St Dominic’s Primary School Closure

As many of you may be aware, St Dominic’s Primary School in Broadmeadows was closed on Monday, 15 June in light of two confirmed COVID-19 cases amongst their students.  The advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer is that it is safe for students and families to continue attending school under current arrangements. DHHS has assured us that any other schools potentially impacted would be contacted by them directly and advised accordingly. Our school is working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) to ensure our practices reflect current advice and support the safety and wellbeing of our school community.

DHHS is currently undertaking contact tracing in relation to the recent cluster in our community. They have already contacted any member of our school community that has had close contact with a confirmed case.

It is also important that we all continue to monitor our own and the health of our children.

If you or your child develop any symptoms:

  • Stay at home and do not attend school
  • Seek medical advice
  • Call the school to let us know

 

Return to Face to Face Learning

Our VCE and VCAL students recommenced face to face learning on Tuesday, 26 May and the remainder of our students recommenced on Tuesday, 9 June.  It has been great to have all staff and students back and we are grateful to all parents and guardians for their efforts throughout the period of remote learning.

Seven things for a smooth transition back to face to face learning

  1. Regular Sleep habits – Sleep changes are a common effect of the recent times. Many of our students have become used to having a little sleep in and a later start to their morning routine. It is time to re-establish a more usual sleep cycle. Depending on how out of whack your daughter’s or son’s sleep has been, they should be adjusting their sleep cycle by going to bed earlier so that they can get up earlier.
  2. Reaching Out to Friends – One of the main things that helps us all transition back is knowing there is someone who is wanting to see us. We all look forward to catching up with good people and having some fun. Reaching out and making contact with school friends sets this up.
  3. Safe and Certain – The College has changed a number of practices to ensure that students are safe. We have provided hand sanitiser in every classroom as well as wipes and we have cleaners on site constantly cleaning and sanitising high traffic areas. We have set up the classrooms to maximise the physical distancing of students given the constraints of the room size and furniture. We are intent on keeping everyone safe and well and have planned as much as we can. for this outcome.
  4. Restart – We are providing a whole fresh start for all students. During these uncertain times, priorities and lives have been restructured. Social connections have changed. This may mean that we need to form new connections and to renew our attitude towards learning and success.
  5. Plan for Success – This year has changed more than any of us could have anticipated. We need to plan for success. For Senior Students, the risk is feeling that the year has got away from them and they cannot succeed. Clearly this is not true. Firstly, everyone in the State has experienced the same setbacks. Secondly, there is plenty of time to catch up and succeed.
  6. Less is more – It is understandable that people will feel in a rush to make up for the time and opportunities missed in the early part of the year. Given the upheaval of past months, rushing too much or putting too much in place too early is a recipe for exhaustion, disenchantment and disengagement. While we are back in business, easy does it. Taking our time now to slowly rebuild a sense of success will pay off. Take it slow and make it fun!
  7. Review – the imminent school holidays gives us the opportunity to reflect back on the process of re-integration. What were the pluses and minuses of the experience, what has worked well (as well as what hasn’t), and a re-assessment of what we think is going to help in the future.

 

Year 12 Graduation Mass

Due to the changes with the scheduling of the Year 12 Exams we have had to change the date of both the Year 12 Graduation Mass and the Year 12 Graduation Dinner.  These plans have all been made on the assumption that mass gatherings will be allowed.  The only suitable date that we could get a venue for the Year 12 Graduation Dinner is Thursday 29 October at Manor on High in Epping.  As a result the Year 12 Graduation Mass will be held on Tuesday 1 December at Our Lady Guardian of the Plants Church in Campbellfield.  In effect the dates for the Dinner and Mass have been reversed this year with the Dinner taking place prior to the exams and the Mass taking place at the end of the exams.

Parent Teacher Student Partnership Meetings – Thursday 16 July

Our next round of Parent Teacher Student Partnership meetings will take place remotely on Thursday 16 July which is the first Thursday of Term 3.  Parents will book these interviews on MyPenola as usual. These interviews will take place using Microsoft Teams (videoconference) and we will send the invitation to the relevant student’s email address, they will be present at the interview and assist their parents in connecting to the interview as well as listening to the feedback that is provided.

 

Staff News

  • Mrs Josephine Camilleri has retired as of 28 May and I have appointed Miss Phillipa Cacavas to replace her as a Textiles Assistant.
  • Ms Lyn Peters will not resume face to face teaching but we are fortunate that Mrs Mary Hibble has agreed to increase her hours to cover Lyn’s absence. Mary and Lyn currently job share so this provides continuity for these classes.
  • Ms Sonio Rocco-Redvers is unable to resume face to face teaching and will be replaced by Kasandra El Shiek, a former student, and also worked with us in Term 1 of this year.
  • Ms Sara Clark has not resumed her role as Educational Psychologist due to health concerns and Ms Daniela Mezinec has been appointed to replace her. Daniela commences on Monday 15 June and we welcome her to the College.
  • Mrs Andrea London has commenced maternity leave as of the end of last week. Miss Natalie Presutti has been appointed for the next 12 months to replace Andrea whilst she is on maternity leave.
  • Mrs Donna Sant resumes at the start of Term 3 after her maternity leave. Mr Salvatore Gulinello finishes at the end of Term 2 and will move to the Senior Campus for Term 3.

Ms Jenny Carroll is taking the next 4 months off on Carer’s leave as she cares for her niece who is currently undergoing treatment for leukemia.  Mr Salvatore Gulinello has been appointed to replace Jenny as well as some additional hours for Natalie Presutti.

 

MacKillop Day – Friday 7 August

Archbishop Peter Comensoli has agreed to say mass in the morning of Friday 7 August as part of our Feast Day celebrations.  Due to the COVID-19 restrictions our MacKillop Day celebrations will be very different as we have cancelled the rides and the fundraising involving food which will not happen due to health and safety concerns with mass gatherings.  We are currently working through what the day will look like given our current restrictions. Given that mass gatherings are unlikely to be possible, we have decided that we will stream the mass from our St Joseph’s Chapel on the Broadmeadows campus. This will be followed up with either a few class visits or the Archbishop meeting with the College Leaders for a discussion.

Prayer for the next fortnight

On Sunday 14 June we celebrated the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, also known as Corpus Christi. In every celebration of the Eucharist we remember the way that Christ fed the crowds who came to him and how he gave his entire life for us. He feeds us too when we remember and receive Christ’s self-offering, his body and blood in the form of bread and wine in the Eucharist.

Our country has just celebrated National Reconciliation Week and our world has celebrated International Children’s Day. There are many things to celebrate this week, but in particular, we want to hold in our hearts and minds this week that Christ gave his very life, his body and blood for us.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our students and their families a safe and restful break from Saturday 26 June to Sunday 12 July.  We look forward to their return on Monday 13 July, 2020. A prayer for a safe vacation is listed below.

Heavenly Father,

You have mercifully allowed human beings to have

periods of rest and recuperation

on our long journey through life.

This is my extended period of rest this year —-

my vacation from the usual cares of everyday life

and my time to be renewed —-

physically, mentally and spiritually.

 

Grant that this vacation will bring me a

new awareness of the good things in life,

increased knowledge of your wondrously versatile creativity,

delightful travel through fascinating places,

and genuine leisure facilitating revitalization.

Let me be ever mindful of You

and my true goals in life.

And bring me back to carry out my daily tasks

with cheerfulness and goodwill,

and to the best of my strength and ability.

Amen