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28 July, 2020
P&Cs need to know...

School operations and restrictions

See EDU's information about for Term 3 and FAQs for families , which was updated last week.

P&C meetings

With the resurgence of COVID cases, and the delay in easing ACT restrictions, P&C meetings are still unable to be held on school grounds. This was clarified yesterday for us by EDU staff as a way of reducing non-essential adult contacts in the school. We encourage P&Cs to consider other venues (a spacious local cafe?) or continue meeting online. Look out for our article with tips for successful virtual meetings in our Term 3 magazine (in schools in a few weeks!)

Election day stalls?

Many P&Cs are wondering if they can rely on election day stalls to replace some of their lost fundraising revenue this year. Sadly, the answer may be 'no'.

COVID has changed the way voting in the ACT Election will be conducted this year. Voters will be encourage to vote across a three-week period at one of fifteen polling centres across Canberra (open daily 28 September to 17 October). A limited number of sites will then be opened as additional final-day polling sites on the 17 October. The Electoral Commission expects that these sites will be finalised in the next two weeks and will be published on the AEC website. Some may be school sites.
If your school is selected as an election day polling site, it is likely that there will be far fewer voters than usual which will impact on your planning and fundraising outcomes. At the moment, BBQs would be permitted, but we would encourage P&Cs to consider lower risk alternatives such as such as raffles, plant or cake stalls (all food items pre-packaged).

Council will continue to liaise with Elections ACT and provide updates on the implications for P&Cs.

School fete? Disco?

We know that some P&Cs have put their fete, disco and trivia night plans ‘on hold’ and are now considering whether to go ahead with planning or postpone to next year.
The ACT Education Directorate's (EDU) roadmap outlines the range of activities permitted in schools for each stage as restrictions are eased. During term 3, events can go ahead with numbers limited to those outlined in the appropriate stage of Canberra's Recovery Plan, with some additional restrictions. Currently the ACT is in step 2.2 of the plan which allows up to 100 people to gather indoors & outdoors. However, EDU restrictions disallow discos, celebrations and fundraising events for parents/adults. Onsite fundraising events for student can go ahead.

The next stage (stage 3) will relax that number to 250 people. However, implementation of stage 3 has been delayed due to new COVID cases. Larger mass gatherings, such as fetes, have been placed under ‘Future Considerations’ in both the Education Directorate and ACT Government’s roadmaps, with the timing yet to be determined and depending on public health risk assessments. As we’ve seen, plans for easing restrictions can and do change.

Decision making...

Decision making in such uncertain times is really hard. Earlier in the year we put together some tips to help P&C committees make some of those hard decisions. Check back on our COVID 19 Special Edition Council Communicator for a range of practical, financial and insurance considerations for planning and potentially cancelling events, many of which are still relevant as we continue to move through this pandemic.

Fundraising possibilities

At our workshop last week, we brainstormed some COVID-friendly fundraising options. 
  • sell essential items, not luxuries as families may be experiencing hardship. Eg Christmas trees, mangoes, toilet paper
  • passive fundraisers such as at athlete's foot, My Name, bring in a small, constant return on families' normal spending
  • leverage activities which have gained popularity during the pandemic, like cooking. You could hold a baking competition or put together a cook book (these people help, or see what Ainslie Primary did!)
  • look at fundraisers which provide activities for the next school holidays (with less travel, families will be looking for things to do!) such as gingerbread kits, art or craft kits, plants, or creating keep-sake items like calendars or tea-towels with kids' artwork (which can then become Christmas gifts!)  
  • a virtual fun run challenge, or on-site '-a-thons' (walkathon, obstacle-course-athon) may be possible with minimal adult involvement
  • leverage things that work well on line, such as auctions. You could sell off donated items, or cash in on parents' love of their children's artwork if the school art teacher is on board. Auctioning collaborative class artworks to the highest bidder can be lucrative.
There are also ideas in this COVID- friendly fundraising article.

Grant writing workshop

This Free practical session with tips and advice to help your P&C win grants, will focus on the Supporting Parental Engagement Grants currently available. We'll brainstorm ideas and look at how to write a winning application. We'll also cover what grants can and can't be used for, and acquitting grant funds and your obligations. It's on Thursday 13 August, 7-9:30pm. Via Zoom. Find out more and sign up.

Constitution workshop

If your P&C's constitution is out of date, come along to our practical P&C Constitution Workshop to find out how to review, rewrite or amend your constitution. The workshop is free and looks at the model rules, the ACT Associations Incorporations Act, Council’s sample constitution, and the process of passing an amended constitution through your P&C.

This is a rescheduled event after the last was postponed. If you registered for that, you are still registered for the new event. It's on Thursday 27 August (week 6) from 7-9:30pm, via Zoom.  Register here.

Food safety supervisor course

Nutrition Australia's face-to-face Food Safety Supervisor course is returning on Monday 7 September 2020 from 9:30am - 4:30pm (spaces very limited). The course prepares Food Safety Supervisors to supervise and oversee day to day operations and to prevent and recognise food safety hazards. the cost is $250.
Council happenings...

Our activities

Council volunteers and staff have been representing individual P&Cs and advocating for parents on a number of issues recently where P&Cs and parents have contacted us, including practical considerations for the COVID testing site near Garran school, and effective home-school communications on important issues at two other schools.

We are also busy brainstorming ideas for the parent engagement grants and will share these with our members in due course; and continue to liaise with various parts of the ACT Government on impacts of COVID for our members. We also ran our Effective P&C workshop series - this year online - which were much appreciated by participants.

Early Learning Committee Meeting 

Transition to school – how have you found transition this year? Was the enrolment straightforward? How about communication with your school? Is there something you’d like to have more of/less of? What events were most important to you? We’ll be discussing this at the next Early Learning Committee Meeting this Wednesday 29 July at 7pm via zoom.  
Register in advance for the Zoom meeting and a confirmation email and information about joining the meeting will be sent.

Upcoming events

  • Workshop: P&Cs as employers and canteen providers. TONIGHT 7-8:30pm via Zoom. Free member event.
  • Early Learning Committee Meeting (see above), Wednesday 29 July, 7pm via Zoom. All welcome
  • Executive Meeting, Tuesday 11 August (Week 4), 7pm.
  • Workshop: Grant writing, Thursday 13 August (Week 4), 7-9:30pm. Via Zoom. Free member event.
  • Workshop: Constitutions. Thursday 27 August (Week 6), 7-9:30pm, via Zoom. Free member event.
In case you missed it...

Connect with others - P&C Leaders Facebook group

There's now a new place to connect with other ACT P&Cs - the Canberra P&C Leaders Facebook Group.  The Group has been very active asking - and answering - questions on banking, grants, constitutions, canteens, fundraising, bookclub and more! It['s a place to chat about your parent association, share your ideas and expertise, and pick others' brains!
You might be interested...

Scholarships for girls experiencing financial hardship

The Harding Miller Education Foundation Scholarship Program provides practical support to lift the educational and career aspirations of high-potential Australian girls who are facing socio-economic hardship. Scholarships are open to girls in public schools entering year 9 next year and are valued at approximately $20,000 over 4 years, providing a ‘toolkit’ that students can use to support their pursuit of academic excellence. Applications close September 23.

Acclaimed documentary

The documentary 'In My Blood It Runs', which showcases the challenges faced by the education sector in building culturally competent classrooms, is recommended viewing and is available on ABC iView until 4 August... which is also National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, celebrating the theme We are the Elders of tomorrow, hear our voice'.

Future of work

In the future, young people will enter a world of work unique in history. It will demand new skills, bring forth new industries and occupations, and feature advanced technologies that alter how we work, among other changes. There may be challenges, but there will also be new opportunities brought by these shifts. To help career influencers discuss the future of work with young people, myfuture have collated content on their Future of Work feature page
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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