Welcome to 2019, and a sincere welcome to all our new families.
On the day following the 2018 school closure, the teaching staff came together for a very thorough ‘handover’, through which existing teachers met with the 2019 teacher and shared a great deal of valuable information about each and every child. The conversations were incredibly valuable and left me with great faith in how we would ‘hit the ground’ running in 2019. And so we have! Your child’s teacher already has a great sense of his/her interests, strengths, friendships, learning goals and challenges.
We welcome our new staff – Kylie McMillan (Reception M), Amy Raymond (Year 2M) and Susie Boksem (Year 3B/F) and the following new families – Alford, Almeida, Aslin, Bhangu, Chalouhy, Chung, Davies, Ellis, Etherton, Fidock, Grover, Hashwani, Jeev, Kochhar, Kothari, Liu, Martin, Menezes, Napoli, Nguyen-Huang, Nourse, Nthoane, Oung, Parisi, Parmar, Parvataneni, Patil, Pham, Quinn, Rawat, Saracino, Sidhu, Sofia, Turner, Valenti-Potts, Van Heeswyk, Vargas Zuluaga and Zhong to our community today.
I have been very impressed with how well our new children have settled in, so thankyou families for your support encouragement leading up to our First Day.
We know that the first couple of weeks of a new school year are vital to establishing relationships between students and teachers that enable success to flow. I have asked the teachers to focus on social/ emotional learning opportunities, setting up class expectations, with a 'personal responsibility' focus in the first week and continuing these opportunities as alongside formal teaching into the following weeks. From a parent perspective, take the time to talk about the activities the children are doing, friends they are making, new 'things' they are learning about their teacher and classmates. Don’t expect formal homework or readers to come home during this important formation time. Research tells us that getting the climate right, children feeling safe, having friends, wanting to be at school is the platform for rich learning.
Meet the Teacher Evening
On Tuesday, 5thFebruary, you are invited to pop in and meet your child’s teacher anytime between 7:30pm and 8:30pm. There will be no formal information session as all of this will be given to you in a ‘Class Information Booklet’ on the night. Then in Week 7, March 12th- 13thwe will be holding ’3 Way Conversations’ after school and late Wednesday evening in which your child, your teacher and yourself will discuss the start to the year and goals for 2019.
Cybersafe Families – Parent Session
The information session for families who were unable to attend last year, or who are new to our school this year, will be held on Tuesday 5thFebruary from 6:30pm – 7:30pm(immediately preceding the Meet the Teacher Evening). Attendance is vital for families of students in Year 5 or 6 this year, however, everyone is welcome. The take home option of a MacBook will only be offered to students whose families attended a Cybersafe Families Parent Session. Please advise Susan Trimboli asap of your ability to attend next week’s Session via firstname.lastname@example.org
As I mentioned last year,I have spoken to the staff about the importance of communicating clearly with our community. Concerns or issues should not be addressed through email, but rather via phone. If you wish to express a concern via an email to a teacher, please give them 24 hours to respond via a phone or 1:1 meeting. My experience is that back and forth emails just adds to confusion and unintended messages. A phone call often quickly alleviates the concerns and anxiety. As with many contemporary organisations, I have also mentioned that staff need to be wary of reading emails after 5:30 pm, they also have families and these things are best left to the morning. I thought it important that you are aware of this and ask your support in the interests of the well-being of all.
Finally …. a great Start
We were delighted last week to engage in rich Professional Learning with support from Autism SA and were blessed with the opportunity to join 5,200 Catholic Education Staff at the Entertainment Centre. It was an opportunity to celebrate Catholic Education but also hear from our inspirational Director, Dr Neil McGoran, about our priorities and commitment to every child and family that we serve. Our staff left the day with a great sense of gratitude, affirmation and commitment.
I so look forward to all that 2019 offers. I’ve had a great break, but was really eager to get back to the work I love. 2019 will be a year of continued dreaming but also bringing those dreams to life for our children, as we embark on building/new play space programs.
Please find enclosed this year’s Parent Handbook, the Term 1 School Calendar, the ICT Acceptable Use Guidelines & Agreement and two forms for each of your children which are to be completed and returned to the School Office before the end of this week.