St Michael's School
St Michael's School
Message from the Principal – Newsletter 10
Dear Parents and Caregivers
I hope you have all been surviving this time of isolation and are managing to make the most of the unexpected family time. As the saying goes, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ so I hope that you are finding new and interesting ways to connect with friends and family from a distance! Our school wellbeing committee met online today and brainstormed a range of interesting ways for the staff stay connected remotely as many have started working from home this week.
I would like to congratulate our amazing staff who jumped into action to completely alter how teaching and learning occurred in a matter of days (and without complaint I must add). We are so blessed to have such a caring and dedicated staff who put their students first! Thank you also to Mr Ryan Powles who has been diligently and regularly checking in with each teacher to support them through these challenging changes! Ryan’s admirable technical skills have been invaluable!
Term 2 Update
Thank you to everyone who completed our feedback surveys regarding remote learning. We are taking all comments on board and will start transitioning into our extended remote learning phase. As outlined in my email to parents this week, we have received notification from CEWA that schools will commence for Term Two as planned on Tuesday 28 April, however, learning will continue to occur remotely. Mr Powles will be in touch with details for the first day in relation to picking up learning packs. We are initially planning for remote learning for the first four weeks of term, being mindful that this may continue longer.
As has been the case since we transitioned to remote learning last week, parents who are unable to care for their children at home because they are engaged with essential services, or to maintain employment, may choose to send their children to school. These students will be supervised and supported by specialist teachers and education assistants to complete their remote learning at school which will be facilitated by their class teacher, who will potentially be working from home. If you will be sending your child/ren to school and you have not yet indicated this in our survey, please email Mr Ryan Powles as soon as possible: email@example.com.
As mentioned in several of my recent communications, we are keenly aware that this is a difficult financial time for some families so please be assured that your child/ren’s position in our school is secure regardless of any inability to pay fees at this time. If you are experiencing hardship, please contact Mr Ryan Powles next term to come to an arrangement. This is an issue that both CEWA and the school board are monitoring and discussing throughout this pandemic.
As mentioned in a recent P & F email via year group reps, the P & F have decided to waive the P & F levy this year to support families. The leadership team is also conscious of any events that may not go ahead this year, and later in the year we will address this and credit school fees for any amenities collected for activities that were not able to proceed.
Long Service Leave
Due to various contractual arrangements in place, I will still be taking long service leave next term. I wish Mr Ryan Powles all the best for his time as acting Principal (the duration of Term 2). The landscape of the term will not look as he originally anticipated so I know that the community will rally around him during these unprecedented times. Jemima Saunders will return from her long service leave next term so I know that she will be a wonderful support to Ryan. Jemima’s background and area of expertise is digital learning so her return is extremely timely and she will be an asset during this period of remote learning.
This week we say some sad farewells which are made more difficult by our inability to farewell these staff members in the style in which they deserve. Firstly, we farewell Mrs Helen Shanahan. We were able to say goodbye in style to Helen at the end of last term, however Helen very graciously agreed to come back to fill in this term which we are incredibly grateful for.
We also farewell the wonderful Mrs Doreen Panizza who is retiring. Doreen brought such life to our school and filled our lives with the gift of music. We will ensure that we have a chance to properly farewell Doreen later in the year. Both ladies will leave a huge void in our community and we will miss them dearly. We wish Helen all the very best with the next stage of her career at Chisholm College and we pray that Doreen is blessed with health and happiness during her retirement and lots of visits with her children and grandchildren once the world returns to normal!
Thank you to everyone for the support and flexibility that you have shown this term and for the way that you have shown care and concern for each other during a start to the year that has been full of constant and unimaginable change.
I pray that you all stay safe and well in the coming weeks and months. Over this sacred period in the Church calendar, the Easter story is a timely reminder that these difficult times will eventually come to an end and we will rise again!
Wishing you all a blessed Easter!
Dr Siobhan Galos