From the Principal

Student Numbers

This year we are operating 25 classrooms and have a total student population of 591 students.  Student numbers in teams are very even.  Foundation = 21,  Year 1 = 21, Year 2 = 21, Year 3 = 21, Year 4 = 30, Year 5 = 27, Year 6 = 27  This year we are able to again offer a diverse range of Specialist and Support teachers to support individual student needs and the delivery of a comprehensive curriculum that is unique. 

Facilities

Over the January break we had a new refit of the Prep -2 toilet block, a refit of two classrooms in the year 1 /2 area. The presentation of rooms mirrors the year Prep setup. Thank you Donna McGregor for your efforts managing the works. The year 3 relocatables have been repainted and the main building completed. Synthetic grass will be installed around the main building during the term.

Parent’s and Friends Association

Each year, volunteer parents take on the role of being representatives for each class in the school.  These rep’s support the teacher by taking on a variety of roles including arranging parent helpers and organising social events.  Teachers will be keen to hear from interested parents seeking to be class reps for 2016. Thank you in anticipation of your continuous support. Our first Parent’s and Friends Association meeting will be held Tuesday 9 February in the staffroom. See our PFA Noticeboard in the Rest A While Shelter for new information.

Next week teachers will be inviting parents to be their class rep. What does the ‘Parent Rep’ do?  In essence, the role of the parent representative is to assist and support the classroom teacher and to provide an additional informal communication link between the school and its community.  Parent representatives provide a valuable point of contact for the teacher to communicate to the rest of the parents in their class.  The relationship between the parent representatives and the teacher is a sensitive one and relies on goodwill and consideration to achieve common goals that benefit the students and the school.  Ultimately, how and when a parent representative is used within the classroom is decided by the classroom teacher. 

An important role for the Parent Representative is to develop a supportive relationship with other parents in the class.  He/she is not expected to do all the tasks and hopefully he/she will be able to engage all parents in the arranged activities and to share the tasks throughout the year.  Issues that come to the attention of the parent representative should be treated as confidential. 

 Some parents have put in writing their experiences as class representative:

Your main role is keeping the other families in your class updated with what is going on in the school. You are the information hub while also keeping close contact with your class teacher. You don't have to be at school every day to do this. E-mail is just as effective as being there in person. You will need a list of e-mails from your classroom families to start you off.

Keep asking if the teacher wants anything done. Some days it may be no but others they may have lots for you to do. You don't necessarily have to do all the work either. That's where the e-mail comes into it. You are allowed to ask for help as well.

Any social events coming up can be directly e-mailed to your classroom parents. This could be in the way of a whole school event or just your class.

A lot of people don't make it to assembly so any updated info relevant to your year level could be e-mailed out. Could be a term-by-term update.

It isn't hard being a class rep. If you are stuck on anything or confused there are other parent reps who are willing to give advise or direct you. You are not alone. Good luck and enjoy. More importantly, it is a great way to get to know other families and parents in the same class as your child/ren.

Parent / Student / Teacher Conferences

The conferences with parents and students will be conducted Monday 8 February.  Students attend for a 10 minute interview only. At the meeting, parents share information about their child and the class teacher use the opportunity to share information about their observations and assessment of your child’s progress. The children join in to talk about their learning goals. (These goals have been developed by the teacher as a result of extensive assessment and observation of the child at work). Prep classes operate as usual on the day. 

School Uniform

School uniform is available for purchase each Wednesday morning between 8.30 –  9.30 am  in the area next to the hall and Music Centre. During 2016 the Uniform Policy was updated and a lot of consultation and effort went into determining the elements of the policy. As a result the following two points will be enforced. They are very clearly expressed.

 1. All children must be wearing the Eltham North Sunsmart Hat during all play times during term one and four. No other designs or coloured are permitted. See the School Uniform policy for a detailed explanation.

2. In terms of clothing: All children must wear school colours – green and gold.  Other coloured clothing are not permitted. We strongly encourage parents to purchase school ‘logo’ items from our uniform shop. See the School Uniform policy for a detailed explanation.

 School Council News

Our first School Council meeting will be held on Thursday 18 February. 

Additionally, School Council Election process commenced Friday 5th February. There are vacancies for parents.  Please consider joining School Council. Talk to existing councillors and teaching staff for further information.

School Council nominations for 2016:  As the Principal of Eltham North Primary School and Executive Officer of Eltham North Primary School Council I formally call for nominations to the following positions:

 Parent Category =  3 vacancies

 If you decide to stand for election, you can arrange for someone to nominate you as a candidate or you can nominate yourself in the Parent category. DET employees whose child is enrolled in a school in which they are not employed are eligible to nominate as parents for the school council where their child is enrolled. Once the nomination form is completed (available from the Principal), return it to the principal by the close of nominations on Friday 12 February by 4.00 p.m.  (Note:  If there are more nominations received than there are vacancies on council, an election ballot will be conducted with the closing date for the poll being Friday 26 February at 4.00 p.m.  Along with a nomination, we ask each candidate to furnish a brief background statement.  This can be used to introduce new councillors to the community, or to enable an informed decision to be made should an election be necessary.

 Ask at the school for help if you would like to stand for election and are not sure what to do.

 Notice of Election:  Friday  5 February
 Nominations Close:  Friday12 February

Change of school start times and session times during the day:

Commencing 2016 there are significant changes to how the school day will operate.  Here is an explanation and table describing the new timetable.

 Start times: At 8.55 am music and a bell will invite children to enter the classroom, put their bag in and move to the mat. Each day a meditation session will enable children to zone into a calm and positive frame of mind for learning that promotes their emotional wellbeing. 

Session times: There are 6 x 50 minute teaching sessions during the day.  This format provide the opportunity for an increased number of Literacy and Numeracy sessions.  The format also provides the opportunity to explore Integrated Studies topics in more depth, (while maintaining 4 Literacy / Numeracy sessions in the morning).  The length of Support & Extension sessions is a suitable amount of time and there is a balance in the allocation of staff and aides across the school in each level. Specialist classes will fit within the weekly timetable and specialist clashes for accessible teaching spaces is reduced (i.e. Music Room, Hall). In fact, more resources and spaces such as extra ICT Lab, Art Room and Hall availability will occur.  Specialist may operate double sessions i.e. Enviro Cooking.  Teachers and teams will have planning time together and lunchtime is at a more ‘reasonable' time - 1:00pm.  

Play space: Addressing how children move around the yard during playtimes is also a focus.  In term four we trialed split play times and modification will be implemented this year. An extra yard duty teacher will be allocated for the play breaks and the student peer mediators program will be expanded. A new gate has been installed to ensure Preps can safely play in a designated zone and not access the car park area. The zone external to the prep classes and the atrium will receive synthetic grass with games marking.  An extension of play equipment will be added for Prep -2 and 3/4 students. 

Walking School Bus Program

In 2016 we intend to operate WSB routes. To maintain these routes two parents who live locally learn how to be approved as a conductor and then commit to walking the designed route once a week on a particular day (that you choose). Go to our school web site for the complete list of WSB routes and details. http://www.elthamnorthps.vic.edu.au  If you can assist as a conductor then we will arrange for your training.  In summary: Is there a day of the week that you can commit to walking to school on one of the routes? Do you know of another parent who can do the same? If so, then we can build upon this.  We always have lots of children interested in walking the school as part of the WSB routes.  Contact the office if you are interested and available.

Out of School Hours Care Program

The Before School Care program is in full operation and all families are able to access the service.  Commencing at 7.00 a.m. and finishing at 8.45 a.m.  Breakfast is available and children may have breakfast at any time before 8.15 a.m.  Please feel free to use the BSC on any day of the school week or more permanently if required.  An annual registration fee of $10 per family is required to use the of School Hours Care programs.  The drop off car park is available for parents in a hurry early in the morning.  ASC operates from 3.30 pm – 6.00 pm. Please note for 2015:  BSC fee is $13.00 and ASC fee is $17.00 and full day care on curriculum days is $40 

School Banking

Parents are reminded that school banking day is every Wednesday.  Please encourage children to use our banking service.  Volunteers assist by counting and processing the Bank Book.  In doing so, the school receives a small payment for the establishment of new accounts.  This adds up to be quite a deal of money raised each term for the school.  

Lunch Orders

Classroom Cuisine will continue to offer a lunch menu service on Monday and Wednesday each week.  The menu is located on our web site (look under forms and notices) and via school favourites on Compass.

Compass

For information go to our website and Under COMMUNITY, click on Forms and Notices and in one of the first listing you will read the ‘Compass Parents Guide’  click on the text.

Student Drop Off Zone

Parents are aware that the top of the school drop off zone is a very busy area at the start and end of day.  You are required by law to ‘kiss and drop’ which means say goodbye and safely and as quickly as possible. Please do not walk away from your car and note this is a 5 minute zone.  The Nillumbik Bylaws officer has and does take photos of cars illegally parking and will fine offenders.  Also it is recommended that you don't allow children to get out of your car in the middle of the street.  

Drop off and pick up times

Children are to arrive at school after 8.45 am or be picked up by 3.45 pm.  Outside of these hours we do not have any teachers in the yard supervising the grounds.  With the end of day light savings and cooler weather, parents are required to realise the ‘legal ramifications and safety issues’ relevant to duty of care. If you have to drop off early or pick up late, then please use the OSHC service. Your children will be moved from the upper playground areas into the centre of the school ie atrium or into OSHC especially if they arrive before 8.30 am or after 4.00 pm.  

Privacy Matters

At Eltham North we celebrate the efforts of our students by mentioning their participation in school events and their achievements in our school newsletter. Occasional photographs of students are included.  We also use photographs of students in our school magazine along with examples of their work.  Photographs of students are on our school intranet site.  On the school website there are images of students but we only ever use group photographs and identify a student only by their first name, class or year number.  If an individual photograph and full name is required, we will only publish this on the website with the consent of the parent and the student.  We allow parents to record school assemblies and other performances as this creates a momento that can be shared with other family members.  Video and audio recording is permitted at under a copyright license paid by DET (Department), on behalf of all government schools (AMCOS/ARIA license).  We invite local press to school events and they are expected to follow school policy on the publication of photographs of students.  When a story is about an individual achievement we will always seek your consent before passing information or photographs to the press for publication.  Unless a story features an individual child only group photos are published and students’ identified by first name and year only.  If you have any concerns about how photographs of your child may be used by the school please let us know. 

Yard Duty Raffle

We have our weekly Yard Duty Raffle program.  Each week two names are drawn from a container at the school assembly. The teachers award tickets to children exhibiting positive values and behaviour. 

Community News  

Please refer to the Community News notice board (located outside Prep Room 1) for any interested community events.  The Department of Education (DET) does not endorse the products or services of any private advertisers.  No responsibility is accepted by DET or Eltham North Primary School Council for accuracy of information contained in advertisements or claims made by them.

Important dates for 2016. Go to Term Planner section for ‘live’ update.  Here is a list for term one 2016.

School Council Election process ~ commences on Friday 5 February
Curriculum Day – Friday 5 February
Parent, Student Teacher Conferences on Monday 8 February 12.00 – 8.00 pm. This is a variation to School Hours day
School Swimming Carnival:  At Aquarena in Doncaster on Friday 12 February
District Swimming Carnival:  At Aquarena in Doncaster on Thursday 18 February

Our first School Council Board meeting is Thursday 18 February at 7.00 pm
Life Education:  The Life Education Van will arrive on Tuesday 16 February.  All classes will access the program over the next two weeks.
Year 4 Camp: Starts Wednesay 24 February at Mt Evelyn Recreational Camp
Clean Up Australia Day activities on Friday 26 February
School Fete Saturday 5 March
Student photos on Wednesday 2nd March
Public Holiday on Monday 14 March
Year 6 Camp: Location Phillip Island Recreational Camp commencing Tuesday 15 March
Annual Reporting Meeting of School Council on Thursday 17 March at 7.00 pm
Prep Celebration morning and Expo on Tuesday 22 March from 9.00 am
Last day of term one is Thursday 24 March.