Newsletter 13th July 2022
13th July, 2:00pm-5:00pm: Senior Parent/Teacher/Child Conversations
15th, 22nd & 29th July, 5th August: Combined Schools' Day at St Mary's
19th July, 6:00pm-7:30pm: Community Meeting with Tony Dalton
21st July: Excursion to the MCG Sports Museum
23rd July, 9:00am-1:30pm: SEED Day for Year 5 students to Loreto College & St Patrick's College
29th July: LFBF Year 6 Day at Ballan
12th & 15th August: Circuit Breaker Holidays (Student-Free Days)
8th September: St Mary's Art Show
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 students enjoy being at school.
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.
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 flu. With this in mind and recognising the many difficulties schools faced last term due to absences and sickness, Tom Sexton, Director of DOBCEL, 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."
Combined Schools' Day
This Friday, we will begin our CSDs at St Mary's. The first four 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. Please just ring or text me if you require assistance.
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.
Excursion - Thursday, 21st July
Next Thursday, we have an excursion to the MCG Sports Museum in Melbourne. This is another of the free excursions we have accessed as part of 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-school aged children on the excursion.
The permission note containing all the details will be available on PAM in the next few days.
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, 6:00pm 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 the discussion, as are any other members of our community that want to have a say. Please invite them along.
An invitation 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.
The majority of families have had the opportunity to participate in their Parent Teacher Child conversations focussed on the Semester 1 Report. Thank you!
The final conversations will take place for the families of the senior children at St Mary's today. Please check your time. If you haven't had the chance to have a time yet, please contact your child's teacher to arrange a suitably convenient time.
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.
Sickness & RAT Tests
A reminder that we have RAT Tests available for all families so that they can continue testing if school children are unwell or are close contacts. Please 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.
Happy Birthday to Sullivan who turns 11 on Monday, 25th July. We hope you have a great birthday Sully!
Pie Drive Order forms need to be returned to school by tomorrow, Thursday, 14th July please.
Gardening & Tidying Roster 2022
18th July - 31st July: Rafter Family
1st August - 15th August: Riordan Family
16th August - 29th August: Slater Family
Damascus College Information Evenings for 2024 commencement
Information Evenings & Open Mornings for 2024 Commencement
Damascus College warmly invites all families to attend our upcoming Information Events. The Information Evenings are a great way for prospective families to learn more about Damascus College.
Wednesday 7 September, 5:00pm
Tuesday 18 October, 6:30pm
OPEN MORNING TOURS:
Tuesday 13 September, 9:00am
Thursday 20 October, 9:00am
Registration is essential.