Week 3, February 6th, 2023: Newsletter #2
Acknowledgement of Country
St. John’s school community respect and honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on this land and commit to building a brighter future together.
Week 3 Prayer
From the Principal
Opening Mass: Our school community will gather this Wednesday February 8th at 10.00am at St Pius X Church to ask blessings on the new school year. Foundation students and family and friends are welcome to attend. On this day we will formally induct our student leaders for 2023.
Student Attendance: In line with government requirements, we ask that parents notify us of their child’s absence as early as possible on the day (or earlier if the absence is planned). It is a legal requirement for schools to contact parents if students are absent from school without an explanation – ‘on the day of the absence, as soon as is practical’. As a result, our office staff will contact you at 10.00am if your child is absent from school and you have not let us know already. Please contact the school by phone (leave a message if required), e-mail (email@example.com), PAM or via the SZ App.
Supervision of Students: Playground supervision will be provided before school from 8.40am and after school until 3.30pm and no formal supervision of the playground occurs outside those hours. You are requested to ensure children are not dropped off earlier or collected later than this but if required to do so, please note they will not be formally supervised.
Bus students will be supervised while getting off the bus in the morning and while waiting to get on the bus in the afternoon.
Late Arrival/ Early Departure: Please note if children arrive at school after 8.55am they are to enter school through the front office with a parent who is required to sign them in on the iPad in the front foyer.
Similarly, if parents are collecting children before the designated finishing time, a parent/guardian must sign them out before taking them.
Enjoy your week, Ben.
We have had a few confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Grade 5/6 area. The current recommendation is to isolate as soon as you test positive for at least 5 days and until you don't have symptoms. We are asking families to please be vigilant and test your child if they are unwell or displaying any flu like symptoms. A box of RAT tests will be sent home with every student today. If your child tests positive please let the office know asap, siblings are still able to attend school however we recommend they wear a mask if over 8 years old. If at any time you require RAT tests, please contact the office to organise collection or to have them sent home.
2023 Employment Conditions & Bell Times
Staff in Catholic schools give generously of their time and expertise enabling school excursions, camps and sporting activities to occur during and after school hours. Recent negotiations giving rise to a new MultiEmployer Agreement (MEA2023) coming into force in term two this year will require schools to provide time in lieu for their employees who undertake directed school activities outside normal working hours.
This development will have an impact on schools with particular events such as sporting events, camps and excursions.
One such development is the daily timetable which has been altered as a result of the above mentioned EBA. This aspect governs the amount of time that a teacher is allowed to teach each day, therefore we have had to amend our daily timetable, in 2023 the following timetable will operate;
- 8.40am: Doors Open
- 8.55am: Children head to classrooms
- 9.00am: Homeroom
- 9.10am: Learning Block 1
- 10.00am: Learning Block 2
- 10:50am: 1st Lunch (30 minutes of play, 10 minutes of eating)
- 11.30am: Learning Block 3
- 12.20pm: Learning Block 4
- 1.10pm: 2nd Lunch (10 minutes of eating, 30 minutes of play)
- 1.50pm: Learning Block 5
- 2.40pm: Learning Block 6
- 3.00pm Fitness groups
- 3.10pm: Homerooms
- 3.20pm: End of school day dismissal
All families should have now received an email to create a new PAM account (Be sure to check your spam or junk folders). When you log in to PAM you will receive a notification to complete some CONNECT requests. These requests will continue to pop up each time you log in until they are completed. Each year we require each family to read and to acknowledge the following:
- Code of Conduct
- Acceptable Use and Cyber Safety Agreement
- Child Safe Policy
- St Pius Church Permission
- Dennington Rec Reserve Permission
We kindly ask that you complete these requests asap.
Medical Profiles: As previously communicated it is extremely important we have up to date medical details for every student. New families to St John's please complete this profile ASAP and existing families are required to check details and update if required.
If your child suffers from Asthma we require an Action Plan, ventolin and a spacer to be kept here at school. If your child has been diagnosed with Anaphylaxis we require an Action Plan and Epipen. All Action Plans must be signed by a doctor.
As a parent/guardian you are able to access your child/rens medical profile on PAM at any time to update as needed. If you have any queries or require your PAM login details, please do not hesitate to get in contact with the office.
Medications: Any child who is required to take medications, either long term or short term, at school needs to have a completed medication permission form. Please see the office staff for this form.
Sick Bay Visits: You will receive a notification via email when your child visits the sickbay during the day. It will contain details of the incident and treatment. The visits are documented in PAM for you to view your child's history at any time. Rest assured, a phone call will also be made for all headknocks and if the injury is of a serious nature.
Please note also that it is highly recommended that all families have ambulance cover; we will not hesitiate to call an ambulance for a child or staff member of visitor if required and regardless of the level of cover.
Cyber Safety Agreement
In accordance with St. John's Acceptable Use and Cyber Safety Agreement, it is a requirement for parents/guardians to discuss the agreement with their child/ren and accept the terms.
This agreement is to ensure that all students that have access to the school’s digital resources are aware of their responsibilities and agree to abide by the school’s Acceptable Use and Cyber Safety Agreement.
The agreement covers the student’s use of technology equipment (such as computers, hand held devices, cameras, printers), and digital platforms (such as Internet, networks and email. social media, apps, and software).
Permission is required for each child in your family from Foundation to Year 6.
To access this agreement:
- Login into your PAM account
- Select the red bell icon in the top right corner (you will then see the agreement)
- Download, read and discuss this agreement with each of your children.
- Select YES for your child to agree to abide by the Acceptable Use and Cyber Safety Agreement and Use Technology Equipment at St. John's Primary School for the 2023 school year.
This is required to be accepted by Friday 10th February, 2023.
Japanese Work Books
Our Japanese Teacher Emily Dennis is chasing last years Foundation students Japanese workbooks, if families still have these at home could they kindly send them into school by Friday. Thank you.
Geelong Football Club Clinic
We were very excited to welcome some of the Geelong Cats players to our school today. The players were greeted by our enthusiastic sports captains and ran small clinics throughout the afternoon with Grades Foundation - 2.
School Communication Channels
Newsletter: the Newsletter is published weekly on Mondays and is available on our website distributed directly to all families via schoolzine and email. The newsletter carries the bulk of our news and information about what is happening at St. John’s. It is the main way parents/guardians can be informed about coming events, student and teacher achievements. It is important for all families to read the newsletter each week.
Schoolzine App: the school app is the simplest way to receive short messages, reminders, or emergency information direct to your mobile phone. The Schoolzine App can be downloaded free from either Apple App Store or Google Play and then once installed, search for ‘St. John’s’ Primary School Dennington’.
Facebook: Facebook allows us to share many of the wonderful stories about what’s happening at our school including individual and team achievements. As a parent/guardian, we encourage you to also join our closed Facebook community - St John's Dennington School Community.
Email: Parents are welcome to email staff with questions etc or to request a time to meet. Please note that staff will only respond in school hours.
School Fees: At our final School Advisory Council meeting of 2022, the group decided upon the following fee structure for 2023. The increases are in line with actual costs of events such as camps etc. The Diocese of Ballarat also provides recommended fee bands which we currently sit just within. This to ensure we are working towards having fees which are in line with DOBCEL expectations but doing it in a way that doesn’t place undue financial burden on our parents.
- Student Levy- $150,
- Family fee- $1050
- Building Levy- $150
- Gr 5/6 Camp- $350
- Gr 3/4 Camp- $200
- Gr F-4 Swimming- $100
- Gr 5/6 Surf Awareness- $100
*For the 2023 school year, St John's Primary school will be subsidising the Grade 5/6 camp by $100.00, the Grade 3/4 Camp by $75.00 and the entrie cost of the swimming and surf awareness programs.
Please note that our fees only make up the difference between the Government (Federal and State) funding we receive and the amount the Government determines as the cost of educating a Primary student. Fees do not mean that we have extra money in our budget to expend on additional resources.
Financial Information & Support: If you hold a current Pension or Health Care Card, you may be eligible for one of the following support programs. If you do think this applies to you, please speak with our Office staff.
Family Fee Assistance Scheme - are you eligible?: The Family Assistance Scheme, designed by the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat offers a tuition fee concession to families who hold a current Health Care Card/Centrelink or Veteran Affairs concession card. Please note that students who are holders of Health Care Cards are not eligible. Families who qualify for the scheme will pay $520 per annum for primary school tuition fees. The discounted fee covers tuition and capital fees only. It does not cover additional charges such as camps, student fees and excursions.
Camp, Sports & Excursion Fund (CSEF): Similarly, if you are eligible for the above assistance, then there is a strong chance you will also be eligible for the CSEF. This amount is aimed at offsetting the costs associated with any camps, excursions and sporting events that your child participates in. This form must be received by Friday 24th February, 2023.
As always, should you have any queries of concerns regarding the payment of fees then we encourage you to speak with the office staff to see what support you may be eligible for.
Traffic & Pedestrian Management
As you can imagine there are now more vehicles and children using our school loops than before so we ask that all families take note of the following arrangements.
We are asking that families who use either of the loops to collect their children at the end of the day, do so as follows;
Families with surnames A-J use the Russell St Loop.
Families with surnames K-Z use the Coghlans Rd Loop.
Please note that children who walk or ride home can use whichever exit suits them and families are still welcome to use the pencil path and park their cars in Russell St or park and pick up in the Russell Street car park of the Coghlans Rd car park.
We also ask that if you have to hop out of the car to assist your child to hop into the car that you park your car and collect them rather than hold up the loop.
Pedestrian Safety: With so many cars using both entrances to the school both before and after school it is very important that pedestrians use the crossing points and that motorist are acutley aware of where these crossings are.
Bikes: Children riding bikes must walk their bikes whenever they are on the dschool grounds. Helmets must always be worn while riding.
BUSHFIRE & GRASSFIRE INFORMATION
Our school is on the "Grassfire At Risk Register". With the implementation of a new national Fire Danger Rating (FDR) system, all schools on the "Bushfire and Grassfire At Risk Registers" will be closed on days classified as Catastrophic FDR.
What does this mean? On a Catastrophic FDR, the school will be closed, along with school bus services. No one will be allowed on site. Such ratings will be declared ahead of the nominated day. In the event of a Catastophic FDR an email and a schoolzine alert will go out to parents.
Please note: A Catastrophic FDR is different to a Day of Total Fire Ban.
Additional Information about the Australian Fire Danger Rating system is reproduced below for your information.
Lunch orders are available from the Dennington Store each Tuesday and Friday. Orders can be dropped directly into the store or into school no later than the day before.
A price list is included below.
Best wishes to Jaxson F, Hugh M, Indi M, Ella A and Imogen G who celebrate their birthday this week. Happy Birthday, we hope you have a wonderful day!
Parents and Friends Social Group News
Parents and Friends Social Group AGM
Our first meeting for the year will be held NEXT Wednesday 15th February at 7.00pm in the Gathering Space next to the stadium. We would like to invite all parents to come along and have a part in planning our upcoming fundraisers. Bring along a friend to introduce them to our laid back meetings complete with refreshments.
We will be taking the time to plan our fundraising goals for the year and encourage all parents to click the link below and to put forward suggestions on what we should fundraise for. There is also a section for student feedback.
Family Picnic Night
Next Thursday 9th February from 5.00pm will be our annual family picnic night. Come along with your dinner and picnic rugs to join us all for a relaxed night getting to know other families within the school.
The DASH is back for 2023 on March 3rd. This is a great night to bring along teammates for the 3k run or have a fun stroll in the 3k walk. Lots of spot prizes to be won on the night.
If you would like to help with the organising of the event or know of a business who would like to sponsor the event please get in contact with Vanessa Vickery. There will also be plenty of chances to volunteer on the night to earn Participation points so keep your eyes out.
Each week on a Friday, families are rostered on to bring in a cake which will then be raffled and drawn out at Assembly. All funds raised throughout the year will be donated to the Good Friday Appeal the following year. If you happen to be rostered on for a school closure day then you are not required to bring a cake in.
All students will be able to buy a raffle ticket for 20c each Friday. The Johnnies will come around to the classrooms during the day to write out tickets and collect money.
The following families are rostered on this Friday:
Zhang, Wilson, White, Watson and Walpole.
Star of the Sea Bulletin
Sunday Mass is held at 10.00am at St. Pius X Church. School families are always welcome.
The Parish office can be contacted on 5562 2231 and this weekends bulletin is featured below. Other information and contact details can be found on the Star of the Sea South West Coast website: https://www.ballarat.catholic.org.au/parish/southwestcoast/
Would you like to advertise your business in our school newsletter? Businesses can advertise for only $100 a year and will have a business card sized listing in every school newsletter. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Wednesday February 8th: Opening School Mass - 10.00am at St Pius X Church.
Thursday February 9th: Family Picnic Night at 5.30pm
Wednesday 15th February: Parents and Friends Social Group AGM followed by first meeting
Tuesday 21st February: Shrove Tuesday
Tuesday 28th February: DDO Dinner catch up
Friday 3rd March: Dennington Dash
Thursday 6th April: Easter Raffle Draw