Welcome to an exciting year ahead

Dear Parents and Carers,

I would like to welcome all our families back to another exciting year at Armadale Primary School. For those families new to our school please come in and make yourself known to staff and please see me should you have any questions or if any issues arise. A special welcome to those students who are attend-ing school for the very first time in Kindergarten or Pre-primary classes. You are starting a very special journey and I hope that it is wonderful for you all. If parents would like to further support our school there are lots of ways that you can help out. The P & C is always looking for parents and family members to join their merry band of volunteers. I hope that the Armadale PS experience is a very positive one for both you and your child/children.

A big welcome back to all of our wonderful staff. I hope you have all had a very relaxing break and are looking forward to a great year. I would like to welcome Mrs Jessica Munro, Deputy Principal, Ms Carolyn Richer, Science Specialist and Ms Catherine Ratcliffe, Kindy DOTT relief to APS. If you see them out and about please introduce yourself and make them feel welcome.
Voluntary Contributions play a significant role in providing resources for students in the classroom. The con-tinuing partnership between the school and parents is vital to ensuring that all students receive a level of education sufficient to carry them forward in today’s society. Voluntary Contributions are utilised to pur-chase books, resources and equipment for classroom use and to support our school in the delivery of quali-ty educational programs. To enable the school to continue to deliver our excellent educational programs, we urge you to pay your Voluntary Contribution at your earliest convenience.

With the new starting time of 8.30am, students will be supervised from 8.10am. Unless students are with a parent or guardian they need to go to the oval.

Students arriving after 8.30am will now need to sign in at the office, starting in Week 2, and get a late slip before they go to class. This is in response to the Departments “Keeping our Workplace Safe” policy. It is important to know, as best we can, who is in our school at all times.
The school will be undergoing IPS School Review in Term 2 and we have started preparing for this by fur-ther interrogation of our data to determine the impact we are having on student achievement. One of the areas we have been looking at recently is our attendance data which shows that there has been no im-provement in the percentage of students deemed to be in ‘At Risk’ categories since 2011. Some of the fig-ures are quite staggering. In Term 3, 2018 we recorded 1594 days absent. Of this number 273 days were due to unauthorised holidays. In Term 1 the school recorded 2.7% unexplained absences and this jumped to 15.1% in Term 4. To try to combat this we have introduced a number of new initiatives relating to attendance.

Students with 100% attendance will be acknowledged at the end of each term with a certificate and a mention in the newsletter.

One student from each class, selected at random, will be recognised for 100% attendance for the fort-night leading up to each assembly. They will receive an ‘Excellent Attendance’ pencil at the conclusion of the assembly.

The classes will be participating in an attendance competition with the winning class each fortnight getting popcorn to share amongst the students. In order for a class to be eligible to participate, their attendance percentage will need to be above 90%. Attendance figures for classes above 90% will be published in the newsletter each fortnight along with a running total for the year. There will be a reward for the class with the highest attendance percentage for the term and the year. 

End of year class parties and Water Fun Day will be directly linked to unexplained absences. In order for students to participate in both of these events they will need to have all absences explained for the year. Reminders will be sent home regularly to help with this. A concerted effort will be made to contact parents if it looks like their child/ren will not be able to participate. 

It is important that students suffering illness remain at home and we understand that there are times when personal matters arise that prevent students attending school. We are hoping that with these new initia-tives, we will be able to improve attendance at APS. 

FIONA BLUNDELL

Principal