A comprehensive report into the challenges facing kids who miss school due to significant injury or illness aims to improve outcomes for an estimated 60,000 seriously ill Australian students. Go here to find the report – School Connection For Seriously Sick Kids: who are they, how do we know what works and whose job is it? – released on 12 October, 2015, at Parliament House Canberra.
A Note to Parents and Carers: When Sick Kids Miss School Work (Primary School) Sick kids miss school in three ways: They mightn’t be well enough to attend because of illness, hospital stays, recovery at home, or frequent visits to doctors. They might be physically at school, but feel unwell and can’t concentrate because of that or because their medications make them sleepy, inattentive or impact brain function. The medical condition often has emotional/social impacts on your kid, meaning they may be anxious and/or feel different and isolated from their peers. What The School Is Required To Do For Your kid (According To The Law)
The diners at Grill’d in Belconnen (Canberra) have voted with their burgers. In the restaurant’s January Local Matters donation campaign, MissingSchool was voted number one – of three charitable causes — for our work with Monkey in My Chair. We are delighted to accept the $300 donation.
In mid-2013, a student from Berrinba East State School in south-east Queensland contacted MissingSchool about ways of supporting kids who missed school because of serious illness. Hayley had been told she would need a bone marrow transplant, and she and her family knew that she would be spending a lot of time in hospital and even more time at home recovering. Hayley was keen to maintain contact with her class and also to help other kids who might be having a similar experience.
Parents of sick kids should carefully consider their child’s individual needs. It’s not that easy to work out what they will be, especially if you’re dealing with a new diagnosis. They might be about absence, mobility, medication, fatigue, pain, nausea (among others) – or they might be emotional, or social. They are all valid.
This is the first in a series of hints and tips for parents and carers engaging with schools in circumstances of serious illness or disability of a child in their care. As a regular series, we will offer practical strategies to deal with every-day type challenges encountered in the school setting in these circumstances.
When we have a child with, or diagnosed with, a critical and/or chronic medical condition it is generally very confronting. Words like “devastating, shocking, frightening, taxing” may better describe the experience. Our first concern is to focus on our child’s health. Their survival, wellbeing, happiness and the management of the illness becomes our natural priority. It consumes our energy, emotions and often, our financial resources. But somewhere in all of this, the question of “What about school?” will probably arise.
Read about how Skype helped a kid in Missouri to stay connected to his classroom, following a bone marrow transplant for a rare blood disorder. Read the article and watch the video here.
The Calwell, Curtin, Jerrabomberra, and Wanniassa Community Bank® branches (Bendigo Bank) are delighted to advise that Missing School has been successfully nominated to receive a 100 Community Heroes Grant. The grant, worth $1000, will enable MissingSchool to run an event in the ACT for families, educators, health practitioners and researchers — hopefully the first of many around Australia — called “Keeping Seriously Sick Kids Connected”. The 100 Community Heroes Campaign is a way of showing support for community groups like MissingSchool who are out there making a difference every day. MissingSchool will attend a ceremony on Wednesday, 24 July, 2013 to accept the grant. A big thank you from MissingSchool to Calwell, Curtin, Jerrabomberra, and Wanniassa Community Bank® branches for recognising the importance of keeping seriously sick kids connected to their school communities.
The Kaleen Primary School Representative Council, and their Co-ordinator Melissa Chiles, today ran a school-wide pyjama day to support seriously sick kids who miss school. The students and staff were able to come to school wearing their PJ’s and dressing gowns for a gold coin donation towards the work of MissingSchool. Melissa Chiles spoke to the kids, at their Friday assembly, about the loneliness of being away from school for extended periods. The response to the pyjama day was fantastic, with Kaleen Primary donating $645 to MissingSchool. More importantly, it reminded kids of the importance of sticking together and helping each other through tough times.
Prior to our 2013 Annual General Meeting, MissingSchool is holding a small consultation process to help inform our planning. It will be in Canberra, on Wednesday 26 June from 1.00-3.00 pm. We are inviting people who have useful and informed perspectives to contribute. To join us, call 0400 241 900, or email Cathy Nell. Invitees include: ACT Council of Parents and Citizens ACT Education and Training Directorate ACT Health Association of Parents and Friends of ACT Australian Catholic University Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network (Australian National University) Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth Canberra Hospital School Centre for Research and Action in Public Health, University of Canberra Children’s Healthcare Australasia Families ACT Independent Schools Council of Australia MissingSchool management committee and members Parent Support Group, Catholic Education Office Parents and carers of seriously sick kids Pediatrics Staff at the Canberra Hospital People who work with seriously sick kids Ronald McDonald Learning Program and Pathways Project Sydney Children’s Hospital (Kids Cancer Centre & Behavioural Sciences Unit) University of Canberra