Parents and Community
Parent Info and Notices
The Queensland Department of Health has advised that during 2017, there were over 56,000 cases of confirmed influenza in Queensland, of which over 10,000 were in children under 10 years of age. The Queensland Department of Health is now offering a free influenza vaccine to children aged 6 months to less than five years. Schools should encourage staff and students to be vaccinated for influenza as well as promote other prevention and control measures.
Schools have been requested by authorities to help prevent the flu spreading by:
- promoting flu vaccination to staff and parents
- encouraging staff and children with flu-like symptoms to stay at home
- sending home staff and children who arrive with flu-like symptoms
- encouraging children, staff and visitors to cover coughs and sneezes having tissues and rubbish bins readily available
- ensuring used tissues are disposed of immediately
- ensuring children and staff wash their hand regularly
- cleaning their facility and resources regularly
Students in Year 7 to 12 will have two Pupil Free Days to allow for senior teaching staff to attend professional development in preparation for the introduction of the new Senior Curriculum in 2019.
The last day of Term 2 and Term 3 will be allocated as Pupil Free for Senior students only. Prep to Year 6 students will attend on these days as usual.
Friday 29 June - PUPIL FREE SENIOR ONLY
Friday 21 September - PUPIL FREE SENIOR ONLY
It has come to my attention that Netflix has released the second installment to the ‘13 Reasons Why’ series. The first season was purportedly the most watched series of all time by adolescents and young adults, and dramatises and glamorises the topics of Bullying, Self-Harm, Suicide, Sexual Assault and Depression. You may or may not be aware of your child having watched the first series, however even if they didn’t, will most likely be informed of its contents and will have probably discussed it with their friends at some point. I would like to stress that this series is currently classified for mature audiences only and is in no way suitable for viewing by a school aged student without parental input and supervision.
Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation has recently released a press statement expressing its concerns about the content, depiction of images, and more importantly the potential psychological impact upon viewers of the program. In response to the original release, mental health services received a large peak in the number of distressing calls received from viewers of the series with concerns specifically linked to the content and themes untastefully and uneducatedly portrayed in the program. The new series focuses on the aftermath of a young woman who commits suicide, utilising highly confronting and graphic messaging and imagery. Given that the first series attracted much adverse publicity, I strongly suggest caution with viewing the second season.
I encourage you to discuss the program with your child / children and to seek support at school, or through external sources should there be a need. We are all currently aware of the tragic story of Dolly Everett and, in the context of this, there is even more purpose in discussing ’13 Reasons Why’ with your child. If at any time you have concerns or would like more information, I encourage you to contact your Director of Students, Deputy Principal, or myself as College Counsellor, who can direct you or your child to support or simply someone to talk to?
Current research clearly identifies the important influence parental interest has on our child’s viewing habits, academic achievement and wellbeing and I encourage you to create a conversation with your child around mental health.
Talking about Mental Health…Some Tips
• It’s important to encourage open dialog about mental health. Mental health challenges are commonplace and often have onset during the teen or young adult years.
• In the case of the most common mental health condition, depression is a serious illness that causes symptoms that can interfere with one’s ability to study, work, sleep, eat and enjoy life. Some signs of depression include: Persistent sadness, decreased energy, overwhelming fatigue, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, loss of interest in hobbies or daily activities, difficulty concentrating, changes in sleeping patterns, other atypical behaviors for the person such as agitation, irritability or anger outbursts.
• If you think that you may be struggling with depression, seek help from a counsellor, pediatrician or mental health professional– if you are a teen, talk to a trusted adult to help you get the help you need right away.
• Don’t be afraid to have a conversation about mental health and suicide—it doesn’t increase the risk or plant the idea in someone’s head. But it is helpful to invite conversations about feelings, thoughts and perspectives.
• Sometimes people avoid reaching out to someone who may be struggling with mental health, but just having a conversation can make all the difference in helping them to feel connected and supported. Often, it’s the first step toward getting what could be life-saving help.
• If someone you know is distressed, don’t judge or minimize their problems. Be patient, kind and practice active listening skills. Offer to help them get professional help
Watch out for the warning signs
• Changes in behavior, especially during a painful event, loss or life transition
• Talking about harming or killing oneself
• Expressing feelings of hopelessness, feeling trapped
• Increased alcohol or drug use
• Withdrawing from activities, isolating from family and friends
• Feelings of depression, anxiety, loss of interest, humiliation, rage.
Click here to read the warnings from ABC Article by Erin Somerville 24 May 2018