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COVID-19 Update 8 April 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Thank you for your patience and support over recent weeks. We are well aware of the extra pressure being experienced by families. Things continue to change almost on a daily basis. What hasn’t changed is the commitment of parents and teachers to children, our belief in the value of schooling, and the knowledge and faith that the current situation will pass and that we have much to be thankful for in this country.

I thank the students who have just got on with their learning and for the creativity and courage they have shown. I also thank the staff who have gone the extra mile to ensure that our students have still had the opportunity to learn and progress. I also thank the parents who have had to cope with children learning remotely.

School Fees

We are mindful of families who have had their economic livelihoods affected and the recent experience of this follows on from the challenges at the beginning of the year. Please see the attached correspondence relating to school fees.

COVID_19_Fees_Update_8_April_2020.pdf

2020_COVID19_Request_to_Defer_Payment_of_School_Fees.pdf

2020_COVID_19_Condensed_Fee_Assistance_Form.pdf

Term 2 Learning

Dependent upon the NSW Government regulations at the time, student education in Term 2 will be offered in two modes; remote learning at home or face-to-face teaching in combined classes at school.

To assist in our planning we ask that you inform the school whether you plan for your child/ren to attend school or stay home for the commencement of Term 2 on Tuesday 28 April 2020. If you could please notify the school by filling in the survey through the link below as soon as possible.

https://smpscrookwell.schoolzineplus.com/survey/15

Parent Resource

You will also find attached to this email a PDF book titled “Coronavirus- A Book for Children” which you may find useful to read to your children.

Coronavirus_ABookForChildren.pdf

Happy Easter

As we approach Holy Week and the Easter Triduum may we continue to be people of hope and compassion. May we care for our loved ones and be kind to each other.

I wish you and your family a happy Easter.

Regards,


Mrs. Sarah Lowe
Principal

April 2 Newsletter

Click here to view the April 2 Schoolzine eNewsletter!

Optional Zoom Meeting today 12.30pm

A reminder that the optional Parent/Carer Q&A Zoom meeting will be today at 12.30pm.

We will be using Zoom for this meeting. You can either download the app on your device or use a PC. You will need audio as a minimum requirement to hear the meeting.

Here are the directions for accessing Zoom –

Go to https://zoom.us/

Click on ‘JOIN A MEETING’ form the menu on the right hand side. Type in the following meeting id  224 832 1592

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We look forward to you joining us then.

Professional Learning for Staff for last week of Term 1 to provide staff professional development

Dear Parents and Carers,

The Catholic Education Office has informed us today that all schools across our Archdiocese are to offer Professional Learning Days for staff from Monday 6 April to Thursday 9 April.

This professional learning will enhance the learning programs we will be able to offer in remote modes in Term 2. Next week will be pupil-free and no remote learning will be required or expected.                                                                                                       

In order to support this, I ask all parents and carers to make alternative arrangements for their children. If this presents a problem for your family please email me on Office.Stmarysc@cg.catholic.edu.au by Thursday 5pm so that I can consider the support available.

During this difficult time, additional counselling support is available to our school community. If needed you can contact CatholicCare on 02 6162 6100. 

I will host an optional Parent Q&A Zoom Meeting for anyone who has any questions, or who would just like to say hello. I have been able to customise the Meeting ID for this, and subsequent meetings. The new Meeting ID is 224 832 1592 (it includes our school phone number). I have just been advised today that, due to privacy issues, this will not be the platform we will be using next term for face-to-face teacher/student communication. When we are informed about a more suitable option I will forward this information to you.

It is a rapidly changing world that we are currently navigating. I am sorry about the frequent changes and mixed messages. I ask you to bear with us as we endeavour to work out how to best support our students and community.

Stay safe and look after each other during this time. I look forward to welcoming our students as classes commence remotely for Term 2.

Regards,

Sarah Lowe

Principal

Remote Learning Update 30 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

This week we are trialling moving into the online world for our classes. We understand that for many families, this will present some challenges. At the moment staff are working out how much work to set, with the understanding that students will not be able to cover the same amount at home as they do at school. We want to really emphasis that you only need to do what you can. Each of our families have different access to devices and the internet and different home and work schedules to work around. This remote learning system is flexible and needs to fit with you.

Last Friday Belinda sent out your child’s log information for Google Classroom. Directions on how to use the Google Classroom platform can be found through our St Mary’s Remote Learning Hub http://stmarysc.weebly.com/. Each child should be added separately so they have access to their own account.

We also understand there is a lot of hands-on learning that can occur at home. For example, in lieu of a teacher set science task, your child could assist with animal care and/or the vegetable patch (science and maths) and much more! If your child is doing these types of home-based learning tasks they could write a report to share their learning with their teacher.

 Please be aware staff are still teaching students in our physical classrooms so responses to your child’s digital comments and messages will occur, however, they may not be immediate.  

Teachers may also be setting work over the weekend for the coming week. You can turn these notifications off. Your child is not required to go into their learning platforms over the weekend and teachers will not respond to messages or questions over the weekend. Students wishing to contact their teachers need to do this between 9am – 3.30pm and parent contact with teachers is to occur between 8.30am – 4.30pm. We appreciate you respecting these boundaries. It is important that everyone turns off from technology and online communication each day.

Please join the Google Classroom St Mary’s Admin Hub – this is a space for the whole school community. It will be where you will find messages, including the announcement of our Student of the Week Awards, Class Zoom timetables and codes, videos and much more. Sign in to Google Classroom and click on the plus sign in the top right hand corner. Click on JOIN CLASS and add the following code  - cxxrw5j

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Over the next few weeks, teachers will be also trialling Zoom Video Conferencing with their classes. This will allow the students to still have contact with each other and their teacher, a very important aspect of schooling.

I will hold a Zoom Conference on Wednesday for parents wishing to trial this system themselves. After this I will aim to hold a weekly session for parents.

Our first session will be a Q&A. During this I will attempt to answer any questions you have about Remote Learning.

Here are the directions for accessing Zoom – go to https://zoom.us/

Click on ‘JOIN A MEETING’ form the menu on the right hand side. Type in the following meeting id  -  292 444 724

 

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I will post a video on how to access Zoom on our St Mary’s Admin Hub Google Classroom prior to this meeting. 

Do not hesitate to contact the School Office by phone or email if you have any questions about Remote Learning. It’s a new way that will take some time to become familiar and comfortable with, but I am sure we will overcome these challenges together in a supportive and encouraging way. We’re like explorers on a journey!

Kind regards

Sarah Lowe

Principal

Tuckshop Cancellation

There will be no Tuckshop available today, or for the rest of the term. Thank you for your understanding. 

March 26 Newsletter

Click here to view the March 26 Schoolzine eNewsletter!

Parent Information 24 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I realise we have entered very challenging and exceptional times. There is a lot of information circulating through the media which can become very confusing. It can be hard to know the best path to take as a parent but please be assured whatever you decide is fully supported by the staff at St Mary’s.

Today we have had 50% of families take up the Premiers suggestion to keep their children home during the current health crisis.

At this point in time, The Premier stressed that teachers would be offering a ‘single unit of teaching’ whilst schools remained open. This means teachers will cater for the children opting to stay at home in a similar way as the students in their classrooms. The difference will be, however, you will receive more photocopied materials than your child would normally receive, in lieu of face-to-face instruction. Your child’s teacher will leave a learning pack of materials that can be can be collected from the Old Hall from 2.30pm today or emailed to you directly by request. Kindergarten have had their work uploaded to the SeaSaw app.

You may be wondering what to do about the marking of your child’s work. At this stage you can either drop or email back the completed work for the teacher to mark. Feel free to asterix or annotate any parts your child had trouble with. Alternatively, you can mark the work to give immediate feedback to your child and report back to the teacher e.g. Maths- Tom got parts 1 & 2 all correct but had difficulty with part 3. Spelling- all correct except Tom need help with antonyms etc. Emails can be sent to office.stmarysc@cg.catholic.edu.au with the class and student name as the subject.

At the point where the school is ordered to be closed, staff will then move to Remote Learning options. We are currently setting this up to ensure your child gets the full learning and social experience at home. This will include online and written tasks, demonstration videos as well as class and teacher chats. You will be emailed the log in details and directions on how to use the platform at the commencement of remote learning program.

If you have any questions about these matters please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

Mrs Sarah Lowe

Principal

Update from Ross Fox, Director of Education

Dear Parents and Carers,

Please find the latest update of information from Mr Ross Fox, our Director of Education.

20200323_Principals_to_Parents_and_Carers_COVID19_23_March_2020.pdf

Regards,
Sarah Lowe
Principal

School Update as at 10.30 am

Dear Parents and Carers,

I want to touch base with you regarding the most recent announcements from our Prime Minister Scott Morrison and State Premier Gladys Berejiklian. At this point, St Mary’s Primary School is open for business and welcoming students.  We are practising social distancing to the very best of our ability and have increased our general hygiene practices. I have a Zoom Meeting with our Director of Education at 12pm today, after this point I will provide a more detailed update.

Currently parents have the option of keeping students home if they wish and are able to do so. Work will be provided for the students who are remaining at home. At this stage this can be collected from the Office or emailed to you. Soon we will provide you with a log-in for your child’s Google Classroom account, from here there will be a blend of learning resources available. We are dedicated to providing the very best education for the students in our classrooms and at home.

If you do choose to keep your children at home, we ask that you complete the NSW Exemption from School documentation attached. This provides us with a legal record about your child’s absence from school.

 Application_for_Exemption_from_Attendance_at_School_NSW_.pdf

If you do have any questions or concerns in the meantime, please contact the Office.

Regards,
Sarah Lowe
Principal