15 December 2016


Final Newsletter

of the Year

End of Year

It is so hard to believe that we are here at the end of the school year! What a fast pace these last 6 months have been!

We had a fabulous Classroom Helper ‘thank you’ morning tea this week on Tuesday, it was terrific to see quite a number of our parent, grandparent and community helpers here for us as a staff to show our gratitude by supplying a special morning tea.

Final Staffing Note

This week a 2017 staffing notice came home with students. Missing on the note was mention of Amy Cheers who has been our amazing Performing Arts teacher this year. Next year Amy will be returning to her ‘base school’. We wish Amy and all of our teachers moving on all the very best!

2017 Timetable

In order to maximise prime learning time where children’s minds are at their freshest, we have extended the two morning sessions next year to enable two solid 2 hour blocks before lunch. This also allows for independent ‘mini breaks’ half way through each learning session where children can access fresh fruit or vegetables and water to fuel their minds and encourage healthy snacking.

Next year’s timetable will run to these times:

Doors Open 8.50am

Morning Session 9 – 11am (with healthy snack at 10am)

Recess 11 – 11.30am

Middle Session 11.30am – 1.30pm (with healthy snack at 12.30pm)

Lunch 1.30 – 2.30pm

Home time dismissal 3.30pm

We believe that these longer sessions for learning and the more regular opportunities for healthy snacking throughout the day will maximise opportunities to increase student outcomes. Quite often students are tired in the afternoon, making this a not so effective prime learning time zone. The change in timetable allows for teachers to maximise optimal learning and teaching time, and results in a reduction in time spent working after lunch when students can have less focus and concentration.


I would like to let community know that I will not be returning to MPPS Term 1 next year.
One of the most special things that I noticed about Mentone Park Primary School when I arrived was how active, supportive and engaged our parent and surrounding community was with the school – it is certainly what gives Mentone Park PS that ‘magic’ feeling when you walk in the door!
Thank you very much to everyone for your warm welcome of me into your school 6 months ago. I have enjoyed getting to know so many of you over this time and working alongside you - either on working bees, through PFA, on school council, through the Kids’ Café, during production, planning grade 6 graduation, or just as I have walked in and out of classrooms or been outside on yard duty – it has been a pleasure and an opportunity that I have thoroughly enjoyed! I certainly take with me warm memories of all the gorgeous children here at MPPS and the support of an amazing community. Thank you!
Happy Holidays!
I would like to wish everyone a very special Christmas and happy holiday period! Relax and enjoy time with your family and friends! Take care of each other, laugh, love and rest up. I am sure 2017 will bring a lot more exciting times for Mentone Park PS!

Warm regards

Renée Kennedy


Dear School Community,

Well we’ve made it to the end of the year and what a year it has been! We’ve had so many amazing things achieved throughout the year and this is all thanks to the fantastic community that we are a part of. We’ve had a few challenges too but with positivity, resilience and keeping the best interests of the students at heart we have learnt a lot and worked through them. School Council is looking forward to working closely with our families to achieve even more in 2017.

Here is a wrap up of some things from our final meeting for the year:

Kinder relocation
As we have advised the community already, we were advised that the grant for the relocation of Acacia Avenue Kindergarten onto the school site was successful. This will be a $2million dollar project and the hope is that it will be completed for the start of the 2019 school year.

We had two representatives from Kingston Council attend our meeting and it was a fantastic opportunity to discuss the project with them. We reflected on the challenges that have occurred with communication and consulting our school community so far and have developed some clear strategies to ensure that our families at school are consulted on all future aspects. This will include the establishment of a working party and a clear timeline of activities. We will make more information about this available in early 2017.

Building works update
The building works are very close to completed. The old toilets will be removed over the holidays. School council approved a budget for the furnishing of the classrooms. This new learning space should be amazing and ready for use on day one next year!

Communication – specifically the closed facebook page.
We again reflected on our strategies for communicating with families and agreed that we have learnt a lot over the year! We are generally pleased that initiatives such as the closed facebook page are enabling positive and useful interactions between community members. We will be trying to keep this closed facebook page focused on positive and supportive posts.

We remind everyone that although it is closed, it is a public forum and that upholding the school values and reputation needs to be a priority. If you are considering a post, please reflect on this first and if in doubt contact the school or anyone on School Council to make sure you have all the information. Recent experience has shown that an actual conversation can make a world of difference to a perspective on a situation!

Also, please remember that this page is not the ‘official’ communication page. It is important to read newsletters, tiqbiz messages etc. to ensure that you are getting all the information. In a complex organisation such as a school it is a big challenge to communicate effectively all the time but we know that everyone has the best intentions. If we all make an effort to be positive and cooperate we will achieve the best results!

Ministers visit and possible outcomes
As Renee has reported already, the Minister for Education visited our school and was extremely impressed by our students and our programs. Our local member Tim Richardson is still working with us to lobby for funding for some future building works and we will continue to focus on this in the new year.

2017 Budgeting
The staff have worked very hard to plan for next year and School Council approved the indicative budgets for 2017. An exciting part of this is that there is a significant commitment to ICT (computers and communication infrastructure). As I have reported before this is an area that needs attention. We are hopeful also that the changes in the parent fee structures for 2017 will see the contributions for ICT greatly improved from this year.

Other bits and pieces
  • Thanks to the community for a great working bee and a fantastic Carols night.
  • Alcohol Policy was approved. This is available on request.
  • Tree works are completed
  • Fencing around the container to be erected any day now
  • Security cameras will be installed hopefully over the holidays

Principal Selection update

School Council was very pleased to have the Extraordinary meeting straight after the usual meeting that enables us to start the Principal Selection process. We were briefed on the process and started discussion of the panel composition.  If you would like more information about the process please talk to a school councillor or have a look at this link: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/hrweb/Documents/Prin_selection_policy.pdf

Grade 6 Graduation
I am really looking forward to attending the Grade 6 Graduation tonight. Congratulations to all the amazing students who are looking to an exciting future as they enter high school. I want to remind them all that they are the pride of Mentone Park Primary School! I hope they take all the curiosity, the passion and the personal attributes that have been nurtured during their time at MPPS into a future where they dream big, work hard and move mountains!

To the families that are saying goodbye to Mentone Park along with their grade six students, or others that are moving along, thank you for your contributions and support over the years and entrusting our school with your beautiful children.

End of year greetings!
Firstly, I would like to thank the school councillors for all that they have contributed this year.

I want to acknowledge and thank Renee Kennedy for her time at Mentone Park Primary School. As we all know, she contributed a great deal to our great school in her short time. We will miss her assembly jokes and her smile! I wish her all the very best for 2017 and beyond.
To everyone else: students, parents and staff, congratulations on all that has been achieved in 2016! We look forward to an amazing 2017 and wish you all a safe, fun and relaxing break and a very Merry Christmas!

Warmest wishes,

Fiona Longmuir

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