Message from Principal 15 August 2021

Dear CMS families,

I very much hope that everyone is well, I just wanted to write ahead of the coming week.

I’d like to just start by saying thank you for responding so amazingly on Thursday afternoon by collecting children at 3pm or as soon as possible after that. It gave our staff the very best opportunity to arrange anything they needed prior to the lockdown commencing at 5pm

This coming week sees the majority of our community staying at home, but with some children of essential workers being supervised at school in Gumnut and Snowgum. Tomorrow morning, your Class Director will share some work/activities/materials and some wellbeing and mindfulness activities, with more to follow through the week. Children being supervised at school will have access to the same work and materials that children at home will have.

As per Thursday’s ACTGOV guidance, our Directors are working hard spending this week planning and preparing for formalised Remote Learning commencing, if required, at the end of this week’s lockdown. Just on that, I do very much hope that this week’s lockdown will be no more than a blip. However, we have now seen new cases and additional exposure sites each day and so whilst we’re hoping for the best, we are preparing for the worst. Of course, we will communicate further through next week whenever more information is available.

For those families with children in to school over the next few days, some important points to remember please (moving back to lockdown conditions)

  • Everyone aged 13 or over must wear a mask at all times
  • Everyone coming on to the school campus must use the CBR Check In App when arriving at school
  • Please adhere to hygiene and physical distancing measures still in place (hand sanitiser is available at every entrance)
  • Please drop/collect and leave immediately, so that we minimise the number of people on campus at any one time
  • School/Snowgum is open from 8.30am to 5pm
  • All children need to bring their own packed food with them. Please pack enough food for the full day
  • All children should bring a water bottle with them. We will not be using/sharing cups and glasses
  • There won’t be any shared food for children or staff

Particularly through this time, we’re operating a ‘100% well’ policy; Children with any symptoms of cold or flu must stay home until well, and any children that display symptoms during the school day will need to be collected and to stay home until well. We have increased our daily hygiene and environmental cleaning, and I appreciate everyone adhering to these guidelines so that we all have the best chance of getting through this period safely.

I also think important to mention… we’ve seen some exposure sites now in the Woden area, and with those come the possibility of more. We should pay some consideration to the possibility that at any point, a member of our school community could be deemed a close contact, or even become infectious, and that could then have ramifications for us all in terms of quarantine or isolation. I don’t wish to be overly negative or pessimistic, but I think important to consider and be as best mentally prepared for every eventuality. Of course, it would be great if we’re all back in school at the end of this 7 day period… keeping everything crossed…

Finally for now, learning is important, of course… we’re a school 😊  But also, my advice is to take advantage of the gift of additional family time that a lockdown brings. Be kind to yourselves and to each other. For this coming week, dip in to what you want from what we provide, focus on wellbeing, find balance, and do with your time what feels right and good; it will definitely be enough and it will definitely be ok. We’re blessed with sunshine and some relative warmth for this coming week, make the most of that. If/when we do shift to formalised Remote Learning, our days will see additional structure and I’m sure, rigour, but important to remember also that supporting good mental health and wellbeing is critically important… that goes the same for adults as it does for children.

We will also, early in the week, share contact information for our CatholicCare School Counsellor. She will be available to support all families that would like or need to be in touch with her, and don’t forget to jump onto our wonderful Parents and Friends’ Associations Facebook Group  I think they’re up to around 90 members now. This is a great way to stay in touch with our wider school community and to share ideas… remember… physical distancing, not social distancing; we need each other more than ever right now.

Take care, stay safe, and as always, we are here… if you need anything at all, or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Kindest regards,

Rael

Rael Matthew
Principal CMS