PROTOCOLS FOR COMMUNICATION
Communication in the school; how do you find out what is happening around the school, about decisions that are taken and who makes them? Who do you talk to if you would like to be involved, if you have a question or concern?
We hope the following protocols provide clear pathways to assist you in regard to communication during your time at Kindlehill.
• The School Information Booklet which you receive in the enrolment pack, and is also available through the office. This booklet provides a good all round introduction. It summarises the history and ongoing development of the school, provides information about important school protocols as well as about how to follow up in regard to complaints and grievances, communication between parents and teachers, and the school’s code of conduct. The second part summarises the philosophy and broad educational principles that underlie the education provided at Kindlehill. This brochure is also connected to our website.
• Mandates – “What is happening and who does what around the school.” This is distributed to families at the beginning of each year. It informs parents about how the school is organised and who does what around the school, individuals and groups.
• Talk to your teacher first – Information about your child’s class, concerns about your child, questions about curriculum, matters related to your child’s class, should be directed in the first instance to your child’s class teacher. We encourage parents to keep in touch with their children’s progress, to regularly come and look at their children’s work, and to promptly raise any concerns with the teacher. Teachers are available for conversation with parents after school and more formal interviews can be arranged at any time of the year. Also, if there is a change of circumstance in the family or a significant issue arises for the child, it is helpful if the teacher is informed so that s/he can bring appropriate support and understanding toward the child.
• Contacting your class teacher – please check in with your class teacher if you are unsure of his or her preferred means of communication eg by email, text, times for phone calls and interviews.
• After School Care (OSHC) – concerns about your child or matters relating to after school care should be raised with Miranda Earle. If a significant issue arises, please discuss this with the Nominated Supervisor for Kindlehill OSHC (Lynn Daniel).
• High School – Lynn is the high school coordinator. Questions or concerns should be directed to Lynn in the first instance.
• Principal – parent liaison – Lynn can provide direction to parents who are unsure how to follow up with a concern, especially when a parent has raised it with the class teacher but feels it has not been dealt with fairly or adequately. Lynn is also a conduit to College, when parents wish to bring a concern to the attention of the teachers in general. Alternatively, parents can approach College about their unresolved concerns through Erica or by letter to College.
• Parent forums – From time to time these may be held to provide a forum for interests and concerns to be discussed with parents in general.
• Promoting a positive, supportive and respectful school environment – We know from experience that harmonious and friendly relationships between teachers and parents bring many positive benefits to the children. They feel themselves secure and cared for in the manner of an extended family. In order to promote and protect healthy home – school relationships, we request that parents refrain from sharing off-hand criticism and negativity with others. We request that parents take their concerns to their class teacher so that they can be addressed. In doing this, we provide a living example of how we would like our children to address issues and concerns.
• Complaints and grievances – A copy of the school’s complaints and grievances policy is available on request. It is a process to be used when a parent wishes to make a serious complaint. Procedural fairness is the basis of this policy.
• School Newsletters – The fortnightly newsletter as well as the seasonal Kindlings magazine, provide a good source of information in regard to the events and activities of the school, opportunities for parent involvement as well as insights into what lies behind the educational approaches typical to Kindlehill. We encourage all parents to read the newsletters so you are aware of the day to day activities at the school. Newsletters are displayed on the web site, issued in paper version, and also via email, allowing all parents access to this information.
• Class newsletters – Each teacher provides regular updates to the parents about ongoing class matters and opportunities for parent involvement. These are sent out via email.
• Class Teacher-parent evenings – These are an invaluable source of information for parents about what is happening in your child’s class and for information that can help you to understand your child, the curriculum and the Steiner approach to child development that underpins it. These are generally held each term.
• Email – Class teachers each have their own class email network and this is used to inform and to organise class activities. Out of respect and courtesy for the teacher, we ask that parents do not use class email networks as a forum for raising or soliciting discussion in regard to concerns or complaints. Concerns and complaints should always be directed in person to the class teacher first and then if necessary through appropriate channels.
• Social events – The many social events of the school such as plays, seasonal celebrations and fairs, provide a rich opportunity for parents to share in the community life of Kindlehill. Often these involve presentations by the classes that give parents an insight into the richness of the educational experiences of the children throughout the school.
PROTOCOL REGARDING LEAVING/EXITING THE SCHOOL
Classes are akin to big families or mini communities and what is happening to one student, has its effect on the class as a whole.
Therefore, we request that when parents are considering leaving the school, they discuss this with the class teacher prior to making the decision.
Once a decision is made to leave, we request that this be communicated firstly to the class teacher and that the parents discuss with the teacher, appropriate arrangements re the farewelling of the student.
When a child leaves a class, this impacts significantly on the whole class and the teacher, given appropriate notice, can arrange a smooth and satisfactory transition for all.
From an administration perspective, a full term’s notice is required when leaving the school, or full fees are charged in lieu of notice. This also applies to students leaving at the end of Class 6/7 to attend another high school.
The school is required to record information as to where the student will next attend school. We also record in brief, the reason for the exit.