All the staff are excited to be welcoming the students from Kindergarten to Year 2 and Year 6 back next week and then the other grade levels as well the following week! Whilst it will be wonderful to have everyone back on site, we have made a few changes to processes in order to make the school as safe as possible for everyone.
Please read through all the information that has been distributed over the last 2 weeks. Drop-off and pick-up will look very different from next week. Please make sure you familiarise yourself with the new routines.
A final reminder about completing the relevant surveys for schooling for Week 4 - Monday 25 to Friday 29 October.
If your child is in Kindergarten, Year 1, Year 2 or Year 6 and is staying at home please complete this survey:
If your child is in Year 3, Year 4 or Year 5 and requires supervision at school, please complete this survey:
WORLD TEACHERS DAY
Next Friday is World Teacher’s Day. It is a great day that recognises all the hard work that teachers do in nurturing your young children. I am so very blessed to be able to lead such a dedicated group of teachers, assistants and administrative staff who work harder than any other staff that I have known. This was clearly evidenced during our remote learning period this year.
The extra work that our staff takes on is above and beyond, with our teachers giving up lunch breaks, weekends, evenings with their family and holiday time to ensure that the children in our school receive every possible opportunity to succeed at school and enjoy the learning environment that we are so fortunate to have.
I am sure you will join me in thanking such a dedicated team. Feel free to drop your child’s teacher an email expressing your ‘vote of thanks’.
We will be celebrating as a staff with a lunch next week. It will be a wonderful celebration, especially as we will have most of the children back at school.
Here are some updates to our staff for 2022.
Mrs Marie Taylor, a highly valued Classroom Support Assistant, has decided it is time to retire. Marie has worked at our school since 1999. She has assisted in supporting the learning of our wonderful students for the last 23 years. She will be dearly missed but we hope to see her back next year in a relief capacity.
Mrs Michelle Marshall has made the decision to take 12 months leave. Michelle will be taking time out to be with her family next year.
Miss Holly Haling will be taking 12 months leave as she makes the courageous decision to relocate to Queensland. Holly has been fortunate to secure a teaching position at a primary school in Toowong.
Mr Steve Joyce will be returning to his role as Assistant Principal at St Josephs at Cooma. We have been very blessed to have Steve work with us over the last 12 months.
Both Mrs Sarah Lehmensich and Mrs Katie Brook will be returning next year in a part-time capacity, after having the year off on maternity leave. We look forward to welcoming them back to the classroom.
I will keep you informed as we fill our vacant positions.
As you are aware, our school canteen will be open from Week 5 with a limited menu. Kathy will be allowed one volunteer to work with her each day. Please know that if you volunteer, you will be required to wear a mask and check in each day.
If you are available, please contact Kathy directly to let her know what days you are able to come and help in the canteen: firstname.lastname@example.org
I can now confirm that Kindergarten Orientation will be able to take place this year. With restrictions still in place, we will have to reassess how we will present this day. If you have a child attending kindergarten next year, we will be in touch shortly with the details.
CLASS ALLOCATIONS FOR 2022
During this term, we will be finalising our staffing arrangements for 2022. Below is a copy of the ‘Class Allocation Policy’ (available on our website) which aims to ensure there is a fair and just process in allocating students to classes for the upcoming school year. My firm belief is that teachers are in the best position to decide a child’s placement because they know all the children in their classes and have a view of the ‘big picture’. However, I invite parents to inform me of anything that you feel needs to be considered, for your own child’s well-being or development. Please note all requests need to be in writing and need to be addressed to me. No request made to classroom teachers will be considered.
Could you please have a read and be aware of the following policy? As there are usually two or three streams of classes each year at St Francis of Assisi Primary School, Calwell, there are different combinations of children in classes. When forming the class lists the following factors are taken into consideration: gender, special needs, work habits, cognitive ability, friendships, behaviour, health considerations, religion (to assist in achieving balance between classes, especially in Sacramental years) and common names.
Ideally we aim for an equal spread of both positive and challenging characteristics.
Where practical, parental requests based on educational concerns will be considered. At St Francis of Assisi, the staff and parents will follow these principles and guidelines when considering placement of students each year:
- Every care will be taken to ensure that each child is placed in the best situation to enhance learning and social development;
- Parents who wish to discuss particular concerns regarding the placement of their children in particular classes should put the concern in writing and address it to the Principal by Friday of Week 4 (Friday 29 October);
- Parent concerns will be seriously considered during the process. It must be clearly understood, however, that no definite guarantees can be given regarding parent’s requests;
- Where appropriate, advice will be sought from the Learning Support Teacher, School Counsellor, etc during this process;
- Taking into account all of the factors listed above, the current class teachers compile class lists during the last week of November and hand to the Principal for confirmation;
- Children will be informed of their class placement for the following school year in December (usually the last week of school) and the opportunity will be provided where possible for them to spend some time with their new class teacher;
- A class lists will be made available for parents during the last week of the year. No changes are made after this time; and
- Throughout this process the Principal, after appropriate consultation, reserves the right to make final professional decisions regarding the placement of children.
Please be aware that requests for particular teachers or for a particular gender of teacher will NOT be considered. Also, we do not accept friendship requests.
Peace and Best Wishes
Please find attached a letter outlining the drop off and pick up arrangements for the students in Kindergarten, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 6 who are returning to school next week on Monday 25 October.
I ask that you take the time to read this letter carefully as it contains a lot of information to help the drop offs and pick ups run smoothly.
Late drop off and early pick up
If arriving late to school, please remain in your car and phone the front office so that a staff member can meet you at the car.
If picking up your child early, we will be unable to accommodate an early pickup after 2.00pm. If you have an appointment in the afternoon then you will need to collect your child before 2.00pm.
Reminder: completion of surveys
If your Kinder, Year 1, Year 2 or Year 6 student will be staying at home next week, please complete this survey: https://forms.gle/JQvnLCcEY9ewqNa96
If your Year 3, Year 4 or Year 5 student will be requiring supervision at school next week, please complete this survey: https://forms.gle/CGpNCYxdiPmsHUsN7
Thank you to all the families who purchased books from the Carnival Online book fair. This was not the optimum way to host a book fair but the aim was to provide children with something different during this lockdown period. There are some books purchased still waiting on pick up from the front office. Thank you for your support.
Story Box Library is a fantastic resource purchased for the children to enjoy stories read to them.
If you are unsure of the username and password please email Debbie.Cossettini@cg.catholic.edu.au or your class teacher for details.
Many children are experiencing apps closing while using them. The main problem is due to the lack of storage on the iPad. Google Classroom and See Saw uses the memory available to open documents and play videos. If there is less than 1GB of storage it is likely the app will close. Please remind your children to clear and delete images and videos not needed any more. Apps not currently used can be off loaded, rather than being deleted and can be reinstalled when needed.
Term 4 Fee Statements have been emailed to all families this week.
Please check your email to ensure your statement came through. If you didn't receive your statement, please email email@example.com and a new statement can be sent through or your email address updated if required.
Term 4 Excursion Levy
The Excursion Levy of $15.00 per student has not been charged this term, as no excursions will be possible with the Covid-19 restrictions in place.
Term 4 Swimming Levy
The Swimming Program charge of $25.00 per student in Kinder to Year 4 has been charged for this term. The school is yet to confirm if the Swimming Program scheduled for Week 7 and Week 8 will be going ahead. If the program does not go ahead, a credit of $100.00 per student ($25.00 per term charged this year) will be processed to your account towards the end of the term.
Term 4 school fees are due for payment by Friday 26 November 2021 unless paying by direct debit.
Transitioning back to school
As we start returning back to school within the next few weeks, some children may be experiencing mixed feelings about it. Children may be excited to see friends again but may also be experiencing some worries about leaving home or parents or even scared about catching COVID-19.
All these feelings are valid but if you are wondering about ways in which you can help support your child transition back to school, here are 5 quick tips.
- Renegotiate Routines
During lockdown it is more than likely that different routines were established such as a little more screen time or going to bed later. Before your child goes back to school start making slow changes to help ease returning to school.
- Allow time for adjustment
Returning to school can be a bag of mixed feelings and emotions. Children may be feeling more tired and fatigued or experiencing big emotions at home during first weeks back at school. That is all fine, be patient and tolerant, allow time for children to adjust to being back at school and changes to routine.
- Acknowledge children’s worries
Children may be experiencing lots of worries upon returning to school, will my friends still remember me and be my friend, worried about being away from home and parents to the possibility of catching COVID-19. It is important to acknowledge and validate feelings whilst remaining calm. Use some positive reinforcement to remind your child of the fun positive things about school and all the positive days they have had at school.
- Coach Empathy
Although we have all been in lockdown, we have all had our own experiences and feelings about lockdown and this is the same for children returning to school. Children may be feeling differently about going back to school so it is important to let your child know that it is OK if their friends and others feel differently to them.
- Be Optimistic
If you are worried or concerned about your child returning to school, try and avoid introducing these worries to your child. Model to your child how to be optimistic about returning to school, help your child remember what they like most about school, what they have been looking forward to and even reminisce about fun stories from school.
If you would like to know more, please read the full article by Penny Van Bergen and Erin Mackenzie, 5 ways parents can help children adjust to being back at school after months of lockdown. https://theconversation.com/5-ways-parents-can-help-children-adjust-to-being-at-school-after-months-in-lockdown-169350
Please find below some resources to assist with the transition from remote learning back to school.
This year St Francis of Assisi Primary School and BASCA are taking part in Canteen's Bandana Day to support young people who are affected by cancer.
Bandanas can be purchased from the school or BASCA throughout October and November for $5.00 each.
Donations can also be made online through our fundraising page:
Bandana Day will be celebrated at school on Friday 5 November.
Thank you for your support!
Transport Canberra’s dedicated school bus services will recommence on Monday 25 October 2021. This includes ‘S’ trips that divert into schools.
Timings have changed for dedicated school services and the regular timetable. We are strongly encouraging families to check their school pack and plan ahead.
Special Needs Transport continues to run for those families that need this service.
A range of COVID Safe measures are in place to help keep students safe on public transport. Please remind families to familiarise themselves with these measures and talk to their children about them prior to the return to school.
From Monday 25 October 2021 buses will run to a revised interim timetable. This timetable is a similar frequency to the timetable that has been running over the past two months, but with some changes to timings to allow better connections for school students.
Light rail is continuing to run to its regular frequency but will see an increase in frequency from Monday 1 November 2021. This will assist with physical distancing on board. Customers will benefit from extended afternoon peak frequency on weekdays and increased frequency on Sunday mornings.
Consider walking or riding to school – or using a Part way point
Parents and carers may also consider alternative ways to get their children to school. If they live close by they can take advantage of the warmer spring weather and walk, ride or scoot to school!
Part way points are also a great way to get some exercise into children’s days for families that live a little further away and this also helps to ease congestion around schools. Parents or carers can simply drop their child at a point, or park and walk the rest of the way with them.
Park safely and legally
All 40km/h school zones are in place between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday. Speed limits in school zones are there to ensure the safety of children by allowing motorists extra time to stop in an unexpected situation.
Parking across pedestrian crossings, corners, verges and double parking can block kids seeing the road.
School packs and timetable information
For enquiries customers are encouraged to visit www.transport.act.gov.au or call 13 17 10.
The Compass Parent Portal is now live. If you are having trouble logging on, require a password reset or need help finding your login details, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.
Please see the attached flyer for more information about the Parent Portal.