The Easter Break and Back to School
The Easter break saw a flurry of activity at Clifton Springs Primary School. Our holiday program, lead by Jeff Vinton, was in full swing and with great numbers in attendance, shows the value of the service to our school community.
New Phone System and PA System
Our long awaited and much anticipated Phone and PA system was installed in the second week of the holidays and it is a quantum leap from our old dysfunctional system but… as with any new system there is a transitional period. We have had technicians in this week teaching us how to drive the new system and ironing out the remaining bugs and quirks in the system. This new system is very exciting for us as it promises to allow us to communicate far more efficiently and effectively with our school community.
The system has a range of features relating to our Public Address (PA) capabilities, allowing us to isolate rooms, indoors, outdoors, or individual spaces and places which will allow announcements and intercoms to simply go to those who need it rather than be broadcast to every class and the entire community within earshot.
For our students it will allow us to far more easily play their favourite tunes, do book readings and share and celebrate experiences, which we really look forward to using. While this may sound a little “ho hum”, for us this is exciting as it opens up possibilities. A year 1/2 student who has written an amazing story, may be able to read/share this story across the five separate 1/2 class rooms while they eat their lunch, or a specific celebration or achievement can be shared quickly and easily. It now also gives us important safety options, such as the ability to ring our bells, evacuations or alerts even if there is a power outage which our previous system was not able to facilitate.
The installation of our new phone system is the second element of our communications upgrade and something that I as Principal, have been desperately seeking for some time. The new phone system has what seems like an infinite number of features and functions which will of course mean we will have a steep learning curve over coming weeks as we build our skills and knowledge in using it but… on a basic level the ability to:
Have a phone in every office so staff can communicate more effectively communicate with parents and our community
Have a digital voice mail system allowing parents to leave messages for staff so they can contact you when they are available
Allow us to divert, transfer, park and hold calls so they can be picked up from any of the handsets
Allow staff to page students, parents and staff
Anything which enhances the home-school partnership and allows us to work more effectively and positively with our students and community, is a real positive for us and we look forward to the enhanced abilities this new system will give us.
*** The only slight disclaimer I will put in, is that with any new system (especially complex ones), there is a learning curve, so if you are accidentally cut off or held instead of parked or whatever the case may be, I just encourage you to show a little patience and perhaps ring back.
Calls made after 4:30pm and before 8:15am will be answered by the Outside School Hours Care staff.
Building works update
Our building works has finally passed its latest hurdle and as of last week, has progressed to the tendering stage for the building companies. This means that in the next 6 weeks or so, we will have our key contractor locked in and hopefully shortly there after, the works can commence in earnest! (fingers crossed)
There have been many phone calls emails and conversations over the break and I wanted to thank Mike and his team from 3ID Studios, for their work and also the excellent work and many hours put in by Andrew Iannello, one of our parents who has been supporting us with the design of one of our key outdoor learning spaces, the wetland which will support our science, inquiry, integration and arts programs. Stay tuned for more news on this project as we continue down this path.
New Term — New Bell Timings
Our Student Representative Council (SRC) has lead a trial change to our bell times. These adjustments provide time for students to sit down and eat their snack without the distraction of wanting to run off and play, reduce the amount of lost lunch boxes, snacks, litter and lost property while still giving students a 30 minute recess break. The overall timings have reduced the lunch break by 10 minutes but the feeling is that the day will have a much more positive benefit. Essentially, the teaching time and non teaching time remains the same in total, it is just adjusted slightly as follows;
8:50 Music and morning routine
9:00 Learning block A commences
10:40 Eating time in class
10:50 Recess break
11:20 Learning Block B
1:00 Eating time in class
1:10 Lunch Break
1:40 POD pack up Bell
1:50 Learning Block C
3:30 End of school Bell
The SRC will monitor this trial and will feed back to staff and the School Council over the coming term, to see whether it becomes a permanent change or requires any further adjustments on the way. Hopefully though, we will see more snacks and lunches being eaten by students and less being fed to the often very grateful birds of the district and a much tidier and better presented grounds.
The case of the disappearing Principal
As you may or may not have noticed, I disappeared rather abruptly in the last week of term and while various versions of this had me abducted by aliens or a great many other things, the reality was a little less exciting but unfortunately quite painful and frustrating.
On the Monday night of the last week of term, I came down with some quite extreme pain which was identified as a pretty toxic appendix which left me waiting in hospital for a few days for surgery (and a fixed hernia while I was there). Unfortunately, because of the septic state of my appendix, this left me in hospital for that week and through Easter on IV antibiotics and other medical paraphernalia. So the great news is I shouldn’t have appendix issues again, but due to the hernia procedure, have spent the last few weeks laying down and staring at the roof for 95% of my time which was not exactly the break I was looking for.
On the positive side I was forced to get some rest and have got the all clear to start back this week on a part day basis which is a little frustrating but at least gets me out of the house. I really wanted to thank Mr McCredden and the amazing CSPS team for their wonderful work in my absence and their kind thoughts and wishes.
It is absolutely wonderful to be back at Clifton Springs Primary School for Term 2 and we are really looking forward to some amazing learning and community building as we learn, live and grow as a school community.
Until next week I wish everyone a wonderful week and remind all families that maximising attend-ance is a critical factor in your child achieving their potential so, remember it’s not OK to be away unless you’re sick!