Newsletter 15th July 2022
19th July, 6:00pm-7:30 pm: Community Meeting with Tony Dalton @ St Mary's
15th, 22nd, 29th July & 5th August: Combined Schools Day @ St Mary's
21st July: Excursion to the MCG sports museum
29th July: Year 6 students LFBF day @ St Brigid's Ballan
12th & 15th August: School closure for "circuit breaker weekend"
23rd August, 9:00am-1:30pm: SEED Day for Year 5 students to Loreto College & St Patrick's College
30th August: Art Show
In the spirit of Reconciliation, we acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land in which we sit, the Wadawurrung people, who have cared for this country for thousands of years. We would like to pay our respects to the Aboriginal Elders past, present and future for they hold the traditions, memories and wisdom of Mother Earth on which we place our feet upon today.
Last week was NAIDOC week. As the children were not at school, we are recognising it in our classrooms this week. This year’s NAIDOC Week theme is a call to action and we are asked to join in being part of change.
To Get Up! Stand Up! Show UP!
- Get Up and Investigate: learn about Aboriginal people and culture and the true history of Australia.
- Stand Up and Celebrate Aboriginal Change Makers: Learn about some of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that have been leading change. Find out who they are and check out some of their stories.
- Show Up and Amplify the need for change: Good allies support truth, share the stories of Aboriginal people and make space for Aboriginal voice.
Welcome back everyone! I always love the first day of term, seeing the children and staff happy to be back and taking the time to catch up with everyone and hearing about people’s holiday adventures. The buzz and excitement always warms my heart and it is obvious that the majority of staff and student enjoy being at school.
Circuit breaker weekend
Unfortunately, the prediction for term 3 is that we will continue to face staff shortages and student absences due to COVID and the flue. With this in mind and recognising the many difficulties schools faced last term due to absences and sickness, Tom Sexton has put a circuit breaker weekend in place for Term 3. The following is part of a letter sent to Principals at the end of last term.
“As we move into the second half of the year, we are seeking to be proactive in the interests of students, families and staff by creating a planned opportunity to pause next term. We appreciate that there may be some concern about lost learning time with the inclusion of a brief pause in Term 3, but we know that healthy educational communities optimise learning by being deliberate about wellbeing and planning proactively.
Therefore, as there are no scheduled long weekends in Term 3, to enable school communities to have a short respite during next term, DOBCEL schools have been given the opportunity to have a ‘circuit breaker’ weekend in either Week 5 or Week 6 of Term 3. This means that your school will close on Friday 12 August and Monday 15 August.
The circuit breaker weekend is in addition to any other school based measures that schools may take to manage staff and student absences throughout Term 3. “
On Monday the staff worked with Tony Dalton with the emphasis on Family Engagement and how to best promote our schools and what we do. While we are doing many different things to ‘get our schools out there’ I felt it was time to get some expert support and advice.
The staff discussed what we value about our schools, what we think is the community perception of our schools and the value of family and community engagement in prompting our schools.
Next Tuesday at 6pm at St. Mary’s there will be a community meeting for both of our schools to discuss and plan what our future looks like.
The purpose of our get together is for the school leaders (Principal and parents) to listen to the suggestions of our community members for the way forward in promoting our schools and building our enrolments
This gathering will be a facilitated workshop in which people talk and listen to each other, generate ideas and proposals for consideration, give their thoughts in repsonse to questions that are put forward.
Our facilitator will be Tony Dalton whose expertise is in helping schools to engage families in their children’s learning. He has extensive experience in many settings of facilitating meetings and workshops.
Staff from DOBCEL will also be in attendance to show their support for our schools.
I urge everyone to attend. My aim will be to get as many families as possible there. Senior students from our schools are also encouraged to come and join in the discussion, as are any other members of our community that want to have a say. Please invite them along.
An initiation will go home with your child today. Please respond. This is a chance to come together and plan the way forward for both of our amazing schools. It affects us all.
Over the holidays Sean and his team from Earthtech Landscaping, gave the front garden of St. Brendan’s a facelift. We are working on improving the appearance of the grounds and front aspect of the school so that it is more visible from the road. Ornamental pear trees are still to be planted and the hedge will be trimmed down to fence height. Many of the roses that were originally donated by Pat Leonard in memory of his late wife Angus, have been replanted near the Church. The rest are going to ‘good’ homes. I thank Pat for his understanding and willingness to work with me in relocating the roses that have been part of the school and Church grounds for many years.
My New Gallery
The main event for this term is the Art Show at each school. The date for the St. Brendan’s show is Tuesday the 30th of August and the St. Mary’s night is Thursday the 8th of September. These events are open to all so please mark the date in your calendar and begin to invite those that you know would like to join us for the Art Shows.
Next Thursday, we have an excursion to the MCG sports museum in Melbourne. This is another of the free excursion we have accessed as part the Positive Schools initiative for this year. As COVID restrictions have eased, we welcome parents to join us on the excursion. Please let your child’s teacher know if you would like to come along for the day. Unfortunately, we cannot have pre- schools aged children on the excursion.
The permission notes with all of the details will be available on PAM in the next few days.
The majority of families have had the opportunity to participate in their Parent Child Teacher conversations focused on the Semester 1 report. Thank you!
If you haven’t had the chance to have a time yet, please contact your child’s teacher to arrange a suitable time
Combined schools’ days
This Friday we will begin our CSDs at St. Mary’s. The first 4 for the term will always be at St. Mary’s. We ask that the St. Brendan’s children are dropped off and picked up from St. Mary’s on these days. As always, please contact me if you require support with transport. While I truly appreciate the commitment parents have made to support the CSDs, the extra travel should not become an inconvenience as we can assist whenever necessary. Just ring or text me please.
Sickness RAT tests
A reminder that we have RATs available for families so that they can continue testing if school children if they are unwell or close contacts. Just let the school know if you require tests and we can send them home.
A reminder, that if children are unwell, even if they are testing negative, they should remain home until they are well. We need to all work together to keep everyone safe and well.
Louise from St Mary's is taking Long Service Leave for the first four weeks of this term. Sarah will be in the Junior Room from Monday until Thursday each week while Louise is away. Lyndal will continue to teach the class on Fridays.
Jess Sartori will be returning to teach Italian on July 25th, after taking leave to have gorgeous William.
We also welcome back Kelly who has been away for eight weeks recovering from surgery.
Thanks to all of our staff who continue to be flexible in adjusting their hours to ensure consistencey with the children's learning outcomes.
Book club brochures went home with the students yesterday. Orders are due back to the office by Friday 22nd July. Thank you Anita
We ask that families remember that children should not be at school before 8.30 am in the morning. This is because staff may not be on site yet or that there is only one staff member. It is very important that parents always check that there is a staff car at school so that children are not dropped off and left alone. Supervision of children begins at 8.45. However, we are that some parents may need to drop their children of a bit earlier from time to time. Please let the school know if this is the case and we can make provisions for this.
Thank you from Jack - fundraising for Mental Health
Thank you to everyone who donated money to the Dunnstown Mullets Fundraiser. I raised $1518.00 which was $518 over my goal and the whole Dunnstown Football Club raised $14,000. This was $4000 over our goal.
It was a great day cutting all of the mullets off and I would like to thank Brick Top Barbers for coming out to Dunnstown to do this.
Although it was a great day and I raised lots of money, I really miss my mullet!
Damascus information evenings for 2024 commencement
Gardening and Tidying Roster 2022
11th July - 24th July
25th July - 6th August