Newsletter #1 29/01/2021

Principal’s Report

Welcome to the 2021 School Year
On behalf of the School Board and Staff of Maharishi School, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all students, parents and extended family members to our school for the 2021 school year. An extra-special welcome is extended to the new families who have joined our school community this year.

The summer holiday break between the 2020-21 school years would have been far different to what we would all normally expect, given the unique year that was 2020. However, I hope you all had the opportunity to spend quality time with your family, friends and loved ones as well as enjoying the “COVID-normal” environment with which we have all now become familiar. The staff have returned to school incredibly motivated and enthusiastic about the year ahead. We hope you and your children feel the same as we embark upon what we hope proves to be a year of growth and prosperity for the school and for us as individuals.

As indicated in the final School Newsletter of 2020, our school is excited by the opportunities we have already planned for our students in 2021 We can all look forward to:
Year 3/4 Zoo Snooze Camp (late Term 1)
Year 5/6 Camp to Beechworth (Term 2)
Excursions/Incursions throughout the year
Art Therapy Student placement for 2021 (targeted support for students and assistant to Ms James)
Student Tutoring Program offering targeted supported to students adversely impacted by COVID Remote Learning periods
Grandmother Moon Project – deferred from 2020 (late Term 1/early Term 2)
Homework Club – by popular demand to resume at key times throughout the year
Tennis Coaching Program (Term 2 & 4)
Student Lunches – by popular demand to resume at key times throughout the year
Introduction of Chess Club and participation in Chess Tournaments (from Term 1)
Boite Choir (Terms 2 & 3)
Instrumental Music Program (Piano) – from Term 1
Writing Workshops with published author Ingrid Laguna (throughout the year)
Sporting Schools Program throughout the year (choice of Athletics, Table Tennis, Basketball, Soccer, AFL)
Installation of new Volleyball Court on school grounds

There are many more plans under consideration including enhancing aspects of the school grounds. We look forward to your children’s (and your own) participation throughout the year in the many aspects of school life. It will bring us all great happiness to welcome back everyone onto the school grounds to once again interact more freely, while maintaining our commitment to retain a COVID-Safe environment.

School Uniform
Our school uniform identifies our school to the local community as well as to the wider community when on excursions and other off-campus activities. We work hard to foster pride in the students and their families as members of our school community, especially the pride we strive to have our students feel and display students when wearing their school uniform. We ask for the cooperation of parents in ensuring that our students wear their uniform as outlined in our school uniform policy, and as appears in the Student & Parent Handbook. Sports Uniform clothing should not be mixed with Summer/Winter Uniform. Please note that students must wear:
Black school shoes with Summer and Winter Uniform
Sports shoes only with the Sports Uniform (Wednesday and Friday.)
Plain white socks that are visible above ankle-height (up to the shin)
School wide-brimmed hat (compulsory during Terms 1 & 4)

Before & After-School Care
Before & After-School Care will be available each day of the week, starting on Monday 1st February. Updated forms for 2021 will be sent home with students next week. We strongly urge parents to make contact with the school as early as possible to to secure a place on preferred day(s) while forms are being processed.

Instrumental Music Program – Piano Lessons
If not already contacted by our Piano teacher, parents wishing to enrol their child(ren) in the Piano Program should contact the school office for an Enrolment Form. Nick will follow-up with all families whose child(ren) have previously participated in the program. Individual and group lessons are both offered. Limited places are available. Instrumental Music Lessons this year will be on Monday and Wednesday.

Term 1 Athletics Program
This year’s KPDSA Athletics Carnival at Meadowglen International Athletics Track will be held at a date to be confirmed during Term 1. To give our students every opportunity to compete to the best of their ability, the school has secured the services of an Athletics Coach who will coach students in Yrs. 3-6 each Friday morning leading up to the Athletics Carnival. Although participation at the Carnival is not compulsory and will be offered to those students who would like to compete, all students will gain enormous benefit from their participation in the school-based program each Friday during Term 1.

Collection Notice for Parents/Guardians: 2021 Student Residential Address and Other Information
Attached to the email with this first edition of our School Newsletter is a notice from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment which we have been requested to distribute to families. The Student Residential Address and Other Information Collection (the Collection) informs Australian Government school education policy and helps ensure funding for non-government schools is based on need.

Key Dates
All 2021 Term Dates and Events can be found on the updated 2021 School Planner that is included with this newsletter. Please note the correction to the date for the Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday which was previously incorrectly published. You should discard the previous version sent to you at the end of 2020.

Monday 1st February Term 1 begins for students
School Welcome Assembly @ 9.00am (Basketball Court-all welcome)
Wednesday 3rd February Rest Day (Prep students only)
Friday 5th February Athletics Training for Diamonds & Emeralds
Monday 8th February Student Leadership Assembly @ 9.00am (Basketball Court-all welcome)
Wednesday 10th February Rest Day (Prep students only)
Friday 12th February Athletics Training for Diamonds & Emeralds

Finally, to facilitate a smooth beginning to the year, would parents please note the COVID-Safe guidelines and expectations in place at the school (listed on the next page). Please also note that a selection of forms will be sent home with students at the start of the school year and which will need your immediate attention.

I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy and fulfilling school year together. We look forward to seeing you at our outdoors Welcome Assembly on Monday morning.

Steve Charisis – Principal

Achieving a “COVID-Normal” School Environment
To ensure our school continues to maintain a COVID-Safe environment in 2021, the following guidelines are offered to everyone in our school community and with which we respectfully request compliance: from all members of our school community:

Drop-off & Pick-up Times
We will revert to using the school’s “main gate” to enter and exit the school. Students at all year levels should arrive at school between 8.45-9.00am and be picked up between 3.15-3.30pm.

Signing-In
Any adult who attends the school for longer than 15 minutes will be required to sign-in with their mobile phone using the school’s registered QR Code in the foyer of the General Office. An Attendance Register is also available for those who do not have a mobile phone.

School visits & Social Distancing
Limits on who can visit school premises no longer apply. Parents are welcomed on site for school drop-offs and pick-ups. Activities involving parent volunteers will also resume. All parents should continue to maintain the 1.5m social distancing rule when on the school grounds.

Use of Face Masks
Face masks are recommended when 1.5 metres physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Assemblies
Monday morning School Assemblies will be held outdoors on the Basketball Court, weather permitting, to enable an unlimited number of parents the opportunity to attend. If the Assembly needs to be held indoors, the school must adhere to a density limit of one person per 2m2. In such circumstances, every effort will be made to support the attendance of parents of those students who have a role to play or who are being acknowledged at the Assembly (certificate or other)

Students with underlying conditions (such as hay fever or asthma)
Parents should continue the current arrangement of liaising with the school on issues of student health and wellbeing.

Excursions/Incursions, Camps,
All the usual onsite and offsite activities enjoyed by students and staff will return to normal.