Welcome Back Everyone! What great weather we have been having although a bit muggy! We are excited to have everyone back with our new preps also starting on Monday. The new year brings new possibilities as we introduce our 2022 theme:
It’s a new day!
There have been many challenges these past 2 years and no doubt we continue to live with these and other challenges. However, ‘It’s a new day!’ evokes hope and optimism. This is something that we always hold on to no matter what is sent our way. So we start the new year, acknowledging the hardships but knowing there are many good times ahead.
There has already been a flurry of communication to parents this past week as we prepared for the start of the year. I ask you all to download the school app if you haven’t already as this is our main source of communication. The class teachers also use Seesaw and they will direct you on how to connect with the class using this tool. This newsletter is quite a lengthy one as we inform you of many different things. Sit back and enjoy the read. Please also know that it is not appropriate to email your child during class time or to send a message to your child. All messages must come through the front office or the classroom teacher who will pass these on to the student if necessary.
We welcome many new faces to the school community. Welcome to our new families: Cvitkovic, Cyno, Denaro, Dobson-Portelli, Dugandzic, Fedele, French, Garofalo, Ion, Narnia, O’Brien, Puskaric, Rados, Rivelli, Velardo, Waite, Kerwin, Fazzolari, Calovic families.
We also welcome our new staff members, Ms Gemma Peasnell, Mrs Sarah Curtain, Mrs Bridget Tadic and Mrs Carol Curcic. We welcome back from maternity leave, Mrs Kristina Costello and Mrs Jess Taylor. We also welcome Nadine Ibrahim who is the new Out of School Hours (OHSC) manager. We know that you will all be embraced by the welcoming community of St Augustine’s.
It has been great to see the students wearing their St Augustine’s uniform proudly. Children are in brown school shoes and those who are not have spoken to me about why this is the case. A reminder that correct uniform is expected each day. PE uniform to be worn only on PE days (Yr 6 wear PE uniform on inter school sports days too). Ensure any hair longer than shoulder length is tied back in a ponytail for both girls and boys. Please note that girls are to wear fawn school socks and tights not chocolate brown. School hats are to be worn during first and fourth term. The Yr 6 children will be presented with their personalised Yr 6 graduation shirt once they arrive. This year we look to ensuring students are wearing the new, improved uniform. Three years ago the Advisory Council (formerly known as the Education Board) worked hard to upgrade and make recommendations to improve the uniform. I ask that everyone now looks to removing old pieces and ensure your child is wearing the newer pieces. If you are unsure ask around or contact the school. Michelle Ivkovic will open the second hand uniform shop later in the term.
St Augustine’s has a proud history with the many people who volunteer in the school. While the past two years has seen this reduced I am still thankful that the Advisory Council has continued to meet regularly offering advice and recommendations and being informed of the school initiatives and programs. The members of the 2022 St Augustine’s Advisory Council are: Andrew Collins (Chair), Nicole Carland (Secretary), Maria Fraietta, Melissa Denardis, David Toy, Lauren Kitchener, Trevor Goodison, Trish Walsh, Fr Peter and myself. Thank you for offering you time and expertise.
RAT kits have gone home to be used twice a week over the first 2 weeks. Another box will go home the week starting 14th February.
- Please test your child twice a week. Suggested days are a Monday and Wednesday morning
- Report any positive test to the school and isolate for 7 days
- If students receive a positive test result at any time, they must report this through the
Department of Health system (Rapid antigen tests | Coronavirus Victoria) or via the
coronavirus hotline at 1800 675 398.
- You may also use this portal to report a positive case. VicEd COVID Portal
- A user guide has been created to assist parents with logging cases via the portal
- If positive follow the latest advice at: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/rapid-antigen-tests
Yr 6 begin their interschool sports competition next Friday. They will be playing away games next week. Due to ongoing restrictions only the children, staff and nominated volunteer parents are able to attend. Unfortunately this is also the case when we play home games.
Congratulations to our school captains who were announced on our last day of term in 2021. I look forward to working with them and developing their leadership capacity. The school captains are: Sophie Dodd and Ethan Antonious. Vice School Captains: Mia Tonkovic and Heath Egan. Our senior leadership program involves all Year 5/6 children. Each child will have a role within this program. House Captains and Leadership Responsibilities will be announced at our beginning of year liturgy. Unfortunately we will only be able to have students and staff attend this liturgy.
Parent teacher conversations will be held Tuesday 15th February. All children, including prep children, will be dismissed from school at 12.15pm with interviews commencing at 12.30pm. Prep families do not participate in these Parent Teacher conversation as theirs are scheduled over the coming Wednesdays. The school will still provide childcare for those children who cannot be picked up before 3.15pm. Details for registering for a parent teacher conversation time and registration for care to be provided until 3.15 is on the ‘Learning Matters’ page. Your child will need to be booked in if you require them to stay until 3.15pm. These children will be supervised in the library where you can collect and sign them out. These Parent Teacher Conversations will be conducted online. Classroom teachers will be organising these links. These conversations are to begin the relationship between yourself the teacher and the child and to assist the teacher with any information you feel is needed to promote a successful and positive year.
At St Augustine’s we encourage ongoing communication between home and school. Children will often come home with stories about their day that bring joy but at times may concern you. The appropriate way to communicate with the school is to first make an appointment with the teacher to discuss the concern. We know that stories can be misconstrued or take on a different perspective through the eyes of a child. A teacher can help clarify the issue and assist in helping the distressed child. Email is an efficient and effective tool that supports timely communication. It strengthens the goodwill and the positive partnership between parents, students and the school to enhance the well being and learning opportunities for students. Emails are an efficient way to set up a suitable time to speak to a teacher rather than become a discussion about your child’s academic progress, learning expectations or behavioral issues. Emails should be short, to the point and contain only essential facts. Teachers will take the discussion offline and call for a meeting if they feel that ongoing discussion is required. Be aware that ‘out of hours’ or ‘in class time’ emails may not be answered immediately nor will staff respond to abusive or aggressive emails. They will be responded to within 2 working days from receipt of the email. Parents should contact the office to inform a teacher of matters of immediate urgency eg. a child needing to go to after care, a change in pick-up arrangements as emails might not be read in time to act upon requirements. Teacher emails are the first letter of their name followed by their surname and @sakeilor.catholic.edu.au eg. Adele Mifsud – firstname.lastname@example.org. A list of the 2022 staff is included in this newsletter.
A reminder to use the school app to report a student absence. Open the app and the ‘more’ link where you will find the link the ‘absentee form’. It has become a mandatory requirement to inform the school of your child/rens absence.
A few messages have already gone home informing you that there have been positive cases in the school. Once I have been informed of this I then send a letter to parents in the specific year level or cohort of children via Seesaw. A general message then is sent via the app to the whole school community. To protect privacy, I am unable to be specific about the person who has tested positive. The letter informs you there has been a case in the class and that unless your child is symptomatic then school continues as normal and your child continues to attend. I would encourage you to test your child for your own assurances. For your information, a local child Vaccination Centre is located at Keilor Views Primary School.
St Augustine’s Primary has been listed on the 2021-22 BARR, Bushfire At Risk Register. This means that we would be required to close on CODE RED days. Fire danger levels and ratings range from low-moderate, high, very high, severe, extreme to code red. Code red applies to the worst conditions for a bush or grass fire. The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) issues a Code Red Fire Danger Rating warning for the weather district in which this school is located. All communication will be through the school app so please ensure you have this downloaded on your phone. It should be noted that there has not been a determined Code Red day since January 2010.We work with an Emergency Management company to work through all scenarios and the whole school engages in an emergency management drill each term. Staff are all trained as emergency management wardens annually.
St Augustine’s has a long history of partnership with our families. The Parents’ Auxiliary are a very active group in the school who have organised events such as lunch orders, mothers and fathers day stalls, fundraising drives, Bunnings BBQ and more. As with most years we often see a turnover of participants as children move from the school. We are always looking for new members with fresh ideas and energy. The first meeting this year will be Friday 11th February at 9.00am. This will be an online meeting. Follow the link to join the meeting. The past years have resulted in reduced fundraising and social events. We are hopeful that we can do more this year. I encourage you to come along with a friend and join this dynamic group. We really need your help to ensure we can continue to provide these events for our school community.
A reminder that there a a number of different protocols in place this year for parents when dropping off, picking up and when coming on to the school grounds. It is important to remember that the drop off zone does not have anyone parking or leaving their car to ensure a smooth and efficient flow of traffic. I
- School gates open at 8.30am where children will walk to their class.
- Do not congregate at school gates before this time- social distancing rules still apply
- Please do not park in the drop off zone in front of the school. Park in side streets or further down Augustine’s Way
- Be sure to socially distance at all times.
- Drop off zone will continue between 8.30am and 8.45am for all students. Stagger your arrival/drop off to avoid congestion of cars and people. Do not park in the drop off zone
- School day ends at 3.15pm
- Please do not park in the pick up zone. Park in side streets or further down Augustine’s Way
- Adults need to be sure to socially distance at all times.
- Teachers will bring children to the pick up zone
- Please be patient as we move cars through the pick up zone
- Stagger your arrival/pick up between 3.15-3.30 to avoid congestion of cars and people. Do not park in the drop off zone
If parents need to come on to school grounds please go to the office where you must always wear a mask, regardless of long you are here.
If you need to drop your child/ren off earlier than 8.30am please contact Big Child Care as they run an excellent before and after school care program in Cooinda. There are rebates available upon application. Go to the ‘Noticeboard’ in this newsletter for more details.