I’m sure many families will have been hit hard by the news of extended lockdown. The staff of St Michael’s send our thoughts of kindness, care and support to you all. I have listened to many stories about families during lockdown and continue to be impressed with the faith, hope and positivity that is expressed.
While this news is disappointing… the Chief Health Officer has made this decision based on what we know about the COVID-19 outbreak in our community. I know you will agree that the health and safety of students, families, and staff, is our number one priority.
The current advice from the ACT Government and the Chief Health Officer indicates that we will be conducting remote learning for the first 4 weeks of next term, from Tuesday 5 October with a possible return to school date of November the 1st (week 5).
During remote learning, St Michael’s will continue to remain open with a daily skeleton staff to support families of essential workers to access remote learning. If you are intending to send your child to school next term, I would ask that you provide a letter from your employer, regarding your status.
During Remote Learning the most important thing you can do is support your child’s wellbeing. Keep in mind that children can express their feelings in many ways. I encourage you to speak openly with your children about how they are feeling. If your child requires extra help and assistance, counselling is available through CatholicCare. To access the service, a booking request may be made by contacting (02) 6162 6100. Regarding wellbeing, families have reported that Wellbeing Wednesday has been a welcome addition to the week, and we will continue with the practice in Term 4. Some families choose a day other than Wednesday that supports their work timetables or routines for catch up on learning or screen free time. We continue to provide suggestions for activities for the wellbeing Wednesday and teachers are available online if you need assistance. The decision for this time was based on family wellbeing and discussed and supported by the Community Council. Keep an eye out for a letter addressed to your child from their classroom teacher, these are being posted this week!
We have had valuable feedback around Remote Learning and welcome your constructive ideas, thoughts, and suggestions. Some of the feedback has included further scope for video clips and explanations of concepts, and general ways we can improve the process. I encourage you to connect with your teachers or leadership staff with any concerns or issues. We are committed to your children’s best learning outcomes.
Finally, I hope you can spend some relaxing time together during the holiday period. Pyjamas are welcome for St Michael’s Feast Day this Friday and staff have recorded some messages to you all. My message is about the rainbow as a symbol of hope for our community and our school prayer reminding us to ‘have the courage to face the things we find difficult’. We are a tough bunch in Canberra, we survive winter each year and we will continue to support each other, special thanks to all our students and families and to the community council for their continued generosity and support.
We extend our support and best wishes to Mrs Sarah Anderson who will be taking personal leave for the remainder of the year. A letter has been published via Compass this morning for 3/4A families explaining staffing arrangements for Term 4.
It has been a tricky time during remote learning to keep track of absences. The best practice is to email your teacher if your child is sick, not able to check in or complete work. We can update Compass accordingly. Teachers will email you if there are any unexplained absences during remote learning or from earlier in the year and the digital roll can be updated.
Thank you to the families who are continuing to support us by keeping up to date with fee payments. We recognise that you may be experiencing hardship and encourage you to contact us with any concerns. You can defer payments or seek assistance if you are in financial stress. Fee statements will be sent out to ensure you have the correct information regarding payments.
Learning for Sunday 19/9 readings through Visio Divina:
Feast of St Michael
As is our custom at St Michael’s we will celebrate the feast of our Patron Saint, St Michael, on the last day of term, as the actual feast falls in the school holidays. This year our day of celebration is this Friday, 17th September. Usually we would hold a liturgy and then have a series of special activities children would enjoy in rotation. On Friday’s remote learning plan this week you will see a range of special activities to engage with to celebrate our feast day. Choose as many as you wish and have fun! We would love to see photos / videos of how you celebrate our special day. A special liturgy will also be there for the family to enjoy.
Sacrament of Confirmation – Change of Dates
Due to the current COVID-19 lockdown in the ACT the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation has been postponed until Term 4.
Dates will be advised as soon as they are finalised and will be published via the school bulletins and on the parish website at www.cg.org.au/belconnennorth
Saint’s Name and Sponsor – If you have not indicated this information on your registration form, could you please send an email to email@example.com with the information as soon as possible.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Parent Information Night – will be held on Thursday 7 October via zoom -please note this is the first week of school in Term 4.
The zoom access for this meeting is https://cgcatholic.zoom.us/j/66013617186 and this link will also be listed on the parish website at www.cg.org.au/belconnennorth in the week of the meeting.
The Sacrament will be celebrated on 9, 10, 11 November 2021 (additional information will be advised via the school bulletins in Term 4 and on the parish website).
Registration for the Sacrament – opened on 13 September and will close by 25 October 2021. Registration and payment must be made through the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Qkr! App (NOT the school’s app).
Purchasing a stole for the Sacrament of Reconciliation is optional and is not compulsory. If you wish to purchase a stole, the cost is $20 and this can also be done via the Parish Qkr! app.
Commitment Masses – dates will be advised once more information is available regarding lockdown restrictions.
Further Information – please contact the Sacramental Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (email@example.com (during lockdown)) or check the parish website for updates at www.cg.org.au/belconnennorth
During the School Holidays – please check the parish website for updates regarding the Sacramental Program at www.cg.org.au/belconnennorth.
If there are any parents who wish to assist by covering books during the holidays, please contact Lisa in the Front Office and she can arrange for a contactless pick up of books and contact.
ACT School Sport
Please be advised that School Sport ACT has announced that all events for Term 4 have now been cancelled. This is disappointing for our students who were hoping to attend the Belconnen Region Athletics Carnival, however we support the decision in the best interest of the community.