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

Phone: 03 5623 7222

T4 W3 2021 Newsletter

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T4 W3 2021 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. 




    Prayer Service for Rose McMahon

    On Friday 21st October the school will be holding a prayer service in memory of our once bright, bubbly Gr 2 student- Rose McMahon.

    The service will be held on our top yard Basketball Court at 12:30pm (weather permitting) and in-line with COVID-19 restrictions.

    The service will coincide with the time of Rose’s funeral.  If you would prefer your child not to attend please let us know, especially if you think they might become too upset or alternatively didn’t really know Rose.

    "And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

    Haruki Murakami      


    Last week the St Ita’s community had to work through one of our toughest and saddest times with the news that one of our students, Rose McMahon tragically passed away due to an accident at Wilsons Prom.

    We continue to offer our prayers and thoughts to Rose’s parents, Katrin and Chris as they work through this difficult time of loss.

    Rose was a student who embraced school life and everything about it. She was a terrific friend to many and was inclusive and respectful to all those around her. Whilst the death of Rose has brought much sadness and grief into our lives, it’s important that we keep the legacy of Rose in our hearts and daily interactions.

    Grief is a natural response to loss. It might be the loss of a loved one, relationship, pregnancy, pet, job or way of life. Other experiences of loss may be due to children leaving home, infertility and separation from friends and family. The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief is likely to be.

    Grief is expressed in many ways and it can affect every part of your life; your emotions, thoughts and behaviour, beliefs, physical health, your sense of self and identity, and your relationships with others. Grief can leave you feeling sad, angry, anxious, shocked, regretful, relieved, overwhelmed, isolated, irritable or numb.

    Grief has no set pattern. Everyone experiences grief differently. Some people may grieve for weeks and months, while others may describe their grief lasting for years. Through the process of grief, however, you begin to create new experiences and habits that work around your loss.


    Grief is something that takes time to work through. While everyone finds their own way to grieve it's important to have the support of friends and family or someone else, and to talk about your loss when you need to.


    • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
    • Talk to friends and family about how you are feeling, or consider joining a support group.
    • Take care of your physical health. Grieving can be exhausting, so it's important to eat a healthy diet, exercise and sleep.
    • Manage stress – lighten your load by asking friends, family members or work colleagues to help you with some chores or commitments. Relaxation and gentle exercise can be helpful.
    • Do things you enjoy, even if you don’t really feel like doing them.


    Many people do not know what to say or do when trying to comfort someone who is grieving. However, often it is the simple offer of love and support that is the most important.

    • Ask how they're feeling. Each day can be different for someone who is grieving; take the time to listen and understand what they are going through.
    • Talk about everyday life too. Their loss and grief does not have to be the focus of all your conversations.
    • Ask them how you can help. A few home cooked meals, doing the shopping, or perhaps offering to go walking or do something enjoyable with them can all help someone through their grief.
    • Encourage them to seek professional support if their grief does not seem to be easing over time.




    I would like to offer a huge thank you to everyone in the St Ita’s Community for their prayers, encouragement and kind words of support as we worked through the announcement that two of our students had tested positive to COVID-19.

    The students were identified as having tested positive to COVID-19 on Sunday evening. There was no evidence to show that they were positive to COVID-19 whilst at school on the previous Tuesday and Wednesday. For this reason, Grade 3 and 4 students attending for on-site supervision and staff that were in attendance on these days were not considered to be primary close contacts and our school was not required to be closed.

    Students and staff who had been in attendance were encouraged to present for a COVID-19 test as a precaution to protect the health and safety of all in our community. We thank all our parents, guardians and carers for the proactive stance shown by getting your child/ren tested.

    In this case, your child/ren can return to school once they receive a negative COVID-19 test result. There is no requirement for children to isolate once the negative result has been received.

    If your child/ren tests positive to COVID-19, you will be notified by the Department of Health and you will need to advise the school. Students and staff who test positive to COVID-19 are not able to attend the school until their isolation period, as advised by the Department of Health, has concluded.

    The health, safety and wellbeing of the school community remains our highest priority. We are committed to continuing to communicate with you as promptly as possible and supporting you and your children during these challenging times.

    Please be aware that we are unable to provide any information about students, family members or staff who may test positive to COVID-19. I would ask that all in our community continue to pray for those who are unwell with COVID-19 and respect their privacy and treat them with the dignity they deserve.

    To assist in limiting the spread of COVID-19 in our school setting, I wish to remind students, parents, guardians and carers that if they are feeling unwell they should get tested and not attend the school until their symptoms resolve.



    If there are any families that know they will be moving on from St Ita’s in the 2022 school year, it is important that we are informed of your intentions so places can be offered to those families who are currently on waiting lists. Please contact our School Admin if you are moving on 03 5623 7222 or



    A question that I am often asked by parents is “How are children grouped in grades each year when there is more than one stream of the grade?”

    The sorting of children into class groupings is a complex and time consuming process where teachers are expected to exercise and make professional judgments. It’s all about identifying the particular social, emotional and academic needs of all our children and making sure there is a balance across each grade level.

    Our class groupings of children are based on a number of factors, such as:

    • Current educational philosophies held by the school
    • The social, emotional, physical and academic needs of the children within the cohort
    • Gender balance
    • Student behaviour balance
    • Children who work well together / children who don’t work well together
    • Family siblings or family relations
    • Court Orders or Legal Interventions

    Occasionally we receive parental feedback that their child is unhappy or emotional when they find they are not in the same class as their best friend/s. Whilst we will always do our best to make sure children have good social connections within classroom, it is often the case that they will not be with their best friend. Often best friends, doesn’t always make for best learning.

    The strong message across all grades at St Ita’s is that class time is for learning and recess and lunch times are for socializing. If your child was to come home disappointed that they are not the same grade as their best friends, use this as a teachable moment to give your child the skills and capacity to be resilient and work through the situation. It’s great preparation for students going into secondary school and moving into the working world with people you have never met before. It is also a great opportunity for children to develop an inclusive, resilient mindset and develop new friendships.



    I need to inform the St Ita’s Community that Mrs. Jess Carrol will be taking leave for the rest of Term 4, 2021. In her place, Mrs Erin Hick will work in the Prep Room on Mon Tues, Thurs & Friday, and Miss Madeline Baker will be teaching the class on Wednesday. Both teachers are known to the class and they will be a great fit for the children.

    I am pleased to announce Miss Hayley Roberts will be taking on the role of Physical Education teacher in 2022 at St Ita’s. Hayley is a qualified PE teacher and is very excited about taking on the position. We wish her all the best.


    Just a reminder to all our families that as a part of the COVID-19 onsite restrictions, we are required to limit the number of visitors we have onsite. 
    This means that all student drop off and pick up must occur outside the Admin building, and parents must call Reception on (03) 5623 7222 prior to entering the Admin building.
    If your matter is essential and you are required to come onsite, we kindly request that you wear a mask whilst you are in attendance.



    Many in our school community continue to face financial impacts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to supporting families experiencing financial challenges through our School Fee Concession programs, and encourage any parent/carer/guardian experiencing difficulties to contact us regarding fee assistance.
    Please contact our Administration Officer - Beck Bradley on (03) 5623 7222 or to explore confidential financial support arrangements or to obtain further information.


    We strongly advise families to return application forms for their 2022 Foundation students to guarantee enrolment for next year, our places are filling quickly.

    If you require an interview and school tour with your child, please contact our school Admin on (03) 5623 7222 as soon as possible to book a time (COVID-19 Dependent).

    All parents will be required to complete a student questionnaire prior to the commencement of your interview (this takes a couple of minutes and you will receive it on arrival). You will also receive an enrolment pack with an enrolment form enclosed.


    School Fees for 2021 are all due and payable by December 2021. 

    BPay details are available on your school fee statement. School fees are due by the 4th week of each term and must be paid in full by the end of the school year they are due, December 2021.

    If any families would like to pay off their fees either weekly, fortnightly or monthly, please set up a direct debit schedule by completing a Direct Debit Form and returning to the school office at your earliest convenience.  Please calculate the total fees payable by the number of weeks/payments required for your fees to be paid by December 2021. For any assistance please contact the school Admin office via email on:

    For any families that have recently received a Government means-tested Health Care Concession Card and have not already advised the school office, please forward a copy of your card to the office to check your eligibility, as a fee concession may apply. The card must be in the name of the parent/fee payer for a fee concession to apply with the student details listed on the card.  A CSEF (Camp, Sport & Excursion Fund) form must also be completed. Application forms must be completed each year.

    If your current Health Care Concession Card has expired, or is due to expire and your card is re-issued or any details have changed, please send a copy of your new card details to the office as soon as possible for the concession to be checked and applied to your fees. 



    Our onsite students received a musical treat from Christian Dorian of Grade 6TM this week, he kindly gave them a short piano performance, if you would like to have a look at his performance CLICK HERE TO WATCH


    by Mrs Catherine McKenna, Library Teacher




    Book Club Issue 7 - CLICK HERE

    Orders close Tuesday 26th October for free delivery back to school. 

    You also have the home delivery option with an addition fee of $7.50


    Anxiety in children is at an all-time high.

    Parentshop® has developed No Scaredy Cats™, a parent-led program to give parents the tools to help their anxious children to become more resilient.

    At this time, when it is difficult to get support, Parentshop® are delivering an online parent version of No Scaredy Cats™, presented by the course author, Michael Hawton MAPS.

    CLICK HERE for dates and to sign up for the webinar



    On Friday we celebrated the feast day of Pope Saint John Paul II who has a special place in the hearts of Aboriginal Catholics and indeed of Aboriginal Australians. His 1986 Alice Springs speech recognising their unique culture, contribution to the Catholic Church and their long history of survival despite discrimination was a proud, pivotal moment for Aboriginal peoples and remains a stark wake up to the rest of us.

    Saint John Paul’s profound address showed great understanding and empathy, laying bare the pain of dispossession, transportation from homelands, break-up of families, splitting apart of tribes, orphaned children and “people forced to live like exiles in a foreign country.” At the same time he celebrated and honoured their “Dreaming,” their songs and stories, paintings and languages with deep respect, dignity and affection. Finally: understanding! (Address of Pope John Paul II to the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, Alice Springs 29th Nov 1986) The Pope’s words were a balm to Aboriginal ears, akin to Jeremiah’s words to the people of Israel in our first reading this week, “They had left in tears, I will comfort them as I lead them back”. (Jer 31:9)

    All these years later the Plenary Council is discerning how our Australian Church might be newly open to Indigenous ways of being Catholic in spirituality, theology, liturgy, and missionary discipleship. Vigorous support is being expressed for Church efforts to “bridge the gap” with First Nations people, not least of which is endorsement of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

    Indigenous Catholic and Plenary Council delegate Ms Toni Janke, feels a real sense of hope in the Council, reminding us that indigenous Australians “have a beautiful rich culture that is in excess of 60,000 years old and a lot to teach not just the Church but the community at large.” (Catholic Leader 5th Oct 2021).

    Deacon Mark Kelly



    If your child is in Grade 4, or above, is baptised, has received the Sacrament of Reconciliation and is ready to receive First Holy Communion please come along to our parent only information meeting on Wednesday 27th October at St Ita’s Church, Drouin 7pm OR Thursday 28th October at St Joseph’s Church, Warragul. 7pm. We are sending a letter of invitation home with more details via your school. Please keep an eye out within the next day or two. If your child is in Grade 4 and you don’t receive the invitation for some reason please email me. We are looking forward to sharing this very important next step in your child’s faith journey.

    Due to the current situation, dates are subject to COVID-19 restrictions. We may need to conduct the above meetings online via Zoom, so we are asking interested parents to please send their preferred email address for receiving the Zoom link if need be. Please send your email address to the following email address.


    For further inquiries please contact Thérèse on M: 0499 116 428


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