Handbook1 2017 Stage 3 2017 St Monicas St Monicas
  
 

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Parent Handbook

The Parent Handbook is a summary of the main procedures and routines of St Monica's. It outlines significant legal requirements such as Child Protection matters, absenteeism, medical requirements etc. It is designed to communicate an overview of the activities of the school particularly to families who are new to the community, and outlines information about Child Protection matters, absenteeism and medical requirements.

If you have any further questions in relation to school times, dates, policies or other general enquiries, please contact St Monica's Primary, North Parramatta, by email or phone on (02) 8832 4100 during weekdays between 8:30am and 4:00pm.

  • General School Information
    • Bus Passes /OPAL cards

      These are available, free of charge, for Early Stage One to Stage One children who travel by bus to and from school.

      Year 2 students, who have a bus pass will need to reapply for a new pass as they enter Year 3. New applications are sent in towards the end of the year so that passes are ready at the beginning of the next year.  

      All applications for Opal cards must be done online. 


    • Collection of Children from School

      The school will be responsible for the care and safety of the children between the hours of 8:20 am until 3:30 pm. All perimeter gates are locked during school hours.  Entry to the school during this time is via the School Office at 10 Daking Street. If you wish to take your child from school during school hours, or your child arrives late due to an appointment which cannot be arranged outside school hours, you are asked to send a note to the homeroom teacher. You will also be required to sign your child out at the office.

      If you are returning your child to school after an appointment, please bring your child to the School Office at 10 Daking Street, and sign them in.  They will then be directed to their stage/homeroom. If you are collecting your child for an appointment, please come into the School Office and sign your child out. If your child is to be collected at any time by someone other than parents please notify the office and if possible, provide a Letter of Authorisation.

      To protect valuable learning time, we ask parents to ensure that your child is punctual to school as children arriving late can cause disruption to the whole class.


    • Pupil Free Day/Staff Development Day

      The Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta has allocated each school six (6) pupil free days each year. The Staff still come to school (or attend another venue) for professional development, but the children do not attend school on that date. This allows the whole staff to meet and discuss relevant educational issues based on our school goals. The staff use this opportunity for spiritual reflection, to review new curriculum changes, study a new methodology, or brainstorm and formulate a policy for relevant issues. The day may be shared with staff from another school, which broadens the input. The focus of the Staff Development Day is usually discussed in the school newsletter and parents are notified in advance of the date.


    • School Calendar

      The School Calendar is available to all families on the school website. This calendar displays all significant dates and school events for Terms 1 - 4 of the school year. Any changes to dates and events are advertised in the fortnightly school newsletter, via the Skoolbag App or other written communications.


    • Excursions

      Excursions are a valuable tool in enhancing the teaching and learning program. Thereby, all children are expected to participate in excursions. When an excursion is organised, parents will be notified of the nature and purpose of the excursion and be required to sign a permission note for their child to participate.

      Rather than collect excursion money throughout the year, the school charges an excursion levy, which is calculated on the cost of the excursions and visiting speakers/artists your child may be attending.

      The Stage 3 overnight excursion, in the even years, is charged separately and billed through the school fees.

      Excursions are seen as a privilege and not a right. The Principal has the right to withdraw this privilege dependent upon a student's behaviour prior to the excursion.

      Parents assisting on excursions must complete their Working With Children Check and Online Training Module before they can attend. Visit the Parramatta Catholic Education Office website 'Building Child Safe Communities' for more information.


    • Mobile Phones

      Parents who request permission for their child to bring a mobile phone to school are asked to do so in writing each year. Permission is only granted for those students who travel home alone or catch public buses. On arrival at school the switched-off phone is to be handed in at the School Office. In the afternoon, the phone is sent to the class via the Office Bag where the teacher will return the phone to the student.

      Mobile Phones must be labelled with the student's name and Stage.


    • Standard Collection Notice

      We are committed to maintaining the highest level of privacy in handling the information you provide. The Standard Collection Notice advises you about the reasons for collecting information and the way the information will be used. For more detailed information about privacy in the Parramatta Diocese, refer to the 'Policies and Procedures' page of our website.

      The Government also requires the completion of a National Data Collection Form which is included in the Enrolment Application.


    • Student Banking

      Students are able to participate in School Banking at St Monica's. Commonwealth Bank Dollarmite accounts need to be opened through any Commonwealth Bank. You do not need to be a Commonwealth Bank customer to open a School Banking account. School Banking Information Packages are available at the School Office, or you may go directly to the bank.

      Children are to bring their bank books to school on a Tuesday morning with the deposit they wish to make. Please complete the banking deposit slips and enclose money in the pouch. Deposit books are returned to students on a Wednesday or Thursday via the office bags.

      The School Banking Program offers a reward system whereby students may redeem awards once they have made 10 School deposits. Students will be notified via their deposit books when they are eligible to redeem their rewards.


    • Whole School Assemblies

      On Mondays we have our morning assembly. The children gather in their class groups where they are welcomed to the beginning of the new school week, followed by a prayer, the raising of the flag and the singing of the National Anthem. Parents and friends are welcome at this morning assembly.


    • Secondary Schools

      Parents are requested to apply to the Secondary School of their choice for the Secondary Education of their child.

      Information regarding Open Days/Enrolment Dates for the local Catholic Secondary Schools are advertised in our school newsletter.


    • Child Protection Requirements - Volunteers, Visitors, Parent Helpers

      All visitors to the school must report to the office between the hours of 9:00am - 2:45pm. This includes parent helpers and any other person who will have direct contact with children. You will need to sign in using the electronic sign in system located in the school office (Daking Street entrance). All volunteers/parent helpers are requested to use this entrance. You will receive a printed label which must be worn/displayed at all times whilst on school grounds. All Volunteers/visitors/parent helpers must sign out before leaving the school.

      This system is in keeping with Child Protection Legislation. Please ensure that you have completed the Building Child Safe Communities Volunteer Form as well as the CEDP Online Training module prior to volunteering in the classroom or on excursions.

      The Principal is notified by email once you have completed the Volunteer Form and the Online training.

      Online training must be updated every two years.

      Visit the Parramatta Catholic Education Office website 'Building Child Safe Communities' for more information.


  • Health, Medications & Safety
    • Anaphylaxis

      Anaphylaxis is a serious and rapid allergic reaction usually involving more than one part of the body. St Monica’s has a student who can suffer a severe allergic reaction (life-threatening) through contact with peanut and sesame-based foods. As we endeavour to provide for the different needs of all our students, your co-operation is invited to assist the school in supporting and catering for the needs of this particular student, and any future students, by providing your child only with foods that are nut free.


    • Common Childhood Illnesses

      Infections are common in early childhood. Below are regulations with regards to the length of time a student should remain away from school should a particular illness occur.

      Chicken Pox
      Exclude until fully recovered—minimum exclusion for 7 days after the first spots appear.

      German Measles
      Exclude until fully recovered—minimum exclusion for 5 days from appearance of the rash.

      Infectious Hepatitis
      Exclude until medical practitioner certifies recovery.

      Measles
      Exclude for at least 5 days from appearance of the rash.

      Mumps
      Exclude until fully recovered—minimum exclusion for 10 days from the onset of the swelling.

      Streptococcal Infection
      Exclude until fully recovered.

      Whooping Cough
      Exclude until fully recovered—minimum exclusion for 3 weeks from onset of the whoop.

      Conjunctivitis
      Exclude until discharge from eyes has ceased.

      Impetigo
      Exclude until sores have fully healed. The child may return provided that appropriate treatment is being applied and that sores on exposed surfaces, such as scalp, face, hands or legs, are properly covered with occlusive dressings.

      Head Lice
      Exclude until hair is completely cleaned and neither nits (eggs) nor lice are present. Children who have such problems may not be readmitted to the school without a note from parents or guardian indicating that appropriate treatment has been given and the eggs and/or lice have been removed.


      Childhood Immunisation Schedule
      Age Immunisation
      2 months Diphtheria/Tetanus/Whooping Cough/Sabin (Polio)
      4 months Diphtheria/Tetanus/Whooping Cough/Sabin (Polio)
      6 months Diphtheria/Tetanus/Whooping Cough/Sabin (Polio)
      12 months Measles/Mumps—Rubella
      18 months Diphtheria/Tetanus/Whopping Cough
      5 years or prior to school entry Diphtheria/Tetanus, Booster Sabin

    • Fire Evacuation

      Occasionally the school will conduct a Fire Drill. Please do not be alarmed if you hear of this practice, it is a training exercise.


    • Playground Accidents/First Aid

      In the event of a slight accident, such as a graze or knock, simple first aid, such as antiseptic and a bandaid strip will be administered. If an ice pack is required and the injury may need a further check at home, a letter is forwarded to you.

      However, in the case of a more serious accident, such as suspected sprains, fractures, bumps to the head etc, immediate first aid procedures will be put into action whilst attempts are being made to contact parents to inform them of the accident.

      If parents are unable to be contacted in the case of an emergency, the School will seek immediate medical care on behalf of them. Written permission for the School to take this action is requested at the time of enrolment.

      If a child becomes ill in the classroom, he/she is sent to the Office. If, after 30 minutes, the child does not respond to the special care given, parents are contacted and requested to come to the School and take the child home.


    • Asthma

      Parents are asked to complete a Student Asthma Form for each student with asthma and return it to the school office.

      In cases of asthma attacks, the child, with the express permission of the parents, may be given an asthma puffer. The actual medication, as well as the level of dosage and any other relevant details concerning the medication and its use, must be given by parents before action is taken at the School Office. In the case of a serious asthma attack where medication has not been supplied, the school would attempt to contact the parents and then follow its emergency asthma procedure using the school’s asthma kit.


    • Medication

      If your child is ill and requires medication during school hours, he/she must remain at home until the prescribed course is completed. If your child needs to take ongoing medication during school hours, it must be administered by the office staff.

      Parents are asked to complete an Administration of Medication During School Hours form, which is located under School Notes on the website, outlining when the medication is to be given and forward it together with the medication to the Office.

      All medication must have a chemist label with the child's name and dosage requirements attached.


    • Crunch & Sip

      As part of our Health Promoting School Program, a Crunch & Sip Break is held each day during the Morning Session. The children are encouraged to bring a piece of fresh fruit and a bottle of water (optional). Research into the brain and learning confirms the importance of oxygen and hydration for the effective functioning of the brain through diet, exercise and drinking plenty of water. As most children eat breakfast at 8:00 am or earlier, this break assists their concentration, their wellbeing and their understanding of healthy eating. The usual Recess Break takes place at 10:40am - 11:10 am.


  • Learning & Teaching
    • Learning Structure at St Monica's

      The school is structured in Stage groups, rather than year groups, to more effectively provide for the different learning needs and learning styles of each child.

      Early Stage 1 - Kindergarten
      Stage 1 - Years 1 and 2
      Stage 2 - Years 3 and 4
      Stage 3 - Years 5 and 6

      The children are grouped in a Homeroom for Administration, Roll Call and News Groups. In their Stage of Learning they participate in Religious Education; Human Society and Its Environment; Science and Technology; Creative and Practical Arts; and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education.

      In English and Mathematics, the children are organised into smaller groups according to their level of learning. And their teacher may be their Homeroom Teacher or another teacher from the Learning Team, such as the Special Education Teacher/Librarian, Literacy Support Teacher, English as a Second Language Teacher, or the Principal.


  • Policies
    • Behaviour Management
      When children feel loved, seen as precious and listened to, then they are at peace, they know they belong, they are protected and are safe.

      Our Beliefs

      At St Monica’s, we believe that discipline means guiding the child towards self control and self direction. A Behaviour Management Policy can never be reduced to a simple set of rules. Our task is to promote constructive and positive behaviour. We believe that the dignity of human beings - children and adults, should be based on the values of equality, mutual respect and co-operation. Our actions are guided primarily by Gospel values and also by the Mercy Traditions of our school. These values and traditions are enshrined in our school’s mission “to create a Christ-centred environment”.

      We are also guided by legislation that is summarised in the Catholic Education Office Child Protection Kit.

      We believe in the following basic principles of good behaviour management:

      • It is a shared responsibility of all teachers
      • Teachers consistently model positive behavioural responses.
      • At all times, a pastoral approach to Behaviour Management will be adopted, and students, parents and teachers will have access to counselling.
      • We accept responsibility, along with the home and community, for helping our children develop socially acceptable behaviour.
      • Learning begins with a healthy self-concept in children, that is promoted through appropriate praise and encouragement.
      • Well planned lessons that engage students are a foundation for good classroom discipline.
      • Removing a student from a situation of conflict can change their state of mind.
      • We believe in the principles of procedural fairness.

      Procedural Fairness

      At all times, staff will adhere to the policy of procedural fairness. Whenever a situation of conflict arises among students or a student petitions a teacher, it is important that they have the opportunity to be heard. This means that it will be necessary for the teacher to create a situation where students feel able to speak in a safe, non-threatening environment. This is best achieved when a student has had time to calm down and the teacher deals with the situation with a sense of fairness and impartiality. If at any stage the teacher has a concern about the matter, they can refer it to a member of the executive.


      PBS4L

      St Monica's has been involved with PBS4L (Positive Behaviour Support for Learning) for the past two years.  St Monica's Expectations Matrix and flowcharts (Whole Class and Individual rewards) can be found below. 

      St Monica's Expectations Matrix

      PBS4L - Whole Class 

      PBS4L - Individual Reward


      Serious Incident Procedure

      In the case of a serious behavioural problem, the following steps should be followed in line with the Child Protection Regulations and our school’s code of conduct:

      1. The student needs to be contained or removed from the situation and help sought from another staff member to ensure constant supervision (contact the office or use emergency card from teacher supervision bags).

      2. Notify the Principal or executive member of staff.

      3. As soon as possible, record the event noting time, date, names and details of the student’s conduct and the teacher’s response.

      4. Parents will be contacted by the Principal or executive staff.

      5. Allow the student time to calm down and then give them the opportunity to explain the situation. At all times teachers should refrain from blaming and allow the student to state their case.

      Anti-Bullying / Anti-racisim

      Teachers should actively promote anti-racist and anti-bullying behaviour through the use of inclusive language e.g: together, fair go, community, friends, equal, support etc. Unacceptable behaviour in these areas requires immediate action, including removal from the playground and reference to an executive member of staff. Parents will be contacted by the Principal and counselling will be offered to students involved in such situations.


      Rights and Responsibilities

      At St Monica’s, everyone has the right to...

      • be and feel safe
      • be treated with respect and fairness
      • speak and be listened to
      • learn without interruption
      • use and share equipment in the school

      If we accept these rights we must accept the responsibilities to...

      • listen
      • be honest
      • help others to learn
      • be respectful
      • try our best
      • try to understand each other
      • work and play safely
      • report incidents that put others at risk
      • be polite
      • share attention
      • be on time
       
      • respect other people’s property
      • try to work out problems
      • co-operate
      • keep our school clean
      • ask for help
      • follow school rules
      • respect the privacy of others
      • share equipment
      • help others to belong

       

      These rights will have different meanings for individual children depending on their circumstances. They need to be explored through discussion, role-play, drawing, writing etc. The significant point is that if we want to have these rights we must accept the responsibilities that come with them.


      Rules

      The two school rules for St Monica’s are …

      1. We learn well
      2. We look after each other

      These two rules form the basis for the general expectations of the school.

       If we learn well then...  If we look after others then...
      • We have a go
      • We are ready to learn
      • We encourage others
      • We co-operate with our teachers and peers
      • We use our manners
      • We do our best
      • We use our time well
      • We take pride in our work
      • We take pride in our school
      • We act as Jesus did
      • We encourage others to join in
      • We act and play safely
      • We respect peoples rights, space, and belongings
      • We help others when they need help

      The first day of school for each term is a good time to discuss the general expectations of the classroom and the playground, particularly for supervision before and after school, and at recess and lunch times.

      Each class will have a set of rules that have been created in joint construction with the students. This could involve a Y chart or diagrams to support the meaning of each rule. Rules should be written in a positive way and linked with rights and responsibilities.


      Consequences

      At St Monica’s School, every person has a responsibility to follow our rules. If a student chooses not to follow a rule, then there will be a consequence.

      • Positive consequences follow positive behaviour.
      • Negative consequences follow negative behaviour.
      • Appropriate consequences lead children to developing self-discipline by taking responsibility for their own actions.

      Consequences are: fair, certain, known in advance and related to the action

      • Certainty refers to the need for consistency in applying a consequence
      • Being ‘known in advance’ is essential and suggests that rules, responsibilities and consequences need to be revised regularly
      • The consequence must be ‘related to the action’ so that secondary behaviours can be appropriately ignored.
      Consequences for inappropriate behaviour in the classroom -
      1. Reminder
        Ask the student which rule was broken and what the appropriate behaviour would be.

      2. Time Out
        The student will be asked to move to a designated place in the classroom for a period of 5 - 10 minutes with time for the student and teacher to rebuild the relationship.

      3. Removal from the room
        The student is asked to move to another classroom. An appropriate time (suggested 20min) will be negotiated between teachers, with time for the student and teacher to rebuild the relationship.

      4. Office Meeting
        The teacher will contact the office using the classroom phone and a meeting time will be organised with Principal / Assistant Principal. Parents will also be contacted at this time.

      5. Home
        If an inappropriate behaviour persists, then the parents will be contacted by the Principal / Assistant Principal and action may involve referral to counselling, suspension, expulsion or transfer.

      Consequences for inappropriate behaviour in the playground -

      At St Monica’s, depending on the circumstances, the following are planned consequences for out-of-class misbehaviour.

      • Rule reminder
      • Verbal apology
      • Written apology
      • Walk with the teacher
      • Withdrawal from playground
      • Letter home, outside personnel, suspension, transfer, expulsion
      • Restricted playground access
      • Time Out
      • Sorry Picture (Kindergarten)
      • Loss of privilege

       


      Suspension/Expulsion/Transfer

      Reference is made to the Catholic Education Office Procedures to be followed for the suspension and expulsion of students from Catholic Schools (revised 1996). As a matter of justice to the student involved, appropriate documentation will be kept on matters which may lead to suspension or expulsion (teacher records, referral records, letters and interviews with parents, etc.)

      Suspension means that a child’s right to attend classes or school has been withdrawn for a period of time. It may be invoked by the Principal when the behaviour is prejudicial to the good order or reputation of the school. Suspension allows a period of time where the school, parents and student involved can work together to resolve the situation.

      • The Principal is the only person with authority to suspend a student. This decision is to be made with the Head of Services and in agreement with the Assistant Principal or other member of the executive. All letters of Suspension must be signed by the Principal.
         
      • Discussion between the Principal, parents, appropriate members of staff, and the student will take place before the Principal initiates the Suspension.
         
      • Parents will be notified of the Suspension before its implementation. Parents must also be notified in writing and the Parish Priest must be notified without delay.
         
      • Students may be suspended from school or classes for up to 5 days. Longer periods may be approved by the Executive Director of Schools through the Area Administrator.

      Expulsion of a student shall take place when the continued presence of a student at the school is untenable or places other members of the school community in jeopardy. Expulsion must be preceded by Suspension.

      • The Head of Services and the Parish Priest must be involved in an appropriate manner on the issue involving the possible Expulsion of a student.

      • Except in exceptional circumstances, parents of the student concerned must be informed in writing before a recommendation is made to the Executive Director of Schools, concerning the possible Expulsion of the student.
      • Documentation relating to the events which have led to the possibility of the student’s Expulsion must be kept.

      • The final decision will be made by the Executive Director of Schools. The Principal must advise the Parish Priest and the parents of the student before the decision is put into effect.

      Transfer is an alternative to the expulsion of students. Arrangements may be made following discussions with the Area Administrator, to place the student in another school within the Diocese or in another Diocese. The decision to transfer should only be taken after every attempt has been made to resolve the situation, pastorally, at the school.


    • Pastoral Care

      School-based pastoral care refers to the total care of the student. It is a term used to describe both an attitude and a process, and is based upon a belief in the dignity of the person. In a Catholic school, it is expressed through:

      • the development of quality relationships
      • the provision of satisfying learning experiences
      • the establishment of an effective care network
      • the provision of experiences and structures that provide for the integrated spiritual and human growth of students
      November 1988
      Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Parramatta 

      Philosophical Basis

      The Diocesan Schools Board recognises that the Catholic School is a significant means of the Church making visible and real its teaching ministry, and that those who work in Catholic Schools assist the Bishop and priests in their pastoral role and teaching mission. The Board affirms that the Catholic school is more than an educative institution: it is an instrument of the Catholic Church, an essential element in the Church's mission. Therefore, it recognises that teachers in Catholic Schools are ministers in the name of the Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II stated that teachers in Catholic Schools are called to bring professional competence and a high standard of excellence to their teaching, but that their responsibilities make demands that go far beyond the need for professional skills and competence. He added that teachers in Catholic schools must enable students to see and know the richness and the joy of a life lived in accordance with Christ's teaching.

      Teachers in Catholic schools, therefore, have special responsibility for the care and guidance of students. This is based on the belief that: 

      1. the development of a well-integrated person, with Jesus as model, is an essential aim of Catholic education
      2. a school climate which is based upon quality relationships, and which supports the growth of the individual within a community, is fundamental to effective learning and genuine pastoral care
      3. it is the responsibility of all members of the school community to collaborate in the provision of a growth-promoting environment within the school
      4. the provision of both relevant and satisfying learning experiences and appropriate Christian adult role models is essential for individual student growth
      5. the development of self-discipline is based on justice, self-esteem and reconciliation and hence, any punishment which lowers the dignity of the person, is inappropriate
      6. structures, policies, procedures and practices in every school need to be in harmony with and based on, Gospel values
      7. concern for the total development of each individual, including pastoral care and religious formation, is intrinsic to the provision of authentic Catholic education.
      At St Monica’s, North Parramatta, we believe that Pastoral Care begins with good relationships between all members of the community – students, parents, teachers and pastors. We also believe that the wellbeing of people in the school community is an integral factor for effective teaching and learning. We are concerned for the total wellbeing of students, and with the development of the whole person within the context of the family, school, parish and wider community. The expectation for staff is that we conduct all our relationships in a professional and courteous manner. Staff are directed to the principles of Maintaining Right Relations (CEO 2006). Pastoral Care is also a legal requirement and is connected to the St Monica’s Child Protection Policy, as well as the Child Protection Kit (Catholic Education Office) Catholic Education Commission, Department of Community Services and the Ombudsman’s Office. It is also directly connected to the Ombudsman Act 1974; Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection)Act 1998.
      Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998; and Child Protection (Prohibited Employment)Act 1998 (Lindsay, 1999).


      Structures

      The structures of pastoral care are organised under the three headings:

      • Curriculum, teaching and learning
      • Partnerships and services
      • School organisation, ethos and environment

      Curriculum, teaching and learning

      Every member of the staff at St Monica’s is committed to providing supportive and safe learning environments for our students. This is achieved through: 

      • Comprehensive and inclusive approaches to teaching and learning: We provide this through elements such as; the use of innovative teaching strategies, meaningful relevant tasks and the integration of pastoral care across the curriculum.
      • Implementation of pastoral care programs that address the ‘life’ needs of students: This includes programs such as Peer Support, K-6 buddies and Life education.
      • Fostering high quality interpersonal relationships: At St Monica’s we value the cooperative learning approach and this forms part of our teaching philosophy. As well as a classroom management tool, it is also used to develop high quality relationships. We also promote the celebration of our gifts and differences in our shared beliefs on learning.
      • In class, the staff use elements such as negotiation of rights and responsibilities and positive behaviour management, to provide a positive caring environment. Assistance from agencies such as Marist Education Centre help to manage children at risk. Our behaviour management policy supports staff in effective and positive care of our students.

      Partnerships and services

      Our school community recognises its relationship with the wider community and values the partnership that exists between home, school and parish. We seek to make this relationship explicit through: 

      • The Pastoral Care Team which includes The Principal, Parish Priest, Religious Education Coordinator and the School Councillor (MEC). The team meet when there is a particular student or family who are in need and to monitor families that we directly support.
      • Parish, Diocesan and parent partnerships. These include POSMS (Parents of St Monica’s School) meetings, sacramental programs and parish/school celebrations, as well as agencies from the Catholic Education Office, including: Jarara Aboriginal Unit, Special Education Unit, New Arrivals and Language Support Unit.
      • School based pastoral care activities. These include MJ team, working bees, positive parenting workshops and social events.
      • Links to the wider community: Community agencies such as the Parramatta Local Area Health Service who assist us in providing care for our students. We also engage in community projects such as advertising local counselling agencies (Uniting Church and Relationships Australia). The St Vincent de Paul Society provides a Buddies Program for students to socialise and to give respite for parents. They also offer assistance to families in need by providing furniture, food vouchers, financial assistance and emergency housing if necessary.
      • Accessible support services to cater for a range of needs: The use of services such as translators, particularly in the Catholic Chinese Community; occupational therapists and speech therapists, allow us to be effective in catering for the variety of needs in our community.

      School organisation, ethos and environment

      The community of St Monica’s North Parramatta believes that our mission is to build a Christ-centred environment by which our community can grow and fulfil its potential through Quality Education. This is achieved through: 

      • School vision and beliefs. At the foundation of our Mission lie five key beliefs that reflect the vision of the community.
      1. We believe that our community must be Christ-centred in all its endeavours.
      2. We believe that everyone in our community is valued for the person they are, and the gifts they bring to our mission.
      3. We believe in structuring a caring environment that encourages personal freedom and responsibility for all.
      4. We believe in a wholistic approach that allows for the development of the individual to grow in all aspects of their personal life.
      5. We believe that Quality Education ensures positive structures that allow for effective teaching and learning approaches. 
      • Coordinated and supportive organisational structures: Through the use of a whole school timetable we are able to provide for the extension and support of students in particular learning areas. Our staff handbook and policies provide clear guidelines and information to support all staff in presenting a coordinated approach to schooling and a welcoming environment.
      • Liturgy celebrations and assemblies: All members of our community are given the opportunity to participate in and contribute to liturgical celebrations such as St Monica’s day, Mercy day, and Mothers and Fathers day. We also provide for each class to display their work as they lead our community in a weekly assembly. At this time, we also celebrate our community’s outstanding achievements and special occasions, such as birthdays.
      • Effective networks of care: The St Monica’s Social Club provides informal support for parents who are new to the community or who may be in need of support.
      • Fostering high quality interpersonal relationships: At St Monica’s we value the cooperative learning approach and this forms part of our teaching philosophy. As well as a classroom management tool, it is also used to develop high quality relationships. We also promote the celebration of our gifts and differences in our shared beliefs on learning. 


      Roles and Responsibilities

      Just as behaviour management is a shared responsibility, so too is the implementation of pastoral care. All staff members at St Monica’s have a role in the care and respect of all members of our community, with particular reference to our students.

      Clerical staff are trained in First Aid procedures and have a particular responsibility in caring for the physical and emotional needs of students. They will liaise with members of the executive if they feel that students are distressed and parents need to be contacted. This may also involve contacting an ambulance in an emergency situation.

      Teachers have a responsibility to maintain a caring and professional relationship with students. They should be proactive in matters such as anti-discrimination, anti-bullying etc. They should also be aware of the multicultural nature of our community and acknowledge the values of cultural diversity, particularly in recognition of indigenous people.

      It is important that they are able to identify signs of distress in students and act promptly to support the student’s needs. Teachers need to be available to their students to listen to their concerns and respond accordingly. This may mean further discussion with an executive member of staff, contacting a parent or referring student to the school counsellor. In each case the Principal should be informed before contact is made.

      The executive team has a particular responsibility to monitor the climate of pastoral care in the school. They will act as an advisor in matters where teachers have concerns about a student’s development and may support the teacher in a parent interview. They will keep the Principal informed and monitor a student’s progress with the teacher and the student.


      Links

      • The Pastoral Care Policy is closely linked to the Behaviour Management Policy which accentuates the value of social equality, mutual, respect, co-operation and shared responsibility. It outlines the roles, responsibilities and procedures for management of students within a pastoral framework. Included in this is the legal responsibility of teachers with respect to pastoral care.

      • Procedures relating to the enrolment of students are specifically documented in our Enrolment Policy and are founded on the premise of being inviting, inclusive and just. Our procedures for the assessment and reporting of students' progress are located in our school Assessment Plan. At St Monica’s, our strategies for dealing with crisis care, including suspected or disclosed child abuse, is determined by child protection legislation and Catholic Education Office policy.

      • New staff members at St Monica’s are supported with an induction program. The Assistant Principal begins the program by outlining the expectations of professionalism in terms of dealing with students, colleagues and parents. Using the staff handbook, the Assistant Principal will then move through the usual routines within the school and establish a weekly time to meet with the new teacher to support them in their work. By the end of the first year the new teacher will discuss with the Principal, the idea of working with a mentor to continue the induction process. Included in the induction process is a briefing of the pastoral care process within the school.


      Evaluation

      The evaluation of pastoral care at St Monica’s is managed through two processes.

      1. Evaluation from students takes place as part of the Peer Support program.
      2. Evaluation from staff takes place through professional development meetings each year.
    • Communication Policy

      “We believe in structuring a caring environment that encourages personal freedom and responsibility for all.”

      At St Monica’s, we believe that communication is essentially the process of exchanging information and ideas. It is an active process and a fundamental component of social interaction. In the context of our school it involves interaction primarily between the stakeholders i.e. all members of the school and Parish including students, parents, teachers, ancillary and the Parish Priest. It also means interaction with the wider community and in particular the Diocese of Parramatta and the greater Sydney area. The employment of effective technology now allows for channels of communication that reach to the rest of the world.

      Within our social interactions we believe in the dignity of all people and we strive to keep our interactions respectful, positive and inclusive.


      Communication with Parents

      Parents are invited to meet with teachers at mutually agreeable times, to discuss their children’s progress. The Principal is also available to meet with parents as a preferred form of communication. The most common general forms of communication used by the school are phone, fax and letter. Parents have access to the address and phone numbers of the school from school letterheads and from the fortnightly newsletter.

      Appointments

      Parents are encouraged to meet with the Principal and the teachers primarily to discuss the progress of the students. In this way, St Monica’s encourages a partnership in education. Parents are asked to make appointments through the office and have access to phone, fax, mail and email.

      Goal Setting

      At the beginning of each year parents have the opportunity to meet with the teachers at Goal Setting Night. This allows them the opportunity of discussing their child’s strengths and challenges and establishing realistic goals for them to achieve.

      Enrolment and Orientation

      The enrolment of a student at St Monica’s includes an interview with the Principal, parents and the student. This allows for discussion around all the considerations for the student’s first year of education at school. This is followed by an orientation morning for the students and a meeting of all the new parents to clarify the routines and expectations of the school.

      Half-Yearly Interviews

      In June/July parents are given a school report on their child’s progress. The report forms the basis of the half-yearly interview and is accompanied by a portfolio which also demonstrates progress.

      POSMS Meetings and Information Nights

      Each term there is a POSMS Meeting (Parents of St Monica’s School).This meeting is organised around current information being given to the parents and a general business time when parents can discuss issues and events. Formal information nights are also organised around significant issues in education relating to changes that will impact on the students.

      The School Newsletter and Flyers

      The school newsletter is published and distributed to all families fortnightly. The general format is designed to inform parents of current issues and events in the school, with emphasis on our Catholic traditions and Church celebrations. Sections of the yearly calendar are also included to communicate upcoming events. Staff, parents and students can contribute articles to the newsletter with the Principal’s approval. Advertising is kept to a minimum and generally involves groups who are connected to the school and/or Parish.

      On occasion, the school may need to send out a note with particular information for the parents and students. Copies of all notes sent out are kept in the office.

      Skoolbag

      Skoolbag is a communication app which ​all parents are strongly advised​ to install on their smartphones, ipads etc.  Instructions for install this app are on the website and are regularly included in the school newsletters.  Daily communications, updates or major incidents occurring at school are posted on Skoolbag.   For more information   www.skoolbag.com.au

      This is the school's primary avenue for immediate communication with parents. 


      Parent handbook

      The Parent Handbook is a summary of the main procedures and routines of the school. It outlines significant legal requirements, such as Child Protection matters, absenteeism, medical requirements etc. It is designed to communicate an overview of the activities of the school, particularly to families who are new to the community.

      Website and Email

      The website (www.stmonicasparra.catholic.edu.au) is a focus for the promotion of our school. It contains general information that parents would need if they were considering enrolling their children at St Monica’s, and application forms can be downloaded from the site. The school’s email address is stmonicasnparra@parra.catholic.edu.au

      Parents and staff use the email address to send and receive messages as needed.

      Noticeboards

      The main noticeboard for the school is located at the front entrance. It communicates information for upcoming events for the public. Two other noticeboards are located near the office where parents often wait with their children. One of these boards is organised by the students who record daily events for the benefit of all students. The second board is used to advertise events and local community initiatives.

      St Monica’s Church and Parish Newsletter

      Inside our Parish Church is an area that is used by the school to advertise activities that occur in our school. It is used especially to invite parishioners to attend our school celebrations. Each week we also contribute to the Parish Newsletter. This allows the school to highlight its educational achievements and have closer links to the Parish community.

      Staff Handbook

      The Staff Handbook is a summary of the procedures and routines used in the school. It supports significant legal requirements such as the marking of the roll, Child Protection issues and supervision, as well as the general expectations around classroom management. It is a significant document in the induction of staff who are new to the school.

      Whiteboard

      The Assistant Principal posts weekly events on the staffroom whiteboard. All staff are able to contribute to it, particularly when there is a need to reserve equipment or an area of the school or to change a routine.

      Assistant Principal’s Newsletter

      This newsletter is a weekly publication that is designed to communicate information on events for the week, and events that will occur in the next fortnight. It is an opportunity to recognise the achievements and contributions of staff members to the school community.

      Staff Meetings and Staff Development Days

      Weekly staff meetings are used for professional development and are usually reserved for curriculum, and teaching and learning. They begin at 3.30pm and usually finish at 4.30pm. These meetings are designed to be interactive so that the staff are able to contribute to the curriculum development of the school. At particular times there may be an extra Briefing Meeting to discuss the organisation of a particular event such as a sports carnival.

      There are four Staff Development Days each year. One is on the first day of school for the year and one is designated to staff spiritual formation. These days are also designed to be interactive and allow the staff to participate in professional dialogue and development.

      Staffnet

      Staffnet is a website that is organised by the Catholic Education Office and allows staff to be kept informed of the overall education agenda, particularly in events associated with Parramatta Diocese. Staff can also participate in discussion through educational blogs.


      Evaluation

      As technology changes, so will the various forms of communication used in the school. At all times the most preferred means is by meeting. This policy should be reviewed in the light of the building project scheduled to begin in 2008.

       

    • Anti-Bullying Policy
      The community of St Monica's Primary School, North Parramatta is opposed to bullying in any form.  It takes the view that we celebrate our gifts and differences, form a collaborative learning community and cooperate to achieve.  Our school is a community that is united by gospel values and as such, bullying in any form has no place in our school. 

      Anti-Bullying Policy
  • School Hours & Term Dates
    • School Hours

      Monday to Friday 8:50 am — 3:00 pm


      Office Hours

      Monday to Friday 8:30 am — 4:00pm
      Ph: 8832 4100
      Fax: 9683 4984

      Office Administrators

      Mrs Gisella Cattermole (Monday to Friday)
      Mrs Jacqueline Abood (Monday to Thursday)



      Official Daily School Timetable
      School Hours (Monday - Friday) 8:50am - 3:00pm
      Morning Supervision (Monday - Friday) from 8:20am
      Morning Session (including Crunch & Sip 10 minute break) 8:50am - 10:50am
      Recess 10:40am - 11:10am
      Middle Session 11:10am - 12:50pm
      Lunch 12:50pm - 1:30pm
      Afternoon Session 1:30pm - 3:00pm
      Dismissal (Monday - Friday) 3:00pm
      Afternoon Supervision 3:00pm - 3:30pm

      COSHC (Catholic Out-Of-School Hours Care)

      Monday to Friday 6:45 am — 8:45am Before School Care
      Monday to Friday 6:45 am — 8:45am After School Care
      Ph: 0429 990 179

      Vacation Care (school holidays & pupil free days)

      Monday to Friday 6:45 am — 6:00pm
      Ph: 0429 990 179

    • Term Dates

      Term 1

      Staff Return Friday 27 January 2017

      Friday 27 and Monday 30 January 2017 are
      Staff Development Days (MAI for students)


      Stages 1 - 3 (Years 1 - 6) return Tuesday 31 January 2017
      ES1 commence Thursday 2 February 2017 (9:00am-3pm)

      Term ends Friday 7 April 2017


      Autumn Holidays

      Monday 10 April 2017 to Friday 21 April 2017


      Term 2

      Monday 24 April 2017 to Friday 30 June 2017
      (Tuesday 25 April 2017 - Anzac Day Public Holiday)


      Winter Holidays

      Monday 3 July 2017 to Friday 14 July 2017


      Term 3

      Monday 17 July 2017 to Friday 22 September 2017


      Spring Holidays

      Monday 25 September 2017 to Friday 6 October 2017


      Term 4

      Monday 9 October 2017 to Friday 15 December 2017 (last day for students)


    • Morning Arrival/Afternoon Dismissal

      The school may be accessed via Daking Street.

      Morning supervision commences at 8:20am.  

      Children are dismissed at 3:00 pm and walk from their classrooms to the bus lines, or to parents already on site. Children who are being picked up by parents via Kiss and Drop wait until their name is called by the teacher on duty.

      Those children waiting for parents and after school care sit on the seats under the school shelter. Parents then enter the playground to collect children. The children are not permitted to exit the school grounds unless accompanied by a parent.

      There are no exceptions to these procedures even in wet weather. It is important to telephone the School Office if you are going to be late (where possible before 2:30pm so that messages may be passed on to your child).

       

  • Uniform & grooming
    • Hairstyles

      Girls - Shoulder length or longer hair must be tied back and ribbons or a ‘scrunchie’ in school colours may be used. Hair colouring is not permitted.

      Boys - Neat and simple haircuts. No undercuts, number ones, rat tails, pony tails or hair colouring is permitted.


    • Uniform
      The School Uniform is available for purchase through: 
      Oz Fashions
      115-127 Parramatta Road, Granville 2142
      Phone:  9897 3121

      Opening Hours:  9.00am-5.30pm   Saturday 9.00am-4.00pm.
      Parking is available on site. 

      Please label all articles of clothing to avoid lost property.

      Girl's Summer Uniform Girl's Winter Uniform
      Short-Sleeved St Monica's Shirt
      Culottes
      Navy Socks
      Black School Shoes
      Short-Sleeved St Monica's Shirt
      Long-Sleeved Shirt (optional)
      Culottes / Long Navy Pants
      Navy Sloppy Joe (optional)
      School Jacket
      Navy Winter Stockings
      Black School  Shoes 

      Boy's Summer Uniform Boy's Winter Uniform
      Short-Sleeved St Monica's Shirt
      Navy Blue Shorts
      Navy Socks
      Black School Shoes
      Short-Sleeved Shirt
      Long-Sleeved Shirt (optional)
      Long Navy Pants
      Navy Sloppy Joe (optional)
      School Jacket
      Navy Socks
      Black School Shoes 

      Sports Uniform (Boys & Girls)
      Short-Sleeved St Monica's Shirt
      Sports Shorts
      Tracksuit Pants / School Jacket
      White Socks
      Joggers (predominantly white)

      The School Jacket with crest may be worn at any time throughout the year.
      The School Hat with crest is a compulsory school item to be worn every day.


Parent Handbook

  • The Parent Handbook is a summary of the main procedures and routines of St Monica's. It outlines significant legal requirements such as Child Protection matters, absenteeism, medical requirements etc. It is designed to communicate an overview of the activities of the school particularly to families who are new to the community, and outlines information about Child Protection matters, absenteeism and medical requirements.

    If you have any further questions in relation to school times, dates, policies or other general enquiries, please contact St Monica's Primary, North Parramatta, by email or phone on (02) 8832 4100 during weekdays between 8:30am and 4:00pm.

  • View Parent Handbook
  • Print to PDF
 
   
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