Select Page

Newsletter 31st March, 2020

People pray daily for an end to the coronavirus, COVID-19, which is gripping the world, turning human interaction into a virtual affair and upending lives everywhere during a struggle against a silent enemy about which little is known.

In this time of COVID-19, we pray:

When we are not sure, God, help us be calm;
when information comes from all sides, help us to discern;
when fear makes it hard to breathe,
and anxiety seems to be the order of the day,
slow us down, God;
help us to reach out with our hearts,
when we can’t touch with our hands;
help us to be socially connected,
when we have to be socially distant;
help us to love as perfectly as we can,
knowing that “perfect love casts out all fear.”
AMEN

Dear Parents and Community Members,

What extraordinary times we are now living through with changes every day.  Last week at school was tinged with sadness as we worked towards an uncertain future, and had our last day for the foreseeable future with our lovely students.  Staff are still at school this week, delivering Remote Learning outlined in weekly class grids, supported by communication methods depending on the age of the students.  The weekly outlines for all classes were emailed to parents at 10.00am on Monday morning.  This will continue to be our routine next term, for as long as Remote Learning continues.  As you can imagine providing a curriculum without face to face teacher direction poses some challenges.  Your child’s classroom teacher has devised a plan to cover a range of curriculum areas with a concerted effort to present a balanced curriculum, with some online access needed, but without the expectation of children needing a device each to complete their work.  Please note that class outlines are also available on our school website.

Please be advised that we will not be sending home Remote Learning outlines next week, as it is a Professional Development week for staff, to plan for the ongoing Remote Delivery of curriculum as we head into Term 2.

As you would have read in the email I sent to all parents along with the Home Learning Programs, I would like to let you know that school requirements are not for each child to have their own device, but one family-shared device is adequate.

Students in K-2 will need to access Seesaw, as will parents, for communication.  Please note that Seesaw can be used on either an Apple device (Ipad or iPhone) or Android (eg Samsung tablet or phone) or on a desktop computer.  There are two different ways students and parents will need to access Seesaw, the student platform (Seesaw Class) and the parent communication platform (Seesaw Parent).  Parents who had not yet signed up were contacted via email on Friday.

Students in Years 3-6 will need to access Teams, through Office 365.  Please note this is a web-based application that can be accessed by Googling ‘365’ (no need to download a program) and students have usernames and passwords for access.

Teachers will be providing Home Learning Programs each week with activities requiring online access highlighted in green.  It is anticipated that each child will only need to access a device for approximately 30 minutes per day.  Things like ‘Prodigy Maths’ and ‘Study Ladder’ are additional extras and parent choice.   Many activities may refer your child to access some information on a device, then complete an activity in their workbook.

Teachers will be uploading a ‘Welcome to the week’ video on Monday mornings and will be available online Monday to Friday at the following times:

  • 9.00-9.30am
  • 11.00-11.30am
  • 1.00-1.30pm
  • 3.00-3.30pm

Please don’t expect a response to questions other than at these times.  There will be a class Teams video call (Years 3-6) once each week at the following times:

  • Year 3 Wednesday 1.00pm
  • Year 4 Thursday 1.00pm
  • Year 5 Wednesday 11.00am
  • Year 6 Thursday 11.00am

The purpose of the video call is to check-in, maintain connection and to respond to any general questions.

We understand that some families have Wifi concerns.  Please, just do the best you can.  If you require further clarification regarding the use and need for devices, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  If, after trying the Home Learning Programs for a week, you are not managing with the devices you have at home, please contact me to discuss options.

Please remind your children that Teams and Seesaw are for LEARNING, not for social purposes.  Students are not permitted to be sending each other messages or adding emojis just for fun on this platform.  It is unfair on our teachers to have to scroll through countless messages to be able to work out who needs assistance with their school work and learning.  If you would like your child to connect with friends, please explore other ways.  This is in line with our school Acceptable Use for IT policy that your child is bound by.  This is really important and is worth spending time talking to your child about how they use school platforms and programs.

There will be a feedback ‘Form’ link emailed at the end of this week, and we would appreciate you taking a few minutes to complete this form to support the teachers in their planning for next term.

Every day we are hearing stories from parents of job losses and real concerns for family members who are elderly and health compromised.  Our staff share similar concerns around their immediate and extended family members.  What is coming through loud and clear, however, is the overall genuine concern for each other.  We sincerely thank our parents for the kindness shown to our staff as they try to get their heads around new technology and different ways of communicating with our students in a very short space of time.  The cards and care packages (with a strong message that ‘everything is better with chocolate’) have certainly helped us get through the last few weeks.  There have been many tears, but no hugs!  How blessed we are to be part of such a caring community.

The advice we are receiving consistently lists hygiene as the number one prevention of COVID -19, followed by isolation if in contact with someone who has the illness.

Below is a link to a Government endorsed symptom checker:

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/healthdirect-coronavirus-covid-19-symptom-checker

 Parents, you are the filter through which your kids see this crisis. How you talk about it matters.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/03/24/talking-kids-coronavirus/

Our school psychologist has provided us with several useful sites that parents can tap into to assist them with any Home Learning that will take place.

I understand that these are trying times and that each family is operating in a different environment with different means of supporting your child’s learning and wellbeing. We encourage you to use the Home Learning Programs as much as possible to ensure the least disruption to your child’s learning and also to engage them in purposeful activity at this time. Upon the return to school please be assured that we will re-evaluate our position in the programs of learning and make the transition to school based learning as smooth as possible.

Thank you for your ongoing support.  This is a time of working in partnership to support each other and I think we can be proud of our school community and the way we are working together.  Also, I would like to thank the staff for their dedication and work ethic during this time.  They are going ‘above and beyond’ to support the ongoing needs of all.

There are numerous ways to provide your children with other rich learning activities, while creating valuable family time.  Things like cooking, craft, gardening, bushwalking, dancing, poetry, reading aloud, painting, sewing, board games, ball games, exercise and active games, tinkering, construction (using recycled materials), photography, learning a new skill, doing yoga and meditation.

Enjoy the week with your children.  We will miss having them at school.  Remember that whatever you do will be the best for your children, you are their first, and best, teachers.

Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have any concerns or questions.

 

Have a wonderful week.

May God bless you

 

 

Mrs Angela Hegney
Principal

 

 

Our Lady of Lourdes

Newsletter