Parents, Caregivers and Students,
A lot has changed since I wrote my last email. I want to express my sincere and heartfelt gratitude to all families for your kind words, messages of support and encouraging phone calls as we work together through the many curveballs that life throws us at the moment.
As our lives are changing rapidly by the continuously unfolding impact of the coronavirus on both health and the economy. Families who have lost significant income due to COVID 19 will receive a total school fee remission, initially for a period of 3 months. We will work with families to implement and provide this financial assistance. Any families who are experiencing any financial difficulty are encouraged to engage with us and we will confidentially and sensitively work through this with you.
The development of your child – educationally, spiritually and pastorally – continues to be our highest priority, and we know that this is heavily dependent upon the strong, trusting partnership we have built with each family. We are stronger through our work together.
You matter to us. We care about your learning. We care about you.
This is the message that went out to all students in Catholic schools in South Australia. Through this COVID-19 crisis we continue to be committed to quality teaching and learning whilst looking after the wellbeing of everyone in our care and providing ongoing support to all students and families. Through this all the staff at Our Lady of the River haven’t stopped doing what they do best and they will continue to deliver an excellent Catholic education for your children.
From the commencement of Term 2, unless informed otherwise by the Government, Catholic schools will remain open to provide remote curriculum delivery and to support students whose particular circumstances require them to be at school.
We will work with families of students who will require attendance at school during this time. This will include children whose parents are required to be at work.
Learning will be delivered simultaneously in school and at home through an online platform. All students will access this same mode of learning; those at school will be supervised to access the same curriculum provided for those who will access it remotely. This mode of learning will continue until we are advised differently by the government.
Catholic Education SA will has launched a website that will support students living and learning in an online learning environment. The site included practical information about how you can support your child at home. https://www.cesa.catholic.edu.au/learning-online
As a staff we have used the four student free days in week 11 of this term to prepare and improve the online learning platform.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Melody Pfeiler. Mel has been an integral part of the Our Lady of the River staff. Her kind and caring nature shines through in everything she does. We wish Mel all the best for the future.
Amongst all the uncertainty of the past few weeks and with the knowledge that we can’t go anywhere these holidays it seems too easy to forget that Easter is upon us. The Easter season is a deeply spiritual time for many. It commemorates the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus. It is also a time when we look for meaning in the suffering of Christ.
Through this COVID-19 crisis how many of you feel broken like Christ?
Maybe through this state of suffering that many are presently experiencing there is an opportunity to find something new.
Into Easter, out of breath
Something good is put to death
Something mad is going on
Something that was loved is gone
Far away, somewhere, somehow
Beauty’s egg is hatching now
God is with you in the wilderness and He goes before you to encourage and guide you.
Wishing you all a blessed and safe Easter.
Nanda de Winter
Pope Francis March Prayer for the World Let us Pray for the Pandemic to end.
Finding Peace in the small things.
There is so much we can’t control right now, and so much we can. We can control our mindset, what we say, and how we say it. We also control how present we are with our loved ones at home.
Times are challenging for adults, but especially for kids, they have never been through anything like this. Neither have most of us. We are all dealing with collective anxiety and fear, and incredible disruption to our daily routines. How we hold and deal with this anxiety will impact those around us. Everybody stumbles on fear, even adults, and that is OK.
Instead of allowing fear to drive you, tell yourself that you are given time for a slowdown. The change in routine is permitting you to do less, to be more aware of your day to day, moment to moment life so that you have more time and energy to deepen your compassion, your self-care and the wisdom you already have.
Find peace in the small things that you do not always have time to enjoy.
Be extra patient with your kids, your partner, and your friends.
Deliver needed groceries to an elderly neighbor who can’t leave their home.
Donate much-needed blood.
Give money if you have it to the homeless who are the most vulnerable during a pandemic.
Practice the selfless act of staying at home, so you don’t put those already susceptible to illness in our community at further risk.
Look at reality differently, put a positive spin on it.
Last week the students and I took time to enjoy the sunshine, the breeze on our faces and some good old fashion bubbles. We laughed as we chased and popped the bubbles. It was liberating for my soul and I was completely at peace.
Stations of the Cross
If you would like to get some fresh air and hounour the sacredness of Good Friday, you are invited to take a personal journey in prayer. There will be a Stations of the Cross reflection, that respects social distancing rules, set up on our school fence. Come and read about the final steps Jesus took as he made the ultimate sacrifice for our salvation.
Celebrating a Unique Easter
Easter is the highlight of our Catholic faith, the Easter Story, also known as the Passion of Christ, tells of the humble beginnings of Christianity. During Holy week we reflect on the key events in Jesus’ life which lead to his sorrowful death on the cross, then on Easter Sunday we celebrate his resurrection. It is a time of hope and new beginnings.
This year many of us have had to endure the crosses that Coronavirus has forced upon us. Just like Jesus many of us have stumbled and fallen on our journey. Just like Jesus, may we hold onto our faith and find the strength to get up and continue on our way.
This year, we celebrate a unique Easter due to the uniqueness of our current situation. There will be no church gatherings, no neighborhood egg hunts, and no celebratory meals with extended family and friends.
Do not let the absence of these long-standing traditions frame your Easter, many Easter celebrations can still take place – just a little differently. We are only bound by how far our imagination will let us go. Church services are going online, Easter meals can be intimate with our immediate families, and children can draw pictures of Easter eggs to hang in their windows for others to find – a drive by Easter egg hunt. Pray for your loved ones, extended family and friends that you may usually see at Easter and connect with them over the phone or online. Spend the day indulging in new and different customs this Easter. Each will be different in their own ways and equally as special and significant. Remember that gratitude turns what we have into enough. Celebrate the joy and hope that is Easter.
May God’s richest blessings be with you this Easter.
May you rediscover hope, faith and love in new ways.
Religious Education Coordinator.
St Joseph’s Day celebrations
A Liturgy of the Word was held in each class to celerbrate St Joseph's day.
'Like Saint Joseph, once we have heard God’s voice, we must rise from our slumber; we must get up and act.' (Pope Francis 2015)
Students have been working on some amazing artwork during term one, these are just a few pieces from each class.