3 May 2017



Dear Parents,


On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of reading one of my favorite books to Mrs. Struthers and Mrs. O’Neill’s class. As the students ate their lunch and listened, intently we entered the magical world of literature where words paint a picture and imagination takes over. The Book with No Pictures takes the reader and the audience to a crazy place full of laughter and enjoyment, and the joy on the student’s faces was clearly evident.

If it is not already part of your regular nighttime routine, I would encourage all parents to try to find some time to curl up on these cold evenings with your children and read a good book.


Next week all students in Grades 3 and 5 will take part in NAPLAN testing from May 9 – 11. The tests cover literacy and numeracy and children throughout Australia in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 sit these tests. The collective results are then used by schools and education authorities to ensure the curriculum is being taught and that our education standards are comparable with the rest of the world. On an individual basis, later in the year, parents will receive their child’s results.

It is however important to remember that these tests simply take a snapshot of student learning in Literacy and Numeracy and do not paint the entire picture of your child’s educational journey. If your child is in Grade 3 or 5 my suggestion would be to make sure they have a good night’s sleep, a healthy breakfast and a positive attitude to give the assessments their very best. After all, that is all we can ask of anyone.


Education Week is an annual event where schools open their doors to parents and family to show off the learning opportunities. Mentone Park PS will have a number of events including Italian Day on Tuesday May 23, Kinder Transition Activities on Wednesday May 24 and then Open Night on Thursday May 25. Our classes will be open from 6 – 7pm with a theme based on Curiosity and Powerful Learning. We look forward to welcoming you to your child’s classroom.



TiqBiz has changed its name to FlexiBuzz so please ensure that you have logged in again so that you do not miss any important communications. We always strive to ensure that our communication is timely and effective and to do this successfully we request that all parents have FlexiBuzz loaded on their smartphones and mobile devices.


It may seem like the year has only just started but plans are already being discussed for 2018. If you have a child who will be starting Foundation next year, or you know another family with a 2018 Foundation student could you please come to the office to get your enrolment forms. This will assist us with our planning and enable all students to participate in transition activities during terms 3 and 4.  

The 2017 Attitudes to Schools Survey

We want our student to tell us what they think

Our school is conducting a survey to find out what your child thinks of our school. The Attitudes to School survey is an annual student survey offered by the Department of Education and Training. The survey assists schools in gaining an understanding of students' perceptions and experience of school.

Our school will use the survey results to plan programs and activities to improve your child's schooling experience.

This year the Attitudes to School survey will be conducted at MPPS between Monday 22 May and Friday 23 June. The survey only takes 20-30 minutes to complete and occurs during your child's class time.

Students from Year 4 to 6 at our school will participate in the survey. Your child will complete the survey online during school hours using a purpose built secure online survey tool.

The survey results will be reported back to the school council through the Education Sub Committee in Term 3. This information will then be reported to parents during term 4.

The Department has updated the survey for 2017 to include important new measures that are known to influence student engagement and performance.

Students privacy is our priority

Your child will be provided with a unique login to complete the survey. The student login is an assigned identifier that may be used by the Department to combine data for research purposes only. Your child’s privacy and the confidentiality of your child’s survey responses will be protected at all times. No identifiable personal data is included in the survey response file.

This survey is not a test and your child has the right to refuse or withdraw from the survey at any point before, during, or after completion.

Want to know more?

Please speak to your child’s teacher if you would like more information or see: Attitudes to School Survey

Best Wishes

Cameron Agars


Hi Everyone! I’ve been having some great conversations with different people from within our community and also from other school communities about the various forms of communication utilised in schools and what kinds of policies and protocols are in place for the use of these tools.

Cameron Agars and I also had some worthwhile conversations with our Senior Education Improvement Leader, other local school Principals and Assistant Principals around their communication tools and the purpose of them. 

Communication at MPPS

On the 17th August 2016, I published a summary of school communication we have at Mentone Park in our newsletter. The link to that newsletter can be found here: Newsletter 14/2016

Can I please ask that you review this information to save me rewriting it and also for new parents to our community to give you some background into what we have in place and why.

The words from that original publication that stand out to me as reflecting what we are trying to achieve through communication tools are these: effective, relationships, success, engage, interest, share, regular and friendly.

In short, we want our community members to be able to access information that is both necessary and of interest to them. This is why we have whole school and level newsletters for example.

In response to the call for more instant sharing of information, we introduced Tiqbiz (now called Flexibuzz), which has been highly successful in being able to send out notifications, reminders, links to documents and newsletters, one2one instant messaging between parents and teachers and last minute changes to timetables or events. We will definitely be continuing to use this into the future.

Another method of communication we agreed to trial, was the setting up of a community Facebook Forum, whereby current members of the Mentone Park Primary School Community could share information – photos from camp, fundraising efforts, successful endeavours by our students or parents, advertising or positive and constructive feedback or questions.

As per our school communication policy, teachers (including administration staff) can take up to 72 business hours to reply to a direct question from a parent. This includes when questions are directed to the school, via the Closed Facebook Forum. Unfortunately due to the delay in replies, sometimes the communication back and forth between community members can head in a direction that is not desirable nor the original intent of the comment.

The original intention behind the closed Facebook Forum seems to have been lost a little and has tended to replace our preferred communication method of physically approaching the school to ask a question or make a comment. Face to face communication, or even voice to voice via the telephone is far more desirable to us when someone has something to say, particularly if it is a topic that could divide the community – as an example, if someone made a comment about homework, it could very easily erupt into a ‘heated’ discussion as this is a topic that has equally passionate people on either side of the debate.

It is not that we are asking that people stop raising questions or concerns but that we would rather these things be raised in discussion with real people in real time, not via a social media tool. The effect that the unintentional misuse of the Facebook Forum has had on the morale of many members of our community - both employees and parents – is not a desirable outcome.

Therefore after advice from the Department of Education and school leadership team, we have made a school based decision to close the Facebook Forum and go back to sharing information just through the Public School Facebook Page and Flexibuzz (tiqbiz).

You are more than welcome, and in fact invited to send us an email, phone us, or make an appointment to come up for a chat any time you would like to provide feedback to us, ask a question or seek clarification around anything we are doing at school.

Here is a list of all the ways in which we will now be able to communicate with you and you with us and each other:

· Newsletters – Please read the newsletters, they contain important information and fortnightly summaries of what is happening in and around the school!

· School Public Facebook Page and Website

· Flexibuzz (tiqbiz) – including one2one communication with teachers

· Parent-Teacher meetings (any time, not just bi-annual scheduled meetings)

· Chatting to us or each other in the yard

· Phone calls

· Via the student leadership group

· School assembly

· PFA committee meetings – anyone welcome

· School Council – you may request to sit in on any meeting

· Education committee

· Buildings and Grounds Committee

· Attendance at Working Bees

· Involvement in surveys when sent out – survey monkey, parent opinion survey (randomly generated each year)

· School email mentone.park.ps@edumail.vic.gov.au

These things will be further discussed at tonight’s PFA meeting (7pm at Oscar’s Hangout - all welcome) and at the next School Council meeting on the 5th June. Feel free to provide any feedback to us via the members of these committees or through the school email. 

Saturday 20th May 9am – 1pm

Time to get on the tools! Now it is May and the weather is getting cooler (okay very cold), it’s time to ditch the sunhat, put on some gumboots and an old jumper and head on down to help us in making improvements to our school grounds! This working bee will focus on:

· Gardening

· removal of old equipment, furniture and junk from around the school

· cleaning out and tidying up the school hall

· removing some old fence posts and fixing sections of the external fence

· tidying up the dumper area

· painting some external classroom doors

As usual, there will be a sausage sizzle and refreshments for all who come to help! A raffle will also take place with one lucky family in attendance receiving a prize!

Please let me know via the school office or email if you can attend and how many are coming (for catering). Students and other children are most welcome!

Alison Lough

Assistant Principal 


Dear Parents & Guardians,

Please note all signed permission forms and any payment must be given directly to your child/ren’s teachers. This allows the teachers to check and mark off each child’s permission form and payment.  
Spare clothing
Please ensure that you pack extra underwear and clothing for your child/ren. Due to OHS guidelines, we are no longer allowed to provide underwear.

Please feel free to phone or come into the office if you have any questions.

We are more than happy to assist with showing you how to use Qkr and tiqbiz .

Thank you

Administration Team

Dear Parents & Friends,

Please, if you have any time (even if it’s only a small amount of time) available on a Friday to support Kids Cafe please either email or phone on my mobile.   
lizpleasants@me.com or 0413 009 493

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Please note the new cutoff time for Kids Cafe orders is now 8.00am Friday morning. Orders can be placed at any time during the week.

Liz and Kids Café team





Last day for Bookclub orders is Friday May 5th


Year 5 & 6 Sports Tops are now available in store Retail Price $44.95


Working With Children Check Reminder

All parents/guardians, visitors & volunteers to the school MUST sign in & out of the school and display their WWCC in a lanyard, which is available at the school office.

The Department of Education requires any person involved in an activity where children may be present to have a current WWCC or have supplied proof that they have applied for a WWCC with the Department of Justice. All schools are required to comply with the Working with Children Act 2005.

Volunteers are expected to carry the WWCC card on their person at all times when working or volunteering at the school or during school related activities.
There is no fee for this check. Apply now by visiting: www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au


The Department of Education & Early Childhood Development and Mentone Park Primary School do not endorse the products or services of any private advertiser. They accept no responsibility for accuracy of information contained in advertisements or claims made by them.

Piano lessons are available for Grade 2-6 students during school time.
If you are interested, please contact Mrs Jocelyn Millard on 0418 629 586 or 9583 6172.

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