St Joseph's Parent Information Handbook
We value parental involvement in the school community and seek to provide many opportunities for such involvement, encouraging parents in their continuing role as educators, in partnership with the professional teacher. Schooling is a part of lifelong education. Parents and family are the most important and influential factor in children’s educational outcomes. Consistent parental participation in the education process has numerous positive benefits for the individual child, and the community as a whole. Information provided at the Orientation Meeting, Parent / Teacher Meeting and in school newsletters will detail ways in which parents can become actively involved in the school.
Parents interested in becoming Parent Volunteers may do so by attending a Parent Volunteer Training Session in which important aspects of the role and responsibilities are covered. Parents may be invited by classroom teachers to assist in the classroom in appropriate ways. This assistance is highly valued by the teacher and may take the form of a one-off activity requiring extra supervision, or on-going support in particular curriculum areas. It is essential that any parent who takes on this form of help is well aware of the absolute need for confidentiality when working with other people’s children. Such confidentiality is required within the teaching profession and shows respect for the child’s right to privacy in terms of academic and/or behavioural matters.
Parental help is also requested for activities such as excursions and special school events including sporting carnivals. When assisting in this way, parents must be aware of Duty of Care implications relating to the supervision of children. In order for parents to be able to supervise effectively, younger siblings are unable to be included.
The school greatly values the help of parents in the classroom, on excursions and at special events, but teachers are legally bound to put the needs of their students first and will only request parental assistance when it is appropriate and of perceived benefit to the students for whom they are responsible.
Parents will be asked by teachers if they are willing and able to assist on an excursion. Parent helpers selected by teachers have Duty of Care responsibilities and will be informed by teachers of their duties and responsibilities for the day. As these parents are on the excursion in an official capacity, their costs for the day will be covered by the school. The numbers of parent helpers selected is determined by the type of activity, age and behaviour of children, and requirements of the establishment to be visited.
In the case of other parents wishing to attend an excursion, it is important to approach the teacher to determine if it is an appropriate excursion for additional parents to attend. Also, in most situations, the teacher is required to inform the excursion venue of exact numbers attending prior to the excursion. It is only possible for additional parents to travel on the school bus to the excursion if there are seats available. Any cost for excursions, such as entry fees, bus fares etc, are required to be paid by the parent attending if they are not attending as an official parent helper selected by the teacher.
The school participates in various fundraising events throughout the year for worthy causes within and outside the school. Nominal donations are usually required for participation in a school organised activity. Past examples have been Free Dress days with a gold coin donation for the missions, Project Compassion boxes, Wacky Hair day with a gold coin donation, Christmas hampers and school raffles. Generally all funds raised are donated to Caritas.
Consideration is given to spreading these events out so that parents are not overwhelmed with requests for donations. In keeping with our Catholic tradition of helping those less fortunate than ourselves, we believe that these events encourage children to look beyond their own world and consider with compassion the needs of others.
The school day commences at 8.40am and concludes at 3.00pm with an early close at 2.20pm on Mondays.
The school day is set up as follows;
- 8.30 am: --- Children go to their classrooms
- 8.40 am: --- Morning bell rings. Classes commence
- 10.40am – 11.00am: --- Morning recess
- 12.40pm – 1.20pm: --- Lunch break
- 3.00pm: --- Dismissal (2.20pm on Mondays)
We would ask that parents make every effort to ensure their children are at school by 8.30am as classes start promptly. Children arriving at school after 8.40am are required to report to the office to sign in and receive a late slip to hand to their teacher.
As a matter of safety we require children from Pre- Kindergarten to Year Two to be picked up directly from their classrooms.
Collecting Children During The School Day
If for any reason you need to collect your child from school during the day, for example to take your child to a medical or dental appointment, you need to call into the office and the school secretary will phone the class teacher and have your child sent to the office. You are required to sign your child out, and on return to school, sign your child back in again. Parents are asked not to go directly to a class to collect their child. If someone other than yourself or designated representative is sent to pick your child up, a phone call or email is required prior to your child being released to that adult.
Before/After School Supervision
Supervision of children is provided before and after school from 8.15am – 3.15pm. Children should not be on school grounds outside of these hours.
We encourage parents of children in Years Three to Six to drop off or collect their children at the Camp Road car park to reduce congestion in the parish car park. Parents using the Camp Road car park may drop children at the gate using the Drop-off turning circle in the car park. However, parents still using the School/Parish car park need to walk children through the car park, utilising the cross walk to the under covered area. This is in the interest of safety of our children and parental cooperation is expected.
Due to limited car parking facilities, parents need to be extra courteous, ensuring they park correctly in an allocated space, not blocking driveways and turning circles or parking outside classroom windows where classes are disturbed by noise and fumes.
Parents are not to park outside the front of the school as this is a designated bus bay in the mornings and afternoons.
As it is a legal requirement for children to attend school, parents are required to explain student absences in a written, signed note stating the reason for and the date of the absence. An SMS text is sent out each morning to the parents of a child who is absent. Parents are required to respond as soon as possible, followed up by the written and signed note.
Children riding a bike to school must push their bike down the path that leads through the school. This way they will not be near the cars arriving and leaving the school grounds. The bike racks are located near the Camp Road entrance. Children are required by law to wear a helmet when riding a bike. Safety authorities recommend that only children ten years and over be permitted to ride to school without a supervising adult.
The school bus service is operated by private contractors. The buses transport children from surrounding districts to and from the school. Strict rules must be adhered to. Students not complying with these rules may be prohibited from using the bus service.
Parents enquiring about the availability of bus services should contact the Department of Transport on 9326 2063.
School fees may be paid at the office by cash, cheque, EFTPOS, through the mail, or by arranging a Direct Debit facility. Direct Debit allows families to better budget their finances and takes the stress out of paying school fees. A Direct Debit can be easily arranged by contacting the school office.
All other money, unless otherwise indicated, should be paid by the child to the class teacher first thing in the morning. This allows the teacher to keep monetary records before sending the money to the office.
All money should be sent in an envelope with the correct amount and clearly labelled with the student’s name, class, and purpose for which it is intended.
BOOK CLUB: Books may be ordered through school book club companies. Money and orders must be received by stated dates in the school newsletter. No late orders can be accepted.
School Canteen Facilities
The school operates a canteen each Monday and Friday. Orders should be written on a paper bag with money enclosed. Lunch orders are placed in a basket in the classroom. A menu/price list is sent home at the beginning of each year and is also available on the webpage.
Supporting the canteen is essential to maintaining the viability of the service to the school. The school employs a canteen manager and parent helpers are needed in the running of the canteen. We do experience difficulty at times in getting adequate numbers of parent volunteers so assistance is greatly appreciated. In the interest of safety, parents on canteen roster are asked not to bring young children. Parents are also asked to contribute by donating cakes, which are sold at recess. Please contact our canteen manager to let her know when and how you are able to assist.
The school cannot take responsibility for lost property. If items are clearly marked with the child’s name they can be returned immediately. Unmarked items will be placed in the lost property box in the Undercover Area. Unclaimed items will then be sold as second-hand garments. Children should not be bringing toys, books or other items from home to school unless specifically requested by the teacher for a particular purpose. Class news items are not to be played with at school and are stored in either the classroom or schoolbag.
Effective communication between the home and school is vital and needs to be a two-way process. Teachers are available for parent interviews throughout the year as required but please make an interview time as teachers do have a number of duties before and after school which may need some re-scheduling. The first point of contact is always with your child’s teacher and regular contacts are encouraged. It is important to meet with the teacher before your concerns become too serious. It is also pertinent to remember that our staff are caring and dedicated professionals who want the best for all children in their class.
8.30-8.40am is not a suitable time to meet with teachers as they are very busy seeing to the needs of their students at this time. Parents are also asked to refrain from interrupting a class during the day. Any urgent messages that need to be passed on to children may be given at the office and will be passed on to the teacher at an appropriate time during the day. Where possible, it is best to give all messages to children before they leave home to save unnecessary interruptions at school.
All parents and visitors are required to first attend the administration office to state their intended business in the school. They will then sign in as a visitor and be issued with a visitor’s pass that indicates to school staff they have permission to be on school grounds. Before leaving, parents and visitors return to the office to sign out and give back the visitor’s pass.
This important routine has been established for security reasons in the interest of protecting students. Even though full time staff may know parents, we often have relief staff in the school who do not know children’s parents. The visitor’s pass indicates to staff and students that the person has permission to be there. A person on school grounds without a visitor’s pass will cause concern and suspicion and will be reported to the office.
School newsletters are emailed to families and uploaded onto the school webpage on Thursday afternoons and contain important information. Please ensure you read your weekly newsletter so that you are aware of what is happening in the school. On occasion a note will be sent home with your child, e.g. a permission note for an excursion. If you require a second copy of that note, you will be able to access and download it on this website.
Weekly assemblies take place on Friday mornings at 8.45am. Merit Assemblies occur fortnightly on even weeks i.e. Weeks 2,4,6,8 and 10, and Prayer and Class Assemblies occur on odd weeks, i.e. Weeks 1,3,5,7 and 9. Parents are welcome to attend any assembly and are asked to be seated before 8.45am.
Twice a term one child from each year group is presented with a “Worker of the Month” certificate at a Merit Assembly. Parents will be informed if their child will be receiving one of these special certificates.
It is vital that all details on emergency sheets are kept up-to-date in case a situation arises where we need to make contact with you due to accidents or sickness. The school needs to be informed immediately if you change your address and/or telephone number. All emergency contact numbers need to be kept up to date.
If your child is an asthmatic or has a medical condition, it is important to let the school and the school nurse know of an action plan in case of this sickness occurring at school. This is also important for any newly diagnosed conditions. With your permission, these action plans are presented in our school’s Medical Alert Book so that all staff are familiar with your child’s medical condition and actions needed in case of an emergency.
It is wise to keep a sick child at home as they are unable to concentrate adequately when they are feeling ill and run the risk of infecting other children. If a child becomes ill whilst at school, parents or your nominated emergency contact will be contacted to collect the child. We have children who are allergic, or have low immunity health issues and therefore request that you do not send a sick child to school.
We are an Asthma Aware School and staff are regularly up-skilled, similarly staff undergo allergy awareness training including EPI-Pen delivery. We are aware of allergies to egg and nuts, and ask that no egg or nut products are included in your child’s recess and lunch. All parents will be advised if further foods are discouraged due to some students having severe allergic reaction to a product.
School Health Nurse
A school health nurse visits the school regularly to undertake screening of students in Kindy / Pre-primary and Year One and vision screening in Year 6. The nurse is also available to discuss a child’s health problems when requested by a parent or by a teacher with parental permission. The school health nurse may be contacted through the school.
Children in all grades are eligible for free dental treatment. The Dental Clinic visits the school yearly for screening.
A Dental Therapy Centre operates at Pinjarra Primary School. Its purpose is to provide continuous preventative dental service for each child enrolled in the school. The centre is supervised by a dental officer of the Public Health Service and is staffed by dental Therapists specially trained to provide dental care for children.
On enrolment with the centre, parents are notified of their child’s appointment by cards, which are distributed through the school. It is the responsibility of parents to provide transport to and from the clinic. Past reports have indicated that in the local Pinjarra community, there is a high incidence of tooth decay in children. The dentists have asked local schools to remind parents of the need for good dental hygiene and diet to ensure a lifetime of healthy teeth.
The Department of Health requires that the Immunisation Record Card be presented and viewed at the time of enrolment of children to the school.
The Immunisation Schedule has changed. Immunisations are now due after your child’s fourth birthday. Currently two injections are recommended;
- Triple Antigen (against Diptheria, tetanus, Whooping Cough)
- MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) And
- Oral Sabin Drops against Polio
Please note that if your child is not immunised, he/she will need to be excluded from school for fourteen days in the case of any outbreak occurring of these infectious diseases children are immunised against.
Please note the following health information regarding infectious diseases and exclusion times;
CHICKEN POX: Exclude until fully recovered, at least five days after the eruption first appears. Note – some remaining scabs are not an indication of a need for further exclusion.
CONJUNCTIVITIS: Exclude until discharge from eye has ceased.
IMPETIGO (SCHOOL SORES): Exclude until appropriate treatment has commenced and sores on exposed surfaces are covered with a dressing.
MEASLES: Exclude for at least four days from the appearance of rash.
RUBELLA (GERMAN MEASLES): Exclude until at least four days after the onset of the rash.
MUMPS: Exclude for at least nine days after onset of symptoms.
RINGWORM, SCABIES, LICE, TRACHOMA: Exclude until the day after treatment has commenced.
HEPATITIS A: Exclude until receipt of a medical certificate of recovery but not before seven days after the onset of jaundice.
Head Lice is an ongoing problem within schools. Parents must check their child’s hair at least weekly and let the class teacher know if there is a problem with head lice. Teachers are not allowed to check children’s hair so we rely upon parents to be vigilant. If a child is suspected of having head lice, the school will contact parents to collect and treat their child. Vigilance by all parents is necessary to control or eradicate this health problem.
(Taken from Catholic Education “Administration of Medication” Document July 2001).
Schools have a Duty of Care responsibility to students and to ensure this Duty of Care is not inadvertently breached, schools must implement the following procedures with regards to the administering of medication.
The parents/guardians of students who are required to self-administer medication are to notify the principal of this requirement and all relevant details (for example: reason for medication, dosage, side effects, symptoms of misuse, and the prescribing doctor).
Where a student is deemed incapable of self-administering prescribed medication, discussion between the principal, parents/guardians and associated school staff should take place to attend to the following;
- parents/guardians must provide written authority for the school staff to administer the prescribed medication
- parents/guardians are responsible for advising the principal, in writing, of any specific requirements when administering the medication. This should include details from the medical practitioner regarding the circumstances for use
- school staff are only to administer medication in accordance with the medical practitioner’s instructions
- A student’s medical condition and the medication for that condition need to be brought to the attention of key staff who have the student in their care
- school staff are not expected to administer medication or treatments that require specialist training, such as administering injections.
Analgesics (asprin and paracetamol) can have undesirable side effects. Asprin must never be administered to students without a medical practitioner’s written instruction. School staff are not to administer paracetamol to students without the written authorisation from the students’ parent/guardian. The parent/guardian is responsible for the supply of any medication and information.
Please note, a teacher will not administer medication without a “Student Medication Request/Record” form and without the knowledge and consent of the principal. This form may be collected at the office.
Every attempt is made through the implementation of the Behaviour Management policy and careful supervision arrangements to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place. Schools are not encouraged to administer medical treatment when an accident has occurred so for all but the superficial accidents, parents will be contacted to collect their children and, if required, take them to the doctor/hospital. Should a very serious accident occur, the school will take whatever action seems to be reasonably required in the circumstances and every attempt will be made to contact parents immediately. It is of vital importance that the school has up-to-date emergency contact numbers for all students.
Smoke Free School
It is well established that smoking can adversely affect the health of both smokers and non-smokers. Students are also at risk from both active and passive smoking. Smoking poses a significant public threat, with passive smokers being at significant risk from inhaling the smoke from others.
An employer is bound by legislation (Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984) to provide and maintain a working environment in which employees are not exposed to hazards so far as is practicable
In accordance with the provisions of the 1984 Occupational Safety and Health Act, schools must maintain a total smoke-free environment at all times.
Smoking is prohibited within any Catholic school building or grounds, either during or outside school hours. This prohibition applies to staff, students, parents and visitors to the school.
[From CEO of WA Policy Statement: 1991, revised 2001]
Animals in School
Due to allergies and safety issues, pets are not allowed on school premises during school days at any time.