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The School Newsletter Week 9, Term 1 2020

From the Principal

With so many cancellations of activities and meetings, there is very little to report, so this is a very brief newsletter.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of the pupil-free day on Friday 31st July. It will be school as usual on that day pending any further advice. Apologies for any inconvenience that this causes.

With the need to maintain social distancing, tomorrow evening’s P&F meeting has also been cancelled.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed by everything we are hearing about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) right now. It is also understandable that some children may also be feeling anxious. Having an open, supportive discussion with your children can help them to understand and cope with the crisis. Here are some tips:

  1. Ask questions and listen: Find out how much they already know. Allow your child to talk freely. Drawing, stories and other activities may help to open up a discussion.
  2. Be honest: explain the truth in a child-friendly way: Children have a right to truthful information about what’s going on in the world, but adults also have a responsibility to keep them safe from distress. Use age-appropriate language and be sensitive to their level of anxiety.
  3. Show them how to protect themselves: Encourage regular handwashing. Sing along with The Wiggles or follow this dance to make learning fun. Show children how to cover a cough or a sneeze with their elbow.
  4. Offer reassurance: When we see so many troubling images on TV or online, it can sometimes feel like the crisis is all around us. Children may believe that they are in imminent danger. Help your children to cope with the stress by making opportunities for them to play and relax. Keep regular routines as much as possible, especially before they go to sleep.
  5. Look for the helpers: It is important for children to know that people are helping each other with acts of kindness and generosity. Share stories of health workers, scientists and other people who are working to stop the outbreak and to keep the community safe. It can be a big comfort to know that compassionate people are taking action.
  6. Look after yourself: If you are feeling anxious or upset, take time for yourself and reach out to other family members and friends. Make some time to do things that help you to relax and recuperate.
  7. Close conversations with care: It is important to know that we are not leaving children in a state of distress. As your conversation wraps up, try to gauge their level of anxiety by observing their body language, their tone of voice and their breathing.

Here are some good resources to help you and your family (especially teenage children) deal with any associated stress caused in the coming weeks or months.

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak

https://headspace.org.au/young-people/how-to-cope-with-stress-related-to-covid-19/

We will continue to update you with news about the impact of COVID-19 on the operations of our school. Thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times.

Peter Green.

A Meal Train

As a community we are offering our love and support to Helen and the children via a meal train. Thanks to those families who have registered to supply a meal. If you would like to join the meal train, it’s easy! Go to https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/g4lz1l. Please deliver meals to the school by 3.00pm on your allocated meal train day, and they will be dropped around to the family by a staff member. We ask that all meals be vegetarian. At this stage, we need meals for April 1, 3, 6 and 8. Thank you in anticipation of your support.

NAPLAN 2020 CANCELLED

The Education Ministers met last Friday and decided that NAPLAN will not proceed in 2020. The NAPLAN tests were due to be administered in May. The decision not to proceed with NAPLAN 2020 has been taken to assist school leaders, teachers and support staff to focus on the wellbeing of students and continuity of education. Furthermore, the impact of responses to the COVID-19 virus may affect the delivery of NAPLAN tests.

KISS AND RIDE UPDATE

Last Thursday I met with Geoff Taylor, Technical Investigations Officer, Lake Macquarie City Council, in regard to our proposal to extend the Kiss and Ride zone by approximately 20 metres east. Geoff will consult with relevant personnel from Newcastle Buses, Roads and Maritime Services, NSW Police and Lake Macquarie City Council. I expect to hear back from Geoff in about a month as to whether this proposal is feasible. If we are successful, the capacity to park more vehicles in the Kiss and Ride zone should streamline the afternoon pickup and reduce the likelihood that inconsiderate drivers will continue to park in the No Stopping zone across the school crossing.

CANTEEN CLOSED

In spite of the willingness of our wonderful canteen team to remain operational, we have decided to close the canteen until further notice. Our goal is to keep everyone – students, volunteers and staff - as healthy and safe as possible by minimising risk. Thank you for your understanding.

BOOK CLUB ORDERS HAVE ARRIVED

The latest Scholastic Book Club orders have arrived. If your child placed an order and they are not currently attending school, you can collect their items from the school office.

THANK YOU TODD

Todd Porter, father of Skye and Mia, recently constructed a frame for a bath which we have placed near the play equipment adjacent to the bay. Thank you so much, Todd! It is such a solid construction, I believe that if our school is afflicted by a natural disaster, the bath will be the last structure standing!

Now . . . the $64 question . . . Why do you have a bath on the playground? Well, it is not connected to water, so it is not for washing unclean children! In fact, we are not sure how the children will use it, but we are looking forward to seeing the various uses and creative play ideas that they might have for it. Stay tuned!

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