From the Principal’s Desk
Together we learn, lead and achieve.
In 2019, we will revert to 29 classes across the school. Due to capping, our Prep intake has reduced to 80 students in comparison to previous years, which means a drop of about $100,000 from our 2018 school budget.
Some parents may not be aware that public schools are funded on a per head basis and Prep students attract the most funding in a primary setting. That is why we have been able to keep class sizes considerably low in comparison to other schools. Additionally, our staff members are now considered more experienced and their pay reflects that. Staff salaries are paid out of the school budget. It is a delicate balancing act but one I have enjoyed during the years as we have grown. Next year, we will have 651 students, which is about 10 more than this year. With a reduced budget though, we had to look closely at class sizes. When looking at the allocation of rooms, the department has a formula that looks at class sizes of 25. This is based on Years 3-6 recommended class sizes of 27 and Prep-2 class sizes of around 21-22.
Next year, our current five classes of Prep students with 17 to 18 students in each will be reduced to four Year 1 classes with 22 students in each class. Some of our students are moving to other areas so it would have resulted in very small classes if we kept the five classes. I know of a school close by that has 700 students and 29 students in each class. So we are doing well by comparison.
Last week we held our School Council meeting and a number of matters were discussed. These included:
1. Car parking. Adam Bird has spoken to council and they are looking at revising the scoping plans and will consult with the school.
2. Recycling. Next year, we will be looking to do more in this area. Currently, we have no propensity to access the Council’s recycling bins and so we will look at our own co-mingle bin. We also have a number of students in Year 4 who are very keen to do something long term.
3. One to One iPad Program. Next year, in Year 3, the school will provide the iPads for students. These will remain at school, as they are school property. The One to One iPad program will continue in Years 4-6 and so 2019 Year 3s will commence the program in 2020.
4. 2018 Xmas Carols. The night program will not go ahead but the students will be able to perform during the day of December 12. This will include choirs. The performances will be placed on Seesaw or be airdropped to student iPads.
5. Seesaw. A decision was made to extend the Seesaw program to all year levels next year. We have been given approval for our PIA (Privacy Impact Assessment) by the Legal Unit of the Department of Education. However, parents will still be able to opt out. For parents who opt out of the Seesaw app, they will still receive assessment tasks in hard copy, where possible, but student portfolios will not be the same format.
Thanks to Shayley Holland (Jack Year 4 and Lachlan Year 2) for finding this picture, which accurately describes why we use Seesaw.
Learning and teaching programs vary across schools based on local needs and circumstances and reflect each school’s priorities, decisions and resources. This then informs the parent payment charges approved by school councils that may vary from one school to the next.
Last month our School Council approved the Parent Payment charges for the 2019 school year. These charges are set to ensure parent payment practices are consistent, transparent and provide all students with access to the curriculum. School Council is responsible for developing and approving school-level parent payment charges and can request payments from parents under three categories: Essential Student Learning Items, Optional Items and Voluntary Financial Contributions. Parent contribution, in all forms, assists schools to provide an enriched learning and teaching program for every student and is highly valued by school communities.
We thank our families in advance for their financial support, which enables us to continue to add value to the students of MSPS.
Year 5 camp
Thank you to the Year 5 team who returned from another successful camp.
Andrew Johnson, Laura Johnstone, Nerinda Hodgson, Jenny Hutchinson, Elise Van Ooi, Andy Glembin, Kate Little, Jordan Jansen (PST) and Shannon Malloy (PST). Your efforts did not go unnoticed.
This concludes our camping program for 2018. The MSPS camping program is a graduated program for each year level.
At Foundation there is a breakfast
Year 1 – extended hours and dinner at school
Year 2 – day camp to Sunnystones
Year 3 – Two days, one night stay at Chesterfield Farm and Mount Morton
Year 4 – Three days two nights at an Adventure Camp-Arrabri Lodge
Year 5 – Three days two nights at Anglesea and beach adventures
Year 6 – Three days two nights at Sovereign Hill, looking at historical aspects of early settlement in Australia and the gold rush.
Well done to all the teaching staff, ES staff and pre-service teachers who gave up their own personal and family time to accompany the students and make sure they all had enjoyable and safe experiences. I am always amazed to see how eager they are to take on the challenges of camp and the extra responsibility of looking after someone else’s child full time.
School Council approves the 2019 camps at the first meeting back in February 2019. Once they are approved we will publish dates on our website.
Letters to our school
Captains participation in the Armistice Ceremony
On behalf of the Montmorency Eltham RSL we wish to thank you for your participation in our Armistice Ceremony.
Your contribution helped to make it a memorable event.
Principal’s Advisory Leaders presentation on their ‘Finding Common Ground’ project
And from Cr Alison Champion, Banyule Council
I want to congratulate you and the staff for supporting the students in their presentation of the above topic on Monday afternoon.
While the experience demonstrated many things about our young people in our communities, it showed the most that they have opinions and thoughts and skills and knowledge and are prepared to use and express them freely for the benefit of all.
All the students showed a high level of maturity and leadership. And fearlessness which tends to be suppressed the older we grow. I have said publicly that we are a very long way from “children should be seen and not heard”. If anything, this activity demonstrates that children MUST be heard as well as seen, because their contribution to all our futures is vital and valuable.
I particularly appreciated their request for improved parking and transport around the school. I need every voice to support the improvements to be made to all types of safe access around the school as possible, for both students and residents. A perfect inclusion in this presentation: they had the attention of all the vision-creators and decision-makers on Council.
As a parent, I was very proud to see the children I have known and watched grow for the last 8 or 9 years into intelligent, expressive and interested young people. This is, in part, a result of their home lives and their parents’ influences. And also in part to the influences of their teachers and the unwavering philosophy of the school: the TRIBES programme. Both influences have, intentionally or not, created some of our future leaders. And I’m always on the lookout for the next leader, regardless of age.
Congratulations and thank you all for the contribution to our children and to Council.
The builders are working hard to put the roof on before the Christmas and New Year break. I have included a photo to show you all where we are up to at this point in time. Next year will be very exciting.
Thumbs up to the following achievers from our Monty South community.
Well done to Amy Brilliant 3C and Genevieve Spina 3C who recently competed in a gymnastics competition and did exceptionally well. They individually scored gold and silver medals and as a team came fourth overall. Bravo Amy and Gen!
Finally, congratulations to the following students for their excellent results in the UNSW Science test scoring Distinctions and High Distinctions.
Year 3 Distinction
Chloe Lee, Zian Mahanta, Harper Reed, Sienna Christian and Jasper Sibbing
Year 3 High Distinction
Year 4 Distinction
Year 5 Distinction
Maya Bennette and Oliver Laidler Testi
Year 6 Distinction
Ella Jones, Oscar Hendry, James Ferres and Zane Larsen
The new website is live – www.montysouth.vic.edu.au
Enjoy the week ahead.
Montmorency South Community Update –
Student of the Week – http://www.montysouth.vic.edu.au/showcase/student-of-the-week/
Student Showcase – (old Classroom Clippings) –
Parents & Friends Committee – http://www.montysouth.vic.edu.au/community/parents-friends-committee/