# From the Principal's Office

Dear Parents,

The end of our school year is fast approaching and it is particularly busy around school with reports, special events, swimming programs, graduation preparations, planning for 2020, and so the list goes on.

Thank you to the many parents who have inquired about Barb Maclarn’s health after the recent car accident. I am pleased to report that though she is requiring some regular physio etc. she is improving day by day and will be back for the start of the new year. Thanks also to the parents who have provided meals for Barb as she recovers at home.

We have recently appointed Debbie McDermott as our substantive Assistant Principal. Debbie currently teaches at Blackburn Lakes Primary School and she will be joining us at the start of 2020. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the work of Shelley Morrison who has been our acting Assistant Principal for the substantial part of this year after the retirement of Robyn Floyd. Shelley has been an amazing support to me this year and has contributed greatly with student support and wellbeing and ensuring the continuance of our educational programs and special events throughout the year.

As mentioned in a previous newsletter Nathan Gilliland, our current PE teacher, will be leaving and Sophie Allen, current Year 1 teacher, will be taking family leave at the end of the year. Returning in 2020 will be Lucy Gargano and Sarah Hunting, and three new teachers, Braeden Pitcher, Lily Cribbes and Peter McClure, will be joining us.

Below is a list of staff for 2020.

PrepBarb Maclarn
Hayley Greeves
Lily Collins
Year 1Lee Laier / Sarah Hunting
Samantha Orchard
Year 2Nikki Szwarcbard / Brodee Procel
Emma Black
Sam Hynes
Lucy Gargano
Year 3Meagan Cofield
Mary-Anne Jansen
Tanya Tomic / Niki Judd
Year 4Bindi Tod
Braden Pitcher
Jill Gorman / Shelley Morrison
Year 5/6Shanae Hill
Lily Cribbes
Kyle Hosking
Rachael McGrath
Peter McClure
SpecialistsJames Smith - Physical Education
Michele Freeland-Small - Visual Arts
Laurence Barre - French
Rosey Arnold  - Performing Arts
Teaching & Learning SupportSusie Walton
Shelley Morrison
Robyn Challis - Reading Intervention
Christine Hiland (Term 1) - Classroom support
AdministrationGina Hasapis
Kathy Jacobs
Sally Pace
Education SupportCarolyn Blackwell
Ben Haddock
Krista Morris (Library Technician)
Principal TeamDebbie McDermott - Assistant Principal
Garry Collins - Principal

We have conducted a transition program over the past couple of weeks to familiarise and prepare students for their 2020 learning environments.  We anticipate that supporting the students with opportunities to become familiar with their new grade levels, new teachers and new environments will help make this transition a smooth one. The students will have the opportunity to meet their new teacher in the next couple of days.

On Wednesday 18 December at 4.00pm the Semester 2 reports will be available on Compass. A letter with information about the reports as well as a student self-reflection and 2020 grade list will be sent home on that day with your child.

Year 5 & 6 students held a very successful ‘Inventors’ Convention’ last week as part of their ‘Inventors and Inventions’ unit. They learnt about various famous inventors and inventions that have changed the world we live in. The students then selected an invention, researched and made modifications to it, and presented it at the Inventors’ Convention.

Our second soiree for this year was held recently. It was a great evening to highlight the performances of the children who take part in the instrumental programs offered at Glen Iris. The children were proud to perform in front of an enthusiastic audience. Many parents commented to me how they enjoy this opportunity. Thank you to our instrumental teachers – Ruby McLellan (vocal), Vince Hopkins (guitar), Liz Balderas (piano), Claire Airs (piano), Clare Lynch (violin) and Liam Frampton (band/percussion) for the preparation of the students and their nurturing of our young talent throughout the year. Thanks also to Rosey Arnold, our Performing Arts teacher, who organised and hosted the soiree.

Our Preps enjoyed Breakfast at School recently.  The teachers and students arrived early, in their pyjamas, and ate breakfast together.  After breakfast, the children washed their dishes, cleaned their teeth and got themselves ready for school.  It takes self-confidence and resilience for children to approach unfamiliar situations independently.  Thanks to the Prep teachers for organising this much-anticipated activity and the parent helpers who helped make it a memorable morning for our Preps.

This Friday marks the end of the Prep, Year 1 & Year 2 intensive swimming program. The students have done an outstanding job with their eager participation and have improved in both their water confidence and swimming techniques.

Next Monday evening forty-nine of our Year 6 students will take part in a Graduation Ceremony at Sacré Cœur, Glen Iris.  The evening will be a highlight for the students, and they should feel very proud of their achievements over the past seven years at GIPS.

At a special assembly last week, four Year 6 students were recognised for the positive contribution they had made during their time at GIPS. Congratulations to Sophie de V and Evan McV who were the recipients of the Higgins Award, and to Thomas D and Ruby S who were both presented with Citizenship Awards.


We recently purchased 120 new iPads which will be used by the 5/6 students in 2020. The existing 5/6 iPads will be used to replace the current iPads used in French lessons and “top up” iPads in the Year 3 & 4 classrooms. This is part of our 4-year ICT plan to ensure students have access to iPads & laptops across the school. We look forward to their delivery in early 2020.

Our Scholastic Book Fair, which ran over the 26th and 27th November, was a great success.  Thank you to everyone who visited the fair and bought some books and other goodies.  The school benefitted to the tune of $1,500 towards the purchase of new resources for our library. Thank you to the parents who supported this event, and a special thanks to the organisation of Krista Morris, ably assisted by our office staff.

Information regarding the payment of levies for 2020 has been sent out via Compass.  All school fees and levies can be paid through the Course Confirmations/Payments section of Compass. The school asks families to contribute to the following voluntary funds: Library/ ICT Fund and the Building Fund to enable us to continue to develop and improve our programs and facilities for the students. Contributions to these funds are tax deductible.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the work of the School Council for 2019. The Council has made a valuable contribution in overseeing the school’s policies, communications, finances and the upkeep of the building and grounds to ensure the future development and prosperity of GIPS.

In February, I will be seeking nominations for interested parents to join our School Council for 2020.  No special background is required other than a desire to contribute to the GIPS community and the continuous improvement of our school.  The time commitment is not onerous with one monthly full Council meeting on usually the third Wednesday of the month and one informal subcommittee meeting scheduled to suit the committee members.  Please consider nominating for one of the several vacancies that will exist due to families finishing at the school or terms of office concluding.  Official calls for nominations will appear in the first newsletter for 2020. 

If you would like further information on the role, you are welcome to contact myself or James Kelly, School Council President.

As with last year, we are encouraging students not to give out candy canes (or any other food) with Christmas cards. The reason for this request is that we are trying to discourage the eating of the candy canes before school or running around during recess and lunch times with candy canes in their mouths.

On Wednesday 18 December, all students from Year 4 to Prep will all celebrate the end of the school year with class parties.  Information about each of the Year Level arrangements will be sent out via Compass by the individual year levels.  The Year 5 & 6 students are looking forward to their class parties on Tuesday 17 December. Year 5 students will have their launch into leadership program, “SALT & Chips”. The Year 6 students will have their traditional lunch at The Cuckoo Restaurant, Olinda.

It would be a great assistance to the School Council, staff and students if all parents could keep a watch out for vandalism or unusual “happenings” in the school grounds over the summer holidays. If you notice any unusual happenings, please call the police immediately.

We have accumulated a large amount of unclaimed school uniforms in lost property. Any clothing left over at the end of the year will be given to the second-hand uniform shop.

Our final assembly for 2019 will be on the last day of school, Friday 20 December. The assembly will start at 12.50pm where we will say good-bye to our Year 6 students and any other students leaving GIPS.

All students will be dismissed at 1.30pm on Friday 20 February.

The first day back for all students in 2020 is Thursday 30 January.

I hope you and your families have a safe, relaxing and enjoyable holiday period.

Garry Collins