St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully Newsletter

Letter from the Principal

Tuesday May 26th 2020

Dear Families

Today is a day of great joy at St John the Baptist as we welcome back our P-2 students from remote learning. To hear the laughter and chatter of the children has made our school come alive once more. Well done P-2 parents on the amazing learning your children have done. I’m sure as our learning spaces have become noisier your homes will have gotten a whole lot quieter and that you will miss the energy and joy that your child has brought to each day of remote learning. Thankyou for entrusting them to our care once more. We feel very privileged to be educating your children. 

One of our beautiful Prep students Dusty said it best.

“I’ve enjoyed this happy time at home but I’m ready to go back to school.” 

You are a wise and positive girl Dusty. Don’t children always see life the right way up? We can all learn from Dusty the art of appreciating and making the most of what has been without losing sight of the joy of all that is to come!

Staffing News

Our Music teacher Mrs Lorraine Costa will be taking leave until the end of Term 2. Mrs Sue Cahill will take the P-2 Music lessons during this time. 

Prayers & Thoughts

Please keep Sue Nicholls in your prayers as she mourns the loss of her husband Laurie. Sue is a wonderful parishioner at St John the Baptist and a great supporter of our Parish School. She gives so generously of her time to keep our Parish in operation. We are thinking of you Sue at this very sad time.

It is also with deep sadness that we pray for our Deputy Principal Ursula DeCorrado as she mourns the sudden loss of her older sister Barbara. Ursula is part of a very loving family. She is obviously devastated by this unexpected loss. Together as a community let us pray for Ursula and her family. 

Please keep our Learning Support Officer Julie Gellie in your prayers as her family mourn the loss of her husband Phillip's mother in Castlemaine.

Care & Hygiene Update

We have increased the hours of our cleaner Dave to ensure that we are maintaining the best hygiene possible in our school setting. This will mean there will be progressive cleaning throughout the day in addition to the regular end of day clean. There will be particular emphasis on high touch areas, floors, bathrooms, waste bins and playground equipment. 

We have closed down the operation of our drinking taps. The water has been turned off and protective tape is tied around each tap. All children will be required to take their own drink bottle out to play. These actions will prevent anyone drinking from a shared tap. 

All children and staff will be required to sanitise their hands upon entering or leaving the classroom to ensure we protect our own health and the health of others. 

Staff will not be wearing masks on a day to day basis. Staff will however wear a mask and gloves when caring for a child who may become unwell during the school day. 

Unwell Staff or Students

Our staff are aware that if they are unwell they need to remain at home. We also ask that families keep any children who are feeling unwell or presenting with cold like symptoms at home. Please seek medical advice should you have any concerns for your child’s health.

Drop-Off & Pick-Up Zones

Just a reminder that it will be important that we don’t gather before or after school as is our usual practice. Thankyou for your patience and support with our new drop off and pick up procedures. 

Drop-Off/Pick-Up Zone A:

Bottom Carpark Forest Road Entrance

Drop-Off/Pick-Up Zone B:

Bottom Carpark Selman Avenue Entrance

Drop-Off/Pick-Up Zone C:

Top Basketball Courts: Drive past staff carpark & park in designated spots outside the classrooms.

Drop-Off/Pick-Up Zone D:

Along Selman Avenue. Running the length of the school building.

Uniform Update

All children on their return to school are required to be wearing their correct winter school uniform. If you require winter uniform items you can order them on Flexischools. All items will be sent home with your child (P-2) or can be picked up from the school office (Years 3-6).  Fleur will continue to run the uniform shop on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings.

Canteen Update

At this stage we have decided not to operate the canteen for the remainder of the Term. The canteen is very ably run by Tracey Walker and relies on parent volunteers. As we are working towards keeping adults in the school to a minimum we believe this is a necessary decision. We will keep you informed when we move to opening our canteen once more. 

Assemblies, Excursions and Camps

Following the guidelines of our State and Federal Governments we will not be gathering for any assemblies or going on any excursions for the remainder of Term 2. The Year 3/4 camp which is scheduled for September has not been cancelled yet. I will let you know closer to the time. If the camp is cancelled we will reimburse families for any camp fees they have paid. 

Important dates for your diary

Monday 8th June:

Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday (no school for children or staff).

Tuesday 9th June:

All students from Prep-Year 6 attending school onsite. 

*** Please note: Once a year level has returned, all students will be expected to attend school as normal. This means if you choose to keep your child/children home after their year level has returned to onsite schooling, we can no longer support their learning from home.

This does not apply to children who need to be absent for health or medical reasons. For those families, please contact me so we can make an appropriate plan.

Friday 19th June:

Mid-Year Student Reports home to Parents and Carers

Tuesday 23rd June & Wednesday 24th June

Online Parent/Teacher Interviews: 3.30pm-6.30pm

*More details to follow with how to book your parent/teacher interviews. Please note that all interviews will be conducted online. There will be no face to face interviews (where possible) to keep us inline with social distancing requirements.

Random Acts of Kindness

Just like to say a huge thank you to Steph Gorman who took time out of her busy day to pop by and wish Finn a Happy Birthday and deliver a beautiful handmade card from one of her friends.

Finn was thrilled with the beautiful, kind gesture and couldn’t wipe the smile off his face.

What a lovely, thoughtful thing to do, we are blessed to have such wonderful caring teachers & staff at St Johns.

 Jacqui Hayman

Ruby L left beautiful messages and chalk out for anyone walking past her house.  Her messages were: Stay safe, Stay home: Love everyone; Be happy!  And in turn people passing left wonderful messages for her. What a lovely idea, well done Ruby!

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