Week 1, October 3rd, 2022: Newsletter #29
Acknowledgement of Country
St. John’s school community respect and honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on this land and commit to building a brighter future together.
Week 1 Prayer
From the Principal
Welcome Back: It is great to be back amongst the staff and students as we look forward excitedly to term 4. This term is also a busy one so I encourage you to stay up to date with day to day events via this newsletter and the SZ App.
Welcome Nathan: This week we welcome Mr Nathan Porter to our staff as he fills the vacancy left by Mrs Painter's maternity leave.
Staff Leave: The first 3 weeks of term will see Mrs Madden and Ms Lee taking some well deserved long service leave- we hope they both have an enjoyable time. Mrs Madden's class will be covered by Mrs Marsden and Ms Conheady.
School Closure Day: Monday November 7th will see the school closed to allow staff to participate in a day built on scripture and its use. Please note students will not attend on this day.
Shool Improvement Survey: My thanks to the families who completed the Insight SRC Survery last term;. In addition to the parent data, staff, Gr 5/6 and Grade 3/4 children data will also be collated to paint an overall picture into the effectiveness of our school. We expect to receive the data in the next few weeks.
Family Support: During the year we have a number of families who at times struggle with the provision of meals. We are looking to create a meal bank for these families, if you are interested in creating a freezable meal or being placed on a roster to provide meals then please email email@example.com
Enjoy your week, Ben.
School Uniform Supply
As previously advised Lowes will be the provider of our school uniforms. We will advise families once they are available to purchase from the store but we expect this to happen in two to three weeks time.
Hats & SunSmart Practices
As part of our SunSmart practices we require that all children and staff wear hats whilst outside this term. Please ensure that your child has a school bucket hat and that it is also clearly named.
No Hat = No Play
Children without hats will have to stay in an undercover area during 1st and 2nd lunch. We do NOT have a grace period, hats must be worn from today,
Parents are also advised to keep an eye on daily UV ratings and apply sunscreen before school if required. Students are encouraged to bring their own sunscreen to school to reapply throughout the day. Our school will have sunscreen for children to use if needed. If your child has an allergy to sunscreen please let the office know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Plesae also update in their Medical Profile in PAM.
Covid 19: Term 4 Updated Guidelines
Recently there was an announcement from the Governmnet confirming that from October 14 all state and territory COVID-19 isolation mandates will end. Until then, and until we receive updated information from the Catholic Education Office, the following will remain in place:
Rapid antigen test screening requirements: Students who have tested positive for COVID-19, and have completed their 5-day isolation period, do not need to undertake rapid antigen test (RAT) screening for 4 weeks after their release from isolation.
Managing a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19: As soon as a staff member or student becomes aware of being a suspected case - that is symptomatic (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of smell or taste:
- The suspected case is required to leave the school site, or be isolated on-site until they are able to leave.
- The suspected case is required to be tested with a rapid antigen test. A positive test result must be reported to the Department of Health
- Positive cases must be isolated for 5 days, but should only return to school if symptom free.
In the event that school receives notification that a staff member or student was infectious while onsite:
- All staff must use a rapid antigen test if they have symptoms.
- All students must use a rapid antigen test if they have symptoms.
- Staff and students will be strongly encouraged to use rapid antigen tests for the following 5 days if they don’t have symptoms.
Where a positive case is recorded from a staff member or student who has been on site, the school community will be notified. Personal information will not be released in this communication.
If a staff member or student tests positive with a rapid antigen test but does not have symptoms or has not been in contact with a positive case, a PCR test is recommended. If a subsequent PCR shows a negative result the staff member or student can return to school.
Close Contacts: A close contact (a person who has spent more than four hours with someone who has COVID 19 inside a house, accommodation or care facility) is no longer required to quarantine, as long as they follow the additional safety measures:
- Notify the school if returning within the 5 day period.
- Undertake RAT testing on school days within the 5 day period (unless the 4 week exemption applies)
- Wear a mask indoors if an adult or a student (aged 8 years or above).
- Not visit hospitals or care facilities.
- Avoid contact with people at higher risk of infection.
If symptomatic take a RAT or PCR test.
Vaccination Mandate: The new COVID regulations have lifted the mandate for all employees and volunteers to be vaccinated. This means there will be no requirement for adults entering the school to declare their vaccination status.
Transport: Parents/carers who are positive cases are able to leave isolation if other arrangements cannot be made to transport someone they live with to and/or from school.
The person leaving self-isolation must travel directly to and from the location, making no stops, unless there is an emergency or as required by law.
They must remain in the vehicle at all times, unless it is reasonably necessary to leave the vehicle to deliver the person to and from school. They must wear a face covering at all times while transporting and delivering the child.
Continuity of Learning: Our school community has been fortunate that we have not had significant staff numbers impacted by COVID such that we have continued to provide quality learning and teaching and student care. I remind families that this could change quickly and the school may be required to ask some classes or year levels to stay home if we do not have adequate staff numbers onsite. We hope that this is not the case, but if it does become a necessity, we will work hard to minimise any disruption.
Family Maths Night
We are excited to be welcoming families into school for our Family Maths Night. These nights are always good fun, quite relaxed and help us see that Maths is everywhere. We will be learning all about Maths, STEM and skills needed for the future. This will be a night not to be missed!
Important School Reminders
1. A reminder that the loops are to be used for quick drop off and pick up. If your child requires help with their seatbelt etc please use the car parks to keep the loop moving at a steady pace.
2. Student Absences: Can all parents and guardians please remember that if a child is absent then we require you to contact the school via schoolzine, PAM, or phone to notify us as to why they are absent. This is a government requirement.
3. Rapid Antigen Testing: RAT's will be provided to students and staff for the remainder of the school year. On a semi regular basis, students will be provided with RAT's but if at any stage you require additional kits, please contact the office. A test will be sent home with your child on Friday.
A big Happy Birthday to the following students who celebrated their birthday during the holidays- Imogen B, Caleb G, Evie S, Henry G, Nash H, Harper H, Jaxon B and Milla B. We hope you had a wonderful day celebrating with family and friends!
Best wishes to Fern S, Charlotte B, Laura B, Dakota S, Aurora B and Evie D who have their birthdays this week. Enjoy your special day!
Parents and Friends Social Group News
Parents and Friends Social Group Meeting
Our next meeting will be Wednesday 12th October at 7.30pm in the Gathering Space. We will be planning our end of year social night and would love your input!
Dennington's Day Out
SAVE THE DATE! Dennington’s Day Out is quickly approaching. Be sure to mark your calenders for November 13th for a day full of fun! If you have not done so already, like the Facebook page ‘Dennington’s Day Out’ to see all of the stall holders and fun activities that will be there on the day.
The next meeting will be held tomorrow, Tuesday 4th October at 7.00pm in the Gathering Space.
Major Raffle $5,000 draw!
Raffle tickets were sent home in the last week of term 3. Each family has been allocated 2 tickets. Please return tickets once sold with cash money or if paying into the bank account please reference the ticket number. Tickets are due back by Friday 28th October to be drawn at DDO on Sunday 13th November.
Dennington's Day Out Puzzle
Flyers are coming home today to pre order the Dennington’s Day Out Puzzle. This puzzle has been created by Karen McKenzie Art and features St John’s Primary School. Pre orders can be placed by scanning the QR code or clicking on the link. All orders and payment are due by October 19th.
The following families are rostered on this Friday:
Bell, Johnson, Leggett, O'donohue and Lamb.
All students will be able to buy a raffle ticket for 20c each Friday. The Johnnies will come around to the classrooms during the day to write out tickets and collect money.
All funds raised throughout the year will be donated to the Good Friday Appeal the following year.
A big thank you to Fry Painting, Brownies Shed, South West Pipe Relining and gforce employment & recruitment who support our school! Would you like to advertise your business in our school newsletter? Businesses can advertise for only $100 a year and will have a business card sized listing in every school newsletter. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Star of the Sea Bulletin
Sunday Mass is held at 10.00am at St. Pius X Church. School families are always welcome.
The Parish office can be contacted on 5562 2231 and this weekends bulletin is featured below. Other information and contact details can be found on the Star of the Sea South West Coast website: https://www.ballarat.catholic.org.au/parish/southwestcoast/
Tuesday October 4th: DDO meeting at 7.00pm in the Gathering Space
Wednesday October 5th: Family Maths Night 6.30pm in the Shared Space
Wednesday October 12th: Parents and Friends Social Group Meeting 7.30pm in the Gathering Space
Wednesday October 19th: Pre order for DDO puzzles due in.
Friday October 28th: $5,000 raffle draw tickets and money due back
Monday November 7th: School Closure Day
Sunday November 13th: Dennington's Day Out with Major Raffle Drawn 2.00pm
Friday November 25th: Dennington Dash
Friday December 2nd: Carols by the Merri