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The earliest, and often the most powerful learning about careers is shaped by the adults in a child's life.

myfuture, the National Career Information Service, has tools and resources available to help parents to guide and support their child as they explore career options and occupations of interest.

myfuture resources

In this webinar Michelle Maes, Careers Manager, will demonstrate the career development resources that are freely available on the myfuture website to assist the career development process.

When: Tuesday 24 November, 11:00am - 12:00pm


 

Thanks to everyone who attended our Online Conference!

Our theme for this year's Conference was:

Brave New World: Changes, challenges and opportunities for families and schools. 

Conference information

Where possible we have made the Conference presentations available below. More on the way!

Opening

merlino 175We thank Education Minister James Merlino for opening the conference and answering questions.

Mr Merlino presented  the Joan Kirner Award and the 'Parent Champion During Covid' Award. 

Joan Kirner Award Winner

The Joan Kirner is an annual award given to a Member Parent Club, Parent, or Individual Member who has demonstrated, encouraged, or facilitated parent or family engagement in their school.

This year's winner is Catherine Kirby (Sandringham College)

Parent Champion During Covid Award Winner

The 'Parent Champion During Covid' is a new award for clubs and parents who have made a positive contribution to their school community during the 'learning From home' periods this year.

This year's winner is Nikky Edwards (Croydon Hills Primary School)

Re-setting the foundations for good mental health for families post COVID

carbone 175Presenter: Dr Stephen Carbone, Executive Director, Prevention United.

A video of Stephen's presentation will be available soon.

 

 

Family Engagement Officers in schools

Presenter: Dori Ellington, Community Engagement Officer at Whittington Primary School. 

 

For a parent perspective on Dori's role at the school, see this recent article by parent Jade Millman. 

Connected Schools Communities: The Next School Improvement Frontier

voigt 175Presenter: Adam Voigt, Director, Real Schools.

  • How schools can be cognisant of what parents really want from their school.
  • How parents and schools can not only get on the same page, but write that page together.
  • An understanding of what goes wrong when the home-school partnership erodes.
  • What’s really required for parents and schools to rebuild high trust relationships geared for success.
  • A look at what 21st century home-school communications should look like. 

Adam's slides and a video of his presentation will be available soon. 


 

 

Exciting day for many of our school families as more students return from today and the remaining metro year 8 to 10s go on 26th Oct.

Note state schools are permitted to stagger school return across this week to 16th so read your school communications carefully.

Remember:

  • Your approved mask
  • To physical distance at all school drop off and pick up points
  • It's 'drop & go' to keep our Covid cases low
  • Socialise safely (no congregating at the school gates move away to the location you can do this within the rules)
  • Ask your school any questions if needed

 

The Age reported today on Treasurer Josh Frydenberg's call for all Victorian students to return to on-site schooling. PV Executive Officer Gail McHardy is quoted in the article. Gail said it was important to base the decision on expert health advice. "At this point in time they are still finishing off the modelling on 7 to 10s," she said. Gail also commented that schools and the Education Department would need to make sure that young people receive strong support, educationally and regarding their wellbeing when they return.


 

All primary school students in metropolitan Melbourne will return to on-site learning from Monday 12 October. Schools may stagger the return of year levels during that week, with all students to be back on-site by Friday 16 October. 

PV Executive Officer Gail McHardy welcomed the news but urged parents to remain vigilant around COVID-19 precautions. See all Gail's comments in this article in the Age

In a memo to schools, Education Departement Deputy Secretary David Howes said, "A critical aspect of the return to on-site learning will be a strict enforcement of physical distancing requirements at the start and finish of the school day." Schools have been asked to provide clear communication  and signage for parents about physical distancing at drop-off and pick-up times. Schools may also implement staggered start and finish times to ease congestion. 

 


 

PV Executive Officer Gail McHardy was interviewed on 3AW recently on the question of whether students should repeat a year because of the COVID-19 disruptions in 20202. 

Gail said that children are often more resilient than we might think, and that any decision to repeat should be carefully considered, in consultation with the student, parents and teachers.

Gail and host Tony Jones also discussed the importance of good relationships and communication between families and schools in managing the difficulties of remote and flexible learning. 


 

According to today's Age, "Government schools have been told not to pursue families who do not pay for essential learning materials such as textbooks, stationery and art equipment, but instead to find ways to pay from their own budgets."

PV Executive Officer Gail McHardy is quoted in the article. 

Gail said many parents who previously had the income to contribute to schools’ fundraising efforts were in a worse financial position this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We support principals being able to deliver a quality service but they need to be very mindful that you don’t transfer the responsibility onto the community when the community is already hurting," she said.


 

n last month’s issue we highlighted that the Department of Education and Training’s School Council Training, run by Synergistiq, has moved to a Virtual (Live) Event model, accessed via Zoom from the comfort of your own home. There are four training modules available (Governance, Strategic Planning, Finance and a special module for School Council Presidents).

You can view and register for events through the Synergistiq website here – there are currently a number of metropolitan and regional events running, aimed specifically at council members in different areas across the state, to allow you to meet and network with council members in your region. That said, anyone is welcome to join any meeting, and there are lots of time and date options to suit you. If you would like to organise training sessions for a particular date and time that suits your council, you can do so here; our team will be in touch shortly. Please note, all training is free for councils of government schools.

Here is some feedback from parent members on council, who have attended School Council Training Virtual (Live) Events this year:

 
“I am grateful to the facilitator and other participants for assisting me to learn more about my role as a parent representative on school council”
 
“The content and delivery was much more interesting and easy to be understand than I expected. I wish I had this training at the start of my role on school council.”
 
“A very lovely presenter who was engaging and easy to listen to and interact with. A very informative and enjoyable session!”
“Learnt what is expected of me as a school council member, given me a better understanding and hopefully I can help my school benefit from my input and put the best foot forward for our school and its future”

 

 

This article is by Jade Millman, a parent at Whittington Primary School

Since having our Community Engagement Officer, Dori, things have improved so much at our school (Whittington Primary School in Geelong). Dori is invaluable and such an important part of our school community. Dori helped the parents start Whittington Primary School's first Parents and Friends in mid-2019, which since has held a Bunnings BBQ, family days, organized a buddy bench for the school yard, Christmas parties and lots of other great activities involving parents and students.

Support for parents

I truly believe as parents, we would not have been able to have achieved what we have without our Community Engagement Officer. Dori has brought not only the parents and school community together but the actual school itself seems to run better. The students started to run and maintain a fully sustainable veggie patch with the help of Dori – and the students love it! Having a Community Engagement Officer is so great for our school, Dori is very approachable and helpful – we all as parents need someone like that at schools, talking to Dori takes a lot of the authoritarian feeling out of the equation – approaching busy staff can be quite daunting to some parents!

Building family engagement

Having a Community Engagement Officerat our school has made an immense difference between parents and the school. Like I said, the staff and teachers are often very busy and having some one relaxed and easy to engage with has changed that and balanced out the communication. Its also worth mentioning how the students will often seek out Dori when possible, before other staff members with certain needs, taking a lot of stress off the teachers. Our Community Engagement Officeris always happy to help. I think every school would benefit greatly from a Community Engagement Officer.

Photo: Dori (left) and Jade at our 2019 Conference.

Home Schooling

 

Having three kids at home for an extended period of time,

Heaven help for I have committed no crime.

It started off as unique, an adventure and fun

But lockdown 2.0 has been hard to get the schooling done.

You ask them once, you tell them twice. Now that’s it. It’s all on the line!

Do your school work and get it all In, or you are mine!

 

One would think, as parents, you could get the best out of your kids,

I put it to you, that this someone else’s job and I am taking bids.

All they have to do is show up online, and complete the tasks at hand.

Surely it is not that much of a demand!

But It was never going to be that simple. The arguments and distractions, they take away from all the fractions.

How hard can it be, schooling from home,

Well let me tell you, we should have all known.

We wouldn’t trade places with teachers, not for one minute

The patience of a parent, certainly comes with a limit.

We appreciate our teachers because we now know, teaching is tough

Parents and teaching, well, it is really rough.

Parents all over Victoia, we have been tested like never before.

We thought teaching was an easy score .

But we parents have come to agree, Teachers are the best – and now we all see!

 

We are beaten, We give up. We can’t do this anymore.

For goodness sake people, follow the rules.

We parents desperately need these kids back in schools!

 

This poem was written by a parent from Rowville Primary School.

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