FRIDAY 28 MAY 2021
From the Principal
We are once again entering a time of uncertainty as we respond to the Acting Premier’s decision to move into restrictions across Victoria. It is not what we hoped for but what we need to do to stem the spread of this prolific virus.
We have done this before and we can do it again - together.
James Merlino has made it clear that a hard lockdown for seven days from midnight tonight is what we need to do to ensure that our community is safe. This means that schools will be closed from Friday 28th May to Thursday 3rd June.
Classroom teachers will provide continuity of learning for students to complete work remotely from Monday to Thursday next week. Families can expect to receive communication from their child’s teacher and some resources directing them to some activities and learning ideas. We hope to see all students back onsite on Friday 4th June.
We look forward to working in partnership with you and welcome your feedback as we learn together. You are the experts on your children. You know what works best in your house. Let’s just take each day at a time and stay connected.
Acting Premier James Merlino has instructed that schools close and that all staff work from home.
The only exception is to provide care for;
- children whose parents are considered essential workers that cannot work from home and where no other supervision arrangements can be made
- vulnerable children, including children in out-of-home care, children deemed by Child Protection and/or Family Services to be at risk of harm and children identified by the school as vulnerable (including via referral from a family violence agency, homelessness or youth justice service or mental health or other health service)
As this is a requirement from the State Government, we can only accept families whose work categories comply with the above mentioned requirements.
If you are requiring onsite supervision for Monday 31st May, Tuesday 1st June, Wednesday 2nd June or Thursday 3rd June, please contact the school or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We will return to on site schooling (hopefully) with increased hygiene routines and restricted access to the school site.
I thank you for your ongoing support and flexibility as we navigate our way through this time of unpredictability. I am so proud of the resilience and partnering that is always a hallmark of our staff and families. You are extraordinary.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have further questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Go gently everyone.
Catholic Education Week 2021 - Sr Alexia Riddington and Sr John Spurr
Through Catholic Education Week, it may be timely to remember two wonderful women, Sr Alexia Riddington and Sr John Spurr, who celebrated their Diamond Jubilee last year amongst Covid restrictions that meant we couldn’t celebrate with them. They both celebrated 60 years each as Brigidine Sisters after professing in 1960.
Sr Alexia was principal at St Mary’s from 1988 - 2000. There will be many in our present community who remember her fondly as a strong, no-nonsense, hard working lady. She came to Ararat from working in the Missions in Papua New Guinea and brought with her many beautiful colourful prayer cloths - some may even still be used in our classrooms now. Sr Alexia worked tirelessly for Catholic Education while she was here in Ararat and her many other schools. She was all about relationships, always welcoming and very caring. She also called ‘a spade a spade’ and you certainly knew where you stood with her. She knew all the parents and students in our school community and went out of her way to attend to anyone in need.
Sr Alexia was affectionately known as “The Chief”. She was very reassuring and made people feel at ease, whether it was working side by side with them at a working bee or a quiet word before an interview. In all that Sr Alexia did at St Mary’s, she displayed the true caring Brigidine spirit and brought to life the motto of living life with strength and gentleness.
*These words are based on a letter sent to Sr Alexia to go into a book to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee as we could not gather in person due to Covid restrictions in 2020. It was written by Mary Leslie after consulting with many people who were part of our school community during Sr Alexia’s time as principal.
Sr John has been part of Catholic Education in Ararat over many years. She has taught Maths and other subjects to many students over three different periods from the 1970’s, the 1980’s and then after, also returning from Papua New Guinea to the present day.
As a community here at Marian College, we give thanks for this wonderful woman who continues to guide, support and love the students, staff and families she serves. Congratulations Sister John. We look forward to many more years with your guiding hand supporting the important work we do for our students. (Marian College Newsletter, Dec 2020)
From Sr John herself, “Diamond is a precious gem, greatly treasured by everyone who happens to own one. I, too treasure my valuable diamond of sixty years as a Brigidine. I have great memories of celebrating 50 years here at Marian. Truly ten years have flown. There is truth in the statement that time goes faster as one gets older…..Thank you to each person at Marian - especially Michael and my Clancy 5 - for your companionship, your wonderful love of life, the happy smiles, and for being you. God bless and love to each one".
So what can we learn today from these two fine supporters of Catholic Education who follow in the footsteps of the five very brave Brigidine Sisters who journeyed from Abbeyleix in Ireland to begin a long and steadfast tradition in educating children in Ararat in 1888.
Seeking bread bags & tags!
St Mary's has just signed up to be part of the Wonder Recycling Rewards Program for schools, which contributes to recycling and making play equipment for schools throughout Australia.
We are seeking any empty plastic bread bags and tags that families may have, which can be put into the large collection bin situated in the office foyer. The more we collect, the more reward points we gain to redeem new sports equipment for the school! Please see flyer below.
FRIDAY 4 JUNE
Lockdown ends - students return to school (TBC)
Book Club Issue 4 Orders Due
MONDAY 14 JUNE
Queen's Birthday Public Holiday - NO SCHOOL
FRIDAY 18 JUNE
Marian College School Closure Day - NO LUNCH ORDERS THIS WEEK
FRIDAY 25 JUNE
Last Day of Term 2
Early finish at 2.15pm
MONDAY 5 JULY
First day of Term 3
WEDNESDAY 14 JULY - FRIDAY 16 JULY Grade 5/6 Camp Sovereign Hill
TUESDAY 20 JULY Parent/Teacher Interviews
WEDNESDAY 21 JULY Parent/Teacher Interviews
Wishing the following students a very happy birthday this week:
Joel M, Bessie M, Hayden C & Xander B
St Mary's School Office Hours
MONDAY 8.30AM - 4.00PM
TUESDAY 8.30AM - 4.00PM
WEDNESDAY 8.30AM - 4.00PM
THURSDAY 8.30AM - 4.00PM
FRIDAY 9.00AM - 4.00PM