Jesus the teacher
He never taught a lesson in a classroom……. He had no tools to work with, no blackboards, maps or charts…..He used no subject outlines, kept no records, gave no grades, and his only text was ancient and well worn….. His students were the poor, the lame, the deaf, the blind, the outcast – and His method was the same for all who came to hear and learn…. He opened eyes with faith….. He opened ears with simple truth, and opened hearts with love, a love born of forgiveness….a gentle man, a humble man. He asked and won no honours, no gold awards of tribute to his expertise or wisdom…. And yet, this quiet teacher from the hills of Galilee has fed the needs, fulfilled the hopes and changed the lives of many millions…. For what he taught brought Heaven to earth and God’s heart to all.
Return to School:
As circulated last week, ELC, K,1,2 & 6 will return to school on Monday 25 October and Years 3,4 & 5 will return on Monday 1 November. We are all looking toward these dates with hope, optimism and a small amount of trepidation. The safety and wellbeing of students and staff is the primary consideration of any decision related to re-opening schools. St Jude’s School and ELC follows various COVID-19 Safe requirements as advised by ACT Health which seek to prevent and minimise the transmission of COVID-19.
These requirements are designed to:
- minimise unnecessary physical interaction between students on school grounds;
- ensure that students learn only with those in their cohort, wherever possible;
- minimise opportunities for transmission and enhance contact tracing; and,
- minimise the potential for widespread infection across the school and wider school community.
Health and safety measures will be in place at St Jude’s to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission, including:
- encouraging vaccination of eligible students, staff and families,
- mandatory use of the Check In CBR app for all adults,
- ensuring fresh air ventilation is optimised in all settings,
- physical distancing measures for adults, and
- mandatory mask wearing for staff and essential visitors. The wearing of masks for primary students is at the discretion of the student and their parent/carer. However it is not recommended for children in the ELC or for Kindergarten to Year 2. This is because masks are unlikely to be correctly worn by very young children and may represent a choking hazard.
Other measures in place will include limiting the mingling of classes and year groups, increased use of outdoor spaces, limitation of on-site visitors to essential visitors only, environmental cleaning and high vigilance around not allowing anyone with symptoms of illness to attend. More information about this will be forwarded closer to our return to on-site learning.
The approach being taken is informed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee advice for minimising COVID-19 transmission in schools and the Chief Health Officer’s Health Guidelines for Schools and Early Childhood Education Services (including out of school hours care).
All our school staff have been encouraged to be vaccinated, and I can advise that many of our staff are vaccinated or are in the process of doing so. Due to Australian privacy law requirements, we are unable to advise the vaccination status of individuals or school staff.
Please also find below the link to guidelines and Road Map from Catholic Education for more details moving into this phased return to school and safety measures.
There will be some challenges in relation to drop off and pick up, Term 4 scheduled events, access to school grounds by parents and carers as well as some other areas. Rest assured that the School Executive is exploring all reasonable options whilst ensuring that they fit within ACT guidelines.
Again, I sincerely thank all our school staff, parents, families and carers. I know this has been challenging for all of you, and I thank you for your patience and resilience.
Over the past 2 months there have been a large number of members of the public who have been accessing our school grounds. The majority of this has been outside of school hours, whilst some has been during school hours. I am continuing to monitor this as we have experienced rubbish being dumped, lights, buildings and play equipment being damaged. This will be a topic of discussion at our next Community Council meeting, date TBC.
During the holiday break, we have had another 4 new interactive whiteboards and projectors installed. The previous devices were outdated. This brings the number of whiteboards replaced this year to 10. The new whiteboards are state of the art and will lead to improved pedagogical experiences. The School Executive and Richard Kaltner our IT Specialist, have created a scope of works which involve the replacement and enhancement of current IT resources. The IT Committee audited our current resources, focussing on appropriateness, usability, accessibility by students and staff, whilst taking into account latest developments and enhancements within this area.
As we move into warmer weather, I know that there will be a number of families who will need to purchase new uniforms. Please order via Qkr! and we will get the order filled and send you an email for collection from the Front Office. New students to St Jude’s as well as our Kinder classes for 2022 will be next cab off the rank.
2022 Kinder Orientation:
In short, yes, we are still looking at having this event during the later part of Term 4. As a result of COVID restrictions, it will be slightly different to in previous years. Once the details have been finalised, we will communicate it to the families of our new Kinder students.
Year 6 Final Term Events:
As is the case for Kinder Orientation, we are looking at holding as many events as possible. I met with the Year 6 teachers yesterday and we have begun creating a list of options. As we get closer to the time, these will be communicated to parents and carers of our Year 6 students.
Mass Live Stream:
While COVID-19 has impacted congregation sizes, this has not stopped Fr Michael from spreading the word. He has been live streaming the Sunday morning Mass from St John Vianney’s Church. If you wish to access this, please click on the following link
In concluding, all of us understand that once we reach suitable vaccination rates, certain freedoms will again become part of daily life. Rest assured that any decisions made by the School Executive will be based on ACT Government and Catholic Education Office advice.
Cameron Reed - Principal