Newsletter - 12 November 2020

Issue 34

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Principal's Report

Appreciations

I would like to acknowledge our students across grades and specialist programs for demonstrating a high level of attention and respect this morning when our School Captains, Johanna and Stephen acknowledged the symbolic importance of Remembrance Day. 

Pictured are members of 1CW with the red poppies they made to acknowledge and learn about this long served tradition.



PAC enjoyed making a Poppy garden to Commemorate Remembrance Day in our classroom. 

Updat-ed – Thanks for the continuing uptake of the new Updat-ed communications app for all school digital communications.  We now have an additional 107 registered, up from the extraordinary 272 parents and carers registering for our replacement communications app the previous week. 
We will continue to post on FlexiSchools for a few more weeks, but please make sure you log on and register, as we do not want anyone to miss important communication when we switch to only using Updat-ed.

The latest communications innovation this week is a new provider for our online newsletter.  Due to our arrangement with sponsor-ed their E-newsletter is available for us at no extra cost.  As this is very similar to the successful form of i-Newsletter we have used over the last year or so, we felt it was an obvious change we could make prior to us renewing this contract.  What is even better, as soon as something is placed in the newsletter and a box ticked, it can be loaded to the website.  Office team members, Natalie and Yvonne are very excited at this prospect!

School Council met (via WebEx) for the second last time for 2020 on Monday.  We reflected on our management of the challenges of the year we could never have prepared for.  We considered the many positives following our return to face-to-face learning and the plans for supporting our students through the important term 4 steps, such as transition to, from and through school and of course, grade 6 graduation.  We also discussed what our return in 2021 might look like, especially with the understanding that the Wallaby building repair works, an approved and costed capital works project, will take place throughout the 2021 school year with major implications in terms of use of space and buildings.  I will provide a far more detailed summary in the newsletter before the end of term after the building contractor has been selected and we have had our initial planning meeting.  What I can reiterate (as this was outlined during term 2) is that our iconic Wallaby building is subject to major ground and sub soil works to ensure that it can be used by West Footscray families for another 105 years. Consequently, we will be required to decant all classes and services from the Wallaby building into temporary buildings that will need to be transported and placed with access to all necessary services, on the school oval for most, if not all of the 2021 school year. 

In 2021, we have made the decision to grow by another class to 29 classes.  It has been a challenge to find a structure that works best.  While we have confirmed our model through our school processes, I will share our grade structure and anticipated class sizes when we have interrogated our changing student numbers.  We have as always, some new families (in addition to our five classes of prep students), but we are losing some others to tree and sea, as well as other circumstances.  Thank you to the families who have informed us of their changed circumstances. If you are intending to move your child(ren) to another school next year and you have not yet informed us, please drop us a line as soon as you can at: footscray.west.ps@education.vic.gov.au

At Council, I acknowledged the support we as teachers and leaders feel from our parent and carer community through the agency of such a well-intentioned and supportive representative body.

For parents and carers who made requests relating to consideration for grade placement in 2021, the opportunity closed at the end of October, a well-established and publicised process at FWPS.  We are now forming grade groups.  I will continue to make contact families on a needs basis. 

Unwell Students
One of the most important things I ask of every family this term is to keep your child home from school if they have even the mildest coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms and to get tested as soon as possible. Staying home when unwell is one of our strongest measures to limit the spread of the virus. For more information on what to do if your child is unwell, see this fact sheet

Understanding our protocols and respecting staff – I would like to start with the positive comment that our parent and carer community have been amazing.  You went from supporting the learning of your children at home for so long, in partnership with their teachers, to then seeing your child(ren) off at the gate and picking them up at the end of the school day.  Unlike a normal school day, you have not been allowed on school grounds (with very limited exceptions).  I know teachers are continuing to monitor your communications via Gmail or messages phoned through the office.  Therefore, the few examples where there has been tension, I would like to keep in perspective.  We have an expectation that parents read the newsletter and monitor relevant communications through Flexischools (now Updat-ed).  Please remember and respect that with all students exiting in groups, we really would appreciate parents or carers choosing NOT to bring their dogs along with them.  Some kids have high levels of anxiety towards even the friendliest of pets.  As the students do not have a choice about when, or what gate they leave from, we will appreciate your support. 

Teachers at the school take their duty of care seriously and this will often mean taking steps to protect the students in line with school policies and department guidelines.  We therefore ask that you wear masks correctly and not approach students at the fence during recess or lunch, and respect the yard duty teachers rights and responsibilities. 

I hope you and your families are enjoying the opportunity to travel further, visit more of your extended family members and to celebrate where our collective sacrifice has led us.

All the best,

Brendan

Coming Events in Term 4

DATE

COMING EVENTS

Week Beginning Mon Nov 9Prep 2021 Information Booklet and Resource Pack sent to families
Thur Nov 19Prep 2021 Online transition Q & A - 6:30pm (detail to come)
Fri Nov 27Secrets of the Sky Incursion - Grade 5/6 - 27 Nov, 2 Dec, 4 Dec

Week Beginning Mon Nov 30

Prep 2021 Letter including child's class teacher, group meeting time sent to families

Week Beginning Mon Dec 14

Prep 2021 Small Group Meetings with new teacher - all week
Fri Dec 18LAST DAY OF SCHOOL FOR 2020  -  1:30 PM FINISH
Fri Jan 29Grade 1 - 6 Return to School
Mon Feb 1Prep 2021 First Day - early finish 12:30pm 

Pupils of the Week - Week 6

GRADE

NAME

APPRECIATION FOR:

PAK

Franklin

Confidently and accurately sharing quantities into equal groups and explaining the strategies he uses to the class.

PHS

Seamus

For making such wonderful progress with your reading. Absolutely excellent effort.

PKS

Imy

The effort you put into creating a factual poster about deer. 

1HP

Tavish

The fabulous effort you put into writing, revising and editing your character description. Super job!

1CW

Logan

His focus and enthusiasm when completing numeracy tasks. 

1JN

Aryan

Applying a growth mindset during his writing tasks. 

1TN

Edan

Always applying the Tribes Agreements in the classroom. Well done!

1/2AB

Alex

Being a positive and conscientious member of the class. His efforts to ensure the classroom is a clean and tidy space for everyone is much appreciated!

2BD

Lawrence L

Always being a positive role model in our class and showing kindness towards others. 

2JI

Edie

Her resilience settling into term 4 and her enthusiasm to participate during class discussion. Brilliant!!

2LE

Estelle

The great piece of writing she did about 'Found'.

2LP

Evalyn

Consistently following the Tribes Agreements and doing her personal best in 2020.

3ES

Chase

Doing her personal best when learning about fact families and challenging herself to complete the extension task. Well done Chase!

3JS

Ella

Consistently challenging herself during all tasks and being a helpful IPAD monitor.

3/4DW

Anneliese

Bringing joy and positivity into the classroom. Your attitude to school and learning is so impressive and appreciated by all your classmates.

4LB

Abigail

Consistently applying effort to all tasks and approaching each day with a positive attitude!

4CL

Cara

Achieving great improvement in your reading and vocabulary for this semester. Keep up the terrific effort.

4MK

Penelope

Using a growth mindset and applying your personal best effort during Maths sessions.

5BC

Laaibah

Bringing a positive attitude to the classroom and for effectively collaborating with others in numeracy. Great work, Laaibah!

5BC

Archer

A terrific Tribes response to an incident in the yard.  You showed maturity and mutual respect.

5HL

Ashika

Your kind and caring nature. You are always volunteering your time to help others. Thank you!

5KT

Hamish

Jumping into the learning pit when working with fractions and decimals. Excellent effort!

5LC

Vicky

Always trying your personal best with every single task that you complete. Keep up the amazing work!

6MP

Isaiah

The excellent delivery of your SLAM poetry. Great work!

6SM

Stella

Always applying her personal best effort, following the Tribes Agreements and being a kind & caring classmate 

6TS

Noah

Being a supportive and inclusive classmate. Terrific effort Noah!

Reading Awards

Congratulations to the following students for their Reading Awards this week.

Ana Singh 1JN for trying very hard with your reading and making good progress.

Farj Khan 1/2AB for making a great effort with your reading and showing good improvement. 

James Gowlett 2BD for having a very good attitude in reading and demonstrating very good growth. 

Mare Ali 2BD for working very hard to improve your reading skills. 

Walk to School and Litter Free Lunches

Walkers 

Congratulations to:

Juniors: 2LP with 18 walkers 
Seniors: 3ES with 19 walkers  

Litter Free Lunch

Congratulations to:

Juniors: 2LP with 14 Litter Free Lunches 
Seniors: 3ES with 30 Litter Free Lunches 

FWPS Mailbox Update

Our first batch of letters to our senior citizen pen pals were sent off last week. 

Students in Grade 5 and 6 were given their pen pals name and have already eagerly written, drawn and decorated some uplifting messages. Now we are just waiting to see what messages we get in return. About 15 in total, which is a great start for the program with over 40 grade 5 & 6 students signed up.

Also just a reminder that ANY students are welcome to continue to add their creative messages of support to our FWPS mailbox at the front of the school.





Thank You Santo!

For the last six years Santo (grandparent of Isabella Thomas 6TS), has graced our visual art program with generosity, warmth, humility and skills.  For reasons he has provided (in his beautiful handwriting below), he will be calling it a day :(. He provided me with this beautiful art piece which will find pride of place in my office. Ciao Santo. 



An update from the FWPS Parents Association

Like Victoria, the PA are emerging from lockdown…..

All the ideas and initiatives we had planned for this year took a back seat as everyone learnt how to adjust to their new situations. Now, we’re trying to find our place in a new environment, where we cannot always do what the PA traditionally does.

The PA committee have been spending time over the past few months planning for what may be a different year in 2021. And while we do not have a full picture of what we are able to do, we certainly have emerged with a clear view to continue to make sure families connect with the school, and to give the kids some joy and things to look forward to in 2021.

If you’ve been thinking about what next year can look like, why don’t you drop us an email? We’d love to hear about all of your new ideas and opportunities.

Or better still, come along (virtually) to the FWPS Parents Association Annual General Meeting to meet some of the current Exec and Committee Members or to put your hand up to fill one of the PA Exec or Committee roles in 2021.

The FWPS Parents Association AGM is on Thursday the 3rd of December at 7pm

In addition to the more “formal” parts of the meeting, we’re also planning on running some fun activities and doing some reflection on the year that’s been (details to follow!).

To come along to the event as a non-member, please email: FWPSParentsAssociation@outlook.com

OR

To join the PA OR to nominate yourself for a position, please follow this link:
FWPS PA e-registration form and AGM Nomination form

We’d really appreciate it if you could please RSVP and/or submit your nominations by Friday 27 November.   We will then send details of how to join the virtual meeting once you are registered. 

We really hope you can make it on the 3rd and look forward to seeing you then!

From the 2020 PA Exec (Sharee, Kate & Tinny) & Committee



Launching our new school app - Updat-ed

We’re very pleased to inform you that we are changing our phone app.  The new app is called Updat-ed and will make connecting with you so much more convenient.

To download the app just visit the App Store for iPhones or Google Play for Androids.  Search for Updat-ed by sponsor-ed and from the menu select our school.

We’ll receive your registration request and will need to approve you before your app is up and running. 

We will prioritise this process regularly.





So what will the app do?

The app’s great for regular two way vital communications to and from the school, with one of its best features being the ability to save events directly into your phone’s calendar. 

Like our previous app, you can report an absence directly from your phone.

 

We will still use the current apps, ‘Flexischools' & 'Flexibuzz' until the end of November, 2020.

 

We hope you enjoy being Updat-ed.