Principals Desk

Happy Easter

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

On behalf of school staff, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Easter and an enjoyable term break. There is an expectation that students continue to read daily over the holiday period. The Rowville or Knox City libraries are great places to visit during the holidays.

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Preparing to Smash a Day at School

To achieve anything in life we need to be prepared.

For students to be successful at school they need to start the day with a healthy breakfast. Much talk is taking place in the media about the amount of processed sugar students are consuming. I’m not a dietician but I urge parents to read the cereal box. You might be alarmed by some cereals’ sugar content.

Next, the BIG ONE. Get to school before the bell. That means in the classroom and ready before the second bell. Learning starts at 8:45 am. Although we have improved greatly in this area, we still have a small group of late comers each day. Missing just five minutes a day equates to missing 16.6 days of school per year. That’s a heap of valuable learning time missed.

Teachers have the learning organised during the day but students can’t be at their optimal attention levels if they are tired. Students need ten hours of sleep per night. If students are not able to concentrate in class then valuable information will be missed and not retained in the brain. Like well-tuned athletes, our students need to be prepared to smash a day’s learning at Park Ridge Primary School.

Eating a healthy breakfast, being punctual and getting enough sleep will go a long way to being successful at school.

School Council Elections

We had five nominations for the three School Council Parent positions. Subsequently, we will be conducting an election. Ballot papers will be available from today. Election information will be posted on Compass and via a paper copy to parents. Ballot papers can be collected from the office

Parents nominating for School Council are:

Melinda Michalski

Karli Pignolet

Janine Dunk

Jessica Brown

It’s Not OK TO Be Away

It’s not Rocket Science but being absent from school stops students from learning. Our school data supports this statement. Of course, students need to be kept home when they are sick, however, we still have a small group of students who have too many unexplained absences. This year I will be monitoring absences more closely and contacting parents whose children are having a large number of absences.

Reading Reading Reading

Monday, February 26th, 2018

By now, I am sure that parents would realise that I believe that regular nightly reading is so important to students. It needs to be a priority in every family’s routine. At Park Ridge Primary, we don’t consider reading to be classified as part of our home learning routines. It’s something we need to build into our daily activities. Research also shows that if dads or a significant male hears the child read then the improvement is even greater. Listed below is some research from New Zealand. The message is pretty simple, The more you read, the better you become at reading. How many words does your child read each day? Reading to your child is similarly important. I would love to analyse the ratio between home reading, playing electronic game and outdoor physical play our students perform each day. Two of these activities need to make up a predominant amount of student’s time.

The Amount of Reading Done

Progress Group Words Read Weekly Words Read Yearly
High 3570 20 000
High/Middle 2601 15 000
Low/Middle 1680 10 000
Low 757 5000

Clay: Observation records of book reading taken at weekly intervals – Auckland Research Study Note: It’s obvious to see why nightly reading is so important.

School Council Elections

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

We need three (3) Parent Councillors this year!

If you are interested and would like to find out more about being on School Council, please give me a call or drop into the office for a chat.

Listed below is the schedule for our School Council election process. Nomination forms can be collected from the office from this Friday. Please note that nomination forms need to be returned to the office by Friday 16 February 4:00pm. There are four parent positions and two DET teacher positions to be filled at this election.

School Council Election Timeline:

Friday 9 February Call for nominations

Friday 16 February Nominations close

Monday 19 February Distribution of ballot papers

Wednesday 28 February    4:00pm    Close of ballot

Thursday 1 March Votes counted and declaration of poll

Thursday 8 March School Council AGM

School Council Elections

What is a School Council and what does it do?

All government schools in Victoria have a School Council.  They are legally formed bodies that are given powers to set the key directions of a school within centrally provided guidelines.  In doing this, a School Council is able to directly influence the quality of education that the school provides for its students.

Who is on School Council?

There are three possible categories of membership:

Mandated elected Parent category.  More than one third of the total members must be from this category. Department of Education and Training DET employees can be Parent members at their child’s school.

Mandated elected DET employee category.  Members of this category may make up no more than one third of the total membership of School Council.  The Principal of the school is automatically one of these members.

Optional Community member category.  These members are co-opted by a decision of the council because of their special skills, interests or experiences.  DET employees are not eligible to be Community members.

The term of office for members is two years.  Half the members must retire each year, creating vacancies for the annual School Council election.

Why is Parent membership so important?

Parents on School Councils provide important viewpoints and have valuable skills that can help shape the direction of the school.

Those parents who become active on a School Council find their involvement satisfying in itself and may also find that their children feel a greater sense of belonging.

How can you become involved?

The most obvious way is to vote in the elections, which are held in February or March each year. However, ballots are only held if more people nominate as candidates than there are positions vacant.

In view of this, you might seriously consider – standing for election as a member of the School Council or encouraging another person to stand for election.

Do I need special experience to be on School Council?

No.  What you do need is an interest in your child’s school and the desire to work in partnership with others to help shape the school’s future.

What do you need to do to stand for election?

The Principal will issue a notice and call for nominations following the commencement of Term 1 each year.  All School Council elections must be completed by the end of March.  For parents, this notice will probably be given to your child so you may need to check with them whether it has been sent home.

If you decide to stand for election, you will need to arrange for someone to nominate and second you as a candidate in either the Parent category or DET employee category.  Once the nomination form is completed, return it to the Principal within the time stated on the notice of election.

If there are more nominations received than there are vacancies on council, a ballot will be conducted in the two weeks after the call for nominations has closed. Candidates will be given the opportunity to write a brief description outlining their skills and interests for the parent community.

I hereby call for nominations for Parent Rep positions (3) (three two year positions) and DET Rep positions (2).  Nomination forms can be collected from the office.  Please note that nominations must be returned to the office by 4:00 pm Friday 16 February.

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Nightly Reading

Over the past couple of years, our students have made huge improvements with their reading. Many of our students are reading well above the expected level. This impressive improvement is due to teachers thoroughly and explicitly teaching reading strategies to their students and also the increased focus in home reading completed by our students. Students who are good readers have developed great reading habits. There is an expectation that all students (Foundation – Year 6) read nightly for a sustained period of time. Children and parents should be developing a regular nightly reading time routine. Look at your schedule and pencil in the nightly reading routine and stick to it. Reading should take precedent over playing games on the computer.

Research also informs us that dads and significant other male role models can have a huge positive influence in reading performance if they participate in the nightly reading routine. Please spend the time reading to and with your child. This investment will certainly have a positive effect in your child’s learning. Our school expectation is for all students to read at least five times per week. Teachers will be following up with students each week to make sure that this is happening.

Slip Slop Slap

Park Ridge Primary is a Sunsmart accredited school. We require all students to wear a hat while outside in Terms 1&4. Students who do not have a hat must play undercover. Recently, while speaking to the students in their classrooms, I was surprised by the minimal number of students who wear sunscreen. Applying sunscreen and cleaning your teeth should become routine events each morning for students. The consequences for not protecting yourself against the sun could be catastrophic in the years to come.