I write to provide you an update on the current advice that we have received related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our school.
Yesterday the Prime Minister indicated that schools were to remain open. This decision is consistent with the best medical advice available and is in the public interest.
Our school remains open and will operate until the end of term. If this decision changes I will inform you immediately.
The Prime Minister also advised that parents may choose to have their child learn from home, however, these children will be required to be properly supervised at home and not congregate outside of home with other young people.
I ask that for those who have not informed us, please indicate if your intention is to keep your child at home. The school will provide learning through Seesaw and children and parents have access to this.I acknowledge the difficulties that our families are experiencing at this challenging time. Rest assured that we are doing all we can to manage the safety and wellbeing of your child. I thank you for your trust and understanding.
If you have any need to speak to me about your own personal circumstances, please feel free to contact me and I will arrange to speak with you at a convenient time.
Please note, that if SA Health contacts us for a school closure due to a known COVID-19 case, I will communicate with you immediately and inform you of the steps that need to occur. We will adhere to any advice provided by health authorities.
We will also adhere to any further advice provided by government authorities and provide appropriate updates. Catholic Education SA is providing the latest information on their website at www.cesa.catholic.edu.au/alerts.
As discussed in previous correspondence, if you require the use of your child's school iPad in the event that you choose home learning or a school closure, please collect and sign a form from the front office and we will arrange for the device to be available within 24 hours. Parents, however, will be required to provide a home charger for the iPad, an iPhone charger will suffice or inexpensive chargers can be purchased readily at service stations and electrical stores.
The past few weeks have brought about some interesting and life changing moments. For the first time in living memory, we can no longer gather at church. Restaurants, clubs, cinemas, and other places where social gatherings take place are closed. Of course, this also means that many members of our families and friends have uncertainty of employment. There is great debate about whether or not schools should stay open, and a great many opinions both for and against. Needless to say, most of us feel overloaded with information and the need to make informed decisions about our usual day-to-day routines.
I was deeply moved by a picture I saw of an elderly lady, alone, pushing an empty trolley through a supermarket. Her look of desperation and great sadness shadowed the empty shelves she stood in front of. I imagine that many of us have wandered through shops, gazed at empty shelves, and wondered ‘when will this be over’? Most of us have more than enough. We have cupboards with food, toilet rolls in stock, and supplies to get us through the week. During this Lenten season as we prepare for the death and resurrection of Jesus, how can we, who have enough, be more for others? How can we help those who, like the elderly lady, stand in front of empty shelves?
The prayer booklet I sent home yesterday, is a great way to centre ourselves and take time out to be with God. I encourage you to read through the prayers and reflections and let them inspire you. Take time out of the hecticness of life to be with God.
Churches and places of worship are now closed. Our parish church is no longer open for Mass or private prayer until further notice. This is a government requirement. Holy Week and Easter Masses will not occur this year. There are daily and weekly online Masses which you can access through YouTube.
Thank you to those who have returned Project Compassion boxes already. Please send these to school before Easter.
I sent home a letter to the families of Year 4 Sacrament Candidates last week. The celebration of Confirmation, First Eucharist and Reconciliation are postponed until further notice. The scheduled meeting for Year 4 Sacrament families tomorrow evening is cancelled.
In closing, I pray the week ahead brings you peace. I leave you with the following words from scripture…
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10
The School Board held its Annual General Meeting last Monday, 16th March and
welcomed 3 new members - Beata Kucaba, Fionna Bottroff and Guinevieve Flavel.
A huge thanks to our departing members Qamar Patras, Brett Ford and in particular Marta Kalinowski who served as the Treasurer for many years.
The Board discussed the following at its Meeting held after the AGM -
- The school financial position which remains good
- The building work is on track and progressing well. We thank everyone for their patience with deliveries and parking restrictions.
- Our new uniform has proven popular. A reminder: the school's Uniform Shop will move off site to Newton next Term and will be open 6 days a week. Parents may order items online and deliveries will be made to the school. Further information to come.
- The new carpark is complete and has plenty of space for when parents coming to drop off or pickup their child.
- Please obey the road rules around the School at all times including the kiss'n'drop.
The School Board discussed the impact of the COVID-19 virus and fully supports the decisions and measures taken by Greg Parker and his team. This includes the ability to deliver curriculum via the Seesaw App in the event of a forced school closure for longer periods of time.
In Week 6, Mitchell from Year 5BT and Isaac from Year 5R raised the Italian flag at St Pius X School and in Week 7 classes from Years 1 to 6 completed their ‘Sfilata di Maschere’, in front of the Italian flag. Students thoroughly enjoyed wearing their Carnevale masks for class pictures and videos, which they viewed and discussed back in the classroom. The next phase of learning will focus on writing about the masks that they have created and they will be applying the learnt grammar on adjectival/noun agreement when writing in Italian.