Week 1 – 2023

Dear parents and caregivers,

Welcome back to our 2023 academic year!
I hope that you and your families have had a wonderful festive season and school holiday break. Last week, our teachers and I undertook some targeted professional development around mathematical mindsets, phonological awareness / spelling and student wellbeing which we are looking forward to implementing in our classrooms. I would like to acknowledge and thank all our staff team for their dedication and hard work in setting up lovely classroom environments and planning an engaging curriculum for all of students. Our OSHC had a successful and fun
vacation program thanks to Jodie and her team.

A link to the 2023 Department for Education calendar can be found here:

Staffing and classes

It is wonderful to see our enrolment growing with 123 students in our primary school and 22 in our preschool.
Here is our current class list with teachers and numbers of students:
Fairy Wren (preschool) 22 children and Julie Griggs
Kookaburra (reception) 25 children and Kayla Richardson
Rosella (year 1) 21 children and Sharon Allanson, Sophia Brigante
Kingfisher (year 2) 18 children and Teena Wilks
Ibis (year 3/4) 32 children and Kate Wood, Cara Oosterbaan
Lorikeet (year 5/6) 27 children and Lachie Turci

Teacher support Georgie Patti (Term 1)
Arts Leanne Mibus, Monday and Tuesday
Spanish Carmen Dunbar, Wednesday
Science Kimberley Higgins, Thursday and Friday
Pastoral Care Rebecca Hughes, Tuesday and Thursday

We also have our amazing school services officer team:
Front office Joanne Rosenthal
Finance Karen Walker
Classroom support Skye Kinghan, Bronnie Harnett, Yasmin Hopgood, Jodie Heinrich
Grounds Rob Kelman
IT Ben Sutton
Library Sue Little
Cleaning Linda Bost


When parents and schools work together, children feel more connected and achieve better at school. Acquaintance Night will provide an excellent opportunity for all parents and caregivers to meet classroom teachers and hear about learning activities and routines in 2023. Please keep
the afternoon / early evening of Tuesday 21st February free for our acquaintance night and we will confirm times for the different sessions very shortly.
Ongoing communication channels that are available are:
• Seesaw – classroom updates, school announcements, direct messaging to staff
• Email – best for formal queries and for communication outside business hours
• Phone call conversations
• Face to face – staff are generally available from 8.30am until around 4pm if you prefer to
chat face to face. Meetings can be easily arranged ahead of time.

I strongly encourage you to reach out early to our staff if you have any questions or concerns. By talking through any concerns that you have with teachers or myself, worries can be dispersed, conflict can be resolved, and confusions can be cleared.
Here is a good overview of our Australian Curriculum for parents, showing what students learn as they progress through their schooling: https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/parentinformation/.

Preschool building work

As written in my letter on the 16th January, our preschool building is undergoing some essential building work to underpin the building with new struts. This is being heavily scrutinised and project managed to ensure all work adheres within the Education Standard Board guidelines. This work
has been made more complex as the old building contains asbestos, so a specialist company has been employed to undertake the asbestos removal during the weekends in February whilst no one is onsite. Safety is our upmost importance so please be reassured that all precautions will
be put in place on site. Our preschool classroom has been relocated to our Alluvial Hall whilst work is being undertaken,
creating a wonderful open-plan indoor learning environment. The preschool children will still be able to access the existing outdoor learning space, and additional school support staff have been employed to assist with walking the children there and in using the dedicated toilets for
their use.
Although this disruption is far from ideal at the start of an academic year, the resulting building will be amazing and will provide our children with a fresh and newly appointed learning space. The hall will remain as our site Bushfire Refuge, and we will practice our emergency drills in the first
two weeks of term.
I would like to acknowledge and thank the hard work and flexibility of our preschool teacher, Julie, Sue Melville (SSO) and the support of our Department for Education leaders. We have a marvellous and supportive staff team here at Echunga and we will make this work with minimal
disruption to learning for our students.

Volunteering at school

Volunteering at our school is one way to show children the value of education. There are lots of ways that you can get involved with your child’s education and within our school community. We will be holding our Governing Council AGM on Tuesday 14th February so please come along to
hear about our 2022 Site Annual Report, find out about our 2023 goals and hear how you can get involved.
We are also looking for lots of volunteers to help us fundraise on our hotdog stall during All British Day on the 5th March. Please let the front office or your class teacher know if you can assist us on this day or during the lead up to the event.

I am very excited about the upcoming year and look forward to connecting with each of you soon. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or queries.

Warm regards,

Hazel Robertson

0418 804 720
29th January 2023

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