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Parent Handbook

The Parent Handbook covers all the information, procedures and policies you and your child will need.

If you have any further questions in relation to school times, dates, policies or other general enquiries please feel free to contact St Monica's Primary, Richmond by email or phone on (02) 4588 5405 during weekdays between 8:30am and 4:00pm.

  • General School Information
    • School Profile

      St Monica’s Primary School is a two stream comprehensive Catholic School serving the community of St Monica’s Parish in the Hawkesbury District.

      St Monica’s School is one of the oldest Catholic learning communities in New South Wales, being established in 1859. Our patron, St Monica, is the patron of mothers and womanhood. Her love of God and family is a love that we strive to live out in our school’s Vision & Mission.

      The bond between school and parish has continued to grow strongly. Our children have been given wonderful opportunities of experiencing faith celebrations through the support of Fr Clifford D'Souza, our Parish Priest.

      Teacher professional learning continues to be paramount and has led to curriculum changes. The core areas of English, Mathematics, Religion and assessment have been supported by increased resourcing and positive changes in school organisation.

      At the centre of all this growth and the catalyst for our ongoing development as a learning community has been the work, attitudes and beliefs of our teachers. The success of our work in bringing about significant change has been the result of a professional teaching community that has been prepared to continually seek out ways to improve teaching practice, matched with an energy and expertise to carry out change. This development has been supported by our teaching community examining theory, undertaking professional learning, aligning syllabus to practice and critically evaluating programs.

      Through the ongoing support of our parent community, the technology and services fee has allowed us to purchase a wide range of IT hardware. This allocation of resources has been supported by professional learning initiatives and planning.

      Our growth in community has been seen in our Parents and Friends Association, Parent Tutors, Canteen support and generally in the high level of participation in school and social events.

      All children commence school speaking English, although in many homes other languages are also spoken. Culturally our population is mainly comprised of families from Anglo-Saxon, Maltese, Italian and Arabic backgrounds. St Monica’s Primary draws its enrolment from a wide geographical range extending from Richmond to Castlereagh, Glossodia, Freemans Reach, Kurrajong Heights and Upper Kurrajong.

      A building program in 2009, providing us with spacious, modern classrooms and hall (multi-purpose learning space). These allow us to provide an exciting and stimulating learning environment for all our students.

    • Broader School Community

      St Monica’s enjoys an extremely warm and supportive relationship with our Pastor, Father Clifford D'Souza. Class liturgies are celebrated regularly along with numerous whole school gatherings. The school supports a Parish/Family based sacramental program.

      Our Parents and Friends Association is a proactive group supporting and participating in school initiatives. Parental involvement takes a high priority.

      The following Goals are true indications as to the role and vision our P & F Association maintains.

    • Parents & Friends Goals

      The P & F Association Goals have been set in 3 key areas:

      Community Goal
      The P & F create mechanisms for fundraising via activities in supporting school needs.

      • Co-ordinating fundraising
      • Formation of fundraising committees
      • Fete
      • Co-ordinating social events

      Supporting Learning Goal
      The P & F support the learning agenda of the school and assist the Principal in determining priorities for purchasing resources through P & F fundraising initiatives.

      • Represent the school at the Diocesan Parents Representative Council.

      Building & Grounds Goal
      Promote an improved school environment with creative use of space for the provision of safe learning areas. Over the past years the P & F has funded and provided:

      • Turf
      • More seating
      • Softfall for playground equipment
      • Shade Cover
      • Refurbished cricket nets
      • Purchase of electronic signage
      • Refurbished Library
    • Special Programs

      At St Monica’s we strive to create a balance between the Key Learning Areas and catering for a wide variety of children’s interests.

      Over the years we have been proud of the children’s participation in Choir, Voice of Youth-Speech Contest and local Anzac and Remembrance Day Services.

      In sport, children have represented the school in rugby league, soccer, basketball, netball and zone and diocesan carnivals in athletics, swimming and cross country.

      A very successful Peer Support Program for all children is led by Year 6 who have been trained as Peer Support Leaders This program builds upon the esteem and confidence of children within our community.

      Our Defence School Transition Aide supports children of defence families emotionally and socially to transition into the school community.

      To support our Personal Development & Behaviour Management Policy, we have also undertaken the 'You Can do It' Program. This program teaches confidence, resiliance, persistence, getting along with others and organisation.

      Crunch and Sip is a healthy eating program we participate in at St Monica’s. It encourages children to choose vegetables and fruit as the first choice for a snack and water as a thirst quencher. Many teachers opt to have Crunch and Sip mid-morning, to break up the first long learning session of the day (8:50-10:50). Crunch and Sip encourages students to learn life long healthy eating habits and to develop an understanding that a balanced and varied diet is important for good health, both now and in the future.


      Mr Cameron Lievore
      Principal

    • Leadership

      Mr Cameron Lievore
      Principal

      Mrs Jacqui Van Der Burg
      Assistant Principal

    • School Hours
      Playground Duty Begins 8:20am
      School Hours 8:50am - 3:10pm
      Morning Recess 10:50am - 11:30am
      Lunch 1:30pm - 2:10pm
      Dismissal 3:10pm - All grades

       

    • Term Dates
      Term Dates
      2017 2018
      Term 1 Friday, 27 January to
      Friday, 07 April
      Term 1
      Monday, 29 January to
      Friday, 13 April
      Term 2 Monday, 24 April to
      Friday, 30 June
      Term 2
      Monday, 30 April to
      Friday, 06 July
      Term 3 Monday, 17 July to
      Friday, 22 September
      Term 3
      Monday, 23 July to
      Friday, 28 September
      Term 4 Monday, 09 October to
      Tuesday, 19 December
      Term 4
      Monday, 15 October to
      Friday, 21 December

      *School development days occur at the beginning of Terms 1, 2 and 3, and the last two days of the school year in NSW public schools. Check with the school as some dates may be changed.

    • Arrivals & Departures

      Before School
      To support the needs of children and lesson flow punctuality is paramount.

      • There is no supervision for children who arrive before 8:20am
      • From 8:20am the parish car park is available for staff only
      • We ask parents not to use the parish car park when bringing their children to school
      • The driveway is closed between 8:20 - 9:00am and 3:00 - 3:30pm for the safety of the children
      • Parents are asked to drop their children off at the gate, in the Covered Area outside the hall or at the Bourke Street gate, and encourage independence by letting the children walk into school on their own and placing their own bag outside their classroom.

      Late Arrivals
      In line with Child Protection Guidelines if children arrive late to school, they must be accompanied by an adult to the school office, where they are to sign a "late note", which will be filed for audit purposes.

      After School
      Parents are asked to collect their children from designated areas, after the second bell. At 3.20 all children will be moved to the hall. Parents are respectfully reminded that due to WHS and Child Protection requirements, children are to be collected from school at the end of the school day at 3:10pm. While it is understood that, on occasion, parents might be running late, this should be the exception rather than the rule. The school grounds are not a place for socialising at the end of the school day due to the high number of people on-site.

      At 3:20pm the Bourke Street gates are locked and any remaining children are walked to the Hall.

      If there is any change in your family and child's timetable, please communicate these changes to your child's teacher or the school office as early as possible.

      During School Hours
      When children are collected during school hours, and to ensure the safety of all children and effective communication, parents are asked to sign a leave form at the office, where their child will be called to meet them.

      Road Safety
      Parents are requested to be most particular about observing Road Safety at school entrances, by using the pedestrian crossing. If picking up your child in Francis Street, please do not park in the Bus Zone.

      Do NOT park in the school or church grounds if you are picking up or dropping off your child.

      Bicycles
      Bicycles must be wheeled within the school grounds at all times and parked in the approved area only. Children must wear approved safety helmets as stipulated by NSW Road Safety Laws.

    • Absences From School

      Extended Leave
      Students who take leave from school for more than 10 school days at one time e.g. family holidays during the school term, must complete and submit an "Application for Extended Leave" which is available from the office. Relevant travel documentation such as an e Ticked (in the case of flight bound travel) or itinerary (in the case of non-flight bound travel within Australia only) must be attached to the application. The Principal will then complete a "Certificate of Extended Leave" which should be taken with the student whilst on leave. This is a requirement of the Education Act (1990). Less than 10 days absences need to be advised in writing to the class teacher. If the Principal declines this application (i.e it is not within the best interest of the child to take leave and be absent from school), a letter notifying parents that the application has been declined would be forthcoming from the school.

      Illness
      If, through illness or other reasonable causes, your child is absent, please supply a written explanation to your child's teacher the first day your child returns after such an absence. If no explanation is received, the absence is recorded as unexplained. It is a legislative requirement that all schools maintain an accurate, up to date attendance register. These details are audited each year and absences noted.

      Accidents
      In case of sudden illness or accident at school the staff will make every effort to contact parents. Please make sure that the school is informed of any change in contact telephone numbers. In serious cases, an ambulance will be rung and parents will be contacted. (Child taken to hospital etc.)

    • Activities

      Children are expected to participate in ALL school activities. Exclusion from any activity, such as sport, fitness and P. E. program, inability to wear correct uniform etc. requires a note from a parent.

    • Appointments with Staff

      Requests for appointments with staff must be made through the School Office. The administration staff will complete a Request for Appointment form and appointment details will be confirmed with you by the staff member concerned.

    • Assessment & Reporting

      The Reporting and Assessment process consists of Parent/Teacher interviews, an Assessment Progress Report at the end of Term 2 and 4. For Kindergarten, Term 1 Interview, Term 2 Progress Report, Term 3 Interview and Observation and Term 4 Progress Report.

      National Assessment
      Children in grades 3 & 5 sit for the NAPLAN test for Numeracy and Literacy in May. Parents receive a detailed report following these tests.

      If a child is leaving the school a written report will be given, but the parents must give the teacher concerned three weeks notice.

    • Behaviour Support Management

      The school’s Behaviour Support Policy is based upon our Mission Statement of upholding the dignity of all children who are part of this community.

      The policy provides clear guidelines and rationale when dealing with children who require support in regard to their behaviour. At all times concerns of children's behaviour will be monitored and reported to families so that children can be supported both at school and home.

      A copy of our Behaviour Support Policy is available upon request.

    • Bus/Transport Passes

      All K-2 children are eligible for a free School Opal Card, however, for Primary children Years 3 – 6 to be eligible they must live outside the 1.6km radius surrounding the school, as set by the Department of Education. Some children have had their passes taken because of poor behaviour. Please explain to your children what is required on the bus, such as no standing, no leaning or spitting out of windows, no eating, pushing, yelling etc.

      Kinder bus children will be paired up with a Year 5 or Year 6 child who catches their bus. This older child will assist the Kinder child to find bus lines, their bus stop etc.

    • Library Fundraising - Cake Raffle

      On Thursday of each week, each class has a raffle for a cake supplied by a parent from that class. A roster is drawn up for each class. Tickets are 20c each and money raised goes into Library Funds.

    • Canteen

      The canteen is open at recess from 10:50 - 11:30am and at lunch from 1:30pm – 2:00pm Monday, Wednesday & Friday.

      Lunches may be ordered through the school canteen.

      Parents are asked to assist with the running of the canteen by working one day a month voluntarily.

      Children will be notified if the canteen is to be closed for a day, for any reason.

      The canteen's purpose is to provide a wholesome lunch for the children.

      Lunch orders should be written on a paper bag (recess and lunch orders are to be in separate bags) which will be provided at a cost of 10c if not supplied. Include your child's name, class, items required and the correct money (if possible) detailed on the outside of the bag. Orders are to be dropped off at the canteen before class and lunches will be delivered to the classroom. All requirements for lunch should be ordered in the mornings.

      Parents are advised not to send children to school with large sums of money.

    • Child Protection

      It is a diocesan requirement that parents who volunteer at school must complete the CEO Online Child Protection Module.

      This training is available online at: http://childprotection.parra.catholic.edu.au

      • Open the module by clicking on the Volunteers & Contractors link
      • Click on Volunteers
      • Please complete both Step 1 and Step 2 of the module
      • After you have successfully completed the module, an email notification will be sent automatically to your email address and to the school email address. This email notification is a confirmation that the training has been successfully completed.
      • A notification of successful completion of the module will be sent via email to the school and also to your email address
      • This online training must be completed every 2 years.

      Building Child Safe Communities
      'Building Child Safe Communities' is a new initiative developed by Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta that enhances our commitment to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all students in our care. It is now a requirement that all volunteers and contractors complete an online undertaking form that confirms expectations in relation to behaviour whilst volunteering or contracting at schools, Catholic out of Schools Hours Care and Catholic Early Learning Centres. This undertaking form also seeks to determine the suitability of volunteers and contractors by requiring them to declare that they do not have a criminal history involving children. Visit CEDP public webpage http://www.parra.catholic.edu.au then click on "Child Protection Training Forms' (halfway down page on the right hand side). You will receive a confirmation email once the form has been submitted. Your details are maintained confidentially in a central database and a copy of your confirmation is emailed to the location where you are volunteering.

      Working with Children Check (WWCC)
      If Parents and Carers who do volunteer work at the school, are part of a formal mentoring program e.g. parent tutors, sporting coaches, music teachers or involves intimate personal care of children with a disability, the parent volunteer must get a Check.

      As with other state and territory models, the NSW Working with Children Check allows parents to volunteer in activities that involve their own children without needing a Check. However, this is NOT a blanket exemption for all parent volunteers. Fact Sheets and resources are available from www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au/check.

      There are only two exemptions for parent volunteers and they are:

      • Volunteering by a parent or close relative of a child in activities for the child’s school, early education service or other educational institution
      • Volunteering by a parent or close relative, with a team, program or other activity in which the child usually participates or is a team member.

      If the volunteering work fits either of these descriptions, the parent does not need to get at Check. For more information, see the Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013.

    • Communication

      Home To School
      Any notes or money sent to the school should be in a sealed envelope on which is clearly printed what the monies and or notes are for, along with the child's name and grade. When there is a school excursion/incursion, permission is required from the parent/carer for their child/children to attend this event or excursion. It is really important that we get a permission slip signed for each individual student. Therefore, please do not enter all your children on the one permission slip unless stated. These slips go back to each individual class for archiving. Please ensure the original permission note is used, no hand written notes. Correct money and permission should be enclosed in an envelope which should be clearly marked (please see example below).

       Example: Mary Jones
      Kinder Blue - School Fees     OR
      Mary Jones 
      Kinder Farm Excursion
      $10 enclosed    

      To Teachers
      From time to time parents need to speak with the teacher, outside the normal parent/teacher interview days. Forms are available from the school office which can be completed and will be given to the teacher concerned, where they will contact you at a time suitable to both parties. This ensures uninterrupted teaching time.

      To Students
      If for some reason students need to be given messages, the office should be contacted no later than 2.45pm to ensure that messages are given to the students before home time.

      School To Home
      A school newsletter is published every week. These newsletters report dates, events and news regarding school activities. Please ensure you receive and read your copy each week. Extra copies are available from the office and are also published on our website www.stmonicasrichmond.parra.catholic.edu.au. Parents are encouraged to subscribe to eNews which is located on the website, this ensures that your newsletter is sent directly to your email address. Paper copies will be given to your child if requested.

      Skoolbag App
      Skoolbag is the ultimate school to parent communication tool. This School Mobile App provides schools with an easy way to tell parents and carers everything they need to know about school news, newsletters, events calendar, cancellations and school related reminders. Instructions for parents to install the app on your phone or tablet device are available under"Notes to Parents" on the St Monica's website. This app can also be used to update the school on details of your child’s absence.

      Mobile Phones
      Mobile phones are not recommended for children at school. However if they are absolutely necessary it is the child’s responsibility to take care of them. They are to be turned off during the day.

    • Floods

      In the event of North Richmond Bridge being flooded - ALL children stay home and the school will be CLOSED. Supervision will be available if families cannot make alternative arrangements. Please listen to Hawkesbury Radio 88.9 or WSFM 101.7FM where an announcement will be made. Notifications will also be updated to our Skoolbag App.

    • Uniforms
      GIRLS
      Summer Winter Sport
      • Check dress
      • Blue socks
      • Royal blue hair ribbon or school uniform material band
      • Black leather polishable shoes (with low heels)
      • School hat or cap
      • Grey, Navy blue check tartan drop waisted pinafore (to be of length to cover the knee)
      • Sky blue Peter Pan collar shirt and navy tab tie
        or
      • Royal blue slacks with sky blue Peter Pan collar shirt with royal tab tie.
      • School sloppy joe, Jacket or royal blue woollen mix jumper
      • Black leather polishable shoes
      • Either blue socks or navy tights
      • Royal blue school sports shorts with monogrammed polo sports shirt
      • Royal blue school tracksuit
      • School Hat
      • Joggers - predominantly white (for sport only)
        School Bag - compulsory (only available from the school office) 

       

      BOYS
      Summer Winter Sport
      • Grey gabardine school shorts (no corduroy, no surf style short)
      • Short sleeve Midford vic blue shirt
      • Grey socks
      • Black leather polishable shoes
      • School hat
      • Grey melange school trousers (not jeans)
      • Midford vic blue shirt
      • School sloppy joe, Jacket or royal blue woollen mix jumper
      • Grey socks
      • Black leather polishable shoes
      • School hat
      • Royal blue nylon school sports shorts with monogrammed polo sports shirt
      • Royal blue school tracksuit
      • School hat
      • Joggers - predominantly white (for sport only)
       School Bag - compulsory  (only available from the school office)

      Boys & Girls

      Tracksuits

      • Are available through Brynorms.
      • The tracksuit pants can only be worn on sports day over sports clothes.
      • Mandatory school back packs are available from the school office.

      Uniform Policy

      • All clothing to be marked with the child's name
      • No coloured sneakers or gym boots to be worn
      • Joggers (predominately white) are only to be worn on sports day
      • Black leather polishable shoes (with flat heels) for girls and boys
      • School hat and/or cap is available from school office or Brynorms.
      • Only school hats or caps may be worn.
      • Children must wear school hats all year. (No Hat, Play in Shade!)

      Uniform Shop
      All new items of the school uniform may be purchased from our supplier:
      Brynorms
      Shop 2/328 Windsor Street
      Richmond
      Phone: 4501 1143

      Opening hours are Monday - Friday 9:30 - 4:45pm  and Saturday 9.00 - 12:45pm

      Second Hand Uniform Shop
      Volunteers run the secondhand uniform shop.  Details of open times are advertised each term.


      Grooming

      Students are to be neatly and cleanly dressed at all times. Shoes should be clean and well presented.

      Boys hair is to be neat and tidy, off the collar, of consistent natural colour, of gradual even grade and all extremes of fashion are to be avoided. Hair of shoulder length is to be tied back from the face.  Fringes and other lengths of hair are to be off the face and out of the eyes.

      Girl’s hair that is longer than shoulder length, is to be tied back from the face. Fringes and other lengths of hair are to be off the face and out of the eyes.  The colour should be a consistent natural colour and extremes of fashions are to be avoided.

      Jewellery & Accessories
      Apart from one pair of sleepers or small plain studs and a wrist watch, jewellery is not permitted for safety reasons.  A chain with cross or religious medallion may be worn under the uniform.

      • No rings
      • No nail polish
      • No make-up
      • Ribbons, hair slides, scrunchies - if worn should be royal blue and/or school material.

      Lapses in Wearing Uniform
      Parents will be notified and their co-operation sought for any lapses in this area.

    • Health

      Head Lice
      Children with head lice will be isolated from their class mates, and parents will be contacted immediately. Co-ordinators may inspect children’s hair at their “discretion” and will receive the full support of the Principal. Children may return to school after treatment with a written note from their parents, indicating what treatment has been given.

      Medication Administration
      Some children attending school need medication to control illnesses. All medication must be sent to the office and will only be administered if the authorisation forms are completed by parents and forwarded to the office.

      Parents should supply exact dosage size tablets and mixtures in the original container, which is clearly marked with:

      • Prescribing Doctor's name
      • the name of the child
      • the dosage and measuring device eg. measuring cup
      • the time the medication is to be given

      The name of the tablets or medication should be clearly marked on the container, particularly when the tablets are to be kept at school for any period of time. A disclaimer is also to be signed by the parent/guardian. “(Medication Advise” available from school office, or our website).

      Please note:

      • All care but no responsibility is taken
      • If medicine is to be given at certain times, the child must be told by the parents at what time they are to go to the office and receive it
      • Children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD also require a letter from their doctor, to the school, advising of dosage and times medication is to be given
      • If dosage or medication is to be altered, this must accompany a letter from the doctor authorising the change Standardised forms for administration of prescribed medication will be given to parents.

      Following guidelines from the Catholic Education Office, only prescribed medication will be administered by school personnel.

      Sick Children
      To minimise the spread of infection, if children are sick we recommend that they stay at home until they are fully recovered. A note should accompany your child on their return or complete the “Absentee Form” on the Skoolbag app.

      Protection Against Infectious Diseases
      The Department of Health recommends that children entering school should be immunised. This is particularly important because your child will be coming into contact with many other children and infections can spread very easily.

      Children starting school who have not already had booster immunisation should have:

      • One booster injection against diphtheria and (CDT), and
      • One booster dose of polio vaccine by mouth (Sabin)
      • One injection of measles/mumps vaccine if they have not already had measles or been immunised against the disease.

      Immunisation is available from your family doctor, from many council clinics and from some community health centres. Date and times of clinics may be obtained from the council.

      It is important to obtain a record of your child's immunisation from your doctor or community health centre. This record needs to be presented to the school office when your child has completed the required course of immunisation. This is necessary, as new health regulations require any child who has not been immunised to remain at home for the duration of any outbreak of the above infections.

      Parents must seek medical advice if an infectious disease is suspected. Many of these diseases require that the patient (and sometimes contacts at home) be excluded from school for varying lengths of time.

      In all cases a medical certificate is required before the child can be allowed to return to school.


    • Library

      The library is open at lunch time from Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

      Students are encouraged to borrow weekly from the school library.

      In order to borrow from the library, all that is required is a library bag, big enough to hold a book. These may be purchased through the office if required. Lost or damaged books must be replaced.

      All books are to be returned promptly at the end of each term and particularly at the end of the school year.

      Please make time each day to listen to your child read, or read to him/her yourself.

    • Lost Property

      All outer clothing which children may require to remove should be clearly labelled with the child's name.

      If your child loses an article of clothing, please follow this up with an enquiry as soon as possible to the teacher who will make every effort to locate it. If parents are satisfied that the lost item is not in the classroom, they are at liberty to check the lost property basket.

      Each year we have a large stock of unclaimed clothing and other articles, for which the school will not accept responsibility.

      Unnamed clothing remaining in the lost property at the end of a two week period is donated to St Vincent de Paul or our Second Hand Uniform shop.

      If a child loses an article on the bus, it is the parents' responsibility to contact the bus company to enquire about the article.

    • Visitors to the School

      All visitors, or volunteers assisting with classroom teaching programs must report to the school office, register their details and receive a Visitor’s Identification Label. Once your visit has concluded, exit details must also be completed.

Parent Handbook

  • The Parent Handbook covers all the information, procedures and policies you and your child will need.

    If you have any further questions in relation to school times, dates, policies or other general enquiries please feel free to contact St Monica's Primary, Richmond by email or phone on (02) 4588 5405 during weekdays between 8:30am and 4:00pm.

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