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Rules and policies

General School Policy Information
 
Attendance
Every day counts
Our school encourages all parents and members of our community to support the State Government initiative to improve student attendance.
The Every Day Counts program has four key messages:
·         all children should be enrolled and attend school on every school day
·         schools should monitor and create ways to improve attendance in schools
·         attendance is the responsibility of everyone in the community
·         children may find themselves in unsafe situations if they choose not to attend or skip school.
While most students attend school consistently, there is a small number of students who are absent from school without an acceptable reason and this may impact on their education.  Going shopping, visiting family, staying up late and being tired or extending school holidays are not acceptable reasons to be away from school.  Research shows that if your child has a record of good attendance, they are more likely to achieve high results in the future.
For more information or if you need support regarding your child’s attendance, see our school principal and download the guide for parents at: www.education.qld.gov.au/everydaycounts/
Absences
If a child is absent from school it is essential that the school be notified of the reason for the absence as early as possible.  The safety and wellbeing of students are the highest priorities for the department.  State schools will notify parents via text message on the same day a student is absent from school without explanation.
 
·         All children MUST be present in their classroom for roll marking by 9.15am.
·         Teachers will mark the roll and close it.  Any child not in the classroom will be marked as Absent.
·         Children who arrive after the roll has closed will be required to go to the office to collect a LATE SLIP for presentation to their teacher.
·         Office staff will check and clear the Absence Line between 9.30-9.45am and a DAILY UNEXPLAINED ABSENCE report will be run.
·         A generic SMS message will be sent to parents advising of their child’s absence and requesting an explanation.
 
Exemptions
An exemption from compulsory schooling or the compulsory participation phase is available when a child or a young person cannot attend or it would be unreasonable in all the circumstances for them to attend school or participate in an eligible option for a period of more than 10 consecutive school days.  An exemption form will need to be completed and given to the Principal for approval before the absence is to occur.  Principals are responsible for determining if an exemption is the best option in meeting a student's educational and other needs, and approving exemptions for students enrolled in their school.
How you can help us to keep your child/ren safe:
 
1.       Provide a preferred current mobile phone number.  If your number changes, advise us immediately.  Families with shared care arrangements will be required to advise the school and provide BOTH parents/carers mobile phone numbers.  In the event of an unexplained absence for a child in shared care, both parents will receive an SMS message.
 
2.       Phone the Student Absence Line before 9.30am to advise of any/all occasions when your child/ren will be away from school.  This is a 24hr recorded service, you can call it anytime (convenient if your child is up ill during the night!).  The Oonoonba SS STUDENT ABSENCE LINE number is 47 998 366; we suggest you store this number in your phone. 
 
3.       If/when you receive an SMS message, please reply to explain the absence OR if you believe your child/ren is/should be at school contact the school office immediately to notify us. 
Allergies
Due to a number of students in our school who have allergies to certain foods, and may have a severe allergic reaction, we have a ‘no sharing of food’ policy.  For these students’ safety, please ensure you do not offer food to other students without prior checking with teachers/parents.  Experts do not recommend the banning of foods however it is critical that all students are aware of what can happen when students have an allergic reaction.
Communication
Parents are encouraged to consult with teachers regularly, on an informal basis, regarding progress and attitudes.  Your involvement in your child’s education in this manner will assist in your awareness so that your child can benefit from a healthy Parent/Teacher relationship.  However, in your endeavour to consult with the class teacher regularly, please keep in mind that the class teacher is extremely busy before school organising the room and lessons for the days’ work and cannot usually leave the class during teaching hours 8.45am – 2.50pm for discussion.  As Monday is generally staff meeting after 2.50pm, Tuesday to Friday is a good time to meet with teachers.  An appointment is necessary.
At the beginning of the year an Information Session is held to assist parents to know class and year level expectations and relevant information for the year.
Complaints
At Oonoonba State School we are committed to resolving any issues with you.  However, if you feel that it has not been resolved after talking to your child’s teacher and Principal/Deputy, you can contact a district office duty officer.  The Department of Education and Training  is committed to ensuring that all complaints are dealt with in a fair and equitable manner. There are processes and support networks in place to enable you and your child to work through any issues or concerns you may have.
To achieve an effective resolution for all parties, when making your complaint, you should ensure you:
·           provide complete and factual information in a timely manner
·           deliver your complaint in a calm and reasoned manner
·           avoid making frivolous or vexatious complaints
·           or using deliberately false or misleading information.
You should be aware that if you are making a complaint about a staff member that, in most instances, the staff member will be told of the complaint and offered the right of reply. You also have the right to have a support person participate throughout the process.
The following four-step procedure is in place to assist parents/carers and school staff to reach an outcome that is in the best interest of the student.
1. Discuss your complaint with the class teacher
If your complaint is with your child’s teacher or relates to an issue concerning your child’s experience at school, make an appointment with that teacher as soon as possible through the school administration. Discuss your complaint with the teacher and give the teacher an opportunity to suggest a solution. The teacher will make a record of your complaint and report your meeting and any outcomes to the school principal. Together, both you and your child’s teacher should be able to resolve the problem at this level.
2. Discuss your complaint with the principal
If after approaching your child’s teacher your complaint remains unresolved, make an appointment to see the school principal to discuss the issue further. Alternatively, you and the teacher may agree to ask the principal to act as a go between in informal conflict resolution in an attempt to resolve the problem.
If your complaint relates to more general school matters, including issues of school policy and issues of compliance or non-compliance, you should raise your complaint directly with the principal or their delegate. The principal may refer your complaint to a delegate such as the deputy principal or Business Services Manager. The staff member will make a record of your complaint and work with you to come to a resolution.
Complaints to the principal may be lodged in person, by telephone, writing or via email. Principals’ email addresses can be accessed through the Schools Directory at www.education.qld.gov.au/directory/ - select the relevant school, then click on the email link.
3. Contact your local education office
If you have discussed your complaint with the principal and still feel that you have not reached a resolution, you have the right to contact your local Department of Education and Training office.
Complaints may be lodged by telephone or in writing. Your complaint should be specific in detail and outline the steps you have taken to resolve the issue. Ensure your complaint includes your full name and address and that you have signed and dated it. It is also a good idea to keep a copy for your own records.
When you contact your local education office a record will be made of your complaint. You will also be advised that your name and the nature of your complaint will be reported back to the principal of your school. Local office staff will then work with you and your school to seek a resolution.
Addresses and telephone numbers for the Department of Education and Training offices are listed in the White Pages of your local telephone directory and are also available through the Schools Directory at www.education.qld.gov.au/directory/
4. Independent review
If you have not been able to resolve your complaint through these formal processes, you can lodge your complaint with the Queensland Ombudsman. The Ombudsman may be contacted at:
Office of the Ombudsman GPO Box 3314, Brisbane, Qld 4001
Email: ombudsman@ombudsman.qld.gov.au
Telephone (07) 3005 7000 or Toll Free 1800 068 908 Fax (07) 3005 7067
The role of Parents and Citizens’ Associations (P&Cs)
Complaints about services that are run or managed by the P&C at your school, for example after school care or the tuckshop, should be directed to the P&C in the first instance.
Head Lice
The problem of head lice is continuously with us, particularly in the summer months.  Regular checking (weekly) of children’s hair may help to prevent an outbreak.  Parents responsibilities include
·    regularly inspecting their child/ren’s head to detect the presence of lice or lice eggs:
·    immediate treatment of the entire family;
·    notification of the outbreak to the school;
·    ensuring that their child/ren do not attend school with untreated head lice
·    out of courtesy parents will be contacted if their child is found to have head lice whilst at school.
Medication
It is occasionally necessary for a child to have prescribed medication while at school.  If you have a prescribed medication for your child, a medication form must be completed, at the office, prior to administering.  Present the medication in the original container with an attached prescription pharmacy label and includes:
·    student name
·    dose
·    time the medication is to be taken 
·    any other relevant directions for use e.g. whether medication is to be taken with food.
Medication cannot be administered without the above being provided.
We are not permitted to administer unprescribed medication such as Aspro, Panadol, natural remedies etc.
Parents are advised that asthmatic students should have ready access to their asthma medication during school hours.  Inhalers sent to the office need a note containing full details.
Mobile Phones
(Source – Queensland Government Policy and Procedure Register Department of Education, Training and Employment - Appropriate use of Mobile Telephones and other Electronic Equipment by Students)
Rationale:
Mobile phones are very expensive and highly attractive devices. 
Use of mobile phones by students is disruptive to teaching, learning and school activities in and out of classrooms. 
However, we recognise that in certain circumstances, parents may require their children to bring a mobile phone to school for safety or communication purposes to and from school. 
Any contact with children by parents or sibling while at school or including excursion, camps should be made through the school office or the organiser of the activity.  
We protect the right of all to communicate, but ensure that school is a place where learning occurs.
Consequently the use of mobile phones will not interrupt or prevent that learning from occurring.
Procedures:
·      If parents require their child to have a mobile phone at school, for use when travelling to and from school, it is expected that the mobile phone would remain in the student’s bag.  At no stage is it to be used while at school.
·      In-phone cameras are not to be used anywhere in the school where a normal camera would be considered inappropriate eg. Toilets, change rooms and/or where there is no parental consent from students.
An extensive policy relating to other personal technology devices is included in Appendix 2 of the Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students.
NO RESPONSIBILITY WILL BE TAKEN BY THE SCHOOL SHOULD LOSS OR DAMAGE OF MOBILE PHONES OCCUR.
Money Collection
The collection of money by school staff is a responsible and time consuming task.  The following procedures are to assist parents with the forwarding of money and the speedy processing by staff.
1.       Forward all money in sealed envelopes, with details recorded on the envelope regarding name, class and payment for eg swimming, supermarket excursion.
2.       Collections are held daily from 8.15am – 8.50am. 
3.       Envelopes containing money, permission slips etc should be placed in the collection box situated inside the main office doors.
4.       Access to EFTPOS and credit card facility is available from the main office. There is a minimum amount of $10 for transactions.
Newsletters
A newsletter is produced each Wednesday.  This is very informative and helps you to keep in touch with activities at school.  This newsletter is our main means of communication between home and school.  Newsletters can be emailed or if you prefer a hard copy will be distributed to the eldest child in the family.
In addition to this, individual class teachers will send home letters to inform you of information relating to the class.
Parking
Parents are requested to use the car park in Lakeland Boulevard when dropping off and collecting children.  In the interest of safety - particularly to the children - the following guidelines have been set:-
*         Children are to wait inside the school fence in the shelter areas supervised by the principal or teacher, until someone is here to collect them.
*         Children are to be collected promptly by 3.10pm.
*         All pedestrians to use the appropriate crossing provided to get children across the car park.
*         For your convenience a drop off and pick up zone has been incorporated.  However, there is a 2 minute limit on this area.  Parking is not permitted in this area.
*         Specific parking bays are available for vehicles with a disability permit.
*         Strictly NO PARKING in areas which block the free flow of traffic.
*         Strictly NO PARKING on grassed footpaths of neighbouring residents.
*         Strictly NO PARKING in the Administration car park.