Dear Parents and Carers

We have had a very busy start to the term. I would like to thank the families who attended the parent nights this week. Your role in partnership with the school with the education of your child is very much valued by staff. I ask that if you missed your child's class meeting you make contact with the teacher to discuss the information that was presented. Next Tuesday afternoon our staff along with a number of other Catholic Schools will be attending the annual Commissioning Mass for staff in Catholic Schools. This is when our staff make a public commitment to work in the Catholic interests of our students. Staff will be unavailable for parent meetings on this afternoon and I ask that all students are collected on time as there will be no supervision after 3.50pm. A big thank you to the parents who provided help at the school swimming trials this week. Your help was very much appreciated.

School Board

There will be a School Board meeting for Board members on Thursday 28 February at 7:00pm in the school staffroom.

Sacramental Parent Information Night

Next Monday 25 February at 7pm at Ss John & Paul Church there will be a Sacramental information night for parents only. This will be for families who have children participating in the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation for the first time.

Our Annual School Priorities for 2013 are:

1. Early Years

Staff in Kindy and Pre-Kindy will meet the requirements of the Early Years Framework as set by the Federal Government.

2. Maths

There will be a whole school approach to Maths through the National Partnerships Programme.

3. Australian Curriculum

Implementation of the new Australian Curriculum for planning and delivery of classroom strategies will continue with Maths, English, Geography, History and Science.

4. Quality Catholic Schooling

The review of five of the twenty-five Quality Catholic Schooling components will take place.

5. Staff Appraisal

Staff will begin to develop a new staff appraisal and feedback process.

HEALTH CARE CARD TUITION FEE DISCOUNT

If you wish to receive an automatic tuition fee discount, please ensure that you present a copy of your Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card and complete the appropriate form by the end of this week. Fee accounts will be sent home next Friday and you must satisfy these conditions to receive a discount.

SCHOOL UNIFORM GUIDELINES 2013

Thank you to our families who continue to set high standards in the appearance of our school uniform. In 2013 there will be reminder notices sent home to parents when students are consistently in the in-correct uniform or if the uniform does not meet standards. Please understand, this is about being consistent and ensuring all our students meet school requirements.

PARENTING

Research has shown that cyber bullying usually begins on home computers and on private cell phones. Students bring their resulting fear, embarrassment, anger, and aggression to school. Thus, students, families, schools, and the surrounding communities are affected. All of these entities must be considered and included when working to address the problems of bullies, victims, and bystanders. Because cyber bullying often begins on family computers and students' personal cell phones, parents must be vigilant with their monitoring efforts. Parental vigilance is paramount, because inappropriate text messages, e-mails, and postings on Web sites and in chat rooms usually do not occur on school property. Parents and teachers must talk with students about the dangers of cyber bullying, and take action immediately if it occurs.

Positive parenting can preempt cyber bullying. Ybarra and Mitchell (2004) emphasized the importance of parent-child relationships in their discussion of findings from the Youth Internet Safety Survey. "Indeed, general monitoring and positive caregiver-child relationships may be more important factors in Internet safety[,] as global parental monitoring is significantly related to a decrease in the likelihood of being an online aggressor".

Jeff Chu, in his 2005 Time article, offered the following guidelines for parents.

1. Learn - Know how to use the Internet yourself.

2. Be aware - Know if your child has a Xanga (online diary or journal) [or blog, MySpace, or other personal site], visits chat rooms, or uses instant messaging.

3. Talk - Keep the lines of communication open with your children so they feel comfortable telling you about any threatening or upsetting online situations.

4. Teach - Be sure your child knows how to be courteous online. Rudeness is not acceptable, online or offline.

5. Trust - Inform your children that you will be checking their e-mail, if you feel that this is important. Do not "snoop" without their permission. Teaching appropriate and responsible Internet use is part of good parenting. Parents who use a democratic approach are informed, fair, and consistent, and communicate openly with their children. They apply these same qualities to expectations regarding Internet use.

Read more: http://www.illinoischildwelfare.org/archives/volume3/icw3-3.pdf

PARENT SUPPORT

Orana has also joined with Michael Grosse ('Parenting Ideas'), a parenting educator who works with schools in the Eastern States and in England. Parents in the next few weeks will have access to his website. Most fortnights I will attach a flyer called Insights. This flyer has advice for families to support them in working through parenting challenges. Today's attachment is, 'It is not Okay to be away…'