From the Principal - Welcome 2017

We have our first assembly for year 1 – 6 next Monday. We look forward to introducing our new school captains: I wish them all the very best in their leadership role. We will be presenting badges to all our student leaders in the very near future.

The staff has been most enthusiastic in preparing classrooms. For your information our new classroom teachers include Stephen Sankovic (year 6) and Hayley Ball (year 3).

 This year we are operating 25 classrooms and have a total student population of 596 students.  Student numbers in teams are very even.  Foundation = 21,  Year 1 = 21, Year 2 = 21, Year 3 = 21, Year 4 = 27, Year 5 = 30, 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. 

 Over the January break we moved our library, ICT and all year 4 and 5 classes.

Information for Parents of Prep children

Did your child start Prep this year? Would you like tips on how to support your child in their first year at school? Then subscribe to the Department of Education (DET) weekly Prep for Parents email that includes tips, advice and information about the day-to-day experiences children have in the classroom and things you can do at home to assist and encourage your child.

To subscribe to Prep for Parents, see: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/pathways/Pages/backtoschool.aspx?utm_source=deecd%20home%20page&utm_medium=banner&utm_content=bottom%20banner%20middle&utm_campaign=back%20to%20school

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 2017. Thank you in anticipation of your continuous support. Our first Parent’s and Friends Association meeting will be held Tuesday 7 February and 9.00 am in the staffroom. All parents are encouraged to attend and get involved in the 'live of our school'. 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 rep….

  • 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 Information Nights

This year we are introducing an important parent session for all levels and request a parent to attend.  Commencing at 7.00 pm the teachers in your level will explain procedures and talk about the content for the term and explain how we teach our curriculum and key subject areas.  Each session should last one hour.  Dates:

  •  Wednesday 15 February = Year 3 & 4
  • Thursday 16 February = Year 1 & 2
  • Wednesday 22 February = Year 5 & 6
  • Curriculum Day – Monday 27 February.   OSHC are operating full day care if required.

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 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 for a detailed explanation.

School Council News

Our first School Council meeting will be held on Thursday 23 February. 

 Additionally, School Council Election process commenced Friday 3th 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 2017

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 =  4 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 10 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 24 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      3 February
Nominations Close:  Friday   10 February

School Charges for 2017

School Council has approved the 2017 School Charges.

No Booklist

The school has bulk purchased student stationery and book requirements on behalf of the students.  Parents will pay for these supplies through the 2017 School Charges.

Bulk purchasing items enables us to negotiate lower prices on supplies and remove the handling/delivery costs.  We can also ensure that all students have the correct equipment from the first day of school so that classes can commence efficiently and promptly at the start of the new school year.

Charge Categories

All schools are required to identify charges according to the following categories:

  • Essential education items (EEI)
  • Optional extras
  • Voluntary financial contributions

A sample of your child’s School Charges for their year level was sent at the end of 2016.   You will be sent an email in the coming week outlining charges pertaining to your child.

We describe below the three parent payment categories that school councils can request payments from parents.

1. Essential education items - Compulsory

These items are compulsory and parents/guardians pay the school to provide, or may provide themselves, if appropriate.  These items are essential to support instruction in the standard curriculum program and include:

  • materials that the individual student takes possession of, such as text books and student stationery
  • materials for learning and teaching where the student consumes or takes possession of the finished articles (e.g. home economics, photography, catering)
  • activities associated with, but not part of instruction in, the standard curriculum program, such as costs associated with camps and excursions which all students are expected to attend (e.g. transport and entrance costs).
  • Note:  If parents/guardians choose to provide equivalent materials themselves, this should be done in consultation with the school, and items should meet the specifications provided by the school. However, there are some items (e.g. food provisions for home economics) which, due to their nature, can only be provided by the school.

2. Optional extras

These are items provided in addition to the standard curriculum program, and are offered to all students. They are provided on a user-pays basis and if parents/guardians choose to access them for students, they will be required to pay for them. 

These items include:

  • instructional support material, resources and administration in addition to the standard curriculum program (e.g. student computer printing for personal use)
  • extra-curricular programs or activities offered in addition to the standard curriculum program
  • (e.g. instrumental music)
  • school-based performances, productions and events
  • materials for subjects where the payment sought is the difference between the basic materials/services required for access to the standard curriculum program and higher cost alternatives which may be more desirable (e.g. the use of more expensive materials)
  • materials and services offered in addition to the standard curriculum program (e.g. school magazines)
  • school facilities and equipment not associated with providing the standard curriculum program, and not otherwise provided for through the SRP (e.g. student accident insurance, and hire or lease of equipment such as musical instruments).

3. Voluntary financial contributions

Parents/guardians, or anyone else, can be invited to make a donation to the school for the following purposes:

  • contributions to a building trust fund or contributions to a library trust fund (these trust funds are approved by the Australian Taxation Office and are tax deductible)
  • contributions for a specific purpose identified by the school (e.g. equipment, materials or services) in addition to those funded through the SRP. This may include additional computers or student-related services.
  • general voluntary financial contributions or donations to the school.

Maintaining the quality of education provision at ENPS
requires Voluntary Parental Contributions

Eltham North Primary School, like other schools, is faced with the problem of delivering the quality educational programs that parents and students deserve and expect despite the fact that government funds fall considerably short of what is required to operate our school in 2017.

Today the Department of Education provides funding to government schools to enable the school to offer the ‘basic and minimum’ core essential curriculum and facilities.

In 2017 we are asking parents to contribute to their child’s education by financially supporting the following:

1.        Parent Contribution

This contribution will allow the school to operate as the majority of parents expect in 2017.  It provides air conditioned classrooms (DET does not fund air conditioners or their running expenses), it equips classrooms with modern and comfortable furniture, and safe playground surfaces and play equipment.  It provides effective, environmentally friendly and convenient communication and payment methods. It enables us to constantly upgrade the school facilities to ensure that the children have a safe, functional and pleasant environment in which to learn.

 2.        ICT

 As a school, we choose to invest in state of the art computing and audio visual devices and we see this as a critical part of the core learning at the school. At ENPS we provide students with the latest technology through the provision of less than 4 year old classroom computers, lap tops and iPads. We do not ask parents to provide their child’s own device. We also have interactive whiteboards in all classrooms and two technicians to maintain this technology.  Although we receive funding from DET to fund some technology your contribution provides additional funds to maintain the high standards our community expects and enjoys.

 3.        First Aid

ENPS employs a Level 2 Trained First Aid assistant during the lunch break each day.  The School Council has endorsed this for many years now as they recognise the high demand on the first aid room at lunchtime.  Each year the wages for this position are met by School Council.

 4.        Grounds Maintenance

This contribution provides resources to maintain the school grounds and play equipment.  Several years ago School Council replaced working bees with a levy as parents preferred to make a financial contribution in preference to attending working bees. School Council employed a part time maintenance man to ensure the school is properly maintained without calling working bees. The Grounds Allowance provided to ENPS from the Education Department in 2017 is $2,514.

Without ‘parent contributions’ our school will be forced to modify the programs we offer in order to avoid operating in deficit.

 In anticipation we thank you for your kind contribution to the four Voluntary Parent Contribution components.

 Payment arrangements and methods

The Annual Parent Payment Invoice will be issued via email in the coming week.  Payments will also be loaded to Compass at this time.

Parents may elect to make payment in full by 24th February or in 4 instalments.  Instalments are payable on the following dates:

  • Friday 24th February 2017 (Term 1, Week 4)
  • Friday 28th April 2017 (Term 2, Week 2)
  • Friday 28th July 2017 (Term 3, Week 2)
  • Friday 20th October 2017 (Term 4, Week 2)

 In addition, parents may request a Payment Plan which will be tailored to their requirements.

Payments may be made by the following methods:

  • Compass
  • Bpay
  • In person at the school office by Cash/Cheque/EFTPOS or Credit Card
  • Mail a cheque made to “Eltham North Primary School”
  • Email authorization and credit card details to eltham.north.ps@edumail.vic.gov.au

Receipts will be issued to parents upon payment.

Family support options

  • The Uniform Shop has a limited supply of second hand uniforms in addition to new items and make will make suitable items available to families requiring support.  Iron on logos are available in addition to pre-printed uniform.
  • The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) provides payment for eligible students to attend camps, sports and excursions. Families holding a valid means-tested concession card or temporary foster parents are encouraged to apply for CSEF and will be assisted with applications. If you have previously applied for CSEF during 2016 your application remains valid while your child is enrolled in a registered Victorian school while you are eligible.
  • The Principal or Assistant Principal may request assistance from State Schools’ Relief on behalf of parents or Carers experiencing difficulty covering the costs of uniforms and books.
  • The Online platforms, listed below are available and may assist parents
  • State Schools’ Relief clk2sell app
  •         www.sustainableschoolshop.com.au

Consideration of hardship

The Principal will give consideration to families experiencing long term hardship or short term crisis on a confidential, case by case basis. Parents/carers wishing to discuss payment arrangements should contact David Foley in person, by phone on 9439 9639 or by email at foley.david.h@edumail.vic.gov.au

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 well being.

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.  An extra yard duty teacher is allocated for the play breaks and the oval is utilised for lunch times. 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 2017 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 $8 per student 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 2017:  BSC fee is $14.00 and ASC fee is $18.00 and full day care on curriculum days is $50

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 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 2017 

Go to Term Planner section for ‘live’ update.  Here is a list for term one 2017.

  • School Council Election process ~ commences on Friday 3 February
  • Parent, Student Teacher Conferences on Monday 13 February 12.00 – 8.00 pm. This is a variation to School Hours day
  • Life Education:  The Life Education Van will arrive on Monday 13 February.  All classes will access the program for two weeks.
  • Year 3 & 4 Parent Information Night Wednesday 15 February
  • Year 1 & 2 Parent Information Night Thursday 16 February
  • School Swimming Carnival:  At Aquarena in Doncaster on Friday 17 February
  • Year 4 Camp: Starts Monday 20 February at Mt Evelyn Recreational Camp
  • Year 5 & 6 Parent Information Night Wednesday 22 February
  • District Swimming Carnival Wednesday 22 February
  • Our first School Council Board meeting is Thursday 23 February at 7.00 pm
  • Clean Up Australia Day activities on Friday 24 February
  • Curriculum Day – Monday 27 February
  • School Photos Wednesday 1st March
  • School X-Country Friday 10 March
  • Public Holiday on Monday 13 March
  • Year 6 Camp: Location Phillip Island Recreational Camp commencing Tuesday 14 March
  • Annual Reporting Meeting of School Council on Thursday 23 March at 7.00 pm
  • Prep Expo Monday 27 March
  • Prep Celebration morning activities Tuesday 28 March
  • Last day of term one is Friday 31 March.