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Dripstone Middle School Newsletter Term 3 Week 8

Principal Robyn Thorpe

Dear parent and carers

Today is RUOK? Day, an annual day to remind Australians to ask those around them, 'are you OK?'. At Dripstone Middle School all staff are wearing yellow to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing, and engaging our students in conversation around this important topic. This year has been particularly challenging as we all live through the COVID-19 pandemic. As teachers, students and families work to cope with this ever-evolving situation, we are putting a greater focus on mental health and wellbeing, bolstering our student’s resilience and capacity to continue to learn as we learn to live through a pandemic. A big thank you to our School Defence Mentor Kristine who has organised events for this day.

At Dripstone Middle School we have a dedicated Wellbeing Team to provide support and advice for all students covering a range of issues they are confronted with as young adolescents. This includes School Councillor Albert, Nurse Mary, AEW Karen, Home Liaison Officer Mr Laqui, Clontarf staff Cameron and Chris, STARS staff Cameron and Chris, Defence Mentor Kristine, Constable Dan, Year Level Coordinators, Assistant Principals, Special Education Teacher and Classroom Support Staff. A big thank you to these staff who often go above and beyond to help and support all of our students.

Keeping kids safe online

Children of today are growing up with the widespread use media and digital technologies. Many of them need new skills and knowledge to know how to navigate the online world to keep safe. Now, with so many children owning a mobile phone or having access to one via their friends, the focus for parents is on how to build knowledge and skills about cyber safety. Online issues often include cyberbullying, sexting, cyberstalking, sharing personal information publicly, sharing passwords and accessing videos that incite or glorify harmful behaviour. All of this can impact on our young people’s mental health and wellbeing. We support parents to put rules in place to keep children safe such as limiting access to phones, knowing all passwords, monitoring social media sites, setting limits, turning off the internet at night and talking with their children about cyber saftey. The www.esafety.gov.au/parents website has information and resources specifically for parents and carers as well as students and teachers.

Parent Teacher Interviews

This term we are conducting parent teacher interviews either over the phone or via ZOOM. This is to ensure that we can maintain the measures implemented for COVID-19 Term 3 Operating Guidelines. Information has been emailed to parents about how to book a 10-minute interview with your child’s teachers. Please ensure you include your preferred contact number and/or preference for ZOOM. Bookings can be made now. We look forward to having an opportunity to share your child’s learning progress.

Year 5 Science Fair

Over the past two weeks, Science staff at Dripstone Middle School have organised Science Fairs for over 220 Year 5 students from our Feeder Primary Schools. These events have been run separately for each school with students given opportunities to learn about scientific concepts in fun and engaging ways using lots of hands on activities. These have included investigating static electricity, exploring the effervescent properties of sodium bicarbonate (otherwise known as Baking Soda) and studying the different properties of dry ice.

Perception Survey and School Review

Thank you to all parents who participated in the School Survey and provided the school with meaningful feedback. Parents responded positively to most areas in particular to the school is well maintained. An area for improvement was in regards to student behaviour. The implementation of our revised School Wide Positive Behaviour Framework as part of our improvement agenda will address this area.

Next term the school will be reviewed from Monday 26 to Wednesday 28 October. School reviews provide an opportunity to reflect on our school’s current practice, identify what our strengths are, and are our areas for improvement. School reviews collect evidence of progress made towards improving the quality of teaching and learning and student outcomes. We look forward to being part of this process for our 2021 planning.

Enrolments for 2021

Currently we are accepting enrolments for 2021. As part of the process for 2021 Year 7 enrolments, we offer students the opportunity to apply for a LEAP or RISE class. These classes provide opportunities for extension for our high performing learners. If you require further information please contact Dr Amit Kundu.

Solar Panel and Storm Water Drain Update

Works have nearly been completed for the installation of solar panels on the roof and we look forward to the benefits this will bring. The upgrade to the storm water drain are continuing and will hopefully be completed before the start of the wet season. Thank you to all for your patience during this time.

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