Principal’s Report

As we head into this new school year, it is a great time to reflect and plan forward for what we would like to achieve as a
school community this year. The focus for EPS this year will be on embedding our spelling approach in English lessons, continuing our focus on number skills and student-lead problem-solving in Mathematics, strengthening our student wellbeing program through further implementation of the Respectful Relationships program as a Lead School, and building on our extended, more regular communication with parents and carers about student learning progress via Learning Tasks. These are the
main foci in our Annual Implementation Plan for 2023, and we look forward to sharing our progress against our 4-year School
Strategic Plan later in the year via our School Review. A lot of this information is regularly shared with School Council and any
parents and carers are welcome to visit our first School Council meeting for the year to see how everything works. It will be
held on Thursday 23rd February from 7.15pm. the new School Council membership and election process starts straight after
this meeting.

Bookings are now open for the Parent-Teacher Connect Meetings on Thursday 16th February, running from
12.30pm to 8pm. This year the meetings will be in-person and you can book times via Compass. Students are
dismissed at 12pm on the day, but we are able to supervise students from then until 3.30pm if you are not able to collect your
children earlier. Please advise your child’s teacher or the Office Staff, or send an email to emerald.ps@education.vic.gov.au,
if you need to have your child/children stay until 3.30pm.
These meetings are a great opportunity for parents and carers to help teachers to get to know their child/children, reflect on
the student’s learning growth and data from 2022, and to establish the ongoing learning partnership to support the students
to do their best throughout the year.

During coming weeks and throughout Term 1, we have Monash Health workers at school delivering the ‘Feeling Safe Together
Program’ to all students. The focus of the program is protective behaviours and the sessions take a proactive approach.
This program has been designed following research into protective behaviour education programs from both Australia and
abroad. Schools are in unique positions to be able to reach children to raise awareness on a range of issues that can impact on
a child’s learning and development. The program is aimed at raising awareness of safety, our personal safety and the environment around us. The sessions are tailored to be age appropriate. An outline of the program and some information tips for
parents and carers is attached.
Research clearly states that children who understand prevention techniques are not only at less risk of being abused or bullied, they are also more self-confident and better able to judge the safety of situations they meet in daily life. However, we
must remember, it is ultimately the responsibility of the adults caring for the child to seek support or report if they are concerned about a child’s wellbeing.
When we talk to children about staying safe in a calm and caring way, we are indicating to the children that if they are confused about something that is happening, they should never feel that something is SO bad that they can’t tell anyone. We all
have the right to feel safe!
Please contact myself, Carice D’Rozario (Assistant Principal) or Bianca Appleby (Student Wellbeing & Inclusion Leader) at
school if you have any queries

We are excited to once again start off our Check Mates Chess Club for 2023! Thank you and welcome back to the Wegman-Wills
family (Sharon and Mike), who set up and run our Chess Club weekly. In 2023, we would love to welcome any other parents or
carers who would like to volunteer their time on Tuesdays at lunchtime (set up from 12.40pm, pack up at 1.40pm). Please email us
at the school if you would like to be involved somehow – you don’t have to be a Chess Champion and don’t need to be available
every week! We are planning on drafting up a Term 1 roster. School email for all enquiries is emerald.ps@education.vic.gov.au

Our school collects, uses, discloses and stores student and parent personal information for standard school functions or where
permitted by law, as stated in the Schools’ Privacy Policy.
Please take time to read our school’s collection notice, found below.
We ask parents to also review the guidance we provide on how we use Google Workspace for Education safely at the school and
what parents can do to further protect their child’s information. If after reviewing the guidance, you have any questions or concerns regarding your child using [Microsoft 365/Google Workspace for Education], please contact the school.
For more information about privacy, refer to: Schools’ Privacy Policy — information for parents.
Privacy Collection Notice
Information for students, parents and carers
The Department of Education (the department) values your privacy and is committed to protecting the personal and health information that schools collect.
All school staff must comply with Victorian privacy law and the Schools’ Privacy Policy. This notice explains how the department,
including Victorian government schools (schools), handles personal and health information. On occasion, specific consent will be
sought for the collection and use of information, for example, for a student to receive a health service. Our schools are also required by legislation, such as the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, to collect some of this information.
Throughout this notice, ‘staff’ includes principals, teachers, student support service officers, youth workers, social workers, nurses
and any other allied health practitioners, and all other employees, contractors, volunteers and service providers of the school and
the department.
On enrolment, and during the ordinary course of a student’s attendance at a school, schools will collect information about students and their families for the following purposes:
* educating students
* supporting students’ social and emotional wellbeing, and health
* fulfilling legal obligations, including duty of care, anti-discrimination law and occupational health and safety law
* communicating and engaging with parents
* student administration
* school management
* supporting policy in relation to student education and wellbeing.
If this information is not collected, schools may be unable to provide optimal education or support to students or fulfil legal obligations.
For example, our schools rely on parents to provide health information about any medical condition or disability that their child
has, medication their child may take while at school, any known allergies and contact details of their child’s doctor. If parents do
not provide all relevant health information, this may put their child’s health at risk.
Our schools also require current, relevant information about all parents and carers so that schools can take account of safety concerns that affect their children. Parents should provide schools with copies of all current parenting plans and court orders about or
that affect their children and provide updated copies when they change.
When parents enrol their child in primary school, they will be asked to provide personal and health information in several ways,
including via the Enrolment Form, the School Entrance Health Questionnaire (SEHQ) and the Early Childhood Intervention Service
(ECIS) Transition Form.

The Enrolment Form is used to collect information that is essential for the purposes listed above, and requests information
such as:

  • Emergency contacts – Individuals parents nominate for a school to contact during an emergency. Parents should ensure that
    their nominated emergency contact agrees to their contact details being provided to the school and that they understand their
    details may be disclosed by the department if lawful, e.g. in the case of emergency communications relating to bush fires or floods.
  • Student background information – Information about country of birth, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin, language
    spoken at home and parent occupation. This information enables the department to allocate appropriate resources to schools. The
    department also uses this information to plan for future educational needs in Victoria and shares some information with the Commonwealth government to monitor, plan and allocate resources.
  • Immunisation status – This assists schools to manage health risks and legal obligations. The department may also provide this
    information to the Department of Health and Department of Families, Fairness and Housing to assess immunisation rates in Victoria, but not in a way which identifies students.

Visa status – This is required to process a student’s enrolment.
All schools may use departmental systems and online tools such as apps and other software to effectively collect and manage information about students and families for the purposes listed above.
When schools use these online tools, they take steps to ensure that student information is secure. If parents or carers have any
concerns about the use of these online tools, please contact the school.
School staff will only share student and family information with other school staff who need to know to enable them to educate or
support the student as described above. Information will only be shared outside the school (and outside the department) as required or authorised by law, including where sharing is required to meet duty of care, anti-discrimination, occupational health and
safety, and child wellbeing and safety obligations. The information collected will not be disclosed beyond the school and department without parent consent unless such disclosure is lawful.
When a student transfers to another school (including Catholic, independent and interstate), personal and/or health information
about that student may be transferred to the next school. Transferring this information is in the best interests of the student and
assists the next school to provide the best possible education and support to the student. For further detail about how and what
level of information is provided to the next school, refer to the: Enrolment: Student transfers between schools
Schools only provide school reports and ordinary school communications to students, parents, carers or others who have a legal
right to that information. Requests for access to other student information or by others must be made by lodging a Freedom of
Information (FOI) application.
To update student or family information, parents should contact their school.
For more information about how schools and the department collect and manage personal and health information, or
how to access personal and health information held by a school about you or your child, refer to the: Schools’ Privacy
Policy

Emma Clark
Principal

School library sessions have commenced for all grade levels.

Junior Grades from Prep – 2 are expected to have a library bag to ensure our library books are kept safe.

All students, across all levels, may borrow for home, once per week and either return the book the following week or ask for an extension. The date stamp in the back of the book, indicates when the book is due back.

Usually, the books are returned at the commencement of a library session with the students encouraged to slip books into the Returns slot, located at the Library desk.

We encourage all students to look after our library books at home, so they don’t end up ripped by younger siblings, chewed by the dog/cat, food or drink spilt on them or left out in the rain.

Here’s to a year of happy reading!

In Schools Music Program is starting again for Senior students.

Students have a lesson on a Wednesday or Thursday in school hours.

Phone Andrew McAlister on 0408 467 147 if you are interested or have more questions

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