A very warm welcome to the 2020 school year. I hope you all had a happy Christmas and a great break with your family before our busy school year began.
I understand that this summer brought many challenges to families within our community and I trust that everyone is safe. To those who are still experiencing a time of uncertainly with the Orroral Valley fires, our thoughts and prayers are with you. If there is anything we can do as a community to support you, please do not hesitate to ask.
I would also like to acknowledge and thank all our wonderful families who contributed to the fundraising effort coordinated by St Anthony’s. Many packs were made and delivered to communities affected by the recent bush fires. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.
This year we have many new families joining our school community. On Monday we welcomed 20 new students from Years 1-6 and 64 new Kinder students on Tuesday. A very special welcome to all. Welcome to those parents who are joining our community for the first time and I hope your time with us is rewarding for both children and adults. If you are a returning St Francis of Assisi Primary School family please help the new members of our community feel welcome.
A special welcome to new staff who are joining us this year: Mrs Shelley Salzke (Year 2 Dhaura), Miss Emily Barr (Year 3 Kanbi), Miss Emma Gillan (Year 3 Ngadyung), Mr Simon Hargraves (Year 5 Kanbi) and Mrs Karen Western (Classroom Support Teacher) We also welcome Miss Anna Corkery (6 Dhaura) and Mr Tim O’Brien (Year 5 Ngadyung) to their new roles as classroom teacher. Our new staff will be commissioned into their role as teachers and staff in our Parish Primary School Sunday 16th February by Fr James. I am excited by the contributions our new staff members will have within our school community and wish them every success for the year.
First Week of Term
It was wonderful seeing so many bright and cheerful faces on Monday morning. The children looked excited as they went in to their new classes, and as I visited the students throughout the day it was evident that they were very happy and settled with their new teachers.
Tuesday marked the first day of Kindergarten and once again the children entered their classroom with enthusiasm. With hardly any tears, (from the parents) the children happily farewelled their families and had a wonderful first day.
Together as peacemakers, we grow and learn in the footsteps of Jesus
This is the vision statement of our school and as we begin a new year, let us do so with a sense of freshness, enjoyment and community. May the spirit of Jesus be with us this year.
Parent Information Evening- Monday 17th February
You are strongly encouraged to attend the Parent Information Night on Monday 17th February at 6:00pm. The evening will follow the same format as last year with teachers giving presentations in the classroom. There will then be an opportunity to have a sausage sizzle, to meet your class teacher and receive an information pack that will include important aspects of the curriculum taught through the year. Please bring your children - it is a family event and all students will be supervised from 6-6:40pm on the oval by staff from BASCA.
Please make this time a priority as it is important that all families hear the information presented.
A note will come home next week asking for numbers for catering. Could you respond to this promptly please?
I have instructed staff to not reply to emails sent to them after 6.00pm at night. Teachers deserve to have family time. They will reply to your email in a timely manner.
Thank you to everyone for such a great start to the year. The children have arrived at school looking exceptional in their school uniform. Being part of St Francis of Assisi Primary School means adhering to correct uniform. It is essential that your child has a school hat. Play on the playground is only allowed if a hat is worn. Jewellery is not part of the uniform and, apart from watches and ear studs, should not be worn. Long hair must be tied back and be of the child’s natural colour. Does your child have black shoes and a St Francis of Assisi school bag? Thank you for your cooperation with this. Smart Watches seem to be the latest trend. Please note that if your child has a Smart Watch they must be on ‘DO NOT DISTURB’ mode whilst on school grounds.
Before and After School Pick up and Drop off
As we come back to school I would like to remind parents and carers about our drop off and pick up arrangements. This is probably the most dangerous time during a school day and it is imperative that we all work together to ensure all children are safe getting to and from school each day. I do ask that you are patient during these times, as rushing or overtaking cars in our drop off zones can be dangerous to our children. Dropping off a little earlier in the morning or collecting a little later in the afternoon can alleviate some of our traffic congestion. Getting all children to and from school safely is of paramount importance. Supervision for students begins at 8:30am and finishes at 3:30pm.
A reminder about ‘Pickers’ in the afternoon;
If the cones are out, you have 3 choices:
- Drive to the carpark, park your car and collect your child from the hall;
- Continue to drive around the block until the cones are removed;
- Go and run a quick errand and come back when the ‘Pickers’ lane is open
No one may line up behind the cones until the children are assembled in the ‘Pickers’ area and the cones are removed. This assists with the traffic congestion and easy exit for the busses on Casey Cres. Please note: Pickers does not open till 3:20pm.
If we all follow these simple steps it makes ‘pick up’ in the afternoon safer and easier for all.
Birthdays in 2020
Once again children are able to wear normal clothes on their birthday. If your child’s birthday falls in the school holidays, please ask them to see their classroom teacher and negotiate a day that suits.
Obviously there will be some exceptions to this, such as the first day of school, school photo day and special masses and occasions. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Catholic Education has allocated 3 additional hours per fortnight for our school in 2020. As a result, Catholicare has had to reshuffle their staff and Amy Kennedy will not be returning this year.
At the moment we don’t have a counsellor at St Francis of Assisi. Catholicare are working quickly to rectify this situation. If your child requires assistance urgently, especially after the recent bush fire disaster, please contact me immediately so we can support your family.
Changes to the 2020 calendar
All parents should have received our 2020 school calendar on Tuesday. This year sees a few changes to our school calendar. The biggest change is that we will not be having a fete this year. Although it is a fantastic community day and does raise needed funds for the school, we found that our parent committee was getting smaller and smaller. This year we will have a Family Fun Day. What this looks like is yet to be decided. We will form a parent committee throughout the term. Any and all parents are welcome to join and bring along some ideas.
Grandparents’ Day has also changed this year, with it being held in Term 4 alongside our Feast Day Celebrations. Put this date in your diary as it is always a highlight of our school year.
There are some other changes, especially in terms of Communication with parents, i.e. parent teacher interviews. Please familiarise yourself with these changes.
Year 6 Camp
Next week sees our Year 6 children attend camp at Milson Island Sport and recreation Centre, on the Hawkesbury River. This time away early in the year helps students and staff to further develop relationships and to participate in challenging and team-building group exercises. I look forward to attending this camp with our students. Hopefully the weather will be kind to us.
Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook! We find it is a great was to disseminate information.
Thank you too for your efforts in preparing your child/ren so well. It has been a very smooth start to the year.
Next Monday we will have our First Fire Drill for the year. Normally we do not advertise this but I understand that some children will be experiencing anxiety after the recent summer holidays. Please talk to your children about the need for the fire drill. The classroom teachers will stress the fact that there is no present danger and that we are ensuring that everyone knows what to do if the need arises.
If you are concerned that this might cause distress in your child, please do not hesitate to contact either myself or Tiffany Reedy (Assistant Principal)
Peace and Best wishes
Hi. My name is Karen Western and I have returned to St Francis after many long years. I was a teacher here in the very early days and have great memories of working here. This was my second teaching school. Back then I was a little younger and a very new to teaching. Now, I am older and not much wiser. I am thrilled to be part of our Learning Support Team and able to lead the team with Christine. I am available 5 days a week, and am very happy for you to pop in and see me at any time. Eventually I’ll be able to offer you coffee, but not just yet! I look forward to working with you all at this beautiful school.
This year we have adopted the aboriginal names for our classes, and we ask that you join us in using these names when referring to your childs class.
We understand that for existing families this may take some getting used to, and we appreciate your support with this change.
A reminder to all families that if you would like to volunteer your time to assist at St Francis of Assisi Primary School, you MUST hold a current and valid Working with Vulnerable People card.
Registration is free for volunteers and you can apply online through Access Canberra to get your card - see the instructions below.
Once you have your card, we ask that you present it to the front office so that a copy of your card and registration details can be placed on the school's WWVP register.
When volunteering at the school, please sign in as a visitor at the iPad in the front office, and sign out as you leave the school.
How to Apply for a WWVP Card
To apply for a WWVP registration card follow these easy steps.
- Go to the Access Canberra website www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au and search WWVP – Click on the Working with vulnerable people (WWVP) registration to complete your registration online
- Attend an Access Canberra Service Centre located at Belconnen, Dickson, Gungahlin, Tuggeranong or Woden to provide proof of your identity and have your photo taken (if required)
- Receive your WWVP registration card by post after Access Canberra has assessed your application
- Present your card to the front office where a photocopy will be made and kept on file
Frequently Asked Questions
The name of the employer is: St Francis of Assisi Primary School, 120 Casey Crescent Calwell ACT 2905
The contact person is: Kate Markcrow – 02 6292 4500
The contact’s email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
The sports days for 2020 are as follows:
Kindergarten - Monday and Wednesday
Year 1 - Tuesday and Thursday
Year 2 - Tuesday and Friday
Year 3 - Tuesday and Thursday
Year 4 - Tuesday and Thursday
Year 5 - Monday and Thursday
Year 6 - Wednesday and Friday
Students are to wear full school sports uniform on their class sports days each week.
A reminder to all parents that students in Years 4 to 6 need to sign and return the following 3 forms:
Students in Year 3 are asked to sign and return the following 2 forms:
Students will not be able to connect to the school network or use any devices at school until these forms have been returned to their classroom teacher.
Please contact your student's classroom teacher or our ICT coordinator, Mrs Debbie Cossettini, for futher information and clarification.
Welcome to the 2020 school year!
Term 1 school fees will be issued in the next couple of weeks. If you haven't already done so, please notify the school if you have children at a systemic high school. This entitles you to a 20% discount on the CE Tuition Fees and building fund will not be charged at St Francis of Assisi Primary School. You can use this form:
Please also notify me by email if you do not wish to pay the building fund this year. The building fund is $178.00 per family per term and is a voluntary, tax deductible donation to the Canberra Catholic Schools Building Fund. The donations provide funds to go towards school maintenance and refurbishment costs, new schools and building insurances. If you do contribute to the CCSBF, a statement for tax purposes is sent out in July each year.
A reminder that Direct Debit instalments do not increase automatically each year. If you have a Direct Debit in place, please get in touch with me if you would like your instalments to increase in 2020 and I can assist with calculations if required. I can also assist with the setup of new Direct Debits or Bpay instalment amounts.
Please give me a call or send me an email with any fee related queries. I can be contacted from 8.30am - 3.00pm from Tuesday to Friday each week.
A reminder that the canteen is closed on Monday 10 February 2020.
A note has been sent through SZAPP to all families, asking for volunteers for the canteen in 2020.
If you would like to know what we do please feel free to come and see us. Also if your child/children have any allergies or dietary requirements please come and see us or phone us on 6292 7477.
Sue and Jo. Canteen Managers.
The clothing pool opening hours for 2020 are as follows:
Tuesday mornings 8.30am - 9.15am
Friday afternoons 2.45pm - 3.15pm
The clothing pool is always in need of donations of good quality second hand school uniforms. If you have any donations you can bring these to the front office, or take them directly to the clothing pool during opening times.
Many thanks to our parent volunteer for running this service for our school community.
School Banking for 2020 will be processed each week on a Thursday.
Students should take their bank books to class on a Thursday morning where they will be sent to the office in the designated banking bag.
Many thanks to our parent volunteers who give up their time each week to provide this service at our school.