(Trial implementation and review Term 3, 2022)
Effective communication supports the overall efficiency of the school, improves the learning opportunities for students and assists in developing strong relationships between the school, the student and the home. Mitcham Primary School is committed to open and regular communication to engage and inform our community as partners in the education process.
Whole school newsletters are published every three weeks, in Week 3, 6 and 9 of each term. They are emailed to families and available via the school’s website. The newsletter is the school’s main form of general communication, containing information about school news and events.
The MPS website provides a wealth of information about the school’s priorities and directions. It contains school policies and identifies what our school offers for students. https://www.mitchamps.sa.edu.au/
The MPS Facebook page is used to keep families and the community up-to-date with what is happening in our school. It provides snapshots of classroom learning and activities, whole school events and promotes important school dates. https://www.facebook.com/mitchamprimary
The SeeSaw app is used to share information about what and how children are learning at school. Examples of activities and learning tasks encourage a shared dialogue between parents and children about their classroom learning. In addition, SeeSaw may also be used to highlight upcoming events or give class reminders or information. The SeeSaw message facility may be used to communicate brief, non-sensitive information.
All teachers have a school email address that is published in the school newsletter in Term 1. If parents have a question or concern about their child’s learning, behaviour, or social issues, they should email the teacher. Where further discussion is required then a meeting time or phone call can be arranged. Using email to communicate about sensitive matters such as these ensures that concerns can be addressed and recorded in a more formal way. These issues should not be communicated using SeeSaw.
Teachers develop a 1-2 page broad outline of planned learning in each subject area, which is provided to parents by the end of Week 3 each term.
This is held early in term one each year and is an opportunity for parents and carers to meet their child’s new teacher. Teachers give an oral presentation which is supported by a written handout that outlines their classroom expectations, routines and plans for the coming school year.
Parent/Teacher interviews are generally held in Week 9 of Term 1. Additional meetings may be held to develop and update One Plans and Individual Education Plans and at the request of teachers or parents as needed.
Expectations for Staff
- • Staff will check emails and messages each day between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm and will reply within two working days. With wellbeing in mind, staff are encouraged to respond to work-related communication at a reasonable time. There is no expectation to respond after 4.30 pm or on weekends.
- • Initial discussions about academic progress, issues, or concerns should be addressed either face to face or over the phone. Email updates may be appropriate in some circumstances.
- • Staff will be respectful and constructive in all communication, following the guidelines in the code of conduct. Staff should not respond to offensive or abusive emails; it should be forwarded to the principal and line manager.
- • Classroom teachers will post on SeeSaw at least once a week about an aspect of classroom learning. In addition, SeeSaw may also be used to highlight upcoming events and excursions, give class reminders or information about the week ahead. At times, students can post about learning tasks, with teacher permission.
- • Specialist teachers will post on SeeSaw at least once a term per year level about an aspect of learning being covered in the specialist class.
- • SeeSaw posts will only include photos of student faces according to the Parental Permissions form, otherwise, non-identifying photos will be used.
- • If parents send a SeeSaw message describing a sensitive issue or concern, teachers will respond with a standard reply, such as ‘Thank you for this information/sharing your concerns. I will reply to you via email in line with our school communication processes regarding parent concerns'. Teachers will copy the original SeeSaw message into an email before replying.
Expectations for Parents
- • Parents must be respectful and courteous in their interactions with staff, both in person and via electronic communication.
- • When urgent communication is required throughout the day, or there is a change to the expected after school routine, please communicate this via a phone call to the front office (8271 2227) and they will pass on the message to the appropriate staff member. Teachers may not have an opportunity to check SeeSaw messages or email during school hours due to teaching commitments, meetings and yard duty.
- • Parents wishing to discuss a matter related to their child’s academic progress or wellbeing should make an appointment to speak with the appropriate staff member at a mutually convenient time. Staff often have school commitments and preparation meetings at the beginning and end of the day and may be unable to meet without prior notice.
- • To allow for appropriate record keeping and follow-up, email should be used to alert teachers about a concern or a sensitive matter rather than SeeSaw message. Parents should be aware that staff will endeavour to check emails between 8.30 am - 4.30 pm, when not otherwise engaged with school commitments, and are not expected to check outside of these hours. Please allow two working days to receive a response.
- • If parents wish to raise a grievance, they should make a time to contact the person concerned to discuss the matter privately. The conversation should be respectful and constructive, with a focus on understanding the problem and finding a solution.
- • Messages containing personal or sensitive information, including photos and screenshots, should not be passed on to any other person without permission from the sender.
- • Parents must provide up-to-date contact information such as email address, phone, and postal address. When personal details have changed, please contact the Front Office staff.
We encourage parents to engage children in conversation regarding the learning that has been communicated by teachers. Newsletters, Facebook and SeeSaw posts about classroom activities and events are a great way to gain insight into what children are learning about at school. We look forward to further strengthening our partnership with the school community through effective communication about our school and classroom programs.