From Mr McMullen

It is a topic of conversation everywhere, and while I wouldn’t be surprised if you are starting to tire from hearing about COVID-19, I do need to make mention of our School’s preparation and response to this matter. That said there is a lot happening here and so I won’t just dwell on this single topic.

The almost ceaseless media reporting on COVID-19 has raised questions in the minds of many of our school community members. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been working with our Senior Executive and a range of staff to make preparatory plans (in the hope that we do not need to enact them).

In summary our objectives will be to:

* Ensure health and safety of staff, students and the wider School community

* Limit the impacts on educational outcomes for students

* Contribute to a socially responsible response to the spread in the local and global setting

* Manage ongoing risks to the School introduced by the spread of COVID-19.

Our planning and any decision making are guided by the following principles:

* Holistic and Proportionate Response – our level of response needs to match the level of risk

* Planning and Preparedness – we want to prepare as best as possible for likely eventualities and still be flexible to respond to changes in situations

* Communication and Engagement – maintain regular and honest communication with all members of our School community

* Prevention is Key – preventing the transmission of infection is our primary response

* Maintaining Educational Continuity – planning and preparation for maintaining educational continuity with core curriculum taking a priority

At this point, we are reminding all students of the need to maintain high standards of personal hygiene through effective hand washing. We are also providing training and highlighting the fact that this practice needs to be maintained by all groups of our School community. Here are some resources I have already shared in an email to parents and staff.

Hand washing poster

Effective hand washing video.

Please remember that if your child is unwell, please keep them home so they can recover or seek medical advice. This is always best practice.

I do want to make the point that our nation has experienced both the best and worst of emotional responses to media news. During and following the bushfires we saw the bravery and generosity of so many in our nation to care for those who have been impacted. More recently we have seen the unfortunate response to the fear of the impact of  COVID-19, by those who have cleaned out supermarket shelves, making it hard for others (who may be less able to stockpile due to transport or financial limitations) to maintain basic home supplies. I encourage you to respond proportionately and in love, seeking to help meet the welfare of others at all times.

Bushfire Appeal
I would like to take this opportunity to recognise and thank the Student Leadership Council for the initiative they have shown in running the Mufti Day fundraiser this Thursday to benefit the communities of Lake Conjola and Ulladulla who are still recovering from the devastation of the recent bushfires. I would also like to thank the many families who responded with generosity through their donation of money and supermarket gift cards. As a school we raised a total of ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­$7762.50!

We have been in touch with the Mayor of Shoalhaven Council who identified a specific need in the community. As such, the $5112.50 donated in cash will be used to set up a kitchen at Ulladulla Public School to help the school provide lunches for students whose families are experiencing significant financial struggles as a result of the bushfires. Gift cards totalling $2650 will be given to the Shoalhaven City Council to be distributed amongst affected families in the Lake Conjola area.

Perspectives Survey
This is also a reminder that parents, students and staff will be receiving an email at the start of next week for the School community survey ‘Perspectives – your school in focus’. The email will contain a link to the survey. Please take 20 minutes to provide information for our school to help us grow and improve as a school community.

“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” 1 John 4:16-21

In His Service
Keith McMullen