ST MARY'S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL ECHUCA
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ST MARY’S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL ECHUCA INFORMATION HANDBOOK St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, 1-33 Bridlington Avenue, Echuca VIC 3564 Phone: (03) 5482 1342, Fax: (03) 5480 2143, email: email@example.com www.smechuca.catholic.edu.au Principal: Brendan Atley
CONTENTS CORE VALUES AND BELIEFS About St Mary’s Parish Our School Brief History of the School Deanery Map Why a Catholic School Our Vision Graduate Outcomes ENROLMENT Enrolment Policy Enrolment Key Dates Year Six Exit Students FACILITIES Facilities Learning Technologies Library Learning Centre / Minnie Laing Centre LEARNING & TEACHING Our Philosophy of Learning Learning Communities Curriculum Victorian Curriculum Intervention & Enrichment Reporting on Children’s Progress CO-CURRICULAR PROGRAMS Performing and Visual Arts Sports Camps and Excursions PASTORALWELLBEING Pastoral Wellbeing Family Liaison and Student Wellbeing Contact Positive Behaviour in Schools (PBIS) Bullying and Harassment PARENT COMMUNICATION P.A.M School App Booking Online GENERAL INFORMATION Absences & Attendances Allergies Assemblies
After School Care Class Photographs Carpark Car Pick Up and Drop Off Court Orders Critical Incident Response Dismissal Procedure Early Leavers and Late Arrivals Emergency Information End Of Term Arrangements First Aid / Accidents Food and Water Evacuation Plan Hats Head Lice Home / School Relationship Immunisation Insurance Involvement of Parents in Curriculum Learning Conversations Lost and Found Infectious Diseases Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse Medical Services Medication Messages to Teachers Newsletters and Notes Parent Class Representatives Parents and Friends Association Parents and School Partnership Parish Community Playgroup Policies Procedure when sending Money to School Safety Precautions at School School Banking School Board School Commencement Time School Hours Daily Timetable Sick Children Sign In / Sign Out Book Supervision Transfers Travelling to and from School What not To Bring SCHOOL FINANCES SCHOOL UNIFORM
CORE VALUES AND BELIEFS St. Mary’s Parish Echuca Dear Parents, Whether this is your first child starting school or your children are coming to St Mary’s from some other school, there is always a bit of excitement and maybe even anxiety. How will my child settle in? What will the teachers think of her/him me? Will I have to work on a committee? Relax! Just come as you are. You and your child are most welcome and we thank you for choosing St Mary’s. St Mary’s is a Catholic school and that has everything to do with the atmosphere and ethos that prevails here. We don’t think that we have got it perfect yet, but we are most definitely and resolutely pointed in that direction. St Mary’s School is an integral part of the St Mary’s Parish Community and we want you to feel welcome and at home in your parish community. Someone has said that religion is caught, not taught. We invite you to join with your children in the religious life and practice of our parish and grow with them in faith, trust and love. Yours sincerely Fr Des Welladsen Parish Priest ABOUT ST MARY’S PARISH Welcome to St Mary's Parish! St Mary's Echuca is a vibrant community. We are part of the Diocese of Sandhurst and we always like to welcome newcomers and visitors. If you want to worship with us, or if you are new to the Echuca area, please come along and you will be made VERY WELCOME. There are many Parish Groups within our Parish Community covering numerous activities and programs for people of all ages and interests, there is sure to be something that appeals to you! Parish Priest - Fr Des Welladsen Parish Pastoral Associate - Christine Sebire Parish Office Hours: Monday: 9am - 12 noon, Tuesday-Friday: 8.30am — 3pm 224 Anstruther Street, Echuca 3564, Ph: (03) 5482 1127, Fax: (03) 5482 1451, www.stmarysechuca.org.au
OUR SCHOOL Dear Parents and Guardians, The most obvious recollection for me, when I joined St. Mary’s was the genuine sense of welcome into the community. It was clearly something that had been developed, fostered and valued for a long time. People who come to this school, enjoy a sense of belonging and ownership that comes from participation. It is through this togetherness that we celebrate Catholic Education and everything it stands for. We work hard to promote and foster what allows us to be successful. If we attend to the key elements of spirituality and wellbeing, we believe all students are best placed to achieve their best. Catholic schools have a long and proud history of providing a well-balanced curriculum supported by excellent staffing and quality resources. As a school, we continue to pursue excellence. We are clear about who we are and where we want to be. I encourage you to contact us for a tour or a chat should you be wanting to see and know more. Brendan Atley Principal BRIEF HISTORY OF ST MARY’S SCHOOL On 31 December 1887, the Bishop of Sandhurst, Most Reverend Dr. Crane OBS blessed the cornerstone of the new primary school in St Mary’s Parish. This school was built on the site of the present parish hall. About 40 children were in attendance in 1889. On 23rd November 1919, the red brick St Mary’s School was erected along Anstruther Street. It consisted of five classrooms and was blessed by the Bishop of Sandhurst, Most Reverend Dr McCarthy DD. Thus, the school continued until 1963 when three additional classrooms and staffroom were added, adjoining the red brick building. These were ready for use at the beginning of the 1964 school year. At this particular time, the primary school children from St Joseph’s College were transferred to St Mary's and St Joseph's became a secondary school only. Two more classrooms were built in 1970, and a new classroom block and administration area in the 1975 Centenary Year of the Parish. It is interesting to note that up until 1963 the teaching staff at St Mary’s consisted solely of four Brigidine Sisters, but by 1975 there were nine lay teachers and two nuns on staff. The refurbishment (1996) of the whole school provided new facilities of which St Mary’s was very proud. In the year 2000, an adjoining building, the Wesley Church, was purchased and converted to classroom areas, accommodating four classes. Additional enrolments in 2004 required the addition of a relocatable classroom to be added to the existing school buildings. After many years of planning and following the sale of the Anstruther Street site, a new school was constructed for St Mary’s during 2008. At the beginning of the 2009 school year, St Mary’s was relocated to Bridlington Ave in Echuca West. The history of St Mary’s has begun a new chapter.
St Mary’s Primary School is part of the Sandhurst Diocese and belongs to the Western Deanery/Northern Plains Cluster
WHY A CATHOLIC SCHOOL? At St Mary’s, we are concerned for the education of the whole person - spiritually, physically, academically, emotionally, socially and aesthetically. We are concerned with the families of the children we educate. St Mary’s school functions within the mission of the Catholic Church. We are open to all in our community who respect and agree to support the Catholic mission of the school. This mission is to continue the works and teachings of Jesus within our world - to be people of love, joy and hope who show respect for all, are willing to serve, have the courage to stand up for what is right and just, have the capacity to build and maintain relationships and to work for justice and peace so that all may live life to the full. Thus we are formed by the values of the Gospel, the teachings of Jesus. Social justice is a key focus when dealing with people and resource provision. We follow the teachings of Church doctrine, morals and ethics. We celebrate in prayer, ritual and worship, the traditions of the Catholic Faith. In this way, we try to be that faith community of our vision. Sacramental preparation and celebration is a Parish based approach. Parish Sacramental Team members, made up of parishioners, teachers and parents, support parents as they journey with their children in the next stage of their faith development. Children access our school from St. Mary's Parish and St. Aloysius' Parish Moama, so both Parish communities and their families work together to support children in preparation to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist. Enrolment forms for the sacramental preparation process, can be obtained from the Parish Offices and need to be completed and returned by the due date. St. Mary's, Anstruther St., Echuca, (03) 5482 1127 St. Aloysius, Francis St., Moama (03) 5480 0141.
St Mary’s Identity Statement A faith community learning together, spreading the Good News of Jesus through positive relationships, trust and love. OUR VISION and GRADUATE OUTCOMES Graduate Outcnts who graduate from St Mary’s will:
ENROLMENT ENROLMENT POLICY St Mary’s School is open to all who seek a Catholic Education for their children and who are willing to support the values and purposes of Catholic Education. Refer to policy on website. Children are admitted at the beginning of the year in which they are five years of age, on or before April 30th of that year, and is encouraged that children previously attend pre- school. Parents are asked to present their child’s birth certificate and Baptismal Certificate (if applicable). All children enrolling at St Mary’s Primary School will be required to present a “Certificate of Immunisation Status for Primary School Enrolment” or an exemption document. Both are available from Medicare. TRANSITION Transition programs are important because they promote the assimilation of the child and the family to the new school situation, encourage the child’s independence and successful functioning in the new environment, and inform and support the family in the process and promote collaboration between family and school. We offer extra 'transition to school' sessions for some children. This is arranged through the Special Education teacher. This program allows children to spend time in a variety of different settings at St Mary’s and become familiar with some other children who will be part of their Foundation (Prep) group. It is designed to support children as they build up to the formal Foundation (Prep) Transition Program. YEAR SIX EXIT STUDENTS Transition programmes are organised by the respective secondary colleges for the senior children leaving St Mary’s Primary School. They follow a similar pattern of information sessions, orientation opportunities and familiarisation activities for children. These are actively promoted by St Mary’s and all children and parents are encouraged to attend. St Mary’s has developed good relationships with St. Joseph’s Secondary College to encourage pathways in Catholic Education for students from Foundation (Prep) to Year 12. Students in Years 4 to 6 are introduced to St Joseph’s through school visits and activities. Senior students and parents are also given many opportunities to become informed about College programs and facilities. All prospective families will be informed as to the timing of these transition activities in advance of the due date.
LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES Facilities At St Mary’s we use the Apple Mac computer platform, using a range of technologies throughout the school. In each Learning Community there are available to all students: interactive whiteboards, a bank of laptops, digital cameras and wifi access throughout the school. Foundation students use iPads, Year 1 and Year 2 students have a 1:4 ratio for laptops and Year 3 and Year 4 students have a 1:2 ratio. Year 5 and Year 6 students have a 1:1 Laptop program. All computers are linked to the Catholic Education Victoria Network (CEVN) and most recently to the Catholic Network Australia (CNA) Education Services portal which provides access to many contemporary learning and teaching resources such as The Learning Federation (TLF) website. The CEVN allows access the email facilities and the internet with highly monitored filters. Each child in the school has an annual paid subscription to the web based learning programs Reading Eggs Foundation—6 and Mathletics Foundation– 6 Generation Safe™ (GenSafe) Our school is a Generation Safe™ school. In conjunction with the Catholic Education Office Sandhurst, staff and students engage in a responsible Digital Citizenship approach to learning and working with technology. The Generation Safe™ tools help the whole school community navigate the digital environment by providing a comprehensive set of resources for all stakeholders: professional development (online videos), incident management, and a comprehensive self-assessment. We constantly revise our policies and user agreements to ensure parents, students and teachers are all involved and take responsibility for the way they engage with technologies. The GenSafe Staff Team at St Mary’s comprises of our E-Learning Leader, Pastoral Wellbeing Leader, Chaplain and Deputy Principal. LIBRARY LEARNING CENTRE / MINNIE LAING CENTRE St Mary’s School has a Library/Resource Centre which is fully automated. Each class has a timetabled library lesson during the week. In addition children, parents and teachers are welcome to utilise the Library before school.
LEARNING AND TEACHING OUR PHILOSOPHY OF LEARNING Beliefs In our Learning Community we believe… ♦ Learning best occurs in a happy and secure environment where all attempts at learning are positively affirmed and encouraged. ♦ Learning occurs through interesting and meaningful experiences. ♦ All students should be included in learning experiences ♦ Learning is a valuable and worthwhile pursuit and intrinsically rewarding. ♦ All individuals learn differently. ♦ In the importance of parental/guardian involvement in their children’s learning. ♦ Assessment and feedback are an integral part of the learning process. ♦ Learning is enhanced by a team approach. Aims At St Mary’s we aim to: ♦ Encourage personal responsibility for learning and develop independent learners. ♦ Create a challenging, open and stimulating learning environment. ♦ Promote positive values and attitudes through the learning experience. ♦ Encourage deep levels of thinking about concepts and issues. ♦ Implement all aspects of assessment to guide and measure learning. ♦ Understand and respond to the different needs, backgrounds and interests of learners. ♦ Develop respect through learning for all within our school community. ♦ Engage students in e-learning through a range of 21st Century Learning Technologies. LEARNING COMMUNITIES At St Mary’s we operate as one Learning Community. Within our community we have centres for each year level. Each community has a learning and teaching team that includes classroom teachers and Learning Enhancement Teachers (LETS) Healy Learning Community (Foundation to Year 2) Brennan Learning Community (Years 3 and 4) Moore Learning Community (Years 5 and 6) Hayden Learning Community (Specialists, Administration Staff and Senior Leaders) Within each Learning Community Centre, each child is aligned to a specific homeroom teacher but is still considered part of the whole learning community. Teachers work as a professional learning team, working together to plan programs, analyse data, map the journey of each child and to support each other in their teaching – all of which will consequently benefit each and every child in the learning community.
CURRICULUM Victorian Curriculum St Mary’s plans and reports to the Victorian Curriculum. The Victorian Curriculum is the foundation to Year 10 Curriculum for Victorian government and Catholic schools, with full implementation from 2017. The Victorian Curriculum F-10 sets out what every student should learn during their first eleven years of schooling. The curriculum is the common set of knowledge and skills required by students for lifelong learning, social development and active and informed citizenship. Religious Education The Catholic school plays its part by providing a Catholic culture and climate within which its students grow in true wisdom. The religious symbols and activities of school life, the shared prayers and liturgy, and the way people treat each other, all provide a framework of Christian living. Within the formal curriculum, Religious Education has a central place. Here it is a course of formal study. The Religious Education curriculum of the Sandhurst Diocese is appropriately titled, Source of Life. English & Mathematics At St Mary's we develop learning experiences within the framework of the Victorian Curriculum, using best practice pedagogy based on current research. Technology All students engage in the use of technology within each learning area to develop specific skills as well as participating in a responsible digital citizen course. This covers topics such as ‘be safe online’ and cyber-bullying. Specialists Children participate in the Specialist programs in the following areas: ● Visual Arts. ● Health and Physical Education. ● Performing Arts. ● LOTE (Language Other Than English) - Indonesian. ● Social and Emotional learning.
INTERVENTION Working in Learning Communities enables fluid and flexible groupings of children to meet their individual needs, as such, teachers prepare programs striving to develop a more personalised learning program. At St Mary’s we have developed a whole school response plan to Intervention. Teams of teachers work in conjunction with the class teacher and the learning community to provide opportunities to extend or supplement each child’s learning through Focus Groups. These groups are informed by evidence of children’s learning and target specific skill development. Progress is constantly monitored to enable differentiated learning programs. This is facilitated through Focus Groups within the Learning Community and enables the extension of learning. For children with specific learning or physical disabilities, personalised learning program (PLP) is developed in conjunction with the Special Needs Coordinator. For each integration child, a Program Support Group (PSG) is formed. The PSG is made up of Parents, their Advocate, the Class Teacher, Student Support Person and Special Needs Coordinator. The Principal can also be involved. The PSG meets at least once per term. Reading Recovery is a Literacy Intervention program for targeted learners at Year 1. We also have visiting Speech Pathologists who works in conjunction with staff. REPORTING ON CHILDREN’S PROGRESS The communication to parents over the yearly period will be in the form of: ● Learning Conversations—Meetings with teacher/student/parent. Twice a year. ● Formal Reports to The Victorian Curriculum and Religious Education. Twice a year. ● Ongoing goal setting and feedback via the parent access module (P.A.M.). We encourage you to have an ongoing, regular communication with the class teacher, regularly login to P.A.M to access your child’s Learning Goals, teacher feedback and student reflections and to have active input at Learning Conversation time. We would hope that all parents are well aware of where their children are at in the learning journey at all times.
CO-CURRICULAR PROGRAMS PERFORMING and VISUAL ARTS Children are given the opportunity to display their talents in public performances through Music Concerts, Whole School Productions, School Assemblies and Art Exhibitions. We alternate between Whole School Production and Art Exhibition. STUDENT WORK SPORT Our Program involves participation in: Annual Athletics Carnival (P-6) Annual Swimming Carnival (Years 3 – 6) Swimming Program : Years 3-6 beginning and end of year, Foundation – Year 2 end of year. Interschool Sport: Years 5 & 6 Term Two and Three (Football, Netball, Softball, European Handball) Cross Country (Years 3-6) Our school provides the opportunity for children to extend their sporting talents by participating in zone competitions and championships. CAMPS AND EXCURSION Camps and excursions are considered to be an important part of the school curriculum, in which all children are expected to participate. The School Camping Program provides for an ongoing development in independence and responsibility as each child moves through the primary school. The programs are for Children in Years 4-6.
PASTORAL WELLBEING At St Mary’s we: ● Recognise the fundamental importance of student’s mental health, their learning and wellbeingPromote quality relationships between students, staff and families. ● Educate students to become resilient with levels of social competence. ● Identify and support family needs. ● Develop a positive, safe and happy environment for our children and staff. Our Pastoral Wellbeing team consists of a Pastoral Wellbeing Leader, a Family Liaison / Wellbeing contact and a Special Education Leader. Our programs are based around the components of Community, Relationships, Social Emotional Learning, Parent Resources and Education and Prevention and Early Intervention strategies. We are guided by relevant policies are these are available on our website or from the school at your request. e.g. Behavioural Management Policy, Bullying and Harassment Policy, Grievance procedures. Programs used are: KidsMatter You Can Do It Making Jesus Real Positive Behaviours in School Seasons for Growth. CHILD SAFE STANDARDS We are committed to providing a safe and nurturing culture for all children and young people at St Mary’s through: ● Upholding the primacy of safety and wellbeing of children. ● Empowering families, children and young people to have a voice and raise concerns. ● Implement rigorous risk-management and employment practices. ● We also follow strict guidelines when engaging volunteers including; ● All volunteers need to complete school based induction program. ● Have a current Working With Children Check. ● Are familiar with ALL Child Safe Policies. Our commitment is to create a school environment where children and young people are respected, their voices are heard and where they feel safe and are safe. FAMILY LIAISON & STUDENT WELFARE CONTACT At St Mary’s we have a Family Liaison & Student Wellbeing contact. This contact works in conjunction with our school Pastoral Wellbeing Leader and communicates with the school families on a range of issues. The contact is also responsible for facilitating parent information sessions, our pre-schoolers and parent playgroup each Monday morning, the Seasons for Growth grief program and works with individual students. Currently, Mel Slattery is our contact and is at our school two days per week (Mondays and Wednesdays).
PARENT COMMUNICATION P.A.M. St Mary’s staff has been using the online portal called SIMON. This resource informs staff and students of their daily timetable, lists the daily notices, school calendar events and reports. It also ensures that students have quick and ready access to key learning links. P.A.M., the "Parent Access Module" allows you as parents and guardians to access your child’s Learning Goals, teacher feedback and rubrics demonstrating progress in learning. You can also access timetables, calendar of school events and daily notices. P.A.M is an integral connection between school and home learning. CareMonkey Parents are able to receive electronic permission forms for excursions and camps and can reply instantly without filling in a single form. The CareMonkey system is located in a highly secure environment. It is important to ensure these details are up to date at all times. Learning Conversations Learning Conversations are a three way discussion between student, parent and teacher regarding the students learning, progress, challenges and future learning. We encourage parents and guardians to embrace these opportunities to share time with your child and their teacher. www.pam.smechuca.catholic.edu.au We use PAM for the booking of Learning Conversations.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABSENCE AND ATTENDANCE Children are expected to attend school every day that the school is open unless there is a reasonable excuse for absence. A phone call to the school on the day of absence is required. If we have not received notification of absence, a text message is sent to parents/guardians notifying them of absence. No child is permitted to leave the school grounds during the school day without written parental approval and the permission of the Principal/or Class Teacher. Parents who pick up children during the day are asked to sign the child/children out in at the School Office and if returning that same day sign them in again. AFTER SCHOOL CARE YMCA of Greater Murray run an Outside School Hours Care Service. All educators are fully qualified and in line with the Australian Children’s Education & Care Rebate. This serves operates from Echuca Central Primary School, students travel by bus to this location with a staff member from After School Care. Operational Hours: Monday—Friday 3pm—6pm. For enrolment and bookings please call YMCA Children Services Director 5482 2517. ALLERGIES Some children's health can be affected by being allergic to particular products, foods, plants or animal bites or stings. If your child is affected by an allergy, we ask you to inform your child's teacher at the beginning of the year of all relevant documentation and treatment procedures. In this way we can inform all staff of the special needs of particular students with regard to allergies. ART SMOCKS Every child needs an art smock. They need to cover sleeves and top and be roomy enough to fit over the winter uniform. An adult shirt is fine. They can also be waterproof underneath. Please make sure your child’s art smock is clearly named. This can be left at school and taken home to be washed at the end of each term. ASSEMBLIES Children will assemble as a whole school every fortnight to share events of interest, notable achievements and pray for their school. These assemblies are held on Tuesday afternoon at 2.10 pm in the Auditorium, also to provide a means of regular contact between the classes and the Principal. Parents are always welcome to attend. CLASS PHOTOGRAPHS Class photographs are taken each year. Pre-paid orders are placed for individual, class group and family photos. School Photo Day is usually during Term 1 and students are expected in full Uniform.
CAR PARK Parents and Guardians are asked to observe the following rules in relation to dropping children at school in the morning and collecting them in the afternoon. Do not exceed 20km/h speed limit in the school grounds. Pick up and drop off arrangements as explained above show courtesy and consideration for other drivers and be cautious and alert. Please do not park in front of neighbour’s driveways. COURT ORDERS In the event where a court order applies to family situation, the custodial parent is obliged to present the school with a copy of the Court Order to ensure that the school is aware of any custody arrangements. Where there are no court orders in place and parents are separated, the school needs to be notified of current mutual access arrangements. CRITICAL RESPONSE In the event of a critical incident the school follows established procedures that are supported by Sandhurst Diocese. We will use relevant and appropriate communication methods to inform and update parents. DISMISSAL PROCEDURE Students will not be allowed to leave the school before 3.05pm without their parent/guardian signing the “Student Sign In/Sign Out kiosk” located in the School Office. EARLY LEAVERS AND LATE ARRIVALS In the event of parents and carers wishing to collect their child early from school, they will be required to report to the School Office to complete the “Student Sign In/Sign Out kiosk”. Carers will need a signed permission note from the parents authorising them to collect the child. In this way class teacher can be assured that all appropriate notification has been observed and that the child’s whereabouts are fully known. EMERGENCY INFORMATION Information needed in the case of emergency is kept in the School Office. This information needs to be updated constantly. It is therefore important that any alteration of contact persons, phone numbers or addresses be brought to the attention of our school immediately.
END OF TERM ARRANGEMENTS School finishes at 2.05pm on the last day of term. FIRST AID / ACCIDENTS Our school is equipped with a sick bay. When illness or accident occurs, parents are notified and when necessary, are asked to take their child home or to a doctor. All Staff regularly complete courses in First Aid with specific Asthma, Anaphylaxis and CPR training. FOOD & WATER At St Mary’s we encourage healthy food and only water to drink. Lollies or junk food are not recommended. Children are encouraged to drink water throughout the day. St Mary’s School does not have a canteen. We outsource our lunch orders on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Orders, together with child’s name and class must be written on a brown paper bag with correct money inside. Orders are to be placed in the blue lunch order bag in each classroom by 8:45 am or orders can be made online. A current lunch order list is available on our school website www.smechuca.catholic.edu.au. St Mary’s promotes a healthy eating lifestyle. Children are actively encouraged to bring fresh fruit daily to eat at “fruit stops”. Parents are asked to send only nutritious foods to school. ‘Junk food’ is not allowed including chips. Children are also encouraged to drink water only. Drinking sufficient water to hydrate the body and the brain is an important part of classroom practice, so children are asked to have a water bottle or “sipper” with them at school. Parents are also encouraged to send children’s lunches with minimum packaging. Classrooms have a three bin system—LANDFILL, PAPER and FOOD SCRAPS No flavoured Drinks or Fruit Juices. Chewing Gum and Bubble Gum are not permitted. HATS We follow a sun smart policy. All children are required to wear a school hat from January to April and then again from September to December. “No Hat / No Play” - children must then sit in a designated shade area. We encourage children to leave hats at school so they have them at all times. HEAD LICE Head lice can be suspected when there is itching and scratching of the scalp and the back of the neck or when a live infestation is known in the community. It is your responsibility to check your child’s hair regularly and notify the school of any infection. The child must be kept at home until treatment has been carried out. For further information contact the School Office. HOME / SCHOOL RELATIONSHIPS Our school has an “Open Door” Policy where parents are invited to assist in any way in any curriculum area. If parents wish to discuss their child’s program, an appointment should be made at the office.
IMMUNISATION A Certificate advising whether a student’s immunisation is complete, or incomplete, must be provided to the school prior to commencement. INSURANCE Our school has taken out a blanket Student Accident Insurance with Catholic Church Insurance covering the total school enrolment. This policy covers students “whilst at school” only—that is, on the school premises during school hours only and whilst participating in school camps or authorised activities away from school. It does not include travel to or from the school. There is no additional cost to parents as this expense is built into the fee structure. Full policy details are available from the school upon request. INVOLVEMENT OF PARENTS IN CURRICULUM Parents are involved in a wide number of activities in the school. Assistance is needed in areas such as excursions, camps, library, physical education and sporting teams. Grandparents are also a very important part of our school community. We ask that all volunteers have a current Victorian Working With Children’s Check and complete the St Mary’s Induction course. LOST AND FOUND Lost property is located in the First Aid Room and may be inspected by parents at any time. It is important that all clothing is clearly marked with the child’s name. This makes it much easier to identify articles of clothing in the first instance. MANDATORY REPORTING OF CHILD ABUSE Teachers have the responsibility of contacting Child Protection Services if they believe a student at their school is harmed as a result of child abuse or is at risk of harm. Child Protection Services is part of the Department of Health and Community Services and is responsible for investigating reports of child abuse. From 1994, all primary and secondary teachers and school principals in Victoria came under a legal obligation to tell Child Protection Services of their concerns if they believe a student is at risk of harm through physical injury which results from abuse or neglect or sexual abuse. MEDICAL SERVICES The School Nurse from Health and Community Services visits each year to check Foundation (Prep) children (and other children referred by parents) for sight, hearing and general medical problems. Echuca Regional Health has a School Dental Clinic. It is situated in Leichardt Street. This service is available whilst the children are in primary school. Contact no is 5485 5820. MEDICATION If a child requires medication, medication must go to the School Office and be entered in the Student Medication Record book located in the First Aid Room. Both, the class teacher and School Office need to be aware of this information. Please ensure that if you have a child with anaphylaxis or asthma that their Action Plans and medication are up to date and sent to the school.
MESSAGES TO TEACHERS Everything sent along to school for the class teacher or School Office should be in an envelope or bag clearly marked with the teacher’s name and the child’s name. If money is sent, the envelope should also include the amount and purpose. NEWSLETTER & NOTES A newsletter is compiled weekly and emailed home to each family on Thursdays. Alternatively, families may access the newsletter via PAM or the school website. In doing so, you support our endeavours to reduce paper use and “read from the screen”. If you do not have email access, the newsletter will go home with your eldest child. The newsletters is a major communication link between school and home and contains information of coming events and other matters we wish to bring to your attention. Please read the newsletter carefully. Newsletters and other useful information are available for viewing on our website. Please go to www.smechuca.catholic.edu.au (News and Events). Deadline for newsletter contributions is Wednesday midday. PARENTS & FRIENDS ASSOCIATION The Parents & Friends’ Association has two major roles. Firstly, a social one, where opportunities are provided to bring the school community together for members to enjoy each other’s company and to get to know each other better - to build our school community through social interaction. Secondly, it has a financial role. Funds are raised to provide programs and improve facilities in the school. It is aimed to keep the amount spent on general running costs to an absolute minimum. The Parents & Friends' has a number of groups that take responsibility for the major fundraising events. These include the Fete Committee, Golf Day Committee (Aug/Sept), Craft Group, Catering Group, and St Mary's Ball Committee. All parents are invited to be actively involved in the Parents & Friends' and will be made very welcome. There is an executive committee of a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer. We prefer to see these roles being shared among parents to share the workload. The meetings are held monthly and dates are circulated via our School Newsletter. A large number of families attend our school and we would like each parent to become involved in some way with the Parents & Friends' Association activities. PARENTS AND SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP We invite and need a contribution from all parents. Make an effort to understand what the school is trying to do. Express your support for the aims of the Vision & Mission statements. Join the Parents & Friends Association, or the School Board. See the school as ‘your’ school. Encourage your children to see it in the same way. Offer constructive criticism and suggestions, but direct your comments to the appropriate people. If concerned, contact your class teacher in the first instance, School Principal or School Board member. Go to school activities including open days, plays, concerts, picnics, sporting functions, and celebrations of any kind.
Welcome new parents. Help them feel that they belong. Build their confidence in the school. Support a broad and balanced curriculum. Encourage your children to cooperate fully, to join in all school activities and to take pride in the buildings, the grounds and the school community as a whole. Support class teachers when they call for help on excursions or classroom activities. Reading the Newsletter is a great way to stay informed about daily activities at school. Working Bees are called on a periodic basis to address needs of the school. Please support when possible. PARISH COMMUNITY Our school could not exist without our Parish. We expect children and parents to be active members of our Parish. Almost all children and families live within the Parish boundaries and can therefore affiliate with our Parish. Our Parish Priest, Father Des Welladsen, is deeply involved within our school which gives the children a sense of belonging. Parish Masses are held weekly at St Mary’s School on Thursday mornings. These Masses are prepared for and attended by different year levels or communities. Each year level also prepare for and attend a Mass at St Mary’s Parish church at least once each year. PLAYGROUP We hold an informal playgroup every Monday at 9am. New parents are invited to come along. Bring your friends as well. It is not exclusive to St Mary’s families only, bring your friend and their kids along as well. Please call Mel Slattery on 0417 822 589 if you would like more details. POLICIES We are guided and informed by Government and Diocesan Policy. Policies are to be reviewed on a regularly and can be viewed on school website or on request. PROCEDURE WHEN SENDING MONEY TO SCHOOL All money must be sent to school in an envelope clearly marked with the child’s name, grade and purpose of the money. This is then handed to the teacher for sending to the school office SAFETY PRECAUTIONS AT SCHOOL Children are encouraged to follow the school rules which avoid the possibility of accidents and the development of dangerous situations. SCHOOL BANKING Our school banking day is Thursday. Children bring their bank books to the School Office. For more information please contact the School Office.
SCHOOL BOARD St. Mary’s School Board is an important element in the leadership of our school. It recognises that community members have a right to participate in the education process and a responsibility to accept the Church’s call to its ministry in the Catholic education of its young people. The Vision statements of the school focussing on shared beliefs, aspirations and commitments along with the School Improvement Plan provide direction for Board Members. The primary purpose of the School Board is to establish, monitor and implement the school improvement plan. No special skills are needed to become a School Board member – a willingness and desire to be part of our school community in a real and practical way, to add your voice to making our school grow and function to the best of its ability. The School Board consists of:- Parish Priest Principal Six to Nine parent members The School Board welcomes new parents to St. Mary’s and invites them to take an active part in the development of our school. SCHOOL COMMENCEMENT TIME It is very important that parents see that their children arrive at school no later than 8.40am so that they can unpack and get organised in order for school to start promptly at 8:45am. Children who arrive late, not only miss important lessons but more importantly, disturb the entire school routine. It is also important that parents not send children to school any earlier than 8.15am (first bus arrival time) as the school takes no responsibility for supervising children before this time. SCHOOL HOURS DAILY TIME TABLE 8.43am Music plays: students move to classrooms, prepare for start of school 8:45am Bell rings: morning program begins 9.00am School Gates Locked 10:45am Bell rings eating time 10:55am Bell rings morning recess 11.25am Bell rings morning program continues 1.25pm Bell rings eating time 1.35pm Bell rings lunchtime 2.05pm Bell rings classes resume for afternoon program 2:50pm School Gates Open 3.05pm Bell rings School dismissed
SICK CHILDREN Home is the best place for a child who is unwell. Parents are asked not to send sick children to school, as we do not have adequate facilities to care for them. The school keeps a record of each child’s medical information and emergency contact numbers if parents are unavailable. It is the parents’ responsibility to inform the school of any changes to this information and are asked to do so immediately a change occurs. SIGN IN / SIGN OUT KIOSK There is a “Sign In / Sign Out KIOSK” in the School Office. When children arrive late or leave early the accompanying adult must make an entry via this kiosk. SUPERVISION Children are supervised by teachers from 8.15 am until 3.25 pm Teachers are rostered for yard duty before school (in the yard and meeting buses); at recess and lunchtime, and after school (front and Car Park gate). If children have not been picked up by 3.25pm, they will be taken to the Administration Area. During extreme heat and wet weather periods children are supervised in their classrooms at recess and lunch times, where they are encouraged to participate in quiet activities. TRANSFERS For transfers during the year, please contact the Principal personally or in writing. If wishing to enrol a student at St Mary’s, Enrolment Forms are available at the School Office. If you wish to transfer your child to another school, you should inform the Principal in advance and ask for a transfer note. TRAVELLING TO AND FROM SCHOOL If children are either walking or cycling home, parents should expect them home by a certain time each day. If the child’s mode of travelling home is to be changed, please send a note with a young child, or inform the school if alterations are made during the day. Walking Children walking home from school are advised not to loiter, to observe road rules and not to talk to strangers. Bicycles / Scooters Children need to be proficient in the area of bike riding and to know and demonstrate correct behaviour in accordance with road safety rules before being allowed to ride to school. When arriving at or leaving school, children walk their bicycles in the school ground and across the footpath. Bike racks are provided. The Road Traffic Authority strongly recommends that children under 10 years do not ride bicycles independently of adult supervision. Children cycling or scooting to and from school are advised to be a competent cyclist / scooter, observe road rules, exercise care, not talk to strangers and wear a helmet. Detailed information can be found on www.vicroads.vic.gov.au
Traffic Lights The school is situated in close proximity to the Murray Valley Highway. Children, riding, scooting or walking to school may need to cross this highway to access Bridlington Ave. A set of traffic lights is situated at the intersection to allow children to cross safely. These include pedestrian lights. Children should be actively encouraged to utilise these lights for crossing the highway. The crossing is provided for pedestrian safety and good modelling is vitally important. Car A car park is provided on the western end of the school property. Parents are asked to utilise this park when coming to school. A ‘quick’ drop off/pick up lane is provided for parents who do not wish to park. To utilise this effectively, parents are asked to only drop off or pick up in the first bay. The other two bays are ‘waiting bays’. This provides an orderly access/exit as well as ensuring children can safely get in and out of the car without interference from moving traffic. Each afternoon, a staff member will be on duty to supervise this traffic flow. School Bus The school is serviced by town and country buses. The town bus is run by a local company, while the country buses (except NSW buses) are organised by Echuca College. All children travelling on buses are dropped off and picked up in the bus lane adjoining our car park. There is a teacher on duty after school, to supervise this exit. Should a young child be travelling home this way, we pair them up with a ‘buddy’ until they are confident. Casual Country Bus Travellers Victoria:- A Casual Bus Traveller Form must be completed two days in advance of the travel with explicit travel reasons and must be signed by the parent and stamped and signed by the school. This note must then be handed to the driver on boarding the bus. Forms are available from the School Office. Contact numbers for bus routes and information in application process: James Newton’s Bus Service 5484 1129 WHAT NOT TO BRING TO SCHOOL From time to time, children feel compelled to bring their latest treasure to school for play purposes. This could be a new or popular toy, computer game, latest swap card fad etc. We strongly advise against this action because we cannot guarantee their safe return or in the case of swapping, that fair transactions will be negotiated. Encourage children to leave their toys at home and invite friends to your home to share the joy and excitement.
EVACUATION PLAN In the circumstances of the school needing to be evacuated a designated coordinator, usually the Principal, will take charge. Evacuation Instructions:- The Co-ordinator will issue evacuation instructions to classes as the emergency dictates. In some circumstances classes closest to the danger zone will be evacuated first, followed by classes further away. When moving to the designated evacuation area students will be moved away from the danger zone and not towards or through the affected area. Teachers should not evacuate unless instructed to do so by the Co-ordinator. Teacher Responsibility: - Teachers are responsible for the safety and supervision of their students during the evacuation and for the duration of the emergency. No teacher is to leave students unsupervised. If a teacher is directed by the Co-ordinator to perform a task, which prevents effective supervision being maintained, it is the teacher’s responsibility to arrange for alternative supervision before engaging in other tasks. The Co-ordinator will specify the type of evacuation required from one of the following within the building; to another building; within the school ground; beyond the school. Evacuation: - within the building may occur when the danger is confined to a section of one learning community (pod) of the school. Evacuation: - to another building may occur when the danger is confined to one learning community (pod) of the school. Evacuation: - within the school ground may occur if the danger zone extends to all school buildings, but not to open areas elsewhere around the school. Evacuation: - beyond the school may be required if the emergency affects the whole school. Food, water, shelter and toilet facilities will be required if evacuation occurs in adverse weather or is likely to be prolonged. Arrangements have been made to use Victoria Park Oval and surrounds, which has toilet and drinking facilities. If necessary, the Co-ordinator will arrange lunch to be supplied as required. No student is to leave the school or evacuation area with a parent or other adult unless specific authorisation to do so has been issued by the Co-ordinator. Parents attending the school are to be directed to the Information Centre. The Co-ordinator will designate the area to be established as an Information Centre. A member of staff nominated by the Co-ordinator will be available to provide information concerning the welfare of students and other information about the emergency.
Disease Regulation Chicken Pox: Until fully recovered. NB - Some remaining scabs are not an indication for continued exclusion. Conjunctivitis Until discharge from eyes has ceased. Diphtheria Until receipt of medical certificate of recovery from infection. Hepatitis (Infectious) Until receipt of a medical certificate of recovery from infection, or on subsidence of symptoms. Hepatitis B Until recovered from acute attack. Impetigo: Until sores have fully healed. The child may be allowed to return, provided that appropriate treatment is being applied and that sores on exposed surfaces such as scalp, face, hands and legs are properly covered with occlusive dressing. Leprosy: Until a medical certificate, satisfactory to the commission is produced. Measles For at least seven days from the appearance of the rash or until a medical certificate of recovery is produced. Meningococcal Infection Until a medical certificate of recovery is produced. Mumps: Until fully recovered. Pediculosis/Head Lice: Until appropriate treatment has commenced, supported when requested by a medical certificate. Poliomyelitis Until at least fourteen days after onset of illness and until receipt of a medical certificate of recovery from infection. Whooping Cough: For two weeks or until a medical certificate of recovery is produced. Ringworm: Until appropriate treatment has commenced, supported when requested by a medical certificate. Rubella-German Until fully recovered at least five days from the onset of the rash. Measles Scabies: Until appropriate treatment has commenced, supported when requested by a medical certificate. Streptococcal Including Until a medical certificate of recovery is produced. Scarlet Fever: Trachoma Until appropriate treatment has commenced. Tuberculosis Until a medical certificate is produced stating that the patient is no longer infectious. Typhoid & Paratyphoid Until three successive negative faecal and urine cultures are obtained at 24 hour intervals, Fever: commencing at least 72 hours after cessation of specific therapy. INFECTIOUS DISEASES Schools of the Future Reference Guide: The regulations require the parent/guardian to inform the Principal as soon as possible if the child is infected with any of the diseases listed in the table, or has been in contact with an infected person. It should be noted that in cases of diphtheria, typhoid and paratyphoid fever, exclusion and determination of recovery will be matters for the municipal medical officer of health.
ST MARY’S SCHOOL SONG St Mary’s is our school our holy space. The Murray River is our sacred place. Where the waters meet and gum trees grow. It’s a place where love and friendship flow. We’ll read and write and dance and sing. Thank our God for everything. Delight in what each new day brings, As we journey on together. We’ll strive to do our best in all we do. Show faith and love and always seek the truth. Working hard to earn each other’s trust. We’ll build a school for all that’s safe and just. We’ll read and write and dance and sing. Thank our God for everything. Delight in what each new day brings, As we journey on together. The Brigidines sailed across the sea. To teach young children just like you and me. Our history continues everyday. Our stories shared in all we do and say. We’ll read and write and dance and sing. Thank our God for everything. Delight in what each new day brings, As we journey on together. St. Mary will protect us through the years. Her love for us will wash away our fears. Living as she showed us everyday, Inspiring us in all our work and play. We’ll read and write and dance and sing. Thank our God for everything. Delight in what each new day brings, As we journey on together. We’ll read and write and dance and sing. Thank our God for everything. Delight in what each new day brings, As we journey on together. Written by Performing Arts Teacher Judy Stewart & Year 5/6 students 2008/2009
SCHOOL FINANCE FUNDING Catholic Schools receive funding from both the State and Federal Governments on a per capita basis. Unfortunately the level of funding provided does not meet all the costs associated with operating a school on a year by year basis. Schools are required to contribute to their own running costs through parent fees, levies and fundraising. FAMILY FEES School fees are reviewed and set annually. Parents are given notification of any changes made to the annual fee structure. Flexible payment options are available – fortnightly, Term by Term, Direct Debit, Eftpos, Credit Card and Internet Banking. Please advise the School Office of your preference. Fees are due on the first day of each term. Accounts will be sent as reminders. It is an expectation that where possible families meet their fee commitments. However, no child will be denied a Catholic education at St Mary’s due to an inability to pay fees. Families experiencing financial difficulties should contact the Parish Priest or Principal to discuss the situation and to make suitable arrangements. STUDENT FEE A Student Fee is charged for each student, for costs associated with curriculum expenses, this Fee includes excursion/incursion programs. MAKING PAYMENTS When making payments, it is necessary for all monies sent to school to be enclosed in a sealed envelope with the child’s name, class and purpose of the payment written on the outside. The school currently provides Direct Debit, EFTPOS and Credit Card facilities as a wider range of payment options for families. COMMUNITY SERVICE/DONATIONS Apart from the fundraising, which is done by the Parents and Friends Association, we occasionally support other organisations not directly associated with the school. We are committed to Caritas’ Project Compassion which runs throughout Lent each year. Organisations supported in the past have included Pontifical Mission Societies, Centacare, MS Read-a-Thon and National Heart Foundation. Your support for these fundraising activities, whilst entirely voluntary, is encouraged.
FEE STRUCTURE 2018 To assist families to calculate their full fee commitment for the year, camp fees are now itemised on the Fee Account. Camp attendance is part of curriculum instruction and children are expected to participate in these activities. Fees are inclusive of: School Fee: 1 child $1300 2 children $1600 3 or more children $1850 Student Fee: Foundation to Year 6 $375 (per student) (The Student Fee is inclusive of, excursions, curriculum materials and resources, computer resources and photocopying) Capital Fee: Family /year $250 Camp Fees Year 4 Camp Fees Year 5 Camp Fees 2018 $220 Year 6 Camp Fees 2018 $300 1:1 Laptop Program Year 5 and 6 $340 Annual laptop lease Opening the Doors Foundation for Indigenous Students Criteria for Consideration of Assistance: The foundation was formed to help cover the gaps in existing funding, not to duplicate or take the place of existing services. As a result, applications requesting support for school uniforms, book lists, levies, VET & VCAL subjects and extra-curricular activities will take priority. The Applicant (student) must be of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent and supply a Confirmation of Aboriginality.
SCHOOL UNIFORM It is an expectation at St Mary’s that all children wear our school uniform. Girls Winter Uniform Navy pants Optional: navy shorts Navy and Gold polo with school logo. St Mary’s School Jumper Navy blue tights or white socks Dark navy pleated tunic Girls Summer Uniform St Mary’s School Dress Dark navy tailored shorts Navy and Gold polo shirt with school logo St Mary’s School Jumper White socks Boys Winter Uniform Grey school pants - long/short Gold polo shirt with school logo St Mary’s School Jumper White socks Boys Summer Uniform Grey school pants – long/short Navy and Gold polo shirt with school logo St Mary’s School Jumper white socks Shoes School shoes and boots are required to be all black. Black running shoes are acceptable as school shoes, provided they are completely black. Brown /Black sandals may be worn with summer uniform with no socks. Hats Broad brimmed hats with school logo. St Mary’s School follows SunSmart Guidelines so school hats are to be worn for protection. St. Mary’s School Hat is compulsory for all children from January to the end of April and from September to December but can be worn at other times during year if required by weather conditions Sports Uniform—Years 3—6 Boys: navy sports shorts only Girls: navy sports shorts only All shorts should be short-legged sports shorts, No logos/stripes on shorts. Navy track pants (No stripes/logos) White socks (no colour/logos on white socks) Sport shoes Wearing of Navy Sports jacket (with school logo) Optional for all students The following guidelines regarding personal grooming are expected to be followed by all students at St Mary's School. It is considered unnecessary to have extremes in hairstyles e.g. spray colouring, excessive spiking. Long hair should be tied back while at school. Children should wear the school colours blue or yellow for ribbons, clips etc. Jewellery such as bracelets, necklaces and earrings should not be worn to school. Children with pierced ears are permitted to wear studs or sleepers. Nail polish must be removed prior to attending school. If for any reason your child cannot wear any part of the uniform, a note of explanation is to be sent to the class teacher. Our uniform standard is as stated. If you have any queries, please contact the School Office. Uniforms may be purchased from Lords Fashion Centre, 198 - 200 Hare St, phone: 54821364 Monday-Friday 9:00am - 5:30pm, Saturday 9:00am - 1:30pm Subject to change
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