NEWS FROM THE PRINCIPAL
This newsletter finds us at the end of our first week of operation under COVID-19 Level 2 restrictions.
I would like to begin by offering my sincere thanks to all families for the support of our Level 2 drop off and pick up routines over the past week. What could have been a very troublesome process has been made effective by the way parents and caregivers have been patient and encouraging of independence as children enter and exit the school grounds. Next week may be interesting with the weather shaping up to be less generous. We have the ability to keep our children sheltered at the end of the day for pick up, however, it would be wise to dust off the umbrella to keep yourself dry as you collect your child/ren just in case!
The Ministry of Education has requested that we continue gathering our own contact tracing data (should parents/caregivers need to enter the school grounds), rather than using the newly launched Government contact tracing app, so that the information we gather can remain accessible by us should we need to provide it to the Ministry of Health. Thank you for your ongoing support as we work under Level 2 restrictions.
It is wonderful to see so many happy children (and parents at the gates!), returning to regular school routines, enjoying being back face to face with friends and learning together.
On Monday we will hear from the Prime Minister once again as to our status going forward and whether we will be continuing to operate under Level 2 restrictions. I feel confident that should this be necessary, our students, staff and wider community have a sound knowledge of expectations and will continue to adhere to Level 2 protocols.
Next Friday, the Ministry of Education requires us to send student weekly attendance data through to them. The purpose of this is to report to the National Crisis Monitoring Centre and government on levels of attendance during the COVID-19 period and to inform and support the Ministry in planning for students and schools returning to normal operation. They will also use this data to evaluate and report on the effectiveness of initiatives implemented by the Ministry to respond and manage its response to COVID-19.
This Sunday, we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord, when we remember and celebrate Jesus’s ascension into heaven. Mass will be live-streamed at 9.30 am on Sunday. Please follow this link to this Sunday’s readings. Although unable to gather together at Mass on Sunday, we are still able to share the Sunday readings as a family as part of our family prayer routine and participate via live stream in Sunday’s Mass.
In our Director of Religious Studies section below, you will see valuable information about the opening of the Church in Level 2 as well as a wealth of other parish happenings.
I wish to thank the ladies in the uniform shop who have done such a great job of handling the online orders of uniform as we have transitioned to our winter uniform as we came out of Level 3 restrictions. Next week will be our final transition week into full winter uniform. We are currently experiencing a delay in the delivery of school socks for sale. If you do not have uniform socks and are waiting for your school sock order to be delivered, please feel free to send your child/ren to school in any black, white or blue socks in the interim. The uniform shop continues to be working online at this time so uniform orders to be emailed to [email protected] Orders paid for by midday each Thursday will be processed Thursday afternoons and delivered to students classrooms. It is even more important now to reference online payments with your name and either uniform or school fees.
Over the next little while, we are very focused on sticking with what is important right now; having our children feel welcome and comfortable at school, looking after the well being of all in our community, establishing routines of healthy practices and classroom operation routines after having been away for a period of time that has extended longer than a usual Christmas break time usually would.
We are also focused on incorporating the strengths of the online learning platforms and practices we have identified over the last 7+ weeks into our regular face to face practice. This not only supports the transition back into school life but it will also advance our innovative curriculum delivery and further support the development of learning dispositions in our children going forward.
We will not be hosting whole school or team assemblies for the next little while. We have made the decision to cancel the Junior Production this year. All PTA activities and HPPA interschool sporting and cultural fixtures have been cancelled for the remainder of the term. These decisions are an unfortunate outcome based on the impact of COVID-19, however, with our focus firmly on getting back into school routine, face to face learning at school and responding to coming out of lockdown levels, I am certain that we will all eagerly anticipate the resumption of these added extras when the time is right.
Wishing you all a blessed, happy and safe fortnight ahead as we all become accustomed to our ‘new normal’ under Level 2.
Ngā mihi nui
A MESSAGE FROM THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF AUCKLAND
SCHOOL ATTENDANCE DUES COVID-19
Financial assistance is available to assist families who may need financial support as a result of the Covid-19 Virus with the payment of 2020 Attendance Dues for students attending Catholic schools in Auckland Diocese, both primary and secondary.
Families facing financial difficulties can contact their school office, their Parish Priest or the Revenue Manager on 09-360-3069 at the Catholic Diocese of Auckland for further information.
Application forms for this assistance are available from school and parish offices, or can be down-loaded from the Catholic Diocese of Auckland Website: https://www.aucklandcatholic.org.nz/catholic-schools/covid-19-attendance-dues-assistance/
Current statements have been emailed today. To discuss your account and any changes to payment plans, please contact in confidence: Sue Yandell – [email protected]
FROM THE DIRECTOR OF RELIGIOUS STUDIES
The Feast of the Ascension, where Jesus ‘ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father’ (Nicene Creed)
Sunday May 24
It’s nearly the middle of the Year. Who can remember back to the times before Lockdown? Things have changed so quickly around the world. Are we living in a new normal or is this normal for now? So many questions, not many answers. I wonder if the disciples of the day were feeling the same? So much happened in such a short space of time. A triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, the Ascension and then Pentecost. It would have been a lot to comprehend. I imagine it would have been confusing. For many it may have challenged their faith, their belief, their commitment. Without Jesus present everyday walking and talking with them, they may have lost sight of the big picture, they may have been filled with questions, gone through different stages of grief and disbelief. Alternately like those in the upper room (Acts 2:1 – 4) they may have been filled with courage and conviction to keep the light of Christ burning, to tell the stories, to share the good news. In many ways for us at Alert Level 2 we face similar challenges. Our parish can not gather together to celebrate Christ’s presence through the Mass on Sundays. Our community is fragmented and separated. How are we responding? Have we let our faith practices lapse or have we used this time to strengthen our relationship with Christ? Each of us will respond differently because each one of us is different – just as God designed.
With the approaching Feast of Pentecost we are reminded of the gift of the Holy Spirit to us and in our lives. Let us draw on the Spirit of God within each of us to keep sight of the big picture, regardless of these challenging times, that God is with us all the time. Embrace this. Draw from this. Evidence this in your life.
Let’s shine together, living out our school vision:
‘ Confidently living, learning and serving with Jesus as our guide.’
Pentecost Sunday May 31
The coming of the Holy Spirit
NEWS FROM THE PARISH…
- Open Church – An opportunity to reconnect
Our parish church is now open daily between 6am and 5pm for private visits and prayer.
- Reconciliation – A chance for healing.
The Sacrament of Confession is now available 9:45am – 10:30m Fridays and 8:30am – 9:00am Saturdays. In keeping with Alert Level 2 physical distancing practices a kneeler and screen have been placed near the statue of St Joseph in the Church
- Rosary in May – A time of prayer and reflection
For the two remaining Fridays of May (22nd & 29th) at 7.00 pm remember that we are live-streaming the Rosary from Our Lady’s Chapel in our Church. Contact the parish office if you would like to be connected via zoom.
- McAuley High School – A time of outreach
McAuley families are really struggling from the impact of COVID 19. St Vinnies is helping with food parcels and the school is feeding breakfast to many of the girls but only has the resources to feed 20 students. The school is trying to access cartons of apples/pears/mandarins that hungry students who miss out on the lunch can access. If you are able to help please email [email protected] or phone 276 8715.
- Jammies in June for Middlemore Hospital – A sign of mercy and compassion
This year the appeal looks a bit different because of the situation we find ourselves in. We are asking you, our very generous parishioners, to consider making a donation into the St Vincent De Paul Bank Account between now and Sunday 31st May. Pyjamas will then be purchased to the value of the money banked for this purpose. These will then be delivered to Middlemore Hospital. The ANZ Bank Account details for these donations are:
SOC OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL IN NZ T/A OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA -01-0170-0210991-00. The payee reference is PJS. PLEASE DO ENSURE THAT THIS REFERENCE IS USED SO THAT A TRACK CAN BE KEPT OF ALL DONATIONS GOING INTO THIS ACCOUNT FOR THIS PURPOSE. Please note that tax receipts WILL NOT be issued for these donations. Many thanks in advance for your continued generosity. If you have any questions please phone Libby Giddy on 534 3183.
- The Parish Foodbank – A gift of love
The foodbank is once again operational. If you would like to donate food items, these can be dropped at the Parish Centre (NOT in the Church) Monday to Friday between 10.00am and 2.00pm. We need the usual items: cereal, tinned goods, pasta, rice, spreads, noodles, biscuits, crackers, tea/coffee. We are very grateful for your support
Prayer Intention: God of all, we pray for those who are vulnerable from the effects of this pandemic. May the gift of your Spirit guide us to help those in need.
Keep safe. God Bless
Deputy Principal / Director of Religious Studies
NEWS FROM THE CLASSROOM
ICAS Reach Assessments
Unfortunately these tests will not be available this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the disruption this has caused to schools across Australia and NZ. If you have a child in Years 4-6 who was enrolled to sit one of these exams then the money you have paid will be refunded to you. Please make sure you have returned the form sent home to you earlier in the week to indicate the account you would like this refund to be paid into and this will be addressed as soon as possible.
STORY BY: Nyall Jude Serrao, Room 23
On the 25 of March, New Zealand went into lockdown because there were too many coronavirus cases in New Zealand so the Prime Minister put New Zealand into lockdown. In a lockdown we have to stay at home and are only allowed to go for a small walk and only one person in your family is allowed to go to the supermarket and you can’t go to restaurants, no travelling, no playgrounds and no sports in public.“How could I survive during the coronavirus?” I could survive by acting normal and staying at home and only allowing one person in your family to go shopping at a time. So my mum gave me some homework to do like piano, ukulele, story and Kumon so I could be occupied because my mum and dad were working so they couldn’t play with me but they could play with me after they finished their work. And after I did all of that I was allowed on my iPad, I miss school because I can’t play cricket with my friends and playing manhunt, sitting on beanbags in class and on the swings. And doing cricket practice and playing cricket games for my school. I think the lockdown is fun and boring. Fun because we don’t have to do as much work as we do at school and boring because I don’t get to play manhunt and cricket with my friends.
NEWS FROM THE INFORMATION CENTRE
It has been wonderful to welcome classes back into our fantastic Information Centre space. Some of our routines are a bit different at this time (hand sanitiser at the entrance way, exit through the back door, books quarantined for three days before they are put back in circulation) but everyone has adapted quickly and happily.
Online library catalogue
Remember our online catalogue is still available for children to use from home.
Here is the link https://nz.accessit.online/OLS00/#!dashboard
Please note all videos have SafeYouTube links to ensure friendly and safe internet use for children.
Just added this week is the fantastic Taika Waititi and friends reading James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl – so funny and clever!
Dental Clinic Update – Level 2
TERM DATES 2020