St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully Newsletter

Letter from the Principal

Tuesday May 19th 2020

Dear Families

A recent reflection shared with me by one of my friends that I thought you may enjoy. It certainly helped me to reflect on all that has been and all that is to come. 

For weeks I have heard people saying, “I just can’t wait for things to be back to normal.” I remember even saying that more than a few times myself. But as I’ve thought about our current situation I have realised how much I don’t want things to go back to the way they were. Here are my few reasons:

  • I hope the next time a friend grabs me and pulls me in for a hug, I actually take the time to appreciate the gift of their presence and their embrace.
  • I hope that when school resumes and I drop my children off, I take the time to thank the staff for the amazing gift of education that they give to my family.
  • I hope that the next time I’m sitting in a crowded restaurant I take the time to look around at the smiling faces, loud voices and be more appreciative of the gift of community.
  • I hope that when I am at the supermarket I take a moment to acknowledge the necessities of life and the amazing people who work so hard to keep us supplied.
  • I hope that I never again take for granted the ability to hop in the car and visit a friend, go to the beach, a restaurant or a movie, etc.

So, the truth is, I don’t want things to return to the way they once were. I hope and pray that I take the lessons and challenges of the past few weeks and create a new normal.

My goal is to appreciate more, love harder, and truly appreciate the daily abundance of blessings that I may once have so easily overlooked just a few weeks ago. If someone tells you they love you, take it to heart!

Drop-Off & Pick-Up Zones

When we return to school it will feel very unusual for us not to gather as a community. One of our greatest strengths as a school is our sense of community and the way we enjoy coming together. We know that social distancing is one of our best strategies for keeping all of us safe and well. I thank each of you for your openness to these procedures for drop off and pick up. I’m sure whilst it will feel different it will help us to appreciate each other even more when such restrictions are no longer required. We will have a high staff presence before and after school to ensure the children feel safe as they arrive and leave school. We ask that all families respond to your child’s class teacher by Wednesday 20th May with your preferred drop off and pick up zone.


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. Fleur has kindly offered to process these orders this week. All items may then be collected from the school office by Thursday of this week. All other uniform items that are ordered after Thursday will be available for collection on Tuesdays and Thursdays of the school Term. 

Important dates for your diary

Monday 25th May

Pupil Free Day declared by the Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews and the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria. There will be no school for the children on this day (Remote learning or at school learning). Staff will be preparing for our return to school.

Tuesday 26th May

All staff return to school.

All P-2 students return to learning at school.

Years 3-6 students continue with remote learning (For those students who cannot be supervised at home and vulnerable children, the existing model of onsite schooling will remain in place during the two-week period from Tuesday 26th May to Tuesday 9th June. The current process that we are using to enable parents and carers to indicate the days or part-days for which onsite schooling is required will continue for this two-week period.

Please email me if you require support during this time.

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.

SSV Dandenong Ranges Division Virtual Cross Country

Thank you very much to all the families and students who participated in the first ever SSV Dandenong Ranges Division Virtual Cross Country run. Overall the division had a total of 595 competitors which was a fantastic effort. St John the Baptist had 34 students who participated and finished in 7th place out of 25 schools.Well done to all those families and students who represented our school in this virtual event. We are very proud of your efforts and extremely grateful to you all for your support in this first ever initiative and of our school.If anyone had difficulty accessing the online form and still participated in this event or you didn't receive your certificate please let me know.
Thanks again,
Tracey Ryan


Random Acts of Kindness & Having Fun in Isolation

A shout out to our good friend Nicole who left a care package of fruit on our front doorstep. It certainly made us feel very loved and cared for during these difficult times.   Patte family

Please continue to share any random acts of kindness that you have seen or experienced during this period of isolation. Let’s spread the message of hope and joy as we reflect on the goodness of people.

You can email me

I would love to share your stories!

Camp Australia


P&F Sponsors

St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully