Debra Crouch - Bellsquarry PS Parent Council

From: Debra Crouch <[email protected]>
Date: 5 May 2012 17:28
Subject: Please inform parents of school-age students: Parents Victoria Online
Conference 20-26 May 2012
To: [email protected]
Parents Victoria Online Conference 2012
6am Sunday 20 May to midnight Saturday 26 May (Australian time)
* Principals, headmasters and teachers are invited to inform parents of this no-cost
opportunity for discussion and debate, with prizes for participation. Daily conference topics
are provided at the end of this email.
PARENTS (and grandparents) of primary and secondary students, in all states, territories and
countries, are warmly invited to take part in this year’s online conference, to be held later
this month by Parents Victoria, in Australia. The conference will be held non-stop on the
internet from 6am Sunday 20 May to midnight Saturday 26 May. No special software is
needed, other than an internet-connected computer and a browser (speakers are an
advantage but are optional). The online discussions will be very easy to join in, online
resources will be provided, and guidelines about how to participate will be available. *You
don’t need to be a member of Parents Victoria to take part. Join in for all days, just some
days, or even a few hours, depending on your lifestyle and other commitments.
Topics & program
The exact timings of the hosted sessions within the (non-stop) conference program will be
emailed to registrants shortly before the conference begins. Details on the topics and days
of the draft conference program can be found at the end of this email.
Register online at no cost
The Parents Victoria Online Conference 2012 website will open at exactly 6am on Sunday 20
May at:
*Please note: The ‘placeholder page’ that is currently visible at this website address will
automatically redirect to the live conference homepage, at precisely 6am on Sunday 20
May. Please register yourself online, at the above website address, before you participate
in the online conference.
The conference will feature six ‘live’ daily online discussions, each of them hosted, for
several hours each day, by a member of Parents Victoria or expert commentators from a
number of different associations. Each 24-hour period will focus on a different topic that is
currently of concern to parents. The seventh day will provide an extra opportunity to have
your say on all of the topics discussed earlier in the week. There will also be one continuous
online discussion that will last all week.
Prizes for participation
iPad – The Parents Victoria member school with the greatest number of individual
participants over the entire conference.
Flip camera - The school with the most individual participants who comment on the week
long question.
Flip camera - The school with the most individual participants who comment on the
Celebrating Public Education topic on Sunday 20th May.
Registration for two people to attend the Parents Victoria annual conference in August
2012 The Victorian government school with the greatest number of individuals who
participate on multiple days of the conference.
Complimentary one-year membership to Parents Victoria - The non-member Victorian
government school with the greatest number of individual participants over the entire
*To be eligible, participants must be correctly registered and leave at least one comment on
the discussion boards. Schools are only eligible to win one prize. In the event that a school
wins more than one category, the prize in subsequent categories will go to the school with
the next highest number of eligible participants. Member schools are defined as schools
whose 2012 membership payment was received by 18 May 2012.
I look forward to meeting all of you online soon, to discuss these important issues. The more
of you join in, the more successful this e-vent will be.
Best wishes,
Debra Crouch
Online Conference Manager
Email: [email protected]
Topics & program for Parents Victoria Online Conference 2012
We have provided some questions to get the discussion going but please feel free to raise
other issues relevant to these topics. You can address as many, or as few, of the questions as
you like.
School payments/school funding
1. What should families be expected to pay for in government schools (and not pay
for)? Share examples of the types and amounts of payments you have been asked
2. Do you have any good tips for families to reduce the cost of schooling?
3. The release of the Gonski review has the potential for big changes in how
governments fund education. What changes do you think Federal and State
governments should make to education spending? In your opinion, which areas are
Other issues. The topics on Day 1 to Day 6 cover a range of specific issues. This extra
message board provides an opportunity for you to raise other education issues you believe
are also important. If you choose to start a new thread, please add an appropriate subject
heading so other participants can follow the discussion.
Celebrating public education
1. Share the great things that are happening at your child’s school.
2. If you were promoting your child’s government school, name three features that you
would especially stress to prospective parents?
3. How does your child’s school provide an excellent learning environment for your
child? Please give us some specific details.
4. Why did you choose to send your child to a government school?
Travel to school
1. How does your child travel to school? Do you have any concerns? (for example, his
or her level of independence; personal safety if walking or riding)?
2. How can schools, families and the wider community support more children walking
and riding to school?
3. How reliable and frequent are bus and/or train services to your child’s school? Does
your child complain of over-crowding and/or cancelled services?
4. If your child walks or rides to school, does the local community offer extra safety
measures such as Safety Houses, the Walking School Bus program, well maintained
bike trails, and so on? What else could be done to support children who travel to
school independently?
5. What can be done to improve the safety of children at school drop off and pick up?
6. Should seatbelts be compulsory on school buses? Why or why not?
*Please note: Issues relating to public transport are not a VicRoads responsibility.
1. What more could be done to help migrant or refugee parents feel more welcome at
your child’s school?
How does your school encourage parents from different cultures - even those who
have been living in Australia for some time - to join in school activities, e.g. the
parent club, school council as helpers in the classroom, and so on?
What do parents from different countries and cultures have to offer parent groups
in Victorian schools, as well as student learning?
Is there something particularly innovative that your child’s school has done to
encourage parents from non-mainstream cultural groups to join in the life of the
How can we work towards creating an inclusive school community in which all
families can feel they belong?
1. Languages (LOTE) In 2011, the Baillieu Government announced that it would
revolutionise language education in Victoria by creating one of the world’s most
diverse and effective Language programs (formerly known as LOTE). The
Government will introduce compulsory languages classes in every primary school,
starting with prep and extending to year 10 by 2025. What are your views on this
decision? What do you see as the benefits or the problems with this program?
Testing & NAPLAN. What do you see as the benefits of national testing?
3. National Curriculum. What do you know about the National Curriculum? Do
you think it is needed? Have there been any changes at your school?
4. General. What changes would you like to see in the existing curriculum at your
child’s school?
Special Religious Instruction.
1. What are your views about the inclusion of SRI, and the fact that it is taught by
voluntary teachers, in class time?
Managing bullying
1. How does your school manage bullying? Is your school recording incidents and
collecting data that will help it improve its response to bullying? Is the current
response effective?
How could schools better support parents when their child is involved (either as a
victim or an offender)?
What are the most effective strategies we can give our children to help them to
stand up to bullies?
How can parents (as individuals or in parent clubs or school councils) better support
schools in improving their management of bullying?
What are some practical ways that families and schools can work together in
partnership to reduce (or even eliminate) bullying?
*Note. Names and contextual details that identify specific people and incidents should not be
mentioned on the message board. Parents who wish to discuss problematic situations with
Parents Victoria should email [email protected] with a return phone number or
email address.
Mental health
1. An alarming number of children (and/or their family members) suffer from
mental health issues. This has an impact on a child’s schooling (not to mention his or
her family) when the school needs to communicate with the family and/or the
family needs to communicate with the school. What do you consider to be the role
of the school in these situations?
2. What level of help would you expect your school to provide to children and/or
families with mental health issues? What is too little and what is too much?
3. Is privacy legislation a barrier to schools when they seek to assist children
and/or families with mental health issues?
4. Could schools be better supported by other government agencies in their
assistance for children/families with mental health issues?
5. In the case of mental health issues that interfere with a child’s learning or
school safety, (without using people’s actual names) who is the most appropriate
person at the school to speak to, or seek support from: the child’s class or subject
teacher, the principal or vice principal, the pastoral care officer, the student welfare
officer, the year level coordinator, the school nurse? If your school has a good
system that works, tell us about it.
*Names and contextual details that identify specific people and incidents should not be used.
Parents who wish to discuss problematic situations with Parents Victoria should email
[email protected] with a return phone number or email address.
Second chance to discuss all topics. Day 7 provides a second chance to ‘have your say’ on all
topics, from Day 1 through to Day 6.
* Debra J. Crouch, from Straight to the point PUBLICATIONS & COMMUNICATION provides
overall project management, design and creative management, and editorial management
for annual online conferences held by Parents Victoria.