As the news broke yesterday that the lockdown will be extended by another 7 days in metropolitan Melbourne, it was hard not to feel disappointment and despair. This lockdown appears to have hit our school community a little harder than the past five lockdowns. The daily grind of balancing working from home or on-site, remote schooling or on-site supervision is taking its toll, as is the constant threat of a highly contagious virus circulating within our community. However, over the past week, we have had the privilege to witness acts of kindness in the generous donations of our families, teaching staff swiftly shifting into Remote Schooling mode and being ready and willing to assist with the dual roles of on-site supervision and teaching remotely from home, ESO staff arriving early to set up the on-site supervision areas and ensuring they balance their support to the increasing numbers of on-site students, the admin team arriving at 7.00am last Friday morning to unpack Chromebooks and their chargers from charging carts so the Chromebooks could be distributed to families in the afternoon in preparation for Monday morning Google Meets and gratitude from our families as they came through the drive through area with their own acts of kindness – doughnuts for staff, chocolates, flowers and words of thanks. So while the news of lockdown was hard to hear again, we have a lot to be thankful for – our students, our families, our staff and our school community . . .
We have been made aware there is increased social media usage by some of our students and some inappropriate content/comments being made by students in the social media space while in Remote Schooling.
As a school, we have very limited control over students engaging in social media in their homes, but we do ask parents to be vigilant in supervising their child, ensuring there are appropriate parent controls in place to ensure cyber safety and to incorporate strategies to eliminate cyber bullying on social media platforms. Please find attached a link for parents from the eSafety Commissioner Website for information on how to ensure your child is safe when online - https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents.
We thank you for working in partnership with us to ensure our students' safety when online.
Kaboom Sports – Olympics Theme
We were very much looking forward to holding an Olympics Theme sporting event for our students last Friday and we are in the process of trying to reschedule this event for our students to enjoy when they return to school. More information will be provided when students return and COVID-19 restrictions have eased.
Book Week Celebrations – Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds
We will be holding our Book Week Celebrations – dress up as your favourite book character on Thursday 26 August. We look forward to this very special day of bringing our favourite book characters alive in our school community. This year’s Book Week theme aligns beautifully with our History and Geography Inquiry units this term – Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds.
Student Learning Conversations (Parent Teacher Interviews)
Student Learning Conversations have been rescheduled to Tuesday 17 August and Wednesday 18 August. Information on how to book your time for the Student Learning Conversations was sent out via email to parents. Unfortunately restrictions and density limits continue to be in place which do not allow for face-to-face interviews. Parents have the option to choose from a Google Meet or phone conversation. We look forward to sharing your child’s learning progress, achievements and learning goals.
Planning for 2022 School Year
Intention to return to Mary MacKillop in 2022
Student numbers impact significantly on staffing levels and class structures for the following year. An Operoo form has been sent to families with students in Foundation to Year 5 for your child/s intention to return OR not to return in 2022. We ask that all families please complete this form by TOMORROW 13th August, to allow for future planning and class structures.
2022 Class Placements
Teacher will begin planning for our 2022 classes at the end of Term 3. We respect and value parent input and ask that you email me – email@example.com, or put in writing, if you have information about your child that could impact on their placement for 2022. Please ensure your request is sent by Friday 27 August. Parents please be mindful of the following:
- Requests should be based on individual student needs.
- Requests are forwarded onto staff when placing students into their 2022 classes.
- Staff use a range of information to ensure an effective balance within classes across the level and to provide an optimal learning environment for all students.
- Please be aware that your letters of request are not a guarantee, they provide an opportunity for your input and assist us in the process of class placements.
- Please note that requests made in previous years are not necessarily considered in the process, so previous information provided by parents regarding their child’s placement will need to be re-submitted if the concerns expressed in previous years are still relevant for consideration in 2022.
School Advisory Committee [SAC] AGM - Tuesday 31 August
The School Advisory Committee met on Tuesday 27 July via Google Meet. We went through all the past of Term 2 and the upcoming events for Term 3. In particular we will be holding our SAC Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 31 August at 7.00 pm.
Nomination forms for positions on the School Advisory Committee 2021 – 2022 are available from the Administration Office or you can request a nomination form via email firstname.lastname@example.org
The responsibilities of the School Advisory Committee are to:
- promote the Catholic ethos of the school
- provide feedback on and review of school policies
- plan for the future of the school and its ability to accommodate future enrolments
- provide advice on budget planning and finance-related matters
- contribute to the selection process for the school principal (when the position is advertised)
- provide advice on the appropriate provision of faith development and Religious Education programs
- promote child safety in the school
Mary MacKillop Feast Day Fundraisers F-6
Many thanks to all teachers, staff, students and families for participating in last week’s Feast Day Fundraisers supporting Mary MacKillop today. The following activities raised a total of $425.00:
- Foundation - Gold coin closest to the pin (educational prize)
- Year 1 - Movie afternoon - watching the Gruffalo (book study)
- Year 2 - Gold coin donation to play old fashioned games
- Middles - Just Dance/Kahoots
- Seniors - Mary MacKillop’s lolly jar (guess the number of lollies)
Fiona Jones, Community Giving Coordinator, A ministry of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, in the spirit of Australia's first saint writes and has sent this message:
Thank you again to the Mary MacKillop Primary School community for fundraising to support our work, it really does make such a difference to children in Fiji.
Many thanks to families who have donated wipes and facial tissues. The Appeal will continue into next week.
Shanti Bhavan Children's Project
All donations for this special cause organized by Tanisha Cowell can be sent to the School Office. Supporting this outreach project affirms our baptismal call to put our faith into action. This not for profit residential school located in Bangalore India provides education and accommodation for children from poorer socio-economic situations. Donations of clothing, linen and stationery are greatly appreciated. Thanking you in advance.
Fan the Flame - Towards Plenary Assembly One October 2021
‘His mercy reaches from age to age’ Luke 1:39-56
God is asking us to refrain from putting barriers and obstacles in the way of God’s mercy reaching the least, the lost and those who feel excluded, especially those who do not yet know the love of God. God is asking us to be a Church that walks together and does not leave anyone behind.
(Humble, Healing and Merciful – Discernment Paper p. 6)
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Sunday, August 15, 2021
Luke 1:39-56 Mary greets Elizabeth and sings God's praise.
Next Sunday celebrates Mary's Assumption into heaven. It is one of the feasts of Mary that is a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics. On this day we remember that Mary was taken to heaven, body and soul. The Gospel reading is taken from Luke's Gospel, and it tells us why Mary received such a special privilege from God. Mary visits Elizabeth and both of them are about to become mothers. When Mary was a young girl, about the age of 15, the angel Gabriel visited her. Gabriel told Mary that she would give birth to the Son of God. Mary questioned how this could happen. But when Gabriel explained that the Holy Spirit would come upon her, Mary agreed to be Jesus' Mother. With Mary as our model, we praise God for all he does for us.
The Language of Respectful Relationships
When the language of respect is promoted in families and classrooms, bullying, verbal abuse and put-downs start to diminish. Please read the article below for further insights:
A Webinar for Parents
Dr Kristy Goodwin presents:
- Taming digital distractions
- Wednesday 8 September 2021
- 8:00pm - 9:00pm AEST
- Award-winning speaker and bestselling author
Technology is an integral part of life for our children – it’s the portal for their leisure, learning and connection. However, digital technologies can also disrupt a child’s focus, put a dent in their learning and compromise their wellbeing. In this webinar, Dr Kristy Goodwin helps parents and carers understand why children and adolescents are vulnerable to digital distractions. She provides science-backed solutions to help kids and teens develop healthy digital behaviours so that they can focus, learn and thrive online.
Key learning and discussion points include:
- how the research behind why digital distractions are interfering with our children’s attention
- how some technologies have been intentionally designed to be captivating and alluring
- why banning technology isn’t the solution
- how to teach children and teens how to build a ‘fortress around their focus’ and leverage the benefits that technology offers them
Through our membership with Parenting Ideas, our school community can attend this webinar at no charge. There's no limit to how many people at our school can attend, just as long as you register by the listed expiry date. It's as easy as that! The webinar is valued at $39 per person, please refer to the attached pdf document for instructions to attend the webinar.
Our Lady Help of Christians Parish Information
Mary MacKillop Primary School is one of the three Parish Primary Schools belonging to the Parish of Our Lady Help of Christians, Narre Warren within the Diocese of Sale. Fr Brendan Hogan is our Parish Priest and Fr Isuru Weliwatte is our Assistant Priest. We are grateful for their ongoing prayers, involvement and support of the students, families and staff of Mary MacKillop School.
Click on the link below to download the weekly newsletter.
FROM THE MIDDLE LEVEL
It was great to see students and teachers alike, dressed up as Australians in Colonial time, as part of celebrations for the Feast Day of Mary MacKillop. The day began with an online School Mass and ended with some fun games and activities. The activities were organised by each year level as part of a fundraising effort to give vulnerable children in Fiji access to early education. Staff and students were asked to bring a gold coin donation. All students enjoyed scones for morning tea and received a small palm size cross to commemorate the day.
Casey/Cardinia Library Borrowing
Did you know that even though our libraries are closed for onsite borrowing, you can still 'click and collect' from Casey Libraries, including Bunjil Place?
Here is the link to their website with further details: