I’d like to welcome all the students and parents back for the year. I need to start the year by giving some generic information that I need to say at this time each year so there is no later confusion. While most of this information is similar to the last few years, I would ask all parents to read it carefully, as it is very important information and there are a few slight changes from previous years, including uniform information.
Donations of old uniforms
The college will gratefully receive any donations of clean second-hand uniforms in reasonable condition as they can be used for students in emergencies. All items are welcome. Please note, though, we only need new style PE uniforms – which should be all students other than Year 12, possibly. Please bring any donations to the student service office.
We have a complicated series of vaccinations this year for Years 7, 8, 10 and 11.
Tuesday, 18 February 9:00
Year 7 1st Dose
Year 8 Catch Up
Year 11 Catch Up
Tuesday, 5 May 09:00
Year 7 Catch Up
Year 8 Catch Up
Year 10 Meningococcal
Year 11 Meningococcal Catch Up
Wednesday 26 August 09:00
Year 7 2nd Dose & Catch Up
Year 8 Catch Up
Year 10 Meningococcal Catch Up
Year 11 Meningococcal Catch Up
The first vaccination for Year 7 students, therefore will be next Tuesday 18 February. Students due to receive vaccinations have received a permission form for the vaccinations. Year 7 students in particular need to bring these back immediately.
More detailed information about the vaccines has been sent to parents via SkoolBag.
Forms are due back by Friday, 14 February for organisational purposes, however we will accept forms on the day of vaccination. It is important that students come to school on the day, even if they are a little unwell, as long as they don’t have a fever. If they are unwell it is possible for them to be brought to school for the vaccine then go home. Vaccinations start at around 9.00 am.
As usual, I am impressed by the appearance of the students at the start of the year and I’d like to thank the students and the parents for their support. We are a uniform school and it is the strong wish of the parent body that we enforce our uniform requirements. All students and parents, on enrolling at the college, also signed an agreement to abide by the college’s uniform expectations.
If you are ever in any doubt if an item conforms to the college expectations, particularly if there is a cost involved, such as school shoes, please check with me or your daughter’s Year Leader. The college uniform requirements are clearly spelt out in the student diaries and on the website.
In this newsletter, I normally spell out areas of concern and let parents know that we will be informing them if there are issues with particular students’ uniforms. However, I am conscious that this is a little hard to remedy over the next few weeks as we transition to a new uniform supplier. I do not expect parents to travel to Liverpool to get items when they will be available at Lowe’s in Penrith from the start of March.
However, at that point we will be checking students whose uniforms are not meeting the requirements and we will be contacting parents to ask them to remedy any issues. This will include the college backpack, which is no longer available from The School Locker. Once Lowes is selling this, all students will be expected to use the college backpack only.
I would like to remind students and parents that the uniform requirement regarding makeup are no makeup for junior students and minimal makeup for senior students. The makeup rules would cover eyelash extensions which we don’t acceptable for junior or senior students. In the case of senior students, we would consider eyelash extensions go beyond “minimal” makeup.
Students should have all their equipment, including uniform items, clearly labelled. Students at the College are very honest and many lost items are handed in. It is very frustrating when the owner cannot be traced because there is no name on the item.
All students in Years 7-9 are required to have their hair tied back. Senior students, only, may have their hair out, but they must tie it back in classes with WHS requirements.
Any parent whose daughter has a problem meeting the uniform requirements immediately needs to contact her Year Leader or me to talk over the issues. Where there is an issue of genuine hardship and a uniform item cannot be purchased, parents and carers are asked to contact Mr Elliott or me, confidentially.
Caroline Chisholm Day
Students will be receiving information about Caroline Chisholm Day, which is on Friday 28 February closer to the event but as this is the last newsletter until just before the day itself, I would like to draw parents’ attention to a few matters:
This is a significant college event and all students are expected to attend. Absences from this event will be noted on the semester report.
The day consists of a full college mass followed by a fun remainder of the day, with games, rides and food. This year the mass will be held in the college COLA (Covered Outdoor Learning Area). Our Opening Mass this year will be celebrated by Fr Paul Roberts, parish priest of Our Lady of the Way, Emu Plains. Fr Paul had a lot to do with the college around the time we went to Year 11 and 12, when he was parish priest of Corpus Christi, Cranebrook.
Students who wish to use the professional rides can buy a wristband for $20. There are many other activities which are free or have a small cost which goes towards Project Compassion.
Students are to wear their normal full uniform for the mass. (Blazers are not required.) If they wish, they can change into sports uniform for the later activities and go home in sports uniform. Be sun safe.
Students who do not attend the mass will not be allowed to take part on the later fun activities. Students who come to school after the mass will be supervised in the library for the remainder of the day.
The activities are for current Caroline Chisholm students only. No relations, friends or ex-students are allowed.
Students can bring their own food, pre-order from some stalls or take their luck with other hot food stalls. Students will not be allowed to order food in or have take-away food dropped off to them. The canteen will NOT be opened on this day.
Parent/Student Contact During the Day
As students should not have mobile phones on in class time, I would ask that any communication between parents and daughters happen in break time. I understand that there may be times when simple messages regarding domestic arrangements are sent this way.
However, in the case of a student needing to leave school unexpectedly or a potentially upsetting message needing to conveyed, I would ask parents to use the school office as the channel of communication. If you need to take your daughter from school unexpectedly, please contact the school rather than your daughter directly. Similarly, if a girl becomes ill during the day she should notify her class teacher who will send her to the sick bay. The office staff will contact the parent and organise for the girl to speak to the parent if this is necessary and make arrangements for her to be picked up. Girls should not be contacting parents directly to ask to be picked up when they are ill. It is part of our duty of care that we are informed immediately a student feels unwell or needs to go home. We need to liaise with parents to make the best arrangements for the student’s welfare.
Attendance at school every day is essential for your daughter to achieve her educational best and increase her career and life options. The correlation between attendance and performance is very clear. Punctuality in the mornings and a high level of attendance will again be a focus of the Pastoral Care team this year. When unavoidable absences occur we would ask for your assistance in providing an explanation sending an explanation of absence note on the very next day the student is at school or by requesting approved leave beforehand where possible. For leave of more than 10 days, a request form is available on the college website. Phone calls on the day of absence are appreciated but not mandatory and still need to be accompanied by a written or texted explanation. Any absence will require students to ensure that they have caught up on all work missed and collected all information provided in those lessons. As we monitor attendance we will endeavour to address any issues as early as possible. Students in Years 11 and 12 need an attendance rate of at least 90% to have study leave privileges. This is regardless of whether the absences are explained or unexplained. Generally, all students need an attendance rate of at least 90% to have opportunities to represent the College at sporting and cultural events as well as in leadership positions.
If a student is away from school, she must provide an acceptable written explanation signed by her parent or carer or a doctor’s certificate within five school days (one week) of her return to school after absence. Parents can also explain absences by sending a reply text to the SMS notification that is sent when a student is not in Homeroom.
If a note is not returned by that date she will officially be recorded as “Absence is not explained or justified”. Even if a note subsequently comes in, the official recording will remain “Absence is not explained or justified” and appear that way on the semester report, although the note will be stored in the student’s file.
Parents need to apply for leave from the principal if their daughter will be absent for more than 10 days (other than for illness). This application must be done using the form on the college website (in the news and events section). This is a NSW government regulation.
If a student is not in a homeroom at 8.23 am she will be marked absent. Students arriving after this time must sign in at the front office and have their late note signed by a parent or carer. Students on a late bus still need to sign in as the roll will have been taken in their homeroom. However, a late bus arrival will not be recorded as a partial absence.
Care for the environment
As part of our collective responsibility for the College environment, students will from time to time be asked to help pick up rubbish. Even as I pick up rubbish which is not mine, I would expect a student to co-operate with a staff member when asked to pick up rubbish, even if it was not theirs. Students have access to plastic gloves where this is appropriate or necessary.
While relatively few students receive afternoon detentions, detentions are an important part of the college student management structure. All students and parents, on enrolling at the college, signed an agreement to abide by and support the college’s student management policies, including possible afternoon detentions. The normal detention is for one hour. This may be for a serious offence or for an accumulation of 6 diary warnings for minor infringements. (Students receive a lunch detention after 3 warnings.) Any student who does not attend a scheduled afternoon detention without a valid reason will receive a two hour detention at the next available opportunity. This will comprise a one hour detention for the original offence and an additional hour for failing to attend without a reason. Notice of afternoon detentions is always posted or emailed to the parent/carer and requires a signed response. Please note that after school detentions will be held on Wednesdays (from 2.45 pm to 3.45 pm.).
For the first few weeks of school there could be disruptions to the timetabled services to and from school caused by the larger than normal numbers of students utilising these services during the "grace period" - that is, all students are allowed to access the buses without having to produce their Opal card (either a Student Opal free travel card, an Opal Term Pass, or a Youth Opal card). The increase in students travelling can impact on services, causing them to run later than scheduled or to appear to be overloaded. During that period, Busways will monitor their services while things settle down and students get into established routines for travelling to school.
Student Opal Cards must be used on all trips students make to and from school. They must tap on and off each time. This is a small price for free travel, in my view. The data from Opal Cards is also critical for the bus companies to lobby the government for extra services. If students aren’t tapping on and off, there is no data that a particular route is overcrowded.
A drop off zone on The Lakes Drive enables students to be dropped off in the morning and picked up in the afternoon outside the College gates. Due to the high pedestrian and bus activity in the mornings and afternoons parents are not to enter the college grounds to drop off or pick up their daughters at these times. There is no access for non-staff vehicles into the College grounds between 8.00am and 8.30 am or between 2.30pm and 3.00pm. Vehicles already on the premises may not exit between 2.30pm and 3.00pm.
Parents and students are advised that the speed hump outside the front western gate is not a pedestrian crossing. There is a pedestrian crossing and safety zone for crossing near the roundabout. Students are to enter the college grounds only through the pedestrian gate, not either of the vehicular entrances. The rear gate of the College is opened for pedestrian access only in the afternoon for students walking home and should not be a pick up point for vehicles. Parents are also reminded of a number of no stopping areas outside the college, particularly near the driveways. You are not permitted to stop in these areas at all, even momentarily, to let a student out of the car.
Doing the Right Thing
Congratulations to Ilaria Gale (8 Kenny), Zeinab Slaibi (9 MacKillop) and Stevi Skof (9 Jackson). They have been selected to receive a $5 canteen voucher for college service.
Appreciation of Honesty
Students at Caroline Chisholm College regularly display outstanding honesty in returning items they find on the college grounds. Often these can be of quite substantial value. Students handing in found items receive a certificate of appreciation. I would like to congratulate the following student who has handed an item in over the last fortnight: Millie-Jay Crowley (7 Jackson), Abrielle Hooker (12 Gilmore), Judith Gould (8 MacKillop), Cadence Biggar (8 Kenny), Jasmine Hay (8 Macarthur) Georgia Cashel (8 Gilmore), Shweta Verma (10 Wright), Anais Easthorpe (10 Macarthur), Emma Dunn (9 Kenny), Stevi Skof (9 Jackson), Judith Gould (8 MacKillop) and Brooklyn Kitchener (12 Kenny)
Mr Greg King - Assistant Principal