Thank you for your continued patience, understanding and flexibility as we begin remote learning in a very challenging environment. You have been magnificent, supporting your child/ren in their learning during this period, and staff have been incredible in the way they have adapted to provide a remote learning program.
I appreciate that many of you are dealing with a lot. Some of our families have lost income, some are adjusting to working from home and supporting children with remote learning, and all of us are working hard to maintain our mental wellbeing. It is normal to be worrying about the virus during this time of uncertainty.
As a faith community, we are better equipped than most to support each other and overcome this difficult period of our lives. Please reach out to one another and pray for each other. Please also pray for other communities who are less fortunate than our own.
Earlier this week the ACT Government informed us of extended lockdown to minimise the growing outbreak of COVID-19 across ACT and beyond, until Thursday 2nd September. Please be assured that I am in regular contact with Catholic Education who provide me with up-to-date information from ACT Health and Government directives.
The situation in the ACT has become incredibly serious and concerning and we all have a part to play in keeping our community safe. The case in Gold Creek School (and the impact it has on Holy Spirit School) and most recently St Thomas Aquinas Primary School in West Belconnen, is too close to home. The consistent message from the ACT Government is to stay at home.
Given this information, we are strongly encouraging all students and staff to stay off site and work from home. As a school, we have asked staff (if they are able) to work remotely. As a result, only a small number of staff will be on site each day during the lockdown period to support our students and to prioritise the health and safety of our students and staff. We are grateful to our staff for their flexibility and dedication to student learning and wellbeing during these most challenging of circumstances.
Please remember the onsite supervision is for students who are:
- vulnerable and/or
- their parents/carers are essential workers and/or
- they cannot learn from home.
The purpose of this territory-wide lockdown is to minimise the mingling of people from various areas, to thus reduce transmission of infection.
We have been incredibly grateful to our Good Shepherd families for adhering to the ongoing restrictions, and we now ask you again to be vigilant with these latest updates. We understand working from home and supporting your child with off-campus learning is challenging, but we are all navigating this situation together, and doing what is best for our school community. Please keep in touch with your child’s teacher about ways in which we can support you and your family. We will certainly keep you updated should we receive further updates from ACT Health, the ACT Government and Catholic Education.
Teachers will continue to connect with their students and colleagues via Teams, email, Google Classroom and Seesaw. The work your child’s teacher sets is important, but your family’s wellbeing is more so. Try to keep a routine, and a dedicated space for school work, but don’t forget that much valuable and memorable learning takes place in “real world” situations.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
We are all thinking of you all and praying for your safety and wellbeing during this challenging time.
Wishing God’s blessings on you and your families,
Dear Defence Families,
Please find below some Defence supports that you may wish to access at this challenging time. With the situation in Afganistan and COVID-19, Defence recognises the important need to supply families and Defence members with appropriate supports.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any assistance during this time.
Stay safe and enjoy this time together as a family.
Mrs Taryn Ahern
Defence Supports for Families
DMFS Canberra E News –
Families can sign up to be included by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
ACT COVID-19 website
DMFS Support mechanisms include:
Defence Member and Family Helpline - (for ADF members and their families) – call 1800 624 608 (available 24/7); www.defence.gov.au/dmfs. The Helpline is available 24/7 for ADF members and their families, and is staffed by qualified human services professionals including social workers and psychologists.
All‐hours Support Line - (for ADF members and their families) – call 1800 628 036 (available 24/7). This is a confidential telephone service that provides access to mental health advice and referral for ADF members and their families.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) - Confidential, free of charge counselling support is available Defence Australian Public Servants (APS), Australian Defence Force (ADF) Reservists, ADF Cadets, Officers and Instructors of ADF Cadets, and their immediate families. Phone: 1300 687 327.
ADF Health and Wellbeing portal – www.defence.gov.au/health/healthportal. The ADF Health and Wellbeing Portal provides information on a wide range of Defence websites containing information on ADF Health and Mental Health services and supports, as well as links to many useful external resources.
Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling - (for current and former serving ADF members and their families) – 1800 011 046; https://www.openarms.gov.au. Open Arms provides counselling and support programs to current and former serving ADF members and their families, and operates a free‐call all‐hours crisis telephone service as well as providing face to face support. Members can sometimes feel more comfortable reaching out to Open Arms in the first instance as Open Arms is not part of Defence.
Please find following, useful information regarding communication with your child/ren in these changing times: