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									                                                                                                      February/March 2009

  Parent Contact
Welcome back everyone to school term 1- 2009!
                                                                                                                        Press Release:
Dear Friends
                                                                                                                    and Education Minister
Welcome back to the new school year for 2009.
                                                                                                                    Progress on Education
                                                                                                                     Revolution package
For many of us the year already seems challenging with the gloom of the economic climate and the
uncertainty of the future.                                                                                     Premier David Bartlett said State
                                                                                                               Schools had been fully briefed
Sending our children back to school can be a stressful and expensive time and I encourage you to talk to       and were being encouraged to
your school if you are experiencing difficulties. There are many benefits available for families and sometimes apply for the funding as soon as
people are unaware they are eligible.                                                                          possible to ensure the initiative
                                                                                                               has the greatest impact on job
For some there will be a bonus of $900 coming from the Federal Government and this year in your Income creation.
Tax Return there will be opportunity to claim some expenses for schooling.
                                                                                                                The State Government is already
                                                                                                                accepting applications from
Education is a way out of poverty and a passage to a healthy economy and a prosperous state. Every child        schools applying for their share
deserves the best start in life and a good education is vital for this to occur.                                of the Federal Government’s
                                                                                                                multi-billion dollar Building the
2009 also sees the transition of colleges and TAFE into the new Polytechnic, Academy and Skills                 Education Revolution stimulus
Tasmania. If your child is attending one of the new campuses we wish them well as they enter this exciting      package.
new concept of post compulsory education. We believe the options provided under the new structure will
offer great                                                                                                     Tasmanian Government and
                                                                                                                non-Government schools are
 opportunities for people to pursue their desired directions in life.
                                                                                                                expected to receive approximately
                                                                                                                $370 million under package.
We will be working closely with the new organisations to ensure parents have a strong voice as they
develop over the year. Please contact us if you require any help or have a problem we can support you with.     “Tasmanian schools could receive
                                                                                                                funding ranging from $200,000
This is an exciting year for the Tasmanian State School Parents and Friends as we host the National Parent      for one school, up to around
Conference in Hobart in conjunction with the Australian Council of State School Organisations. This             $3.2 million for a large primary
conference, to be held at Wrest Point Casino 12 – 13 October, will welcome to Tasmania for the first time,      school, the earliest projects need
renowned International speaker Neil Hawkes. Neil is well known for his commitment to Values Education           to be completed by December
                                                                                                                2009,” Premier said.
and will provide a “not to be missed” stimulating keynote presentation.
                                                                                                                “Other projects will need to be
Tasmanian State School Parents and Friends is committed to getting out to Tasmanian State Schools and           completed by June 2011.”
talking to parents about the issues you think are important in education. We encourage you to come and          Mr Bartlett said that the funding
see us when we meet in your area.                                                                               allocated for Tasmanian
                                                                                                                Government schools was 2008-
As always, do not hesitate to contact me, and be assured our organisation will continue to be a strong voice    09: $20 million, 2009-10: $151
                                                                                                                million, 2010-11: $104 million.
for parents in this State and always pursue better funding and quality education for our children.

                                                                                                                      More can be found by
                                                                                                                        following link:

                           Jennifer Branch

               How we as Parents can positively encourage the ‘emotional’ transition back to school.

Going back to school brings up a lot of emotions for children but there are things parents can do to help their kids cope with the
sadness, excitement and fear of the first days of the school year.

For some children, the symptoms of back-to-school anxiety appear as other problems. They might have difficulty falling asleep, or
they may complain about worries as well as stomach aches and headaches. Major transitions, such as starting primary school or high
school or post year 10 are the biggest challenges, but parents can help children get through them by reminding them that they have
the power and ability to make good choices.

So that we are not trying to always fix their problems, we should deter anxiety as an excuse for a child to stay home sick. Send them
to school as long as they don’t have any signs of illness because we really need to allow our children to face their own fears.
Some parents feel that keeping kids active in extracurricular activities also helps ease anxiety. Encourage seasonal sports and
recreation and be positive about all experiences whether it be distressing or not. Help our kids to work through their problems and
issues that they will be facing throughout their journey through school.

                     Websites for Parent, Carers and Guardians - Find Information about
                                Your Childrens’ Education From Early Years Through to
                                         Academy and TasmanianPolytechnic:
                                                                           •	 Children with additional or special needs:
  •	 Parents, Carers, Guardians:                                             •	 Transport, Bus and concession information
  •	 Your child’s journey through education from                 
       ‘Early Learning Years’:                                •	 Post Grade 10 Education:
  •	 Raising children 0-8:                                                                         


  •	   Have you been to a P&F or School Association meeting
       and wanted to say something
       but never had the confidence to speak?
                                                                                   “Our Schools, Our Children.”
  •	   Would you like to know more about how good meetings
       are run, how decisions are made                               (Chorus)“Oh, dear, what can the matter be? Oh, dear, what
       and what the roles of office bearers involve?                 can the matter be? Oh, dear, what can the matter be? Parents
                                                                     don’t visit the school.
  The Penguin Club is an Australian Speaking Club
  empowering women of all ages to communicate confidently            They visit the circus, they visit their neighbors; They visit their
  and improve their skills in effective speaking, meeting            flocks and the servant who labors; They visit the soldiers with
  procedure and presentations, in a fun, friendly and                murderours sabers; Now, why don’t they visit the school?”
  supportive atmosphere. Communication is vital to get your
  point across so come along to a meeting and see what you           (Chorus)
  have to gain!
                                                                     They care for their horses, they care for their dollars; They care
  We have groups in Launceston, Campbell Town, Hobart,               for their parties and fancy fine collars; But little, we think, do
  Bridgewater and Kingston.                                          they care for their scholars; Because they don’t visit the school.
       For further information or meeting dates in your area         (Chorus)
                        please contact                               We know we from hunger and cold are protected; In virtue
                 Paula Murphy - 0400 226 443;                        and knowledge our minds are directed; But still we do think
                                  that we are sadly neglected; Because they don’t visit the school.

                               Parents! Let’s teach our children about ‘The Love of Learning’
                                    Steps to Cue the Love of Literacy in Our Children:

I know as a parent the difference having one school aged child who excels at literacy and enjoys creating, reading, adventure stories
and novels to having another sibling, younger or somewhat just ‘different’, who just hasn’t been able to grasp the beginnings of literacy,
learning to read, spell and engage with novels. As a parent, but more so for that child it can be disheartening and often devastating.
At times it can affect your child’s capacity to engage and learn in a healthy and confident atmosphere. Nowadays we find it hard and
often make excuses especially when there is more than one child in the family unit. There is work, home, sports and extra curricula
activities to attend – where is the time for extra learning and teaching at home?

Our Tasmanian Government is boosting support this year to the early years and addressing Tasmania’s literacy as a priority. All stu-
dents in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 were tested for the first time in 2008, using common tests in reading, writing, spelling, grammar, punctua-
tion and numeracy. Every Tasmanian public school now has an explicit literacy strategy that suits their needs. There is also another
initiative launched called Read For Life Initiative, aimed at improving literacy from all Tasmanians for birth to adulthood

The debate about reading to children and learning to read more often than not concentrates on reading as a decoding comprehen-
sion skill, solely useful for students gaining utilitarian literacy skills. It is timely to address the fact that parents and teachers can also
engage children in the literary art forms when they introduce children into the world of fiction. This is a noble aim in itself and should
involve love as well.

Over the past three decades there has been a wealth of research into the reading process. It is now universally accepted that in order
to gain meaning from text three cues need to be operating: semantic cues (meaning cues), syntactic cues (what we understand from
the grammar), and grapho-‘phonic’ cues (the letters and the sounds). These are not all that is needed to learn to read but at the bare
minimum, children need the three cues to be operational in order to gain meaning from text.

Semantic Activities:
Before reading a book to children engage in what can be called ‘predictive sets’. For example, look at the front cover if it has a picture,
and ask the child to predict what the story is about. Look at the title, take some key words or phrases before reading the whole book
and predict what might be going to happen.

Grammar Activities:
Have children tell stories about what they did the previous day. In their recounting of experience encourage them to use past
continuous and simple past. Most stories are written in a narrative past. Enhance children’s knowledge of grammar by making it fun,
like making nonsense sentences such as ‘the waveroony splagashed our hand made sand braganza!!’ Then ask, “was that waveroony at
the beach a big wave?” or, “was your sand castle braganza big?”

Grapho-phonic Activities:
Select a word that your child likes from the text and using pictures from cut outs make a collage of the word. Decide which letter is
the dominant word. Find other examples of the letter from cut outs and add them to the collage too.

–ref Dr. John Hughes Assoc Dean Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney

Campania District
  High School
                                                                                     Wakakirri National Story Telling Festival
               School Fair                                                                    Youngtown Primary School 2008

                                              During Youngtown Primary’s 2008 dance and drama program students especially enjoyed
           Friday 27th March
                                              learning about the genre of mime and the opportunity of being involved in the Wakakirri
             3.30 - 7.30pm
                                              National Story Telling Festival. The vision of the festival is to encourage young
                                              Australians to be open minded, confident and active through the process of creating and
                                              sharing stories. With a focus on creativity, recycling and not on big budgets this
ATTRACTIONS AT THE FAIR INCLUDE:              remarkable storytelling festival is really all about student voice. It takes students back to
•	 TOYS                                       the roots that all artists are in fact ‘story tellers’ and allows them a unique opportunity to
•	 SWEETS                                     tell ‘their’ story.
•	 BBQ
•	 BOOKS                                                     “Our Tasmanian schools”
•	 DEVONSHIRE TEAS & much more!!

                                                              DID YOU KNOW?
                                                      Talent Development Workshop
                                       presented by Canadian researcher Professor Francoys Gagne
              Although he is best known for his “Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent”, an enormously useful tool
               in understanding the development and education requirements of high achieving and gifted students and the
                              predominant gifted model accepted in education in Australia, in this workshop,
               Professor Gagne will move beyond the DMGT to focus on classroom programming for talent development.
                               The core of the presentation will be on how teachers and educators can create
                     class-room programs that enhance the talent development of high achievers and gifted children.
                           The workshop is also recommended to parents of gifted and high achieving students
                                         as it provides insight into the talent development process.
                                          Presented by the Tasmanian Association for the Gifted,
                                               WHEN:              Saturday, March 28th 2009 at 9.00am
                                               WHERE:             Stanley Burbury Lecture Theatre, University of Tas.
                                               COST:              Before February 28 $70 for members
                                                                 $75 for non members.
                                                                 After February 28, for members and $80 for non-members
                                          For further details or a registration form please call the

                            Tasmanian Association for the Gifted on 0488291497 or email


Under the new Education Tax Refund, parents and others who are eligible can now claim
50% of their eligible education expenses up to $750 for primary students and $1500 for
secondary students.

 This means you could receive a refund each year of up to $375 for each primary and $750       
for each secondary school student in your care.

Are you eligible?

To be eligible you must have received Family Tax Benefit Part A for each child whose
education expenses you wish to claim. You can also claim the Education Tax Refund if you
were stopped from receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A because your child received any of
the following:
•	 Youth Allowance (student) aged 18
•	 Disability Support Pension
•	 the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme
•	 the Student Financial Supplement Scheme
•	 a scheme under s258 of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004
•	 an Australian Postgraduate Award.                                                               If parents, carers or friends have any
•	 Independent students are also eligible to claim.                                              concerns regarding their children’s school
                                                                                                 education please contact our friendly staff
What can you claim?                                                                                             6234 9488 or
You can claim the purchase, lease, hire or hire-purchase costs, repairs and running costs of:       or any of our Executive Committee
                                                                                                     representatives around Tasmania.
•	    laptops, home computers and associated costs — for example, internet and paper
•	   educational software, printers, USB flash drives, disability aids to assist in the use of    All submissions to Parent Contact to
     computer equipment for students with special needs                                          be made no later than the 25th of each
•	   stationery and art supplies, school textbooks and associated learning materials                             month.
•	   trade tools and safety equipment for secondary school trade courses.                         Please send information to Yasmin:
Some of the expenses you cannot claim include school fees or the cost of school uniforms,              
school excursions or travel to and from school, musical instruments or sporting equipment,               or phone 03 6234 9488
clothing or footwear. For a more comprehensive list visit                     fax 03 6234 9378

When can you claim?
                                                                                                  The views expressed by individuals and
                                                                                                   groups contained in this publication
You can claim your education expenses in your 2009 tax return. If you do not have to lodge
                                                                                                            are not necessarily
a tax return, you will be able to lodge a separate claim with the Tax Office from 1 July 2009.
                                                                                                     recommended nor endorsed by
                           ·     visit
                                                                                                          the editor TASSP&F.
                             ·    phone the Tax Office on 13 28 61.

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