It has been an extraordinary couple of weeks, ones I have not experienced before. We had the Government's announcement to reinstate Lockdown restrictions which saw an amazing and rapid response from our staff for within 30 minutes they had issued devices, books and any other requirements to children ensuring they were ready to again learn from home.
There certainly was a general feel of deep disappointment but nothing like what was felt on Tuesday night when I received confirmation from the Health Department that our school had to close due to a positive COVID case within our community.
The feelings of despair and sadness were quickly displaced with an urgent need to ensure all in our community received the news and were OK. An enormous amount of thanks must go to our Leadership team of Steven, Rita and Erin, whose support was constant. What would we, (I) do without Kylie, her knowledge, expertise and skills certainly came to the fore. The St Michael's staff calmly and quickly did what they needed to do to ensure the children's learning would not be interrupted regardless of the chaos that many of them now faced. To each of them goes my indebted gratitude.
To have a young child in our community positive for COVID-19 was distressing but I am more than pleased to report the child has made a full recovery as well as a return to a little bit of cheekiness. The prayers of all in our community were with this family and having spoken to them and for this they pass on their heartfelt thanks. They are certainly relieved to hear that no other people in our community tested positive. Our families responded to this crisis with a high level of responsibility by doing the right thing by getting tested and remaining isolated until a negative test was received.
To the families and staff who were deemed Tier 1 contacts and therefore along with their families were required to quarantine for 14 days, all of us pour out our thanks to you. You certainly were asked to do the hardest task of all but you accepted the situation and understood that by following the rules you were protecting the rest of us, again thank you.
We have now come out the other side and I must say I pray we never have to do that again but in the case that it does happen, I know that I have full confidence that we will get through it!
As we continue remote learning for the next couple of weeks, I remind you of the importance for children to continue accessing their learning and stick to their learning schedule but also to take breaks when needed and to keep your child's teacher aware of any specific needs your child may have.
The parent 'Raising Kids' webinar on Wednesday night was fantastic and very informative about how to keep our children safe while online. I am sure the families who attended who were able to ask their many questions, now have a greater understanding of how to safely monitor their children while on their devices.
On a more sombre note, our prayers and thoughts must go to all in Afghanistan. The vision we are seeing on our televisions is quite distressing and heartbreaking. It certainly puts our lockdown discomfort into perspective.
'The most simple thing I can do is to be good today but better tomorrow'
Catherine McAuley - Mercy Sisters Foundress
All students attending St Michael's Primary School have the right to feel safe. The care, safety and wellbeing of children and young people is a fundamental responsibility of all within our school.