February 16th 2022

Issue 1

translator

Principal's Message

I would like to take this opportunity to share my sincere gratitude for your support and positivity as we focus on the safe day-to-day operation of the school. We are fortunate to not have had too many students test positive to COVID and we appreciate all the measures you have in place within your families to help protect the wider school community. Across the first few weeks, we have had a number of staff members test positive and/or isolate as a close contact and this has been challenging for all those affected, as well as those back at school. The FPS staff are an awesome bunch of humans who rise to the challenge to help wherever needed, even when they are already working at full capacity. I thank each member of our staff group for their relentless dedication to their profession and to Footscray Primary School. We wish all those members of our community currently in isolation a speedy recovery.  

Parent Payments

We shared our parent payment information on Compass last Friday, and we have already received payment from over 30 families. Thank you. We look forward to providing regular updates throughout the year to share how your contributions are supporting the school.  

Building Works

There are some building works occurring at the school from Saturday, February 19 through to Wednesday, February 23. I am awaiting communication from DET to provide more information. The temporary fencing for this work will impact on how we access and move between different parts of the school for a few days. We will send home a social story and more information as soon as possible to support families and students during this time.

Meet the Teacher

We would also like to remind families that we will be holding our Meet the Teacher chats next Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd from 2.20-4.40pm. These chats will be held in the WebEx rooms of classroom teachers. This will be your chance to connect with your child/ren’s classroom teacher/s, put a face to a name, check in and say hello. You may have some further information about your child/ren that may have been missed in your You Tell Us form that you think would be valuable for your child/ren’s teacher.

Bookings will open on Compass this afternoon. Please look out for a notification of this through Compass.

CO.AS.IT Language Assistants 

We offer our sincere gratitude to CO.AS.IT for approving our application for an Italian Language Assistant in 2022. This year, CO.AS.IT have generously allocated and fully subsidised two full time Language Assistants to support our bilingual program. On February 14, we will welcome Giulia Tamai to our team and welcome back Federica Mancusi. Grazie mille, CO.AS.IT.

Swimming Carnival 

We are so pleased to have held our first swimming carnival in a very long time! We look forward to hosting this event annually and ensuring that all children feel happy and confident to participate either in the competitive events or the novelty events. I am happy to report that the staff were victorious in the Staff vs Student relay – we would never have lived that loss down! Thanks to all the parents and carers who attended the event. Sadly, a series of unfortunate COVID related events has meant that the network interschool swimming competition will not be able to run.  

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới (Happy New Year)

Dear parents and carers,

Welcome back to FPS 2022!

Tết Nguyên Đán or Tết is Lunar New Year and 2022 is the year of the Tiger. The Tiger is associated with valour. Those belonging to the sign of the Tiger (born 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950 and 1938) are said to value independence and have a strong sense of justice.

During this week, the Foundation to Year 6 students have inquired about the Vietnamese New Year traditions and its own culture and custom. They have learnt Tết is New Year and Chúc Mừng Năm Mới is Happy New Year. The grade 1/2 students also have made Bao Lì Xì - red lucky envelope in Vietnamese lessons. 

Here are some pictures of students making their own lucky red envelopes.

                          

                                   

                                   

On behalf of the Vietnamese teachers and Footscray Primary staff, I wish the new year 2022 brings you good health, peace, prosperity and good fortune.

Warm regards and lots of love x.x.x

Cô Hạnh

Mental Health and Wellbeing

This year Footscray Primary is joining the Mental Health in Primary School Pilot. This initiative is a partnership with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) and is an evidence-based approach to improving mental health outcomes for primary school students. This project aims to address the gaps in the current child mental health system by building the capabilities of primary schools to better support child mental health and wellbeing, increasing support for teachers in addressing mental health needs of students as well as building their confidence and skills in this area.

As part of this initiative, we would like to welcome Jenny Campbell as our Mental Health and Wellbeing Coordinator. Jenny is an experienced teacher whose previous roles include working in the Royal Children’s Hospital School, Blackburn English Language School, and The Smith Family. Jenny will be working closely with the FPS Wellbeing team to support and drive whole school wellbeing programs to support child mental health and wellbeing.

As part of this research our FPS Year 2 and Year 4 parents will be invited to participate in a survey in Term 1 and Term 4. Data collected will support the independent evaluation of the pilot by a study team consisting of staff from MCRI; Department of Education and Training (DET); and Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) at the University of Melbourne.

If you would like any further information about the program, please contact the office.

Reminders for Parents/Carers

Masks
We have a limited supply of masks and are kindly asking families to remind students to bring a mask to school each day. Students are encouraged to keep a spare disposable mask in their bag for those forgetful days. 

Rapid Antigen Test Kits
Students have now received their second RAT kit to be able to continue the twice-weekly surveillance testing over the next two weeks. If your child has not received a kit, please contact the office.

Carpark
Families are reminded that the staff carpark should not be used to access the school. Should you need to enter the school from Commercial Road, please use the TheirCare gate located next to the staff carpark.

Head Lice 
Families are asked to please check their child/ren's head for lice as there have been several cases of head lice reported to the office. Please assist us by checking your child's head and treating your child if required. Once treated, your child can return to school.

Head lice are common in school-aged children and are transmitted through head to head contact. If you discover head lice or eggs on your child's head, you can treat them in a number of ways. The Better Health webpage is particularly informative.

Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund applications

The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund helps eligible families to cover the costs of school trips, camps and sporting activities.

If you have a valid means-tested concession card, such as a Veterans Affairs Gold Card, Centrelink Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card, or are a temporary foster parent, you may be eligible. There is also a special consideration category for asylum seeker and refugee families.

Payment amounts this year are $125 for eligible primary school students. Payments are made direct to the school to use towards expenses relating to camps, excursions and sporting activities for the benefit of your child.

If you would like to apply, please contact the school office and ask for an application form to be sent home with your child.

You can also download the form, and find out more about the program and eligibility, on the Department of Education and Training’s Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund web page.

Please return completed forms to the school office as soon as possible (and thank you to the families that have already done so).

Please contact the office if you have any queries.

Attendance & Late Arrivals

It is important that students attend school every day and that they remain at school for the entire day. 

Staff mark the roll every morning. If your child is absent and you have not notified the office by 9:30am you will receive an SMS from the school as per DET requirements. 

We will be tracking absences and sending home letters once a month if a student has had excessive time away from school as this affects their learning. 

If your child is arriving late to school, we ask that they come straight to the office. We will sign them in once they arrive. If your child goes straight to class they will be marked absent for the morning and you will receive an SMS. 

If you have dropped your child off late and they didn't come to the office and you received an SMS, please contact the office on 9687 1910.

The importance of attendance at primary school

Important Dates to Remember

Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 February: Meet the Teacher chats (via WebEx)

Monday 14 March: Labor Day Public Holiday - no students at school

Monday 21 March: Harmony Day

Wednesday 23 March and Thursday 24 March: School Photos

Friday 8 April: Last day of Term 1

Monday 25 April: ANZAC Day Public Holiday - no students at school

Tuesday 26 April: Curriculum Day - no students at school

Wednesday 27 April: First day of Term 2

COVID-19 Vaccination Information from DET

It’s been really fantastic to see such excitement around the return to school and we want to keep it that way. A crucial part of that is getting as many students vaccinated as possible.

Alongside ventilation and other vital COVIDSafe steps such as regular rapid antigen testing, supporting as many students as possible to be vaccinated will help make our school as safe as possible.

Bookings for children aged 5 to 11 to receive the paediatric Pfizer vaccine are open and we encourage parents and carers to get your child vaccinated, if you haven’t already done so.

The Pfizer vaccine is safe and recommended for children. The vaccine will help protect your child from getting sick from COVID-19, help to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and help ensure kids can have more time at school and playing with their friends.

Vaccinations for children aged 5-11 years old are delivered at 2 appointments, 8 weeks apart. Children with specific medical vulnerabilities can access their second dose 3 weeks after their first dose.

If you’d like more information about this, you can read a recent statement from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI): https://www.health.gov.au/news/atagi-update-following-weekly-covid-19-meeting-19-january-2022

To book an appointment

You can book at your local GP or pharmacy: https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/booking

You can also book at a family-friendly vaccination centre by calling the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.

You can also make vaccination centre bookings for your children online, though you will need to use an email address that has not been used in the system before: https://portal.cvms.vic.gov.au/

Helping children to get their vaccination

Vaccination centres understand that children may feel anxious about vaccination or have other support needs. A range of options are available to help children get vaccinated. Please discuss your child’s needs with the vaccination centre when you book an appointment.

Appointments are also available at Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisations.

👉 Find out more about vaccination for kids: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccination-information-children-and-teenagers

COVID-19 Vaccination Pop-Up Clinics

cohealth vaccination pop-up clinics in February - Braybrook and Tottenham

Maribyrnong City Council is partnering with cohealth to deliver vaccination pop-up clinics in February. These clinics will be walk-in (no bookings required) and available for 1st dose, 2nd dose, booster and 5-11 year old vaccinations. cohealth health guides will be present at the clinics and be able to provide assistance and support to community.

Current and upcoming vaccination clinics are kept up to date on Council's website - Where to get your COVID-19 vaccination - Maribyrnong.

Quang Minh Buddhist Temple, located at 18 Burke Street, Braybrook - Tuesday 15 February – Thursday 17 February, 11am – 6pm

Australia Light Foundation Mosque and Community Centre, located at 291-293 Sunshine Road, Tottenham - Tuesday 22 February – Thursday 23 February, 10.30am-4.30pm


Mental health and wellbeing hubs - Free help and support is available to all Victorians

If you’re having a difficult time or are feeling overwhelmed, you can call 1300 375 330 to get support through your local Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub.

All support is free and available to everyone of all ages right across Victoria, regardless of where you live. In an emergency where there is immediate risk of harm to a person, call Triple Zero (000). For 24-hour crisis support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Further information: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/mentalhealthhub

TheirCare

Chess Club - Term 1