Michael Gray, Principal
Dear St. Joseph’s School Community,
Welcome back, you’ve been missed!
Today we welcomed all students back to St. Joseph’s. Their warmth, enthusiasm and excitement to be back have created a wonderfully infectious and positive vibe around our School today. Schools are people places; they are designed for face to face learning, creating classroom communities, building positive relationships, developing my personal identity and engaging with co-curricular programs. People learning together adds fun, provides support; we are all stronger together!
It was exceedingly encouraging to see that COVID-19 has not dampened our student's, staff or families' sense of hope. Resilience is about getting on with the task, accessing the resources you need, problem solving and then doing! Wow, what an opportunity for us all.
In fact, everyone’s commitment to the remote home learning/care and supervision program was a giant leap into the unknown. The steps we all took were brave, committed; and taking the words from a Pope from another time “depended on the heart of people.” It was everyone’s heart that created valuable learning, ensured no-one was “left behind” and that connected students with a small glimpse of the wonder that is hidden in each and every one of us. Well done all.
Over the preparation, implementation and now return to full schooling on-site, my heartfelt thanks to:
- The School Leadership Team for their constant commitment to providing the best outcomes for all students.
- Our teaching staff and learning support officers for their ability to adapt in a very short time to deliver the Remote Learning and Care and Supervision Programs in such an effective and efficient way.
- The school administration staff for the back-up they provide in a multitude of ways to enable our students to all learn, parents to be supported and staff to be aware of all schooling arrangements in a safe and timely manner.
- Our school curriculum teams (literacy, numeracy and ICT), staff learning leaders, specialist subject teachers, school diversity and wellbeing teams and outside consultants who moved mountains to ensure all in our community were learning and moving forward with support.
- The families of our students for your outstanding support of your children, accepting the challenge no generation has ever experienced before.
- Lastly to the amazing students of St. Joseph’s Primary School! All who have embraced this new way of learning were heroes for their families and made a commitment to personal growth, maturity and a positive mindset. All should feel very proud that the characteristics and values our community espouses came to the lived life for every student.
Risk Minimisation: Going forward, a few reminders
St. Joseph’s Primary School continues to monitor the global outbreak of the respiratory illness caused by this novel (new) coronavirus. In order to ensure the health and safety of our students, staff, families and the community we remain in close contact with school authorities and the Victorian government. The Victorian Health requirements are focusing on reducing unnecessary gathering, support social distancing and practice good health hygiene.
Whilst the Chief Health Officer’s advice is that students will not be required to maintain physical distancing at school, there will be a number of other important changes to our school operations, consistent with health advice to all schools, that will minimise risks of contamination including:
Students will be supported to maintain the highest standards of personal hygiene including:
- Ensuring hand washing and hand sanitiser is embed into daily routines
- Be conscious of an increase in a ‘hands-off’ each other policy
- Students supplying their own water bottles as drinking taps have been disabled
- Using hand sanitiser as advisable
- No sharing food at recess and lunch
- Canteen open for ordering with school canteen co-ordinator providing the roster
- Our school has introduced an enhanced cleaning routine, including classrooms, staff areas, playground and school equipment. To help in this area we also ask that students don’t bring items for home to school (football etc).
Dropping-off Students to School will be
- All students to now walk into school classrooms; parents will not be allowed on-site unless required for individualised appointments.
Note extra staffing continues to be available to help each student before and after school to stay calm, safe and supported.
Picking-up Students from School will continue to be
Arrangements continue; every student being collected by car must attend one of three locations;
- A to G in the Loop
- H to M at Queens Road
- N to Z at the Tennis Court Car Park.
Families can park in the Aquazone carpark and have their children walk to them, these children will be considered 'walkers' and can leave via the loop gate and cross at the supervised crossing.
To improve traffic flow in the Tennis Court parking area last week staff walk students along the pathway adjacent to the courts. This will help students to spot cars to then hop-in.
Note extra staffing continues to be available to help each student stay calm, safe and supported. Weather changes are announced and communicated at 3 pm every day.
Students are expected to stay at home if they are unwell and seek medical advice. If your child becomes unwell whilst at school they will attend first aide, have a temperature test and families will be contacted immediately and requested to come to the School to pick up your child as soon as possible. Please ensure your child’s medical details have been verified in PAM.
School Property Access
Minimising property access available to any person other than staff and students. We ask all parents to please consider your need to access the school site and communicate electronically or by phone if you need to speak to someone at school.
COVID-19 School Programs and Curriculum Updates
From today Tuesday 9th June, all students resumed full on-site learning. Remote Learning for all students will cease today.
Other advice is as follows:
- The bus service is running as per normal arrangements.
- Students are required to wear their winter uniforms. School coats are the best winter garment for safety, warmth and weather protection.
- The status of our Camps, Excursions and Events will be communicated to you as soon as updates are received, and will be subject to both Government and Catholic Education advice.
School closures due to COVID-19 infection
If there was to be a confirmed COVID-19 case at St. Joseph’s, the decision to close the School is based on the expert advice from the Victorian Health Department’s Chief Health Officer.
The Chief Health Officer will, if there has been a positive COVID-19 test result in any school, close the school temporarily while assessment and tracing of exposure is conducted. A thorough school deep clean will then be carried out to make the school safe for the return of students and staff.
In this situation, all families will be immediately contacted by St. Joseph’s and provided with the relevant information.
COVID-19 ongoing updates
Updates will be provided as any new information becomes available. Please check your emails and school app regularly to ensure the information you have is up to date.
The Department of Education and the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria will continue to respond as a collaborative team to advise and provide updated advice to schools and staff as appropriate.
For more information
- Victoria Health https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/
- Call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080
- For general or travel related queries about coronavirus please go to the health direct website.
- Visit the Australian Department of Health website for details about the novel coronavirus.
- You can also visit the World Health Organisation website for more information about coronavirus and for updates.
Parent Leadership and Parent Partnership; St. Joseph’s School Advisory Council (SAC)
A very special thank you to parents indicating they would be interested in supporting our School Advisory Council as parent representatives; this is a great sign of hope for our school's future development. Applications have now closed and the next steps will be school contact, invitation for induction and training followed by representatives taking up the position. Once the process is concluded, announcements will be made to our community.
Again I thank everyone for your help with these arrangements during our transition to full schooling. Again any issue can be clarified as needed by contacting our office on 5561 1343.
Michael Gray. Principal.
Happy Birthday to children celebrating their birthday this week.
Bethany Moran, Xavier Smith, Hannah Beaumont, Rielle Murfett, Daisy Martin, Sibella Evans, Jack Kitto, Posy Maher, Tommy Stuart, Emma Hatfield, Molly McNeil, Oscar Greenwood, Ava Gleeson and Eddie Wearne.
During the past week at St. Joseph’s, students have been immersed in Indigenous culture and discussion around reconciliation. The students have contributed to a reconciliation display which can be viewed in the school foyer. The school has also purchased 3 large pieces of Indigenous fabric as part of the display to support Indigenous artists. Each of these designs tell a story and utilises traditional artistic skills of storytelling in order to express the artists’ message. The Indigenous rosary beads and corner stones on display were purchased from the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry of Victoria. They are designed and made by Victorian Indigenous people.
National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
2020 marks the twentieth anniversary of the reconciliation walks of 2000, when people came together to walk on bridges and roads across the nation and show their support for a more reconciled Australia.
Reconciliation is a journey for all Australians – as individuals, families, communities, organisations and importantly as a nation. At the heart of this journey are relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The dates for National reconciliation week remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.
Please mark the following Term 3 School Closure Days on your calendar.
Friday 14th August, 2020
Monday 7th September, 2020
A reminder that the Term 2 School Closure Day that was previously scheduled for Tuesday 23 June, 2020 has been postponed and this will now be a normal school day.
A huge congratulations to all the Year 3-6 students who were able to walk or run the Magic Mile over the past 2 weeks. We were so impressed with the number of students who participated and the improved times that many students achieved by completing the 1.6km run more than once! Thank you to the parents who supported their children in completing the Magic Mile, and I apologise if you were made to run it too!
Important information regarding school sport from School Sports Victoria
"SSV has already made the decision to cancel a number of competitions that will come through to State Championships. These are:
- All Senior Team Sports
- All Premier League Sports
The following sports will not progress to a State Championship as there is little or no time for the lower levels of competition to be completed. Rescheduling these into Term 4 is not a possibility either.
The events are:
- All levels of Australian Rules (Primary, Year 7, 8, Intermediate)
- All levels of Hockey (Primary, Year 7, 8, Intermediate)
- Football (Soccer) Year 7, 8, Intermediate
SSV has also changed the date of the State Primary Track and Field Championships. The new date is Thursday 26 November 2020.
This gives another month to allow lower levels of competition to be completed if required."
Emily Lloyd, Sports Co-ordinator
Each week at 8:30am on a Sunday the pre-recorded Mass for the day is available on the St Joseph's Parish YouTube page.
Subscribe to the page for notifications. You can also follow St. Joseph's Parish on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/stjosephswarrnambool
St Patrick’s Cathedral Ballarat daily Mass can be viewed at 11:30am at stpatscathedral.weebly.com
A message from the Parish
Children of our Parish have begun formal preparation for the celebration of the sacrament. Please keep the children and their parents in your prayers as they prepare ‘at home’ for this program. The Parish Sacramental Team will review options and advise when the sacrament is to take place.
A Prayer for our Confirmation Candidates
Lord, You send out Your Spirit to touch the hearts of all people, so
that they may believe in You and in Jesus whom You sent.
Look kindly on all candidates for Confirmation as they listen to
Your voice. Open their hearts to Your Spirit and bring to fulfilment
the good work that You have begun in them.
As we prepare these children for Confirmation, make each of us an
instrument of Your love. Teach us to appreciate what is holy in
others, and to be patient with what we do not understand.
Deepen our faith in the Gospel and help us to pass it on by our
example. We pray that You will continue to guide us and sustain us.
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Parent Information Video
The Religious Education Team have put together an informative video in lieu of a parent information meeting. This video is aimed at parents who will be supporting their children with the Confirmation Program.
Any queries should be directed to Leanne at the Parish on 5562 2231.
It is wonderful to see the amazing Art Work for the Art Fundraiser that children have been working on at home.
Over the past two weeks Art Teachers have been working with Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 children at school on this project.
Years 3 - 6 are asked to bring their completed artwork into school this week.
Orders are now open via CDFPay and close at 3pm on Friday 31 July, 2020.
The Information letter and template are linked below.