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Local Catholic school takes positive approach to remote schooling

26 March, 2020

Staff at Lumen Christi Primary School in Churchill are keeping school spirits high as they prepare for the possibility of remote schooling.

When school finished on Monday afternoon students were sent home with a ‘remote learning showbag,’ which was personalised for each student’s individual learning needs. The bags contained a range of curriculum-based materials as well as social and emotional distractors, such as pavement chalk and colouring materials to keep students engaged.

The Principal of Lumen Christi Primary School, Mr David Cooper, said the partnership between home and school has always been important, but remote schooling will change this relationship dynamic.

“Remote schooling offers parents the opportunity to connect more closely with their child’s education and students the chance to take more responsibility for their own learning. This will encourage them to be self-driven and inquisitive,” he said.

“School staff have put a lot of effort into developing these customised showbags, giving parents and students something tangible to take home with them. Teachers have also been innovative with their lesson planning, filming videos that students can watch via YouTube.”

Lumen Christi Primary School is among 44 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Sale that started school holidays early to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) within the region.

Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Sale, Ms Maria Kirkwood said all Catholic schools in the Sale Diocese are working hard to provide students with a sense of normality.

“We are living in unprecedented times, but our focus remains the same, to provide all students with a quality Catholic education where they’re guided by the light of Christ. We are confident we can continue to do this, while also ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our school communities.”

School holidays to start early

23 March, 2020

To minimise the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Limited (DOSCEL) has decided to start school holidays early. This decision has been made in line with recommendations from the Victorian Government. All 44 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Sale will be on school holidays from Tuesday 24 March until Tuesday 14 April. School staff will use the remainder of the school term to prepare for the possibility of remote learning.

All excursions, before and after school care services, and other school-related activities will cease during this period.

DOSCEL hopes that by closing the schools early, we may be able to help slow down the spread of this highly contagious disease in our region, and thereby protect vulnerable members of our community.

We understand that school closures may place extra pressure on families, and we apologise for any inconvenience.

The best defence against most viruses is practising good hand and respiratory (cough/sneeze) hygiene.

  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet

  • avoid touching your face, including your eyes, nose and mouth

  • cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.

If you or a member of your family is feeling unwell, you should remain at home. Seek medical assistance if you require it.

If you have any queries, please contact your school principal.

Let us continue to hold all who may be unwell at this time and all involved in responding to the COVID-19 situation in our thoughts and prayers .

Catholic schools' precautionary measures

17 March, 2020

Catholic schools in the Diocese of Sale have begun taking precautionary measures to try to minimise the spread of coronavirus. All schools remain open at this stage, and parents have been advised to send their children to school as usual.

Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Sale, Ms Maria Kirkwood, said that schools were closely following the advice of health authorities.

“As always, our highest priority is the health and wellbeing of every member of our school communities.

“We have advised school principals to reconsider school assemblies and other large gatherings of students, staff and the school community. Schools have postponed all excursions and camps, swimming and sports carnivals, school concerts and other events, such as debutante balls.

“We are continuing to encourage staff and students to pay particular attention to hand and respiratory hygiene. We have also advised anyone who is feeling unwell to stay at home, and seek medical assistance if required,” she said.

Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Limited (DOSCEL) is working with school principals to prepare contingency plans for the possibility that schools may need to provide remote schooling. The details of those plans will continue to be refined and updated, based on the latest advice from health authorities.

“The situation is rapidly evolving, and we will continue to adjust our approach as needed.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who may be unwell, and those who are working to keep our community safe,” she said.