Dear Parents and Carers
I trust you had a wonderful break from the routines of school, and were in a position to enjoy some of the glorious weather.
I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our three new families who have children in Kindergarten and Pre-Primary. It’s also my pleasure to introduce you to two new staff members and a special visitor. Firstly, Kim Knowles yesterday commenced as our permanent deputy principal. She is in the process of meeting all the children. I asked Kim to write a small introduction which you will find in our General News section. Secondly, a new permanent Head Cleaner, Ms Rina Lund, also started with us yesterday. Finally, we a have an Artist in Residence who is joining us from Italy. Ms Colleen Corradi Brannigan will be working with students on a very special project, over the next few weeks. Thank you for welcoming these people into our school community.
With respect to the ‘very special project’, if families have access to spare tiles (porcelain, ceramic or glass of any size) or happen to have access to some tiles at a reduced cost, that would be a great help. Please contact Anna Trovarelli who is working with Colleen, via Anna.Trovarelli@education.wa.edu.au
Yesterday you may have noticed news items that highlighted the prevalence of unauthorised student absences during the school term. The West Australian reported that attendance data from Semester 1 revealed that one in seven unauthorised absences ‘related to students going on holiday with their parents’. The West’s article, on page 7, began:
‘Middle-class and wealthy parents have been warned they are breaking the law by taking their child out of school during term after it emerged that a rising number of children from affluent families are missing lessons to go on holidays.’
It was reported that a parliamentary enquiry was recently informed that ’40 percent of unauthorised absences in higher socio-economic schools (were) because of holidays’ and that this was ‘a newish phenomenon’.
To put the commentary on attendance into the context at Kapinara, at the end of Term 2, over 10% of our students in Pre-Primary to Year 6 were absent. At the start of this term, that figure is was just under 10%. Our upper school classes had between four and seven students away on the first day back, yesterday. A very small number of these were authorised absences (those requested and approved prior to the absence and due to an ‘exceptional circumstance’).
As a school we can reinforce the policy position of the Department of Education WA, and the contemporary research on student attendance. We can highlight that when children miss school, they miss a number of learning opportunities; which may include an introduction to new learning, guided or independent practice of skills, opportunities to apply knowledge and understandings in new contexts, and assessments of and for learning. The rest is up to you! Please work with us to ensure all of our students are in a position to maximise these opportunities.
If you are collecting a child at any time during the day, please ensure you report to the office in the first instance, unless you have already completed a ‘sign out’ form. Teachers are not able to release children without signed documentation. Students being collected for ongoing events such as PEAC, are (i) to be collected directly from their classroom or (ii) to wait at the office until the parent collecting the student(s) arrives at the school.