Welcome to our first school newsletter for the year. Our newsletters at McKinnon are shared fortnightly on Fridays via Compass. They are packed full of celebrations and news from around the school and are an important communication link.
Our start this year has been extremely smooth and the students are very settled going straight into class in the morning, even our gorgeous Foundation students have settled in seamlessly to their new context navigating the stairs on their own with growing confidence. There have been many smiles shared over the past two weeks.
Along with our new Foundation students we have had new staff beginning and several staff have returned: We would like to extend a warm welcome to Julia Bianchi (Year Three Teacher), Nicole Buchanan (Year Six Teacher), Stefanie Henenberg (Foundation Teacher) and Molly McKenna (Year One Teacher) as well as welcome back to Peter Adshead (Education Support). Finally a big warm welcome to all of our new students and families.
It’s been really fantastic to see such excitement around the return to school and we want to keep it that way. A crucial part of that is getting as many students vaccinated as possible.
Alongside ventilation and other vital COVIDSafe steps such as regular rapid antigen testing, supporting as many students as possible to be vaccinated will help make our school as safe as possible.
Bookings for children aged 5 to 11 to receive the paediatric Pfizer vaccine are open and we encourage parents and carers to get your child vaccinated, if you haven’t already done so. The Pfizer vaccine is safe and recommended for children. The vaccine will help protect your child from getting sick from COVID-19, help to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and help ensure kids can have more time at school and playing with their friends.
Vaccinations for children aged 5-11 years old are delivered at two appointments, eight weeks apart. Children with specific medical vulnerabilities can access their second dose three weeks after their first dose.
If you’d like more information about this, you can read a recent statement from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI):
To book an appointment
You can book at your local GP or pharmacy:
You can also book at a family-friendly vaccination centre by calling the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.
You can also make vaccination centre bookings for your children online, though you will need to use an email address that has not been used in the system before: https://portal.cvms.vic.gov.au/
Helping children to get their vaccination
Vaccination centres understand that children may feel anxious about vaccination or have other support needs. A range of options are available to help children get vaccinated. Please discuss your child’s needs with the vaccination centre when you book an appointment.
Appointments are also available at Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisations. ? Find out more about vaccination for kids: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccination-information-children-and-teenagers
Please be aware if your child is quarantining due to COVID their class teacher will email some work to be completed if they are well enough. Please email the school and we will forward your request to the teacher. Please understand whilst teachers are teaching at school we are unable to provide remote learning for students who are at home.
ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES FROM SCHOOL
Thank you to everyone for their enormous cooperation with the pick-up and drop-offs. They seem to be running a lot more smoothly now after a busier start in some areas. Thank you to everyone who has parked away from the Kiss and Go area and walked up to school. It makes for a much smoother Kiss and Go system if no one stays longer than two minutes in the area. This helps with the flow of traffic all around the school and also ensures you don’t receive a fine. It is terrific to see students continuing to develop their confidence and independence across the school as they make their way to their classrooms independently and get started with their learning. The staff have been so impressed.
If students are late to school (after the gates are locked at 9am), you need to bring them into the office and we will sign them in. Students are not allowed to sign themselves into the school, they must be accompanied by a guardian. The office staff will meet you at the door, sign your child in and walk them to their class.
Rolls are marked promptly at 9:00am by teachers, so even if you are only a couple of minutes late, you need to follow this procedure.
Text messages are sent out at 9:30am to all families with students marked absent.
If your child is going to be away for a whole day, please update Compass as soon as you know your child will be absent. This stops you receiving the absence text message. If you have received a text message, please log into Compass to update the reason for the absence. If they will be at school, but have an appointment do not log anything on Compass, this will be automatically recorded when you drop them off or pick them up.
If you need to pick your child up early from school, please let the teacher know what time they will need to be at the office for collection. When it is time for them to leave the classroom, the teacher will send your child to the office, with two buddies who will return to class. The office staff will sign your child out of school when you arrive.
Due to the size of the school and the variety of activities, it can become very difficult to track down a child at the last minute (particularly at break time or the end of the day). Prior notice is appreciated to minimise interruptions and unexpected delays.
Parents of Year Three students also need to come to the office to sign a child out with the office and to check with the office staff that the child is not on the main site with a specialist class. The office staff can then notify the teacher across the road that the parent will be waiting at the gate to collect their child and they have been signed out.
PARENT INFORMATION VIDEOS RELEASED YESTERDAY ON COMPASS
Yesterday a Compass post was sent out providing links to the year level and specialist parent information videos, this replaces our parent information sessions we had scheduled. The information videos contain information about the organisation, process and procedures for the specific year level as well as an outline of the curriculum. Please take the time to watch the videos and you can choose if you watch it together with your child. Please email any questions you have or alternatively you can raise it at the three-way conference with your class teacher.
The students and teachers have been developing their learning community as they begin to build relationships in their new classes. All year levels have been engaged in a school-wide mini-unit called Building a Learning Community, using the central idea of ‘A supportive learning community helps us take risks with our learning and achieve our personal best’ using the key concepts of:
Function- How does it work?
Responsibility- What is our responsibility?
The students have been exploring what a learning community feels like and how it best works to meet the needs of all learners and this has led to reflections on all learner profile attributes and PYP attitudes. Each homegroup has developed its class essential agreement, which will guide how they treat each other throughout the year. Part of this unit also sees students taking responsibility for their learning and setting goals for themselves which they will share with you at the upcoming three-way conferences.
Three-way conferences are scheduled to be held on Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd February. Please access Compass to book in a time for you and your child to attend the three-way conferences.
ANNUAL PRIVACY REMINDER
CAMPS SPORTS AND EXCURSION FUNDS
The Victorian Government provides assistance for camps, sports and excursions. If you have a concession card you may be eligible to receive $125.00 per annum for each primary school student through the CSEF (Camps, Sports and Excursion Fund).
Application forms are available online https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/Pages/csef.aspx?Redirect=1 through the Department of Education and Training website or from the school office. We need a copy of your concession card. Parents that received CSEF at school in 2021 do not need to complete an application form in 2022, providing there has been no change in your family circumstance. The school will be in contact if we have any difficulty rolling your application over.
PERSONAL PROPERTY AT SCHOOL
Personal property is often brought to school by students, staff and visitors. This can include mobile phones, calculators, toys, sporting equipment and cars parked on school premises. Please note that the Department of Education and Training does not hold insurance for personal property brought to schools and it has no capacity to pay for any loss or damage to such property. Please ensure all personal items, including uniform are clearly named.
As outlined by the Department of Education and Training parents and guardians are responsible for paying the cost of medical treatment for injured students, including any transport costs. If you wish for your child to be insured for accidents at school, student accident insurance policies are available from some commercial insurers.
We are planning a special assembly for the presentation of the SRC and Year Six leadership badges and will notify families involved when confirmed.
Thanks to those parents who have made contributions towards the curriculum. If you are yet to submit your payment, please do so ASAP as this supports the school in the budget provision and to plan appropriately for your child’s participatory program. We have a wonderful learning environment at McKinnon PS and for us to continue to provide the highest quality learning experience we rely upon parent contribution and fundraising. Much of the operational costs including the provision of computers (including laptops), high-quality school resources, extra sports equipment, library/ICT support and equipment, quality art and science supplies and maintenance, along with the provision of new curriculum initiatives are supported solely from local fundraising, including parent contributions.
HOT DAYS AND EXTREME WEATHER DAYS
On days when it is extremely hot, the children will remain in classrooms and be supervised as they are on wet days.
Have a great weekend
Simone, Suzanne and David