3 December 2015
Dear Parents and Guardians
Reducing screen time this summer
This week there was another news report on parental concern about children's and adolescents' excessive screen time. These holidays might be a perfect opportunity to limit your child’s screen time, and even to promote particular days as screen-free. Unless they are directly working on homework over the summer break (!), your sons and daughters do not need access to their school computers. Please ensure they are stored somewhere safe, preferably not in private spaces such as your child’s bedroom. Lack of sleep is a major concern for young people today, brought about, mainly, by unsupervised computer access in the late evening. The summer holidays are supposed to be restorative, and limiting screen-time could be one important way that you can support your child’s wellbeing.
Some more goodbyes
Adventure and change are always wonderful things, and so we wish Mrs Robin Panousieris and Mrs Trudi Smith (who looks after our databases and has supported many of you with your use of PAM and CareMonkey), all the best as they head off for new horizons. Robin has been a huge influence on many students as part of our woodwork team, and helped many to achieve success in their VCE. Both positions have been filled, and we look forward to introducing you to the incumbents at the start of 2016.
School closure over summer
The school office will be open for another week while we finish our reporting and professional responsibilities for the year. There will be limited office services from December 14-18. The office will reopen on Monday, January 11.
We intend sending out a Family Handbook in the week before the beginning of classes. Please keep an eye out for it in the mail, as it will include important information for your family as well as some of our key policies. There will be no P&F calendar in 2016, as the SIMON/PAM calendar is always available and contains the most current information. We have updated the 2016 calendar on PAM to include all pupil-free days, so please use this as your primary source of information about coming events.
Well there we go! Another big year of schooling done and dusted. Can you believe that 2015 has almost finished?
I make a heartfelt thank you to all who have supported me and the rest of the staff here at Assumption throughout the year. It is very easy to take the work of school folk for granted and the well-known adage that "everyone thinks they’re an expert on schooling" is certainly alive and well in Australia. That said, we here at ACK know that we are especially blessed with parents and friends of the school who go out of their way to ensure that our hard-working staff know that they are appreciated. This spurs us on to do better into the future, and so, as always, we look forward to working with you in 2016.
On a personal note, thanks for the welcome and warmth that I have experienced. I am fully aware of the trust you place in me and our staff in choosing Assumption for your family, and am committed to our ongoing relationship.
I wish you the best for a fabulous break with your family and friends. May it be safe and refreshing, fulfilling and joy-filled.
Peace and blessings
A reflection on endings
We prepare in Advent not just for Christ’s coming but also for his returning. We say in the creed every week that it’s this event we await so joyfully. Life is all about how we will cope with endings — not just the end of life but the end of childhood, the end of a relationship, the end of good health. How we say goodbye matters more than how we say hello. Jesus wants us to view endings not with fear and sadness but with a sense of opportunity: will this ending bring me one step closer to fulfilment, completion, and bountiful harvest?
From 2016: A Book of Grace-Filled Days by Jessica Mesman Griffith