We give thanks anew for your providence and presence.
We prayerfully seek your grace, amidst COVID-19 here and overseas.
We pray for those in need of healing.
We pray for your peace with those who are anxious or grieving.
We pray you will continue to strengthen and sustain all those who are serving in response.
We pray for your Holy Spirit's discernment amidst the many choices and decisions facing our national, community and medical leaders.
We pray we each might see quickly what more we can do to help those who are vulnerable.
This prayer for our nation in the family of nations, with all that is on our hearts, we gather now and pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Dear Parents and Carers
St Jude’s is Open — We Want Your Children at School
Following an on-line meeting with the Director of Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn (CECG) last Monday, I can inform you that the planned response of St Jude’s is as follows:
- St Jude’s Primary School will remain open until the end of Term 1, Thursday 9 April, as long as we are able to operate safely and according to regulations.
- Parents may choose to keep their child/ren at home.
- In Term 2, St Jude’s will offer a program of learning that can be accessed remotely. (It has not been definitively announced that schools will be closed in Term 2, though it is highly likely.)
The priorities of St Jude’s at this challenging time are as follows:
- to ensure the safety and welfare of our staff, students and community,
- to ensure the continuity of learning as far as possible for all students,
- to provide continuing support to students and families who need additional assistance, and
- to provide a safe place for learning for the children of workers in essential roles that support the community and nation to function.
Staff will continue to provide engaging, face-to-face learning for the rest of this term. We appreciate however, that parents may choose to keep their children at home. Teachers have provided some suggested activities for students whose parents choose to keep them home. This work should have come home on Monday of this week. If your child was not at school then or since, then this work can be picked up from the front office. This work will not necessarily be the same as what takes place in the classroom, and will not be assessed by the teachers.
In addition to their ongoing work, teachers will be planning for the remote delivery of learning in Term 2. Much has to be done in this space. For the present our focus is on the short term and not the medium term. If parents choose to keep their child/ren home please inform the class teacher.
We acknowledge the unprecedented economic impact on families as a result of COVID-19 and associated government directives. Consistent with our enrolment policy “no child is to be denied Catholic schooling simply because of an inability (as opposed to an unwillingness) of a parent/guardian, to meet financial requirements”. Effective immediately are the following fee relief measures:
- In relation to Excursion and Sports Levy budgets being in surplus at years end a credit note will apply at the end of this year for families leaving the school (Year 6 students) or credit will be carried forward for next year’s levy for continuing families.
- Fee concessions will be available on outstanding fees at the end of Term 1 for those families eligible for Government COVID-19 supplement payments.
- Fee concessions will be available for Term 2 fees for families eligible for Government COVID-19 supplement payments.
We anticipate delaying fee statements for Term 2 until there is greater clarity about the duration of the pandemic. General fee concession arrangements are being considered and will be communicated once finalised. If you have been financially impacted by COVID-19 or have any concerns around fees, please contact Mr Galvin through the front office on 62887688.
Public Transport to and from School during Term 1
To ensure that those students who need to physically attend either public or non-government schools are able to do so, Transport Canberra is working to deliver all timetabled bus and light rail services until the end of Term 1 on Thursday 9 April 2020. This includes:
- all Rapid and local bus services;
- all school special bus services;
- all light rail services; and
- special needs transport services.
At this stage, Transport Canberra does not expect any disruption to services over this period, however, they will keep you updated on this situation. Any unplanned disruptions will be publicly advised on TCs Facebook and Twitter accounts, and on their website at www.transport.act.gov.au.
Transport Canberra will also provide advice to schools about arrangements for bus and light rail services from Term 2, prior to the commencement of term.
SPECIAL REPORT: Preparing for Homeschooling
With many countries implementing preventative measures in the spread of COVID-19, homeschooling may be inevitable for many families. This may be daunting and disruptive for many parents as they try to also juggle their work responsibilities.
Homeschooling could soon be a reality for many adult carers as nations act to implement strategies in the prevention of COVID-19. The daunting task of establishing new routines and schedules, whilst juggling work responsibilities, could prove to be disruptive and challenging for families and schools. Some young people will transition seamlessly, whilst others may struggle. Therefore it will be vitally important for parents to be vigilant in looking for signs of anxiety and depression. Parents will need to continue to be reassuring and supportive in this time of uncertainty and acknowledge that this may be a stressful time for students of all ages. Schools will be working hard behind the scenes to ensure a child’s academic needs are met, but parents will need to play a key role in providing them with the structure and groundwork for success. Young people will be looking towards their parents to keep things in context and help ease the transition to a different learning environment.
In this Special Report, parents and caregivers will be provided with some guidelines on how best to navigate this time of transition with minimal disruption. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.
Here is the link to your special report https://stjudesps.act.schooltv.me/wellbeing_news/special-report-preparing-homeschooling
Some Keys Measures in Place at School due to COVID-19
- Multiple daily hand washing
- Social distancing encouraged and enforced as much as is feasible
- Whole school morning assemblies cancelled
- Friday afternoon whole school assembly is streamed into classrooms
- Masses cancelled in school time
- All buddy sessions put on hold
- One class in a classroom at any one time
- Choir sessions postponed
- All internal and external door handles wiped down daily
Before and After School Care
Before School Care and After School Care will operate as usual for the rest of the term. Please keep an eye out for Camp Australia notification about this. At this stage, Vacation Care is going ahead as advertised.
Education Ministers have made the decision that NAPLAN will not proceed in 2020.
Enrolment time for 2021 is fast approaching (May) so if you know of anyone who is considering St Jude’s for their child for next year (in any grade from P-6 but especially Kindergarten and Preschool) then encourage them to go to our homepage and open up the Enrolment tile. The online enrolment application is up and running. Applications are now being taken.
Yesterday Archbishop Christopher announced that all churches across the archdiocese are closed:
“If parishioners have access to the internet I highly recommend the Vatican site news.va where you will find Pope Francis’ Masses and homilies,” he said. “They are excellent and everything is translated into English. “Pope Francis wants us particularly now to pray the Our Father. On Friday he will be giving a special blessing from the Vatican for the protection and healing of the world. “We also have daily Mass online here in the Archdiocese which is a great comfort for many people. That is at our Catholic Voice website which is catholicvoice.org.au.”
There will also be Sunday Mass on free-to-air WIN TV from the Melbourne Archdiocese. For further details please go to: https://www.catholicvoice.org.au/archbishop-christopher-announces-churches-are-closed/
A message from Lifeline
The outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 has impacted people in varying ways on an international scale. It is understandable that during times like this, people may be feeling afraid, worried, anxious and overwhelmed by the constantly changing alerts and media coverage regarding the spread of the virus.
Lifeline has some mental health and wellbeing tips and strategies to continue looking after ourselves and each other during these difficult times. Follow this link if you would like further information: https://www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/topics/mental-health-and-wellbeing-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak
Let's stay together as a school and parish family
It is in times like this that we need to draw on our faith and while we pray for an end to the pandemic, let's stay together as a school and parish family. Keep in touch with each other, look out for our vulnerable parishioners, family, friends and colleagues. Keep health workers, carers and emergency services workers in our prayers.
Susan Chant - St Jude's Primary School
Phone: 6288 7688
H a p p y B i r t h d a y t o
Happy Birthday Annabel S.
Congratulations to Ilija and his family on the arrival of a baby brother.
This week, the children have had many opportunities to participate in activities from both programs. On Tuesday, the Turtle and Stingray children found a rosella in their play space. Everyone was surprised when it didn't attempt to fly away, when the children crept closer. The children decided that the bird must be unwell and needed help. The children watched on as the rosella was put into a spacious box and taken for assessment at the RSPCA. A big thank you to the RSPCA for assessing the rosella as soon as it arrived. The children were happy to hear that the bird was in caring hands. For the remainder of term 1, the ELC children will be participating in a combined program across the two learning environments.
Thank you all for your response to the changes we have implemented, for your patience and the many emails and words of support received. Our ELC team are continuing to support your children, our families and each other. ELC staff have been participating in the Be You, Beyond Blue training about mentally healthy communities, family partnership, learning resilience, early support and responding together. The Beyond Blue website offers free resources to the community providing ideas and tips around wellbeing, supporting those around us as well as ourselves. I have included a letter to you from Mr Ross Fox, the director of Catholic Education. Please remember to look after yourselves during this tricky time.
ELC Holiday Program
We are taking bookings for our ELC Holiday Program for current ELC children. Booking forms are available at the ELC office.
Thank you for doing your part in helping to keep others in our community healthy by ensuring that your child does not attend preschool if they are unwell.
Changes and Adaptions
Thank you for the positive feedback we have received in relation to the measures the ELC has put into place this week to aid social distancing. The side gate will remain the main entry and exit point to the ELC and the iPads for signing in/out will remain the sunrooms until further notice.
Seahorse Programs—Before and After School Care
After you have signed your child in/out, please ensure a staff member is aware your child has arrived or is leaving. This is as simple as saying hello.
Gabrielle Adams - St Jude's Early Learning Centre
Phone: 6287 5520
Unfortunately, Kirsty is unable to attend classes at the moment. She is sending us all strength and courage to hold steady and remain calm amidst the chaos as it unfolds. She is very keen to continue the programs at a later date, and will provide some handy tips and links for our students, teachers and community at this trying time.
Netball and Cricket Clinics
Unfortunately, both Cricket Australia and Netball Australia have asked for all programs to cease for the foreseeable future. Both clinic representatives are very keen to finish their programs when their governing bodies allow them to.
Whilst measures were in place for the upcoming Cross Country to adhere to the Governments limitations on social distancing, with the change in circumstances and lower number of attending students, we have chosen to postpone the cross country to later in the year.
Leanne Thomas - Sports Coordinator
Unfortunately, Kiyomi from Ez Japanese Drumming has had to postpone our upcoming workshops for week 9. We will endeavor to plan a date in the future which allows our students this fabulous opportunity.
Leanne Thomas - Specialist Music Teacher
In light of the current happenings, Kim and I have been cleaning all books loaned out to children with disinfectant solutions. In addition I have increased the loan amounts for all classes and children have been delighted with taking extras home.
Do not forget that children at home / at school can access SORA with their school log in, in order to borrow online. Just another means of keeping up with our reading…
Stay safe everyone!
Verna Comley - Librarian
Phone: 6288 7688
Butterfly Room book packs distributed for at home reading can be returned during school hours next week. If the books have been read and need to be exchanged, please return the complete pack to the Butterfly Room and a new book pack will be given out.
Kerri Kerr - Classroom Support Teacher, Butterfly Room
Phone: 6288 7688
The Mulleyduds Uniform Shop is closed until further notice.
Please note that email or Qkr! orders will not be processed or delivered to students.
When students return to school, we will be relaxed in regards to wearing summer and/or winter uniform. Winter uniform orders will continue once the uniform shop opens again.
If you have any questions, please direct them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Susana Lloyd, Skye Maguire and Alison Egan - Mulleyduds Uniform Shop
I would like to start by acknowledging the unusual and exceptionally challenging circumstances that the families, teachers and staff of St Jude’s currently find themselves in. I know that many families, including my own, selected this school for their children largely because of the reputation of it’s strong and inclusive community. I have personally witnessed parents and children supporting each other over the last few weeks, as each family experiences unique adversities and difficult decisions. Although these are worrying and confusing times, it is a great comfort to me to see the way our community is supporting and uplifting each other. Even when parents have made different choices to others, it has been wonderful to see them receiving support and encouragement.
I would also like to acknowledge the enormous amount of work that teachers and staff have put into preparing for what comes next, in being calm with our children, and providing support to families that enables each of us to make the choice that is suitable for our children. Regardless of whether families have continued to send their children to school or chosen to keep them at home, the staff of St Jude’s have been nothing short of exceptional when it comes to supporting these incredibly difficult decisions we have all had to make. For this, I offer them, on behalf of all of the St Jude’s community, the deepest and most sincere thanks.
There will be more challenges ahead for every one of us, but I feel confident that our community is strong enough to pull through this by supporting each other. The decisions we are making on a daily basis are emotional and confusing, but the continued kindness and respect shown towards each other truly speaks to the community we have built around this school.
In the face of adversity, together we are stronger.
Community Council Meeting
On Tuesday we made the decision, in light of the recent advice around meetings, to cancel this week’s Community Council meeting. At this stage, we are unsure of when we will next convene, but in the meantime, if you have any issues you would like raised, you can raise them directly with the school, or if you feel more comfortable doing so, you can email me and I will represent this feedback.
Charlotte Dalton - Community Council Chair
~ Awards Week 7, Term 1 ~
2D—Frank C and Anji AB
2H—Euan A and Caleb H
3LS—Poppy K and Harry A
3M—Jonah N and Paige JT
3S—Katherine R and Finn C
5B—Caitlin S and Declan D
5L—Allegra J and Megan W
6S—Natalie S and Bailey F
6GC—Monia T, Jack V, Emma A