ZOOM P/T - 40%
Science Week: Running each year in August, it features more than 1000 events around Australia. The school theme for National Science Week 2021 is Food: Different by Design. Last Friday, many students enjoyed carrying out the experiments suggested on SeeSaw. See photos below.
Father’s Day Stall: Due to Remote Schooling we are unable to run our traditional Father’s Day Stall, so as we did for Mother’s Day last year, we have decided to take this online so the kids can still purchase gifts for Dad. All purchasing will be done via CDfpay, a flyer with full details will be emailed to families.
Pick up/collection of purchases -
If the students return to school on Friday 3 Sept all gifts purchased will be sent home on this day.
If the current round of Remote Schooling is extended, a click and collect system will be put into place, pick up bookings will be requested via Operoo for those who have purchased.
If your child is attending onsite after the closing date for orders, your purchase will be sent home with them.
This will all be confirmed next week once we have more information on the current lockdown and know if students will return to school next Friday or not.
Father’s Day Breakfast: Unfortunately this year's Fathers Day Breakfast will not go ahead. We wish all the Dads a wonderful Father’s Day and look forward to being able to cook you all breakfast again next Father’s Day.
Building Update: Much work has been done to prepare the site and this week a slab for the new section of the building is being poured. We look forward to following the progress of the build over the coming months. See photos below.
Child Safety: In Catholic schools we have to give students ‘a solid basis on which to build their lives; to guarantee their safety and their education to be everything they can be.' Pope Francis, Rio De Janeiro, 2013
Kids help line: https://kidshelpline.com.au/kids
General notes: We are hopeful that students will be able to return to school on Friday 3 September, however, if this is not the case please note the following:
Remote schooling will continue under the current arrangements.
Requests for onsite schooling are to be submitted each week via the Operoo form provided.
Friday 3 September will be included in next week's Operoo form in case lockdown is extended, this will open on Friday 27 Aug and closes at 10am Sunday 29 Aug.
If your child is booked for onsite and you no longer require this please let us know at your earliest convenience via phone call or email to the office, or, Skoolbag submission
Work permits are required to be uploaded each week via Operoo when requesting onsite.
Chris Dortmans, Principal