NEWSLETTER 21 - 5th July 2022
In the United States a decade ago, a series of winter storms had closed schools for several days. A university researcher started wondering if all those days of lost learning would affect students’ test performance. The results of the investigation were not surprising; to frame the research results simply the study found that, in a year with five lost school days, the number of children who met learning targets was lower than in years with no school closings. In brief, student time on task is important to learning. Every day a child is out of school, for whatever reason, his or her learning achievement has the potential to suffer. This research was undertaken pre-pandemic – schools have put considerable time and energy into creating Learning at Home packages and parents supported the online learning associated with Learning at Home, however, our student and staff absenteeism this year has certainly been unprecedented and we, as parents and staff who are joint educators of our children, need to appreciate the dynamics at play when we review Reports and the attainment levels that are mid-year indicators of learning engagements.
Just being in school, however, is only the starting point. Researchers have pointed out a difference between the amount of time that schools allocate for learning, the amount of time during which students are engaged in learning, and actual learning time. Staff are aware of the need to eliminate as many classroom disruptions as possible; however, we need to be realistic about having overly simplistic ideals when we have been, and currently still are, in the midst of unprecedented student and staff absenteeism. An indication of how significant the absenteeism has been this year is seen in the following figures:
- The average number of days a student of St Patrick’s has been absent for during the 2022 school year is 12 school days, which is considerably more than what we would expect in an ‘average’ year.
- During the 2022 school year, but especially so in term 2, we have ranged (every day) from between two to eight staff members absent every school day with an average of four staff away every day; this is a considerable challenge for a school our size and students and staff and parents are to be commended on the respectful manner in which so many have acknowledged the need for flexibility and the need for a deeper discernment in appreciating the need to support changes that are out of our control. We are especially appreciative of the families of those classes whose parent-student-teacher meetings have been cancelled due to teacher absences – as per our Compass communication to these families, please note in your child’s diary a couple of times and days early next term (from Monday 25th July) to meet with your child’s teacher should your child’s teacher be absent this week for scheduled meetings. We endeavour to try to ensure familiar faces are in classes during teacher absences and our school leadership team has been very supportive of teaching classes and supporting teachers and students in our efforts to try to ensure continuity of programming.
Thank you to the families who appreciate the pressures that both students and staff are dealing with due to such high rates of absences, and who support learning by making sure their child is ready for school every day – rested, well-nourished and equipped. Our parent-student-teacher meetings are one tangible way that we can all make best use of the learning time we have at our disposal and for our endeavours for every student can make the progress of which we all are striving.
It is opportune to reflect on the following African proverb, “Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”. As educators, we realise that to be effective we try to teach well, assess frequently, and follow up relentlessly. In all our conversations with parents and students, we try to be future-oriented, whilst being mindful of the precious present, and the lessons from the past. Research suggests that when planning a future with students the number of students who failed to reach age-appropriate grades dropped by more than one half if they were asked what kind of future they would like to have, what hurdles they anticipated, how they might deal with them, and which of their friends would be most helpful along the way. An important aspect of our forthcoming three-way conversations between teacher, parent and student, teachers will be expecting the student to identify one goal that they want to achieve by the end of term 4. The three-way conversation will do much to consolidate the possibility of the achievement of this goal, in addition to generating healthy and open discussion about mid-year performance and outcomes.
Term 1 - Thursday 3rd February - Thursday 14th April
Term 2 - Monday 2nd May - *Friday 8th July
Term 3 - Monday 25th July - Friday 30th September
Term 4 - Monday 17th October - Thursday 15th December
*Student Free Day Friday 8th July 2022
|Monday 4th||NAIDOC Week|
|Tuesday 5th||Mid-Year Reports Issued via Parent-Student-Teacher Meetings|
|Wednesday 6th||Mid-Year Reports Issued via Parent-Student-Teacher Meetings|
Career/Idol Dress-up Day (Gold Coin Donation)
Pizza Day (orders via QKR app - close 3.00pm Wednesday 6th)
|Friday 8th||Student Free Day|
|Monday 25th||Term 3 Commences - School & House Captain Nomination Assembly - 9.00am|
|Friday 29th||Inquiring Minds - 9.00- 10.30am|
|Saturday 30th||St Patrick's Soccer Canteen Duty - link to roster included in this newsletter.|
|Monday 1st||Catholic Education Week|
|Thursday 4th||School Board Meeting - 6.00pm|
|Friday 5th||Inquiring Minds - 9.00 -10.30am|
Parents are welcome to contact Mr Linhart at any time to discuss issues relating to their child’s education. It is important for parents to always make contact with Mr Linhart or their child’s teacher if they require elaboration or clarification on any issue. The school phone is diverted to after hours to ensure your question should be answered.
As communicated in recent Newsletters, Mid-Year Reports will be provided to parents at the parent-teacher meetings that are scheduled for today, Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th July. Bookings for these meetings closed last Friday at 3.30pm to allow considerable timetabling to be confirmed – parents who did not book a time are welcome to arrange a time via their child’s diary to meet with their child’s teacher early next term. One print copy of this Mid-Year Report is issued to parents – please contact the school office if you require an additional copy. Reports will be sent home with children on Wednesday for those families who did not attend a parent-teacher meeting. Copies of reports will also become available via Compass on Thursday. In addition to providing parents with several items of student work via our Online Feedback and Reporting platform that uses Seesaw as the medium, teachers will provide any additional samples of student work and insights into student application and attitude to provide clarity and elaboration for the mid-year report.
As per our Compass communication to the families of classes whose teacher has unexpectantly become sick and therefore unavailable this week, please note in your child’s diary a couple of times and days early next term (from Monday 25th July) to meet with your child’s teacher should your child’s teacher be absent this week for scheduled meetings. The school will notify families if meetings that are scheduled for today or tomorrow need to be cancelled due to staff absences.
Some details regarding reports include:
- Students in Years 3 to 6 will receive an A to E rating. The overall rating will be determined after reviewing a body of student work.
- Students on Prep to Year 2 will receive Outstanding; High; Sound; Partial; Minimal Achievement ratings.
- Application and Attitude to Learning relates to student self-regulation, level of cooperation and willingness to learn and to support the learning opportunities of others.
- Kinder students do not receive a formal report; Kinder staff compile quality journals that outline student engagement and progress throughout the year. They are used for several purposes, one of which is to provide a base for discussions with parents. A guiding document ‘Reporting in Kindergarten’ is available via our school website and will be included in mail to kinder families this week
Year 6 and middle upper primary students of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage today attended the launch of Dave Mangenner Gough's new book, luwa tara luwa waypa. luwa tara luwa waypa is a powerful story of a young Tasmanian warrior becoming a man and how he finds strength in connecting with the spirit of his ancestors. This opportunity complements the studies that Year 6 have been involved in with regards the impact of white settlement on traditional Aboriginal culture. Students joined the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and Six Rivers Aboriginal Corporation during this NAIDOC Week to be part of this celebration. Dave has worked with St Patrick's over several years in promoting an awareness of First Nations culture and we appreciated supporting this opportunity.
We have been investigating strategies to enhance student leadership opportunities and enhancing and supporting student self-confidence in social situations. Mrs Gregson will be facilitating the girls’ social skills and empowerment program for 45 minutes each Friday for the first five weeks of third term, and Mr Angliss will be facilitating the ‘Chaps’ program for boys at the same time. These programs involve students in Year 5 working to develop leadership skills, allowing students to recognize not only the strengths of others but also come to appreciate their own latent gifts. The initiative aims to develop a sense of worth, strength and purpose in the participants. The programs incorporate a variety of activities and tasks that draw on students’ multiple intelligences, whilst providing them with opportunities to reflect on effective teamwork and equipping them with some strategies for making sound decisions as part of a team and as an individual.
We will be welcoming Melenna Zeleznik to Year 5 to teach Thursdays and Fridays from the beginning of term 3 until the end of term 4. Miss Moore will teach Year 5 Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from the commencement of term 3. We will have the opportunity to show our gratitude to Mrs Harvey this week, and to welcome Miss Zeleznik after the term holidays.
As communicated to families in earlier Newsletters, staff will be involved in a professional learning day, examining John Hattie’s Visible Learning model to enhance student learning outcomes. We are into our second year of this three-year professional learning program and hope to communicate more to families as the learning is implemented and the expected outcomes are identified. Students’ final school day for term 2 is Thursday 7th July.
Congratulations to the following students who have received Student of the Week.
Prep: Leon Dewing you are a focused learner who always tries his best. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with the class.
Year 1: Balin Holland for the great improvement you have made towards both your school work and your resilience. Great work Balin.
Year 2: Ridha Al-Roubaie for his enthusiastic and self-motivated approach towards all learning opportunities.
Year 3: Tallan Mayes for his creative ideas in writing and for contributing thoughtful ideas to class discussions.
Year 4: Cooper Cody for his fantastic application and attitude towards his creative writing.
Year 5: Livai Sesara for his consistently high weekly spelling test results.
Year 6: Claire Simpson: For her creative and consistent positive effort towards all tasks.
Congratulations to our House Raffle winners this week:
Dooley - Lily Nichols Martyn - Jude Robinson
Byrne - Sienna van der Hulst
Throughout the term Grade 2 have been learning about God in Religious Education. In response to the understanding that God’s plan is for us to live in harmony with him and with all he has created, the children have created these beautiful inspired artworks and prayers. Well done Grade 2.
Over the school holidays Mersey Leven Parish Masses will be held on the weekends and everyone is invited to attend. The Mass times are:
Saturday Vigil: 6:00pm Penguin, 6:00pm Devonport
Sunday Mass: 8:00am Port Sorell, 9:00am Ulverstone, 9:30am Devonport
1st & 3rd Sunday 11:30am Sheffield
St Patrick’s is responsible to offer assistance with the canteen that is offered on ground (Meercroft Park) on Saturday 30th July, which is the first weekend back from term break holidays. A Google doc has been created for family members to book a 20 minute block of time to assist behind the counter – your support of this request will be gratefully appreciated and will communicate to the Devonport Junior Soccer Association the collaborate and generous nature of our wonderful school community. The link for your 15 minute booking is
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfzmY4SEyRCILcjj4i_gsvoNz4pVkBpFIad7esPQvZDHcRqVw/viewform or you can nominate a time between 8.00am and 12.00pm in your child’s diary or ring the school office.
Thank you to the following people who have booked the times below:
|8.00am||Sam Riley, Kiralee|
|8.40am||Cacia Rand, Erin Moore|
|9.00am||Adrian Singline, Sally|
|9.40am||Tameika Anthony, Melissa Marshall|
|11.00am||Claire Aherne, Rod Linhart|
|11.20am||Claire Aherne, Rod Linhart|
Our Student Representative Council are encouraging staff and students to dress up to show what job they would like to have when they are older or to dress up as their favourite idol. They will also hold in conjunction with this a Pizza day, instead of our normal canteen menu. All money raised will go to KOINZ 4 KIDS to help support young people living with cancer. Thank you to Mr Atkins and the SRC for this initiative.
Please continue to follow Health advice regarding notifying us if your child contracts COVID-19. COVID signage is being updated to reflect some important changes that include:
- The water bubbler is now accessible for student use, which will assist with ensuring students can access water through play-breaks. In our endeavours to support ‘Move Well, Eat Well’ principles, there is an expectation that students bring water in drink bottles, rather than energy drinks – thank you for supporting this expectation.
- Parents are welcome inside school buildings without masks – please sanitise upon entry and wear a mask if you are a close contact (as per Health instructions.)
- There is no need to sign-in at the school office unless you are collecting or dropping off your child outside the usual drop-off/pick-up times (always come to the school office and office staff will contact the class teacher please, rather than picking your child directly from the classroom.)
Catholic Education Tasmania (CET) has been advised by the Director of Public Health that mask wearing in our schools can cease at midnight Friday 24 June 2022 for all persons except those subject to household close contact requirements. While masks will no longer be mandatory in CET schools, there are times when you might continue to see masks worn. Please note:
- Mask wearing in indoor settings when outside the home will still be required by staff and students subject to household close contact requirements with the exception of students in primary schools.
- We remain supportive of individuals who wish to wear a mask to reduce their personal risk of catching or transmitting viral respiratory illnesses.
- Mask wearing is recommended when staff are working closely with children vulnerable to COVID-19.
- We continue to have masks available for staff, students and visitors should they wish to wear one.
- Mask wearing may be required by Public Health in specific instances in response to an increase of cases at a CET school or workplace.
It is also important to stay at home if unwell and get tested please.
CET continues to comply with all Public Health directions as we are carefully transition out of COVID-19 management strategies and restrictions. We appreciate your continued support for our COVID-19 response.
We gratefully appreciate our volunteer parent coaches who offer coaching immediately after school on some days, and we acknowledge that a quick ‘catch-up’ amongst parents after school can offer the only face-to-face opportunities for parent get-togethers. As a shared space between the Latrobe Early Learning Centre (who use our hall and playground before and after school, from 6.30am until 6.30pm) parents who are briefly catching-up after school or watching any sport coaching are expected to be active in their supervision of their child or children, and be respectful of the Childcare requirements that the school grounds are for Childcare use after 3.20pm unless a school event, such as sporting coaching, is taking place. Thank you for your cooperation and support.
Karlie offers discrete counselling services to students upon both parent's signed request. Request forms are available from the school office or can be downloaded from the school website.
Whole school assemblies have commenced again each morning – parents are welcome; please follow the COVID Safety Plan protocols – sanitize and observe personal distancing.
Recently, the North West Football League (NWFL) has initiated a primary school football roster in the Latrobe district. We are excited to bring this free sporting opportunity to students, both boys and girls, from Grades Four to Six.
Initially, we will hold school holiday clinics in the upcoming break in Latrobe. Your registration will enable us to provide details via email. Further information can be found via this link. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfR9jOk2eCmFVI9TesFMvigUh6yquh2b6T70EMnKnG9ZITS3w/viewform
Erths’ Prehistoric World.
Friday 15 July 6.30pm
Saturday 16 July 11am and 2.00pm
Bringing ancient creatures from land and sea together in one show, Erth's Prehistoric World is the perfect combination of theatrical magic and charm. It takes the audience to the bottom of the ocean to discover ancient bio-luminescent creatures and incredible marine reptiles, and then back to dry land to witness some of the most amazing dinosaurs to have ever walked this Earth...
Dinosaurs are a gateway to learning, inspiring young minds to consider an array of subjects from science to literature, geology to bioengineering, and natural history to mathematics. Dinosaurs have become a curious link between child and parent, grandparent, guardian and educator. The learning opportunities are immense.
Experience the creatures of your imagination coming to life on stage in this enthralling new show! Bookings can be made at: Burnie Arts and Function Centre 6430 5850 or burniearts.net/whats-on
Port Sorell Tennis Coaching has tennis coaching group sessions on Thursday nights for children aged 5-14 years old. A group lesson lasts for 35 minutes with children of similar ability grouped together. If you are interested please contact Peter Georgiades on 0439637301 or 64287112. Tennis Lessons recommence on Thursday 28th July. Peter Georgiades, Junior Development Coach, Tennis Australia
Our school community is special in many ways - dedicated staff, supportive parents, cooperative students. Our Mercy Charism provides us with key values that are real ingredients for our uniqueness - Compassion, Hospitality, Respect and Mercy. We try hard to live out these values and one way of displaying compassion is for us to be a support to those in our school community who have undergone a loss. Please contact Mr Linhart, your child's class teacher or the school office if you or a member of the school community might benefit from some care & concern.
‘Inquiring Minds’ Birth to 5 program - a ‘Set-Up for Success’ Catholic Education Tasmania initiative.
our ‘Inquiring Minds’ birth to 5 program operates each Friday during school term time from 9.00am to 10.30am;This program involves a considerable focus on communicating to parents the learning intentions of important activities that are associated with early years learning. Mrs Klug will be working to engage parents in early years learning experiences that will ensure children who are enrolling in Kindergarten, will be informed in regards to developing key social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills and understandings.