PARENT INFORMATION BOOKLET
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Hello! Thankyou for selecting Esk State School and choosing to partner with us for your child’s education. Being familiar with the processes and procedures of our school, will really help your child settle in and support the smooth running of this learning environment. To that end, the purpose of the booklet is to inform parents of the ways that ‘Esk State School’ does the business aspect of day to day school life. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any inquiries. Looking forward to connecting with you all. Mrs Roslyn Waldron Principal Esk State School is all about teaching and learning. That is our core business. But schools are also a business – a people business. Our focus is teaching and learning, but Esk State School is part of a larger government organization, and as such is governed by the laws, directives, policies and procedures of the Department of Education. From time to time, these can seem ‘annoying’, ‘painful’, or ‘unnecessary’ but they do serve to govern for equity and safety. Your focus is your child, our focus is the well-being - not only of your child - but of all the children in the school. Thanks for being willing to work with us. Communication is essential between us. We’ll have your details from the enrolment process, so you may like to take note of these contact points. Website: https://eskss.eq.edu.au School landline: 07 54244111 (general enquiries, absentee notification, tuckshop etc) firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Banking details: Please use BPOINT for payments to the school. A link is available from the school’s website on the lower right hand side. Don’t forget to download the app! QSchools 1
The QSchools app integrates with the school’s website platform to allow users to see when news, events and newsletters are posted to the school website. Additionally, the app enables the school community to receive real-time notifications about state-wide emergency alerts as well as school push notifications. It is possible to have more than one favourite school, to cater for families with children in high school as well as primary school. The School Day: Key times during the day / bell times: 8:47 – warning song 8:50 - bell to signal start of instruction 10:30 – bell to signal first break. 10:50 – no bell but children dismissed by teachers to go and play. 11:07 – warning song 11:10 – bell to signal start of instruction 1:00 – bell to signal second break 1:10 – no bell, but children dismissed by teachers to go and play. 1:37 – warning song 1:40 – bell to signal start of instruction 3:00 – dismissal bell. Attendance: Attendance at school is compulsory under Australian Law. Every single day counts! Children do better when they are at school all day, every day. Teachers strive to ensure that every moment within the teaching day contains a learning experience. We work on the clear understanding that every minute that passes is time that cannot be recaptured. The best thing about teaching is that it matters. The most difficult thing is that every moment matters. The roll is marked twice a day. Please ensure: 1. That your child is on time for school. 2. That your child stays for the full school day. 3. That appointments, doctor’s visits, family events etc are scheduled OUTSIDE of school hours as much as possible. 4. That late arrivals or early pickups are avoided …. lost time all adds up and interrupts your child’s learning and routine and that of the other children in the class. 5. That should your child have a reasonable excuse to be absent (eg. illness), that the school is notified either before the day, or on the morning of the absence. When a student is identified as absent from school without explanation, the school is required to notify the caregiver immediately (either manually or electronically). This especially holds for students in care. 2 6. Use the school landline to leave a message to notify absence - and reason for absence - each day. 7. Medical certificates are needed for absences 3 days or more.
8. That prior to week long or more absences, permission is sort from the department through application to the principal. Absences over a fortnight will require additional paperwork to apply for exemption from compulsory schooling. Class Composition Class composition is determined by many influencing factors, and remains the responsibility and decision of the school teachers and principal. When determining class placement the following factors influence the decision making: • class sizes (across the school) • number of students in grade level • academic needs • mix of students • family members in the school • age / maturity / independence of students • continuity of learning • individual needs School arrival and pickup: The school is not a child care centre, and as such there are mandated drop off and pick up times. Students who arrive at school via parent drop off or bikes are asked to do so close to 8:30am. Unless accessing before and after school care, only staff are permitted on the grounds prior to 8:10am. From 8:30am, supervision is provided in the classroom and classrooms are accessible to students. Students are asked to go to their room at this time, and prepare for the day. Once organized, students are asked to stay in the classroom and engage in free time activities until the commencement of learning at 8:50am. Parents of younger students are most welcome to accompany them to their classrooms. Should your child need to arrive before 8:30am, then supervision is provided in the undercover area between 8:10 - 8:30am. This is primarily for students who travel on the bus. All children are to gather and remain in this area until released to go to their classrooms at 8:30am. No child should be on the school grounds prior to 8:10am. The school day finishes at 3:00pm. Children are released from class to move to the waiting area near the front gate where they can meet their parents (preps are escorted down) or line up for the bus. All non-bus students should have left the grounds by 3:15pm. Please be aware that no children are allowed on the play equipment outside of school hours, unless actively supervised by a parent. As children become very anxious and upset if they are unsure where Mum/Dad are, please let the office know if you are running late, or if there has been a change of plans. 3
Before and After School Care: Before and after school care is available through Esk Before – After Vacation Care (EBAVC). This is a company that works on the school grounds and caters for school aged children. Care is available from 6:15 am, and cares for children until 6:00pm. Transition between the school and EBAVC is managed on site and co- ordinates with the school’s playground supervision roster. The reception room is now located in C Block next to the music room. Vacation care runs from 6:30am – 6pm. Please contact 0459089668, or email email@example.com. Chris Kelly runs the EBAVC team. Parking vs Drop off and pick up: Parking around the school is limited – especially during peak times of drop off in the morning, or collection time at the end of the day. Please be aware of your environment, as it is very easy to become distracted or to have an unexpected moment – our children are, at times, unpredictable! Off street parking is for the staff. Parents are asked not to utilize this space, as there is no boundary fencing. No student should be in this space without an adult. Generally most drop offs and pick-ups are done using the pickup zone. The ‘Drop Off and Pick Up Zone’ is literally for that. STOP -> DROP -> GO. It is a one way zone with access from the school side of East Street (turn down Ann Street). For ease of access, please go around the block so that you are able to access the stop, drop and go zone easily - without turning across traffic. Be warned -- Police do patrol the area. • Watch the speed limit. – 40km/hr zones • Do not drive over any solid white lines. Cross only where there are no lines or broken lines. • The bus zone is just in front of the hall area. This is not a place to pull over. • Go slow in the drop off and pick up zone - for obvious reasons. Bikes: Students are welcome to ride their bikes to school. They are to walk them into and out of the school grounds, and may store them underneath A block during the day. Students are welcome to chain their bikes if so desired. Students leaving the school grounds: The school day goes from 8:50 - 3:00pm. All students are expected to be there for the entire day, five days a week, every week of term. However, from time to time, the demands of living requires a student to leave the 4 grounds to attend appointments. If this is unavoidable, the parents are required to collect their child and sign them out of the school, using the register in the office. To return to school, parents sign them back in and escort them back to class.
Uniforms The wearing of the school uniform supports school identity and reinforces school pride. The P&C approved uniform is: Shoes -- students must wear closed in shoes for school. Under current workplace health and safety regulations, closed in shoes such as joggers/sandshoes are appropriate. Please do not send your child to school in sandals, thongs or other open footwear. Colour has not been mandated. Hats -- We are a SunSmart School. Hats are available through the uniform shop. The school hat is a maroon broad-brimmed hat, while the prep students start with a yellow broad-brimmed hat. The yellow hat enables staff and students to quickly identify the youngest students so that we are able to provided additional support where needed. All children are required to wear hats during eating and play time, and any outdoor lessons. No hat, no play. Skirts/Shorts + Shirt: Skirts / Skorts / Shorts are maroon. Dress t-shirt is also maroon with the school emblem on the front. There is a dress for the school uniform for those girls who wish to access it. It is a maroon check design with front zip. Bike shorts (for modesty) are also sold at the uniform shop. The uniform shop opens each Monday morning from 8:30am – 9:00am. This service is run by the P&C. Sporting Houses: Upon enrolment, students are placed into one of two sporting houses. Families are allocated into the same sporting house. The sporting house allocation will last for the duration of your child’s time at the school. Eskdale: Red sports shirt. Maroon shorts. Available through the uniform shop. Ivory: Blue sports shirt. Maroon shorts. Available through the uniform shop. Naturally, the better house always wins! The uniform shop opens each Monday morning from 8:30am – 9:00am. This service is run by the P&C. Health Services: School nursing services and other advisory services are available through the school. The school is happy to help families access these services on a needs basis. A dental van does visit the school on an annual basis. When the school is advised that the Dental Service is coming, permission and medical forms are distributed, and parents are advised of appointment times. This is an optional service. Ambulance cover is automatic now, through the payment of our utilities. The school will not hesitate to access these services should the need arise. Parents will be immediately informed. 5
Bus: There are two bus runs that service the school. They are not managed by the school, but the school provides the bus supervisions prior to and post school. Bus Run Provider Contact Service to: Gatton Road, Cedar Burns Buses 07 54264376 Grove and Windsor Park Service to: Murrumba District, Coast and Country 1300 428737 Biarra District, Hampton Road, and Toogoolawah High To investigate bus services, and determine costs, please contact the numbers provided. Children who use the school bus runs for transport to and from school, do so under the Code of Conduct on School Buses. A copy of this code is distributed each year. The bus companies do have a parental advisory body. P&C and other parental involvement: Our P&C is a vital aspect of our school, and are a very active and proactive body. The P&C is traditionally a fundraising body, but they also play a significant role in advocating for the school, feeding into the school planning processes, and supporting school endeavours. At the time of writing, meeting are held on the third Monday of the month. Your support and participation within the P&C is much encouraged, and we invite you to become members. Members are covered by insurance whilst doing any volunteer work for the school. The P&C is a vital partnership for the development and maintenance of the school resources and facilities. There are also many other ways for families to be active within the school. Regular and reliable classroom help is deeply appreciated, then there is assistance in the library shelving and covering books, helping with lunch time activities, working in the gardens etc. Parent involvement doesn’t all have to happen through the P&C meetings. A little, or a lot – it all shares the burden, builds school pride and most importantly demonstrates to your child how much you value their education. Parent helpers are asked to sign in and out at the office, as this is a legislated requirement. Tuckshop: Tuckshop is run by the P&C each Wednesday morning– for first and second breaks. A current menu is 6 distributed regularly and will be sent out early each year.
A paper bag ordering system is used. On a paper bag write the details of your child, their class and their order. One bag per child / order. Please put the correct money in the bag, and deliver it to the tuckshop prior to the start of school. The student’s orders will be filled and for the younger grades, a basket will be taken to their eating area for distribution, while older students will be able to access the tuckshop directly. Eating Time: There are two designated eating areas within the school. Early phase students (P – 2) eat under A block, while the older students (Y3 – 6) eat in the undercover area. With 20 minutes dedicated for eating during the first break, and 10 minutes in the second break, students are asked to adhere to the following routines. • When dismissed from class, move in an orderly and efficient manner to collect their lunch box and hat, then walk over to the eating area. • Students are welcome to visit the toilet before moving to the eating area. • Students are to sit in their designated seating area, and remain there, until they are signaled that eating time is finished. Students are encouraged to each their sandwiches, yoghurt etc at the first meal break. • Gaining attention -> stay seated. Put up their hand or say “excuse me” and wait for a response, then ask for what is needed. • As a safety precaution - students are not to get up to put rubbish in the bin until dismissal time. • When the staff member on duty signals the end of eating time (no bell), students are dismissed having had their area checked for rubbish. They then put their rubbish in the bin, and place their lunch box either in the class collection spot, or return to their bags. Students are then welcome to play. As severe food allergies are present in the school, food is not to be shared. School Performance Tours: School Performance Tours are accessible by the school, with the school usually having up to 4 performances throughout the year. There is a cost to parents. These performances are highly entertaining and provide a brilliant means of exploring curriculum through dramatic presentations. Parents will be invoiced for this service. P&C approved. Behaviour Management: Esk State School is a positive behavior for learning [PBL] school. As there is nothing that builds success like experiencing success, there is a strong emphasis on noticing positive behaviours and rewarding them. The Responsible Behaviour Plan outlines the school’s approach to behaviour management, and covers off on our approach to bullying, the appropriate use of technology, weapons in the school grounds, etc. This document is easily available in the forms and document section of the school website. It was updated in December 7 2017 and reviewed regularly. You are welcome to obtain a hardcopy from the school office. Our school motto: Ever Seeking Knowledge
We value: Safety, Respect and Learning … so Our behaviour expectations (rules) are: Be safe, Be responsible, Be respectful, Be a learner. Weekly lessons reinforcing the school rules and teaching social skills are embedded into classroom timetables on the Monday. On Friday during parade, we celebrate our student successes! Also, a gentle reminder - The School Code of Conduct does apply to us all. Please do not access rooms or resources without approval, and confidentiality applies around student work and school happenings. Parades: Run by our school leaders, parade is now held weekly on a Friday afternoon starting at 2:40pm. Parades enable us to celebrate our student successes and forward plan for the coming week. Parents are more than welcome to attend, though we do ask that students remain in their classes. Rewards Day: On the last day of term, the school hosts a REWARD DAY for the students. This is a behaviour reward for all our students. The activities are designed to be fun, hands-on, but still have a curriculum learning objective. Please refer to our Responsible Behaviour Management Plan for further information regarding behaviour management. Keeping the flow of information between us: 1. Newsletters - are issued weekly on a Friday. They are an important source of information about current and planned events. Hard copies of the newsletters are sent home with the youngest child of the family. The newsletters can also be accessed from the website, the Qschools app, or emailed directly to you. They will often have other information attached that needs to go home. eg. invoices, bookclub etc. The school tries to limit sending home notes, using the newsletter as the key point of distribution. 2. Phone Calls - Never hesitate to give the school a call! The office is open from 8:15am. The school willingly makes contact to attend to student needs. Please note however, that teachers are not available to talk on the phone during class time, as teaching is their focus, but the office will take messages at any time and pass them on. This is a great way to let us know about illness, doctor appointments, travel arrangements etc. Teachers are also happy to ring parents to celebrate students’ successes or issues. 8
3. SMS – group texts are sent out from time to time from either the Principal’s phone or the administrative line. It’s quick method to inform our community of important, urgent matters, or reminders. 4. Push notifications – used in a similar way as SMS – are sent through the school website. 5. Parent / Teacher Interviews – We formally offer parent/teacher interviews at the beginning of term two and term four. There is a booking line – SOBS available from the home page of the school website. However, parent/teacher discussions are on offer at any time. Teachers are more than willing to discuss your child’s progress, and to hear about your concerns, issues etc. about your child. However, it is requested that parents make an appointment so that the teacher can dedicate the time and be prepared without being distracted from their teaching responsibilities, and can manage their own personal schedules. We will contact you too, if there is something that we need to discuss, work through or celebrate. 6. Progress Reports (report cards) are issued at the end of each semester (end of term 2 and term 4). They are distributed on the last day of the term. If additional copies are needed, please let the office know. Should a student be absent on the day of report card distribution, the report will be posted to the family. 7. K.I.T. - Keep In Touch books are used through the early phase of learning. It is a communication tool to promote a reliable method of managing home/ school messages about your child’s learning progress, hiccups and successes. 8. Social Media – The school does have a face book page. It is monitored, and the school appreciates healthy interaction on this site. Please understand that any misuse of social media will be referred to the appropriate authority. Due to the need to contact parents on different occasions, we need to have the contact details of all students up to date. This includes phone, mobile phones numbers and addresses. Please ensure these are up to date as we require these details if an emergency arises. Chaplain: The school is fortunate to be able to have access to a School Chaplain, thanks to the support of proactive Local Chaplaincy Committee who are dedicated fundraisers. Financial support has also been through the winning of a commonwealth grant. Please see our chaplain or the principal if you are willing to financially support this program. It is a vital service and a cornerstone of the schools Learning and Wellbeing Framework. The Chaplaincy Service provider is Scripture Union. The school chaplain – Mrs Ella Green – is in the school on Mondays and Tuesdays, and for Friday afternoon. Parental permission during enrolment, is sought for the students to interact with the Chaplain. Mrs Green 9 does work with all students in the school in a manner similar to that of a teacher aide, but is a non- authoritative person who is dedicated to supporting the emotional wellbeing of our student body and staff.
The chaplaincy role does not have a religious component, and Mrs Green will not be taking Religious Instruction. Mrs Green also runs several activities for our student body, and is freely available for parental access. Breakfast Club on Tuesday morning is also coordinated by our very busy Chaplain! School Books and Stationery Supplies: Each year a book list is devised to suit the needs of the grade level. It includes a mix of stationery, exercise books, equipment, some texts (eg. handwriting), and may also inform parents of the cost that they will be invoiced for. Our local newsagent – Esk Newsagency – works in close partnership with the school, so that school supplies are easily accessible. Please supply all items on the booklist. Teachers will collect, store and distribute the resources as they are needed. All items are to be named. Internet Access: Internet access is a vital component of our digital pedagogy. Children of this era are digital natives whose learning is greatly enhanced through the use of digital technologies eg. interactive surfaces, computers etc. The use of virtual classrooms, eLearning spaces, learning objects, and dedicated interactive websites compliment the more traditional methods of instruction. Reliable internet access is a vital component of these resources, and as such children need to learn how to manage and appropriately use internet access. An Internet Access Permission Form was part of the enrolment process. The school endeavours to have a whole of school approach to the web-based resources that students need to access. These resources are internet based and can be accessed from the home/personal devices as well as the school computers. As such, they serve a dual purpose of connecting school to home and vice versa. As cloud storage is now a factor to consider, your permission to access these sites is required. The shool absorbs a significant cost of the subscriptions, but a small component of the subscription cost for these sites will be shared between parents and the school. P&C approved. You will be invoiced early in the year. Religious Instruction: A Religious Instruction program is offered by the school using an ecumenical curriculum – Connect. This is run by approved volunteers according to Departmental Guidelines. Participation is voluntary. As most of our students access this program, please advise the school if you wish your child to be withdrawn from these lessons. An alternative learning arrangement will be provided for non-attenders of Religious Instruction. RI is timetabled for Tuesday afternoons, with classroom teachers remaining in the classroom to support the volunteers. The school deeply appreciates the ongoing dedication of these volunteers who regularly attend our classes. Use of the Library: 10 The Library is a welcoming and cool/warm place to hang out. Students are welcome to access the library at lunch time, to change books, play games, access computers, or even read. Teachers also schedule library access time as part of the literacy program to encourage regular reading for enjoyment.
Due to the numbers of students who enjoy accessing the computers during playtime, a roster system has been put into place. Students in year 3 – 6 may access the computers during the first break, while the younger students (who take much longer to log in) may access the computers during the second break. Medication @ School: PRESCRIBED MEDICATION • Make a request/directive on the appropriate form for the school to administer the medication. • Provide the medication in the original container labelled by a health care professional or pharmacist to the office. Make sure the label on the medication shows the name of the student, the name of the drug and the name of the medical practitioner prescribing it - as well as the used by date, dosage and time to be taken. • Please ensure medication is collected when it is no longer required at school. OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATION Similar guidelines apply to the over the counter medication including analgesics and herbal medicines. School staff are not able to administer such medication unless they receive the written request form from parents, or written approval from a medical practitioner and the medication is in the original labelled container. Unwelcome items: Several items, due to Work Place Health and Safety requirements, are not welcome. These include: • tattoos • nail polish • jewellery with the exception of studs / sleeper earrings, signet rings, watch • toys for playing with at lunch • knives or weapons Australian Curriculum: The Australian Curriculum is the mandated curriculum nation-wide. All students are required to access the prescribed curriculum. This is our core business. There are 8 learning areas, complemented by the General Capabilities and the Cross Curriculum Priorities. The Learning Areas are: English, Maths, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS), Languages, Technolgies (design and digitial), Health and Physical Education (HPE), The Arts. Please note that HaSS includes history, geography, economics and, civics and citizenship. There are a variety of learning adjustments that can be made to support and enhance the learning experience. These include: Gifted and talented extension lessons, individual learning programs, individual 11 curriculum plans, extra curriculum activities, special days such as events planned for Book Week, Under 8’s Day, Reading Cup Challenges, Sporting opportunities and carnivals, etc.
Reporting to parents occurs twice a year – at the end of semester one and end of semester two. Parent/Teacher interviews are also offered regularly during week 1 of term 2 and term 4. However, parent/teacher interviews can occur at anytime! All we ask is that you please make an appointment so that staff can set aside quality time and organize their own family responsibilities. Esk State School is able to access the full range of educational supports provided by the Darling Downs South West Region, of which Esk is a part. On site we have the following roles: 2 x Small School Business Mangers (BSM), 2 cleaners, a school grounds officer, a Special Education Teacher (SET) a Support Teacher Literacy and Numeracy (STLaN), 7 Classroom Teacher positions, 4 permanent Teacher Aides, a Languages Teacher, Music Teacher, Instrumental Music Teacher, a Health and Physical Education Teacher, a Teacher Librarian, a Guidance Officer and a Principal. The government funded Investing For Success grant is often used to supplement our staffing: eg. additional teacher aide time, additional Speech Therapy time and Head Of Curriculum services. These are reviewed annually according to school need and funding. Our staff may undertake more than one role, and some are shared on a cluster arrangement with the nearby schools in the Brisbane Valley cluster. Significant investment of the school budget goes into supplementing the schools’ staffing. An initiative of 2018 sees teacher aides assigned to classrooms to form a teaching team with the class teacher. ☺ Instrumental Music: Our school is fortunate to be part of the Instrumental Music Program. Children from Year's 4, 5 and 6 have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument such as a clarinet, trumpet, flute or saxophone. (No stringed instruments). The school owns a variety of instruments that the students may take home and use for their first year of tuition. Students have weekly lessons. Once a degree of proficiency is reached students join the school band/ensemble. The School Band plays at local community events as well as entering various competitions throughout the year. In conclusion: There are probably many other things that could be included in the parent information booklet! Undoubtedly there will still be many other questions or things that you would appreciate having clarified. We are willing to answer your inquiry … please ring. If we are unable to answer the phone, please leave a message. We will return your call. 12 --ooOOoo--
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