St Ita's Primary School Drouin
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50 Victoria Street
Drouin VIC 3818

Phone: 03 5623 7222

T2 W8 2024 Newsletter

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T2 W8 2024 Newsletter


St Ita’s Catholic Primary School acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 



    I’m writing to update and inform you of one of the greatest challenges we face in education today.

    Undoubtedly most parents would be aware that there is a pressing shortage of teachers in Australian schools at present, and the evolving landscape suggests that this situation is poised to deteriorate further into the future.

    I’ve taken the time to put together a summary of available statistics and information to illuminate the current climate we are dealing with.

    Monash University has recently unveiled significant insights into the challenging environment within which teachers operate, shedding light on several key concerns linked to the current shortage:

    • Lack of Respect: A staggering 7 in 10 teachers admit to not feeling respected by the Australian public. This pervasive sentiment can undoubtedly influence their performance and job satisfaction.
    • Safety Concerns: 1 in 4 teachers do not feel safe in their workplace, underscoring a serious issue that demands attention and resolution.
    • Unmanageable Workload: Less than 14% of teachers report that their workload is manageable. This alarming statistic points to a systemic issue affecting the well-being and effectiveness of educators.
    • Dwindling Satisfaction: The satisfaction levels among teachers have plummeted from 65.9% to 45.8% since 2019. Such a decline is concerning, especially considering the pivotal role teachers play in shaping the future of our children through education.
    • Desire for Influence: Teachers express a collective desire for a voice in policy-making, emphasizing the need for their perspectives to be considered in shaping the educational landscape.

    For the reasons above, schools across Australia are desperately trying to fill thousands of teacher vacancies which currently exist. And the greatest concern is we simply don’t have enough teachers to fill the vacancies that exist.

    In 2022 a teacher supply and demand report confirmed:

    • The forecast demand for teachers is expected to outpace supply by 2028 with a shortfall of 5036 teachers expected over this period.
    • The number of teacher vacancies grew 49% in primary schools and 68% for secondary schools between 2021-2022.
    • The number of applications per vacancy plummeted in primary school from 14.7 in 2021 to 5.3 in 2022 and 6.4 in 2021 to 2.8 in 2022 for secondary schools.
    • The teacher attrition rate grew by almost 20% between 2021 and 2022.
    • Nine out of ten school principals have reported facing extreme staffing challenges due to the current teacher shortages.


    At St Ita’s we have definitely felt the impact of the current teacher shortages, however we have been fortunate that we have maintained a strong base of Casual Relief Teachers (CRT’S) that enjoy working in the St Ita’s learning community.

    Casual Relief Teachers (CRT’s) are qualified teachers who chose to work on selected days they chose to work based on their capacity and lifestyle. Unlike full or part time classroom teachers, CRT’s work for a daily rate, do not have outside of hours teacher responsibilities such as parent teacher interviews, planning, meetings etc. They also forgo holiday pay, sick leave and holiday loading.

    One of the biggest challenges we face at St Ita’s is building and maintaining a strong bank of CRT’s that we use to support staff who are in leadership roles, staff who are on sick leave, staff who are on long service leave or staff completing mandated assessments across a specific grade level. An example of this is when the class teacher performs a one-to-one assessment task with a student in their level whilst a CRT takes and teaches the class based on the lessons the class teacher has planned.

    An important side note is that the replacement of teachers and education support staff takes place before the school day actually begins, from 6.00 am, and can take anywhere up to an hour and a half to fill positions. If we cannot source teachers, we have no option but to split classes or close down a specialist class for the day. We acknowledge that this can be disruptive as well as increasing the workload of teachers who are onsite working, but this is the only way we can provide a duty of care to all students.


    Below is an outline of our staff who have a leadership role in our school and as part of the new award, are entitled to time out of the classroom to work on their leadership responsibilities. The school improvement staff will also step into the role of Principal or Deputy Principal if Steve or I are out. (Please see the leadership/school improvement framework below)


    • Andrew Osler Principal
    • Stephen Pitt Deputy Principal
    • Robyn Lewry Religious Education Leader / Grade 5-6 teacher


    • Caitlin Noonan Learning Adjustment Leader/Curriculum Collective Leader F-2
    • Jacqui Greco Collective Leader Grade 3-4/Numeracy Literacy Leader
    • Kristy Boettcher: Collective leader Grade 5-6
    • Hayden Davies: WSAPBS Whole school approach to positive behaviours support

    I hope this goes some way to explain the current educational challenges we face. The upside to this is we will continue to navigate this challenging space and do our best to make sure all our students are given every opportunity to develop socially, emotionally, academically, physically and spiritually.

    We thank you for your continued support and if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s classroom teacher or myself for further clarity.


    Last week we had to deal with an issue of concern with several of our senior students sharing inappropriate Audio and Video clips related to the topic “Bloody Mary”. Bloody Mary is a TikTok craze that is the legend of a ghost, who appears when the name Bloody Mary is chanted repeatedly into a mirror. Teachers were given feedback that senior kids were mucking around in the toilets and scaring younger students within our community.

    I’ve spoken with all staff and asked them to speak with students using their devices at home to explore inappropriate content and reminded them of the responsibility signed off on the student user agreement.

    Could I please ask all parents of students with devices at home to monitor the appropriateness of what their children are searching for and watching? The Bloody Mary craze is definitely not for primary-age students and we certainly don’t want it being shared around our learning community.

    Whilst can strictly monitor what kids are looking up whilst at school, we need parent support to help us with what’s happening at home on their devices.


    Last week we had our school photos and our school captains and vice captains supported School Pix with the coordination of getting grades and family groups to the photographers via a fairly extensive timetable.

    The feedback from the School Pix manager was really positive. He was amazed by our student leadership team in terms of organisation, support for other students, manners, and respect. He said in his 15 years on the job he has never worked with such a great bunch of students.

    The manager made a point of meeting with the team at the end of the day to give them this excellent feedback personally and he presented them with a special award to show his appreciation.

    Feedback like this shows that our Whole School Approach to Positive Behaviours is ingrained in our students and lived in our school. I'm so proud of our student leaders and congratulate all of them on behalf of the St Ita's learning community.



    Some great build news, the block work has started on the new build and it looks amazing. The good news is that most of the external work is completed and a lot of the work going forward will be interior fit-outs which won’t be affected by rain. According to “Ben the Builder” we are on track for completion by October. It’s a great addition to our school and I’ve asked the architect James if I can have a floor plan to share with our community. Watch this space ?


    1. Monday 10th June - King's Birthday
    2. Tuesday 11th June - Pupil Free day
    3. Thursday 27th June - Last day Term 2
    4. Friday 28th June - Pupil free day
    5. Monday 15th July - Pupil free day
    6. Tuesday 16th July - Term 3 starts all students
    7. Friday 20th Sept - Last day Term 3
    8. Monday 7th Oct - Term 4 starts all students
    9. Monday 4th Nov - Pupil free day
    10. Tuesday 5th Nov - Melbourne Cup
    11. Tuesday 17th Dec - Last day term 4


    Thursday 6th June - Confirmation Parent Information Session
    Friday 7th June - SchoolPix onsite 9.30 am - 11.30 am
    Friday 7th June - Whole School Assembly
    Tuesday 11th June - Whole School Closure Day
    Friday 14th June - Book Week Author Visit (Nat Amoore)
    Thursday 20th June - Grade 5/6 Excursion to Scienceworks
    Monday 24th & Wednesday 26th June - Parent-Teacher Interviews
    Thursday 27th June - Last Day Term 2 - 3.20 pm finish
    Monday 22nd Jul - Friday 26th July - Grade 5/6 Swimming Program
    Thursday 1st August - School Concert



    Tonight, Thursday 6th June there is a Confirmation parent-only information night for parents of Grade 6 students who would like to make their Confirmation this year. It will be held in the Marion room at St Joseph’s Church Warragul at 7:00 pm

    The commitment Masses are this Sunday at 10:30 am Mass at St Ita’s Drouin’s or next weekend 15th June at St Joseph’s Warragul at 7:00 pm Saturday or Sunday at 9:00 am at St Joseph’s Warragul or 10:30 am at St Ita’s Drouin




    All student absences should be communicated to the office by 10 am daily.  In addition to Class Dojo, student absences can be communicated via the Parent Access Module (PAM) which comes directly to the Administration Office.  In addition to daily absences, PAM can be used to record family holidays and occurrences which are likely to be multiple day absences.


    School Fees for Term 1 & 2 are now due and payable. Statements have been forwarded to all fee payers, please ensure you check your statement and bring your account up to date as necessary. All school fees must be finalised in the year that they are incurred.

    Direct debit payments can be arranged at any time, please contact Beck Bradley (03) 5623 7222 or to discuss payment options.


    2024 School Fees Concession Program Financial Hardship

    Eligible Centrelink Concession Card (CCC) Holder

    Information for Applicants

    Aim: To assist school families experiencing financial hardship in accessing a Catholic Primary education for their child/ren.

    Confidentiality: At all times, the dignity and privacy of those seeking a fee concession will be respected.

    Level of Concession:  School office staff can advise applicants of the concessional fee to be charged. This concessional fee is fixed annually by the Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Limited. Approved applicants will be charged only the concessional fee which will cover all standard school fees and levies including any charges remaining for camps, sports, and excursions after the application of the Camps, Sports, Excursion Fund (CSEF) benefit.

    Eligible Concession Cards:  Centrelink issues a number of concession cards for a variety of reasons. Some cards have a generous or no income test and therefore holders of these cards are ineligible for a fee concession under Category One. Only CCC’s that are eligible for CSEF are eligible for the School Fees Concession Program. 

    The following CCC’s are the most common cards that are eligible for CSEF. The CCC type is specified as a two or three-letter code printed on the concession card.

    • YA or YAL – Youth Allowance
    • PPS – Parenting Payment Single
    • PPP – Parenting Payment Partnered
    • DSP – Disability Support Pension
    • NSA – New Start Allowance
    • LI – Low Income
    • FA – Family Tax Benefit
    • SA or SKA - Sickness Allowance
    • CAR - Carer Allowance
    • ABA or ABY - Schooling Applicant
    • AGE - Age Pension
    • AUS - Austudy
    • HCC - Health Care Card
    • PTA - Partnered Allowance
    • SPL - Special Benefit
    • WID or WFD or WFA – Widow Allowance/Pension
    • The CCC must be issued in the name of the fee payer and list the students for whom the concession is to be applied.
    • The expiry date of the card must be on or after 1 January of the year (2024) for which the concession is to be applied.
    • If an eligible concession card expires after the start of the year, the concessional fee rate will still be applied for the entire year.
    • If a family becomes eligible during the course of a school year, then a pro-rata concession may be granted.

    Lodgement of Application: Applications for 2024 close on Friday 28th June 2024, please lodge your application immediately for your card to be checked and a pro-rata concession to be applied if applicable.

    The following application forms must be completed and are available from the school office:

    • Complete the school’s application form & the Direct Debit Request (DDR) Service Agreement (or Centrepay application form)
    • Submit the completed forms and present a valid CCC for verifying and copying.
    • Complete and return the CSEF application form immediately after receiving it from the school.

    Important Notes:

    • The concession is automatic for a parent/guardian responsible for the school fees, who holds an eligible CCC.
    • Any offer of a concession is subject to the applicant entering into a DDR Service Agreement or CentrePay arrangement for a regular payment plan of remaining fees (either weekly or fortnightly payments preferred). Any default in payment may result in the concession being withdrawn.
    • The Direct Debit form is available from the school office or the CentrePay application form is available online at
    • A CSEF application must be submitted for a concession to be granted.
    • A new application must be made for each school year.
    • Where the fee account is split, the concession applies to only that portion payable by the eligible cardholder.
    • All families requesting, or receiving, a fee concession must notify the school should their financial circumstances change sufficiently to affect the level of concession offered or if cards are cancelled.

    Please complete the below concession request forms and return to admin together with a copy of your valid concession card before Friday 28th June 2024.






    The winner of the St Ita's Medallion this week was Connor Gregory from Grade 5/6B.



    Congratulations to the following students who participated and placed in their aged events at the Division Cross Country on Monday 20th May 2024. Eli Spargo finished 1st 11 yr old boysAustin Ferris finished 3rd 10 yr old boysCharlotte Bills finished 3rd 12/13 yr old girls. We wish you all good luck for the Gippsland Cross Country in Drouin on Thursday 6th June.



    Scarlett Jolly has been selected to play for Victoria in Queensland at the Australian Polo Cross Championships. Scarlett will ride her trusty steed PeeWee in the championships this June. We wish Peewee and Scarlett every success. She took a tumble a few weeks back broke two ribs and a bruised lung but is already back in the saddle training hard. A great ad for being resilient.


    Contact: Heath Mills


    Mobile:  0499 007 031


    Co-Operation Challenges at home?

    A common challenge for parents is feeling like their kids resist everything “I’ll do it later” or stating “No” when you ask something of them. It can be frustrating.

    Some tips to help improve involving children in household tasks and chores;

    Set Clear Expectations – clearly communicate your expectations for their task or contributions at home.

    Encourage Teamwork – involve children in the decision-making and encourage them to work together on tasks or chores.

    Positive Reinforcement – praise and reward cooperative behaviour to reinforce positive habits.

    Lead by Example – your child will learn by observing, so demonstrate cooperative behaviour in your interactions with them and others.

    Provide Choices – offer children choices within limits to give them a sense of control and autonomy.

    Make Tasks Fun – find creative ways to make chores and tasks enjoyable through games, challenges, or incentives.

    Consistency and Patience – be consistent in your approach and patient as your child learns and grows.

    Remember life with children isn’t without opposition, refusal, or pushing boundaries. Think about the progress you make and not perfection.

    If you would like some resources or tips on improving cooperation within your household, reach out to Heath from Anglicare who is onsite each Monday or via email or phone 0499 007 031


    Teacher: Mrs Catherine McKenna


    Dates for your diary:

    Grade 1-6 Author visit, Nat Amoore: Friday June 14th

    See the flyer below for information.

    Whole school Book Week dress up day: Friday August 23rd.

    Theme: Reading is magic.  Students may dress to the theme or as a book character.


    Art Teacher: Robyn Leary     


    Hello everyone,

    This term in art we have been learning about sculpture through Lego. Students have had the opportunity to create creatures with Lego, design Lego mini figures, create character profiles and use Lego to trace, stamp and create art with. This week is the last week of our Lego experience.

    Ask your child what a sculpture is and what they enjoyed about this Lego unit?

    Take a look at some of the fabulous creatures and mini figures that were designed in Art.




    Camp Australia Co-Ordinator: Carmelina De Cesari

    Contact Number: 1300 105 343



    Due to our increasing numbers and the increased demand for before and after-school care services, our families are encouraged to book early to ensure Camp Australia can accommodate our growing student numbers utilising their services.

    We also encourage families utilising before and after-school care services to communicate with their children if they will be attending after-school care, students are often unsure of their collection arrangements which can be stressful for small children.  For our Foundation students, we suggest a note in their lunchbox or a Class Dojo to let their teachers know about collection arrangements.




    Flesh and Blood


    Corpus Christi, this feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, which we celebrate this weekend is of huge importance to Christians. We forget sometimes, but Eucharist is the “source and summit’ of our Christian life, and it is impossible to overstate its importance. It is not a localised, limited event. Eucharist is a manifestation of the Kingdom of God. Pope Saint John Paul II calls the sacrament “cosmic!” because, even when it is celebrated on the humble altar of a country church (like ours in Warragul, Drouin and Neerim South), “the Eucharist is always, in some way, celebrated on the altar of the world.”[1] Pope Benedict asserts it “joins heaven and earth; embraces and penetrates all creation … in the bread of the Eucharist, creation is projected towards divinisation … toward unification with the Creator himself.”[2]

    Eucharist is entwined with Jesus’ incarnation, his “enfleshment” as part of creation. In the sacrament of his body he actually gives us his own flesh, which he has united to his divinity. Both the Incarnation and the Eucharist reveal to us that God wants to abide in us and us in Him. As the Creator is in Christ and Christ is in us, so we find ourselves in unity with the Creator. What is the Creator’s purpose in uniting us to himself? That, nourished by his body and blood, we act as Jesus did during his earthly life: serving his children, especially the poor, sick, dispossessed, and marginalised. Is it only the flawless who are to be so nourished? Emphatically not! Pope Francis tells us: the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.”[3]

    [1] Pope St John Paul II Ecclesia de Eucharistia.

    [2] Pope Benedict XVI Corpus Christi homily

    [3] Pope Francis Evangelii Gaudium 47

    Deacon Mark Kelly


    Parents, listed below are some dates for your diary regarding the Sacramental program for Confirmation and First Holy Communion 2024

    Confirmation 2024

    Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation will begin with an Information Meeting for parents on Thursday 6th June, at 7 pm. Our guest speaker is Rev. Dr. Fr. Elio Capra, SDB.  The Confirmation ceremony, celebrated by Bishop Greg Bennett, will be held on Friday, 26th July, at 7 pm in Marist Sion Hall.

    First Holy Communion

    Preparation for First Holy Communion will begin with an Information Meeting for parents on Thursday 29th August, at 7 pm. Our guest speaker is Rev. Dr. Fr. Elio Capra, SDB. First Holy Communion Masses will be held on the weekend of 26th/27th October.

    More details concerning these sacraments will be provided closer to the time.  For further enquiries contact Liz - Ph: 5623 1642, Email: 



    These letters stand for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, the ancient Rite of welcoming people into the Church. The Catholic Parishes of Warragul and Drouin warmly invites anyone interested in discovering more about the Catholic faith, what Catholics believe and Why, expressing an interest in becoming a Catholic, or an Adult Catholic who has not yet received the sacraments of First Eucharist or Confirmation, to attend an Information evening on Wednesday 31st July 7.30pm Marian Room (attached to St. Joseph’s Church Warragul: (enter car park from Bowen Street). For further information you can contact Joan Robertson or Fr. Brendan at the Parish Office: (03) 5623 1642.



    Check out our Catholic Parishes of Warragul & Drouin Facebook presence.


    Caritas Australia’s Papua New Guinea Landslide Disaster

    Remote communities in Papua New Guinea have been devastated by a catastrophic landslide that struck at 3am on 24th May. The timing of the landslide meant most people were sleeping at the time of the disaster, with little time to escape.

    Thousands are feared dead. Although the initial estimate from the United Nations was that at least 670 people may have lost their lives, this number could climb dramatically from recent reports. The total population of the entire affected ward is near 4,000 people, but this number could be higher due to an increased number of displaced people who have been living in the area in recent times.

    The ongoing search and rescue operations are facing challenges due to the hazardous terrain and the continuous threat of landslides. As rescue efforts continue, those who have lost their homes urgently need our support now, and in the weeks and months ahead.

    Please act now.

    You can donate online at or phone 1800 024 413