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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Parents and staff use the email address to send and receive messages as needed.
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.
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.
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.