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29 April, 2020
P&Cs need to know...

P&Cs moving online

Check out how other Parent Associations are dealing with the current situation and shifting their activities online - including P&C meetings, fundraising, and fun and connectedness in their community - in our latest article.

Connect with other P&Cs - new Facebook group

There's now a new place to connect with other ACT P&Cs! Chat about your parent association, share your ideas and expertise, ask questions, and pick others' brains on our Canberra P&C Leaders Facebook Group.

Working with vulnerable people registration

Access Canberra has announced the extension of WWVP registration (for those whose registrations expire after 16 March) until 6 months after the health emergency is declared over. Those affected will be notified directly. More information.

Resources for parents of young learners

Remote learning is particularly tough for the little ones. In response to Covid-19 and closures, we have put together some information and resources for parents of preschool children and junior primary students. There are health links and contacts, as well as tips for facilitating learning online. 
Council happenings...

Feedback wanted: how's Term 2, and what next?

It's been a difficult few months, with quickly changing circumstances, so we have brought our May meeting forward to focus on the Covid19-induced closures and what happens next. We'll update you on our activities as well as some of the complexities and background considerations driving the school response. There will be time for each school's delegate to describe key concerns from their community and the meeting will determine the future direction of Council’s lobbying efforts and activities. It's an online meeting - delegates will be emailed the details - at 7pm on Thursday May 7.

Our activities

Council staff and volunteers have been very busy responding to the Covid-19 situation.

Representing parents: We have been representing parent and carer concerns directly to the Education Directorate and Minister. This has been at several levels simultaneously: 
  • adding the parent point of view to stakeholder meetings which precede important decisions about schools
  • advocacy for individual families or groups of people in particular situations or needing extra supports - including transport, at home supports, After School Care for families using hubs school sites (including transport)
  • giving frank feedback on Directorate communications to help these better fit parent needs
  • seeking answers and FAQ specifically for parents from the Directorate
  • lobbying the ACT Government for extensions for AGMs and AR form submission with waiver of late fees
  • collecting feedback from parents directly and through P&Cs.
Assisting members: We have been providing help to members to assist with the current situation
  • delaying and reducing our membership fees
  • information and examples of platforms for online meetings
  • information on a range of difficult business decisions especially around employees
  • working individually on the massive changes happening for OOSHC services managed by some P&Cs
  • as always, answering individual P&C enquiries
  • we have even been able to secure a short-term loan for one member P&C until government assistance is paid.
And for all school parents: timely and accurate information on school arrangements and links to online learning resources and activities (via our Facebook page).

We have also been busy speaking to the media about the difficulties parents face (especially Council President, Kirsty McGovern-Hooley - thanks Kirsty!).

Upcoming events

  • Council General Meeting (see above) Thursday 7 May, 7pm start.
  • Executive Meeting, Tuesday 12 May, 7pm start.
In case you missed it...

Employ staff?

See Council's guide for P&Cs who employ staff. Also, last week we emailed the following to P&Cs with employees:
If your P&C employs paid staff and you have seen a reduction in your turnover of at least 30% (or 15% for ACNC-registered charities) relative to a comparable period last year, you may be eligible to apply for JobKeeper payments. P&Cs should: Accounting and advisory firm RSM have created this detailed information about the payments which you may find a useful guide.

For specific questions, the best place to turn is the ATO's Not-for-Profit information line. Call 1300 130 248. This number is usually less busy than the general ATO number and they understand the situation of P&Cs employers better.

School information for parents

The Education Directorate has FAQ about Term 2 arrangements, and their remote learning site includes guides for parents who are supervising kids learning from home, as well as learning resources.
You might be interested...

ABC Education

ABC TV (ABC 'ME') have scheduled educational content from 10am - 3pm every weekday for Term 2 to help in the current circumstances. From minibeasts to maths, and history to dance, there's something for everyone!

Stay safe online

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner have created a series information sheets and webinars, running across April and May, to help keep you and your kids safe online during the Covid-19 pandemic. Explore the latest research and expert advice for using technology safely, with information specifically tailored to different age groups.

Families invited to complete SunSmart learning

Due to Covid-19 and remote learning for many Canberra families, Cancer Council ACT is now offering SunSmart teacher professional learning to parents & carers - why should teachers have all the fun!?

This is a great opportunity for parents and carers at home to complete a quick practical and useful online learning activity with their child, it’s free and only take 20 minutes. Plus every time a parent or carer successfully completes the online modules Cancer Council will acknowledge their efforts via their school’s unique online SunSmart Certificate.

And remember, the end of May is Hats Off Day for Canberra schools/homes!

Exploring careers

The disruption caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak is impacting all learning communities. In response, myfuture has compiled lists of resources to support students' career exploration whilst at home. There are resources for teachers, students and parents at Career exploration at home.

Film competition

Mobile Muster are offering great prizes for students who create a one minute film encouraging their community to recycle their old mobile phones. Prizes include a JB Hi-Fi voucher valued at $5,000 and there are categories for Primary, secondary and tertiary students.

Poetry competition

Want to try your hand at poetry? The Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards encourage students from Kindy to Year 12 to enter.
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Copyright © 2020 ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations. All rights reserved.
Comment authorised by Terry L Sanders for the ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations

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