Mrs Ash

(Always refer to FlexiBuzz messages for up-to-date information)

 

 

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and other parishioners,

 

In the last two years we have had a wonderful partnership with Nazareth College to help our students to learn a musical instrument. Last week, I met with the Principal of Nazareth College, Mr Sam Costantino and Mr Nicholas Fitter, Head of Music, and we explored the financial viability of continuing the Program. In order to have the program continue, we would have to charge parents for Individual, Pair or Group Lessons. The price for these lessons ranged from $18 for a group lesson to $35 for an individual lesson. To run an ensemble would cost St Elizabeth’s $2500 per ensemble and we would ideally need to have two ensembles.

 

After much careful thought, we have come to the decision that unfortunately, the cost is too expensive for most families to continue this program with Nazareth College.

I am just very glad that we were able to offer it for a couple of years.

 

So as we have now decided there will not be a Nazareth Music Program at St Elizabeth’s in 2018 we are looking at ways that St Elizabeth’s could continue to offer a music program. I am investigating options including class programs like the Jellybean music program we had in Years 3 / 4 and also looking at private lesson options. I will let you know about any plans as soon as we have explored the options.

 

I would like to express our gratitude to Nazareth College for taking a risk and trying a music partnership which provided many of our students with a chance to play an instrument and get hooked on the joy of making music. I would also like to thank Lisa in our front office. Without her planning and organisation the program would never have got off the ground!

 

Late Pick-ups after school

If you are running late and will not be at school by 3:30pm, please ring the school and let us know. Children who are left wondering where you are get stressed and anxious. If you are running late on that odd and rare occasion, we do look after your children for a reasonable amount of time.  However, we encourage you to enrol your children as casual users at the Out of School Hours Care program so that if you are delayed we can take them to OSHC. Please ring Elarine if you know that you are going to be late and she will collect the students before they get distressed.

 

If you have not rung us to explain your delay, we will take children to OSHC if they are casual users at 3:45pm and you will be charged for that service. If your children are not booked in as casual users of the OSHC program  we will try to ring you and if we cannot get hold of you we will ring your emergency contacts at 3:45pm and ask them to come and collect your children.

 

School finishes at 3:15pm.

 

School Fees

Fees are due now!

I want to thank the huge majority of our parents who pay their fees on time each year.  Most of our families pay on time and nearly all pay in full by the end of each year. Because of your willingness to honour your commitment, we are able to provide good resources for the students and we are able to keep our fees low. This year has been a slow year for fee payments probably due to the technical difficulties we had in Term 1 sending out the statements, but I am sure that you will settle up your accounts in the next few weeks.

 

There are always one or two families who leave the school owing school fees but we consider it fair and just to take steps to recover that money and we employ an agency to do just that. We make sure that in the end, all school fees are collected!

 

This year the Resources Levy will move from $220 to $230 but it is not an increase for everyone. We are going to be collecting the $10 for Years 3-6 Athletics Day in the Excursion/Incursion Levy which is part of the Resources Levy. We used to collect the $10 fee for Athletics Day separately so this is not a rise in fees, it is just a more practical way to collect it.

 

The only rise in fees for 2018 is $10 extra in the Excursion Levy /Incursion levy is for Year Foundation-2 students. This will be used to support incursions and excursions in the Foundation-2 classes.

 

Children's Use of Technology

We have made a few changes to the school’s ‘Student’s Acceptable Use Policy’ which is signed by all students at the beginning of the year.  Several students have been found to be using the Chromebook to access sites that they are too young to be using, mainly to send emails. Most sites which provide an email platform require users to be over 13 years of age before they can sign up, so students who are using an email platform other than their school account have lied about their age.

 

To ensure all our students act within the law and to prevent access to inappropriate materials, students may only use their school email account for sending emails using school devices (that includes the Chromebooks). Staff use a tool called Hapara to monitor what is sent and received on student’s school email accounts. This is essential in order to keep our students safe online.

We have also noticed students using the automatic password saving step for some sites. This is a security issue because if someone else uses that Chromebook they can access private material belonging to another student. So this practice has been banned. Students must log in manually to all their sites all the time.

 

Children in Years 3-6 have been asked to sign an extra page which will be added to the Student’s ICT Acceptable Use Guidelines to cover these changes. Parents are asked to sign this page too and return it to school by Wednesday October 25th.

 

Students have also been reminded that they are not to download movies, music or games onto the Chromebook allocated to them unless asked to by their teachers. The Chromebook is a learning tool not an entertainment hub. USB’s are not to be used with the Chromebooks unless staff specifically ask students to do so.


 

 

Christine Ash

Principal

cash@sedandenongnth.catholic.edu.au