Year 7 Meet and Greet Barbecue
As part of the College's Transition program, a barbecue for Year 7 parents and students was held at the college on Monday, 2nd March 2021 from 5:30pm to 7:30 pm. The event allowed parents to meet many of the Year 7 teachers, discuss how students have settled and view the Year 7 area where students spend much of their learning time. More than 100 parents and students attended the evening allowing for the formation of a stronger relationship between the college and the community. Many thanks to parents, students and teachers who attended and to the Student Leaders for all their support with the food preparation.
Student Mobile Phone Ban
As previously communicated, all student mobile phones will not be permitted to be used or seen during school time. Following the mobile phone ban that was introduced a few years back, the College has revised the Student Mobile Phone Policy in line with the new Ministerial Order that has been endorsed by the College Council at the end of 2019. A copy of the new Mobile Phone Policy is available to all parents and students through the Compass School Management System.
I am aware that many members of the school community welcome this change and I urge all students, teachers and parents to take time to read, understand and respect the new revised policy. Whilst I also understand that some students will require mobile phones, for safety purposes, to and from school, students will not require these during the day and will need to leave their phones in their locker. Any learning required through a digital platform will be done with the use of student netbooks.
From all the research, mobile phones are becoming a real distraction for students within the classroom which are having a significant impact, not on their learning but also on their health and wellbeing. We are seeing more and more examples in the community where mobile phones are becoming a distraction (eg whilst driving, at work) and education is no different! Often the unauthorised use of a mobile phone during the school day also becomes a management issue. Class time is learning time and this is what we expect in all students. Any phones seen during the day will be confiscated by a teacher. If a mobile phone is confiscated, this will then be locked in the Student Support Centre and given back to students at the end of the day. Feedback has been very positive and we have only seen a small number of phones collected by teachers each day.
Progress Reports and Parent Teacher Interviews
Parent Teacher Interviews will be held on Monday March 2020 from 1:30pm until 4:00 pm and then from 5:00pm until 8:00pm. Please note that this year the first round of students' progress reports will be available on Compass by the the end of the day on Friday March 19th 2021. This will indicate specifically where teachers have requested an interview, however I remind all parents that interviews with any of your child’s teachers are possible and encouraged. This year parents will also be able to book an interview time through the Compass Management system and information on this will come out shortly.
Staff Professional Learning Days
The student pupil few days for 2021 are scheduled to occur on Monday March 15th 2021 (Term 1); May 31st (Term 2); Monday August 2nd (Term 3) and Monday November 1st (Term 4 – Melbourne Cup Eve). All of these days will be devoted to staff professional learning with this year’s focus centered on the Student Learner Model with a focus on the Berry Street Educational Model. All teaching and non-teaching staff will be involved in this professional learning. The first professional learning day will take place next Monday March 15th 2021 and normal classes will not run on this day.
An early finish (2pm) has also been requested on Monday March 22nd, Monday May 3rd and Monday August 23rd so staff can undertake professional learning in the area of Instructional Practice. The first will take place in 2 weeks time.
Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund Payment Arrangements (CSEF)
A reminder that applications have opened for the Camps, Sport and Excursion Fund (CSEF) for 2021. The program provides a better alignment with school budgeting and administrative processes and will give families certainty at the beginning of the year regarding CSEF eligibility. Families that received the fund in 2020 will not be required to resubmit a form UNLESS there has been changes to your circumstances OR an additional child has commenced at the school. To be eligible all applicants must have a valid Health Care Card i.e as at the January 27th 2021.
The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund helps ensure that no student will miss out on the opportunity to join their classmates for important, educational and fun activities. This initiative is part of making Victoria the Education State and the Government's commitment to breaking the link between a student's background and their outcomes. I encourage any eligible parent to complete a form at the general office. Forms can be printed off from the General Information page in this newsletter.
The Department of Education and Training (which includes all Victorian government schools, central and regional offices) values the privacy of every person and is committed to protecting information that schools collect.
All staff including contractors, service providers and volunteers of the Department, and this Victorian government school (our school), must comply with Victorian privacy law and this policy.
In Victorian government schools the management of ‘personal information’ and ‘health information’ is governed by the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) (collectively, Victorian privacy law).
This policy explains how our school collects and manages personal and health information, consistent with Victorian privacy law. You can view this policy at
- We have stressed to students the importance of good hygiene practices - hand washing and use of sanitiser, coughing or sneezing into their elbow, and staying home if they are unwell.
- Masks are to be worn in classrooms and in enclosed spaces where they cannot meet social distancing of 1.5m. Please make sure your child has a mask with them each day.
- Extra cleaning continues to be provided each day across the school.
Student drop off and pick up:
- The school carpark is for staff only. Parents are asked not to drive in to drop off students, and to park outside if they have an appointment.
- Please avoid waiting close to the exit gates for your child after school. We want to avoid crowding - for everyone's safety.
- Please check the council parking signs at the front of the school very carefully. Police and Council Inspectors will be patrolling U-turns, double parking and blocking residential driveways, as well.
Parents and guardians are reminded that the Department of Education DOES NOT provide personal accident insurance for students. Parents and guardians are generally responsible for paying the cost of medical treatment for injured students, including any transport costs. This includes students who may be injured during school or interschool sporting competitions. In a first aid emergency we shall always call an ambulance should it be considered necessary by the treating officer in regards to the duty of care to the injured student. Fortunately this does not happen very often, however, we strongly recommend that parents do have ambulance cover for any such contingency as any costs in such a matter are passed to the parent.
We do use electronic communication for sending out a range of information throughout the year. Compass is also used for this purpose as well as direct email. Parents have live access to student attendance for their own child, on a period by period basis, including any lateness to class via Compass. I would ask parents to ensure that we are updated whenever an email address changes. Newsletter links will also be sent out electronically, however some copies of the newsletter will still be available in paper format from the front office. Important information which is emailed directly to parents is also sent by post where parents have not provided an email address. Any families new to the College or who did not log in to Compass in 2020 will be receiving their parent log ins this term. Please ensure you keep these secure as you do have more access in Compass than your children do. Also, if any parents need their passwords reset, please email the tech team at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Please don’t hesitate to contact the College if you need any assistance with Compass.
Payments at the General Office
At this time of year the general office is always very busy taking payments for various camps and excursions. I remind all parents that there are various means of avoiding queues at the office. Permission slips must always accompany payments.
- Payments can be made electronically on Compass
- A drop box at the office counter for anyone wishing to pay by credit card or cheque can be used
Just a reminder that Office hours for making payments are from 8:15 am to 4:00 pm.
Just a reminder that any questions about absences should be directed to the hotline on 83909207. This can be used for notifying absences as well as any queries. Absences can also be signed off by sending a note and depositing that in the box at the attendance office or by using Compass for approvals.
Personal Property at School
We are instructed by the Department of Education and Training to notify all parents that the College or the Department is not responsible for personal belongings brought to school. This can include all personal property including books, phones, netbooks, iPads etc. We request the support of parents and guardians in ensuring students are discouraged from bringing any unnecessary or particularly valuable items to school, and that any such items brought to school are looked after at all times.
Tutoring Learning Initiative
In response to interrupted learning in 2020 due to Covid-19, the State government has announced an injection of funding to support the roll out of a tutoring program in 2021. We are currently working through the implementation of this initiative and employing a number of tutors who will work with students from Years 7 to 10, with some VCE tutoring as well. Selected students will be given a letter to give to parents/guardians explaining the program.
We think this program will be very beneficial for students to help improve their learning outcomes. Please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s Sub School Leader or Assistant Principal if you have any questions.
We greatly appreciate the support we receive from parents to make sure that your child attends school regularly and punctually, is in full school uniform, and is ready to learn in all classes with correct books and equipment.
On behalf of the Principal Class
Theresa Burlak, Rick Hudson, Sasha Mildenhall and Louisa Norwood