MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL
ST ITA’S IS A COMMUNITY OF RESPECT FOR ONE ANOTHER
As parents, you want the best for your children. You want them to have positive experiences, healthy relationships and opportunities to learn. You want them to understand right and wrong. You want them to respect others, respect themselves and be respected.
Our Whole School Approach to Positive Behaviours plays a key role in teaching children about respect and respectful relationships.
A whole-school approach encourages schools to review their existing procedures and culture to ensure that they model respectful relationships and gender equality practices across the entire school community.
Cultural and procedural change, means schools and their communities look at staff practices, classroom management, school events, sport programs, formals and other occasions, to ensure all aspects of a school’s operation and culture are underpinned by respect and equality.
A whole-school approach to Respectful Relationships recognises that schools are:
- a workplace where all students, staff and parents should feel equally respected, safe and valued and have equal opportunities
- a safe space where young people can learn about gender equality and respectful relationships, in and out of the classroom
- part of the wider community that can model gender equality and respectful relationships.
COMMUNICATION IN OUR SCHOOL
As educators, we all understand the importance of family engagement with our learning community. It’s not rocket science to understand that when families are engaged with their child’s education, they are more supportive of it and in a better position to help further their student’s learning at home.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean family engagement is easy. Like the rest of us, parents are busy people, and even those who are most invested in their child’s education might fall out of the loop if we don’t take steps to make communication clear and easy. At St Ita’s, we’ve found that the keys to successful communication and an engaged community are Consistency, Accessibility, and Frequency.
Several years whilst participating in our school review, our school InsightSRC data identified school communications as an area that needed to be improved across all levels of our school.
As a school we investigated what tools where out there and signed up school messaging service Schoolzine to circulate our newsletter and send out alerts to across our school community.
We have incorporated and created PAM (parent access module) which is our parent portal to access school reports, find NAPLAN results, update medical details and to distribute permission slips that need to be signed by parents.
All classes at St Ita’s use ClassDojo to communicate with parents reminding them of upcoming dates and events related to their child, their classroom and their learning. Showcasing student successes, sharing daily learning with parents, homework, assignments, calendars, and announcements are all hosted on the same app. It's a simple one stop shopping for parents.
I think it’s important that we send out messages from school regularly. It helps teachers get into the habit of sending out messages and gets parents into the habit of looking for them. When there are frequent, regular messages being sent back and forth, it just makes the conversation feel more natural and normal.
As a principal, I send out weekly messages to the whole community and I encourage family members to provide feedback or come to me with any questions or wonderings that they have. It’s important that our school community sees that all staff have a role to play in promoting effective communication across our school.
The expectation is also on teachers to make sure they are sending out messages to families on their ClassDojo celebrating successful learning and celebrating successes as children are access the curriculum in a variety of diverse and different ways.
In the age of smart phones, using a mobile app for communication makes it easier to get everyone to sign up, but it’s also important for ongoing usage. We are able to reach nearly every family via a smartphone. Our parent participation in parent teacher interviews and school entry assessments is near 95 percent, and I chalk that up largely to the fact that scheduling is done via a communication tool that’s easy for parents to use.
Parents can see in real time what appointments are open and sign up accordingly. If they need to reschedule, there’s no need to send paper back and forth trying to nail down a new time.
YOUR CLASS TEACHER IS YOUR FIRST POINT OF CALL
Creating strong communication throughout a school takes some persistence, but the community that it enables is more than worth the work. If you have issues, concerns or wonderings relating to your child, your first point of contact is always your child’s classroom teacher. All St Ita’s teachers are available via ClassDojo, email or a phone call.
Just a reminder to parents that staff have been instructed to respond to emails or ClassDojo's as soon as possible, however, due to full class loads and after school commitments, this can vary from 12 to 24 hours. Please do not expect an immediate response to ClassDojo’s or emails. If you require a quicker response please contact our school admin and we will put a message through to the class teacher to respond to as soon as they can.
CHURCH CAR PARKING FOR MASS ON TUESDAY & THURSDAYS
Could I please ask all parents and staff to limit parking in the top tier of the Church Carpark on Tuesdays and Thursdays when mass is on between 9.30am and 10.30am. Please park on the bottom tier carpark on these days.
The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) will take place on line this year between Tuesday 11th May and Friday 21st May 2021.
Students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 participate in the annual NAPLAN tests in reading, writing, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy.
The assessment provides parents and schools with an understanding of how individual students are performing at the time of the tests.
NAPLAN is just one aspect of a school’s assessment and reporting process – it does not replace ongoing assessments made by teachers about student performance.
NAPLAN also provides schools, education authorities and governments with information about how education programs are working and whether young Australians are achieving important educational outcomes in literacy and numeracy.
NAPLAN assesses literacy and numeracy skills that students are learning through their regular school curriculum. All government and non-government education authorities have contributed to the development of NAPLAN materials. Students are assessed on the same literacy and numeracy curriculum content, regardless of whether they complete the tests online or on paper. Results for both formats can be reported on the same NAPLAN assessment scale.
All students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are expected to participate in the annual NAPLAN assessment. Students with disability may qualify for adjustments that reflect the support normally provided for classroom assessments. You should discuss the use of any adjustments for your child with your child’s teacher.
A student with a disability that severely limits their capacity to participate in the assessment, or a student who has recently arrived in Australia and has a non-English speaking background, may be granted a formal exemption. Your school principal and your local test administration authority can give you more information on special provisions or the process required to gain a formal exemption.
If a child is absent, schools may arrange for individual students to complete missed tests at another time during the school’s test schedule but not outside of it.
We still have a number of students and staff presenting with COVID-19 in our school, and its important for all families to continue RAT testing from home.
If students present at school with any cold or flu like symptoms, parents will be contacted to collect their child/ren, we encourage all our families to please keep your child/ren home if they are unwell and continue to complete RAT tests.
Students should only return to school when all symptoms have cleared.
GIANT EASTER RAFFLE IS BACK ON IN 2022
It is with great pleasure that I can announce the world-famous St Ita’s Giant Easter Egg Raffle is back in 2022. Next Friday 1st of April all children will have a free dress day at school and the cost for free dress is a minimum of ONE Easter Egg donation (you can offer more eggs if you wish).
We will then hamper up all the Easter Eggs collected and raffle them off on our final assembly for the term (our last raffle had 36 hampers!).
Tomorrow all St Ita’s families will receive a book of 10 tickets which are sold for $1 a ticket. All the sold tickets and money will need to be returned to school by Thursday 31st March at the absolute latest. If any families would like more booklets please contact administration via email or phone (email@example.com or 56237222).
Good luck to all and I hope you are a winner!
SCHOOL FEES & CONCESSIONS
REMINDER: School fees need to be paid by 31st March 2022 to be eligible for the 5% discount.
If any families would like to set up a weekly, fortnightly or monthly direct debit schedule for school fees, please complete the Direct Debit Form below and return to the school office. For any assistance regarding calculations of payments, please contact us via email on: firstname.lastname@example.org
For any families that have recently received a Government means-tested health care concession card, please forward a copy of your card to the office to check your eligibility, as a fee concession may apply. The card must be in the name of the parent/fee payer for a fee concession to apply.
If your current Health Care card is due to expire this year and your card is re-issued, please send a copy of your new card details to the office as soon as possible for the concession to be checked and applied for next year's fees, if not already done so.
One of the things we love to do at St Ita’s is showcase student successes that happen outside of school. If your child has experienced success in any out of school activities we would love to cover it in our weekly newsletter. Any stories and pictures can be sent direct to School Admin (email@example.com) under the Subject heading of Student Successes.
This week’s Star Student is from Foundation and is part of the local Pony Club. Milla Allen loves to saddle up on her favourite Pony “Minty” and go for a fun and relaxed ride. This is a photo of Milla on her first ride after a 5-week break. She had a fantastic comeback making the Games Team for the Warragul Pony Club and will now be heading off to the State Games in April of this year. Tally Ho and Giddy Up Milla!!! We are all very proud of your efforts.
SCHOOL ATHLETICS CARNIVAL
What 1B learnt today!
On Tuesday the 3rd of May, the Grade 6 Administration Captains interviewed students in 1B about what they are learning in maths. They started out watching a maths story. Before they watched they had to guess what the story was about. Part way through the video Miss Baker paused the video and 1B had to write down the maths equation. For example, there were 3 tigers on the screen. They were told to write or draw the number 3 and then add the addition symbol. After that 2 more tigers came along, they then had to add the 2 and work out the equation. Do you know the answer?
After the video they worked with a partner and had to write their own addition story. For example, Linda had 3 cupcakes and then I bought 4 cupcakes. How many cupcakes do we have now?
3 + 4 = 7 cupcakes
Now onto the interviews starting with Sophie!
When interviewing a few kids the results changed, I interviewed Evie Kneebone and here are her responses:
What are you doing in maths today?
We were learning about sums and adding.
What are you enjoying in maths at the moment?
I'm enjoying learning about numbers to 100, adding and number lines!
Now onto you Holly!
I interviewed Axel Proctor:
What are you doing in maths today?
We are doing number stories
What is your number story about?
Axel said that he wanted to do his number story about lollies with his partner Keon Hepner. I asked Keon what he was drawing. He responded, “I’m drawing a shop!” “Are you partners with Axel? Are you drawing lollies with Axel?” Keon had to think for a little bit but eventually said “Yes, Axel is my partner.” After a bit more thinking he responded “Yes I’m going to do lollies with Axel.”
Finally carrying on Maygan and Ava!
We interviewed Aalayh Hill and Thomas Hudgell. Aalayh and Thomas said that they were really enjoying maths because they love to learn. You're probably all glad to hear that. Aalayh said that she had to make a maths story and add all of the numbers together from the story. And share all of their stories back on the floor.
THE ART ROOM
This week’s Staff Profile is our new Art Teacher Mrs Robyn Leary. Mrs Leary came to us from St Joseph’s Warragul this year and has taken every opportunity to showcase the children’s work around our school. She is a big believer that every child has the capacity to do great things in the Artistic sphere and her passion and creativity are endless.
HUGE LOVING HUG
Perhaps the most famous of Jesus’ parables, this Sunday’s gospel is often titled “The Prodigal Son” but more correctly should be the “Amazingly loving Father” (Luke 15:1-3, 11-32). Though at our worst we can relate to the dissolute younger son and the resentful older son, the character who blows us away is that forgiving father. What is happening there? Often, parents instinctively get it. We remember those anxious, exasperating times when a child of any age goes missing (literally or figuratively) and is found. There is a moment when nothing matters except relationship. We just envelop them in a huge loving hug. For our Creator, that moment is always.
Jesus doesn’t tell this story for amusement. This is his core business. This is why he is incarnate amongst us. To make known to us this unfathomable, loving embrace of the Father. That’s what the Kingdom of God is about.
Pope Francis holds that “you cannot change the way God is in love with you, that his love flows all around you, and through you, and in you, and as you. We do not need to become more loving to make God love us more. It is because God first loves us that we become loving in response”. (Evangelii Gaudium 44) It is not because we pray more, become more religious and celebrate more sacraments that God looks at us with greater love; nor is it because we go to confession that our sins are forgiven. Every single grace, every blessing of total love and forgiveness bestowed on us, no matter what efforts we make to earn it, deserve it, merit it, always and only spring from the unconditional divine love that created us in the first place. Our Father has loved from the beginning. (Daniel O’Leary, An Astonishing Secret p211) Do we respond lovingly by hugging the Father and all his creation in return?
Deacon Mark Kelly
The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be celebrated on the following nights,
Wednesday, 23rd March at 7pm at St Ita’s Church, Drouin, and;
Thursday, 24th of March at 7pm at St Joseph’s Church, Warragul
This is in preparation for our First Communion candidates receiving the Eucharist this coming weekend. All are welcome to join us on these nights.
Please keep these children and their families in your prayers.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
Our celebrations for First Holy Communion will be at the following Masses.
Saturday, 26th March 7:00pm St Joseph’s Church Warragul
Sunday, 27th March 9:00am St Joseph’s Church Warragul
Sunday, 27th March 10:30am St Ita’s Church Drouin
Sunday, 3rd April 10:30am St Ita’s Church Drouin
This is such an exciting time for our candidates and their families, we ask you to please keep these families in your prayers as they continue their journey of faith together. May they find Jesus’ peace and love in their hearts and homes, and may they grow in their love for the Eucharist.
Sacrament Enquiries: Mrs Therese Meggetto
Mobile: 0439 306 642 Email: Warragul.firstname.lastname@example.org