GBH parent guide- Prep to Year 2

We welcome you to Mount Scopus Memorial College in 2021. 

This is the parent information guide for Gandel Besen House for Prep to Year 2 in St Kilda East.

We understand that when joining a new school, or even just moving to a different campus, there is a lot of new information to learn. We hope that this guide will answer many of your queries and become a convenient reference point for you over the coming months.  

Please click through on each topic to access the information that you will need.

School hours and commencement schedule

School commences on Monday 1 February, 2021.

Monday to Friday               8.30am – 3.30pm

Aftercare                             3.30pm - 6.00pm


Complete information regarding school dates for the coming two years can be found on the Mount Scopus Calendar, which is accessible on the website by clicking here.

Timetables are issued to students and parents once they commence, which detail specialty lessons and which days runners are required to be worn for sports.

Out of School Hours Care (OSHC)

The Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) program is operated inhouse by our own qualified staff. That means that children come to know the staff very quickly and can rely on seeing familiar faces whenever they attend. 

The OSHC program is seen as an extension of the children's learning, providing continuing enrichment outside of the classroom. 

All of the Scopus OSHC programs are approved for eligible families to receive the government Child Care Subsidy; all families considering using this program at any stage up to Year 6 should complete the Child Care Subsidy form in the documentation section if your child has not attended Kinder at Scopus. 

Before school

Supervised activities on the oval are available from 7.50am at no extra cost. This is available for students who are dropped off directly at GBH and provide an extra opportunity for physical activity for the children prior to the school day commencing.

Students arriving by bus from FKI will not arrive in time to participate in these activities.

Aftercare
  • Incursions and Workshops offered by external partners throughout the year such as sports, art, cooking, magic, acrobatics,etc, are offered on a rotating basis. (Externally operated activities may not run during the COVID pandemic period and will be subject to the current regulations.)
  • Links for Bookings are always available via Parent Resources on the Scopus App.
  • Workshop bokings open between two and three weeks prior to the term commencing, other than Term 1, which opens around the start of term. Forms contain all relevant information (fees, policies and procedures). 
  • Programs for Prep to Year 3 will be available at both GBH and FKI. The workshops at FKI will not be scheduled to commence until after the bus has arrived from GBH. 
Holiday Program
  • The holiday program operates for school age children with a program that includes themed days, incursions and a range of exciting and engaging excursions.
  • It normally operates at GBH, but may operate at FKI from time to time, depending on any maintenance or building requirements.

Required documentation

No child will be able to commence at Scopus whilst there is any outstanding documentation.  

A copy of your child's birth certificate must be submitted prior to commencement if they were initially enrolled prior to 2018. You will be contacted by Enrolments if you are required to submit it.

Click here to access written instructions for each section and the applicable year levels, where relevant.

Orientation and Transition

The orientation and transition program is key to a successful commencement and integration into a new school environment. 

To assist with the transition there is a program in place, designed to provide our current cohort and joining students the opportunity to become familiar with each other and with their new learning environment. 

We actively work to coordinate play dates for new children joining Scopus to help each child to have a familiar face on Day 1 where possible and will be in touch directly with parents.

Prep entry

Moving from kinder to prep is a milestone in a child's life as they enter into a more formal education setting. Children will respond differently to this. 

This  year's transition program is outlined below. 

Children transitioning from Upper Kinder at GBH: 

  • transition will take place during the course of November
  • meet and greet by the Prep teachers in the Upper Kinder rooms; 
  • mini tours alongside Garden and Art classes

Children transitioning from Upper Kinder at FKI

  • invited to attend on 30 November and 7 December 2020. The children will start and finish the day at FKI, and travel by bus with one of their kinder teachers and other FKI staff members to and from GBH for transition sessions. 
  • meet and greet by the Prep teachers
  • mini tours alongside Garden and Art classes

Children transitioning from other Upper Kinder at other centres

  • invited to attend on 30 November and 7 December 2020.
  • meet and greet by the Prep teachers
  • mini tours alongside Garden and Art classes
  • pick up and drop off times and details to be confirmed per below.

Detailed information will be sent after 23 November as the activities for the transition and duration of visit for external children will be subject to the COVID-safe regulations at the time and may be changed in line with any further changes.  

A Welcome to Prep picture book will be distributed to all children who will be in Prep at Mount Scopus next year. We encourage you to spend time over the summer break reading this with your child to help prepare them understand what being in Prep will look like.

On Friday 29 January, 2021 just prior to the commencement of the school year, the students are invited with their parents to meet with their Prep teacher in groups of five in 20 minute time slots commencing between 1.20pm and 2.40pm. This allows teachers the opportunity to meet each child individually and have parents share information with them before the excitement of the first school day. The invitations and details to register will be included with the class list information being sent in mid-December.

Year 1 and Year 2 entry

Subject to the COVID-safe restrictions in place at the time, all children will be invited with a parent to attend the campus if they wish for an hour on Thursday 28 January, 2021. This is totally optional and allows those children who need it the extra opportunity to visit the campus prior to school commencing. Further information will be sent later this year with the classlist. 

Class placement and lists

At Mount Scopus we want to see our children flourish. Our aim is for children to not only develop their intellectual skills but also their social and emotional wellbeing. This is the time that they begin to learn valuable social skills and use them to build meaningful relationships. We want children to become resilient, sociable and confident learners.

When considering class placements, we take a long term approach. We know from experience when a group of familiar children start together, the first few days are comforting but this can often lead to social exclusivity and the inability to make new friends in the long term. 

Class lists are organised by the Campus Coordinator together with the teachers of the previous year level. New students will be placed with at least one nominated friend if available, as well as observations from the trial and transition visits.

Communicating with parents

Parent communication

Your child will be involved with various staff for their pastoral care as well as their education.

For pastoral care, your first point of contact is your child's classroom teacher.  Your child’s teachers will contact you shortly after  your child commences. 

Overseeing the pastoral care of all students is the ELC or Campus Coordinator, who liaises closely with the classroom teachers and  Student Services. The Deputy Principal - Primary, is also at the campus regularly throughout each week.  

For educational queries, please contact the classroom  teacher directly.  Teachers are available to answer any queries about your child throughout the year and are best contacted by email or via a phone message which will be returned when they are not teaching. 

The parent / teacher meetings are held in Terms 1, 2 and 4 for ELC students and Terms 1 and 3 for school-aged students.

School-aged students will receive a comprehensive academic report in Terms 2 and 4. 

If you have any concerns about your child which you feel you need to advise prior to commencement then please contact Enrolments.

Communicating with separated parents

All communication with parents is predicated on the basis that, unless there are court orders in place to the contrary, parents share responsibility for the long term welfare of their children and have the right to be involved in, and communicated with about all relevant issues. 

Parents are responsible for advising the College of any changes in their family situation. If parents separate and then reconcile, this information should also be passed on to the College.

The College maintains systems which clearly show the details of both parents to teachers and other relevant staff who are responsible for communicating directly with individual families. Teachers and other staff are trained in how to read and act on this information.

The vast majority of information regarding students' activities and learning is posted on the Scopus App (and Toddle for ELC and school-aged children).

Emails or phone calls are only used for individual and private matters.

Consent is required from both parents for their child/ren to participate in some activities however if one parent does not respond, then it is presumed that they will abide by the response of the other parent. If one parent provides consent and the other withholds it then the student will not be able to participate in the activity.  

We understand that in some cases, communication between separated parents and sharing of details can be a sensitive issue. We urge all parents to understand that the procedures developed by the College are designed to place their child/ren's welfare as the top priority and allow the staff responsible for their well-being to proceed with clarity. Ensuring the information we have remains current is vital to achieving that outcome. 

Most tools used by the College (Scopus App, FlexiSchools, Toddle, QK Kiosk) are based on individual rather than family user so the processes do not differ for split families, However, for  the key tools, Parent Lounge and Operoo, separated parent/guardian users of these apps may have different or additional procedures when using them from other families - please click here to access.

Website, apps and portals

The following guide outlines the details for all year levels across the College.

College website

The College website hosts a range of information, including:

Campus details

Primary and Secondary curriculum handbooks,

College calendar

Parent handbook, 

Parent Lounge access,

Our Scopus Family - donations; volunteering; Parents Association, alumni, grandparents and friends

The Scopus Facebook page is also accessible via our website. Please note: in line with cyber safety guidelines we ask that photos are not tagged, nor any names of children in the photo divulged. You can ‘friend’ this page in order to access regular posts of photos and other information from across the College.

The Scopus YouTube channel is linked to the website.  It is worthwhile revisiting some recent announcements and Rabbi Kennard's end of term messages which really showcase the energy and diversity of what is on offer at Mount Scopus. 

Two of the key tools that are used at Scopus are the Parent Lounge and the Scopus App. 

Scopus App

Almost all daily information and notices, as well as weekly campus newsletters are delivered via the Scopus App.  As all information is distributed via the Scopus App please take the time to read carefully to ensure that you subscribe to all relevant groups.   NB: You can only set up your subscriptions once your child receives their class placement (primary) or timetable (secondary) as the code for each class is required. 

To access the installation guide click here

For details about groups you will need to subscribe to please click here.  

The App also hosts links to a range of other resources and portals for parents that are discussed in this guide, such as Flexischools, the Caf online ordering system; Operoo; the Campion resources list; and the Driver Bus online booking portal, as well as providing another convenient link to Parent Lounge.

Parent Lounge

You will be issued with the login credentials to access Parent Lounge in the lead up to your child commencing.  Parent Lounge is used for a range of purposes, primarily:

  • accessing school academic reports,
  • accessing your child's ongoing assessment results for Year 7 onward,
  • maintaining your current contact details, and sharing them with other parents in your child's year level, 
  • organising parent teacher interview times,  
  • paying school fees, and 
  • accessing 'How To' videos for the portals and apps - NB: you will only be able to access this feature once you are a current parent. 

Operoo (formerly CareMonkey)

The College uses Operoo to fulfill its duty of care in medical and consent requirements for excursions and other off-campus activities. This system also provides you as parents with the opportunity to update medical information promptly and accurately.  

In the lead up to a student’s first day at school, parents will receive an invitation from Operoo to create a profile for their child, and share it with the College. Once you have created your child's profile, you can also opt to share them with any entity with a duty of care for your child/ren, eg Maccabi.

If you are already an Operoo customer through another organisation, you will be notified by the Operoo system that the College has joined. If so, adding the College as a trusted user is as simple as clicking on that notice.

Flexischools 

Cafeteria orders can be made via Flexischools. It is accessible via the Parent Resources section on the Scopus App or via a web browser - www.flexischools.com.au

Parents set up an account for each child and then can place orders ahead of time, or up to 9.30am on the morning that lunch is required. Orders can also be changed or cancelled.  

There is a range of daily specials, both hot and cold, that vary from day to day.

This is particularly handy if students have left their lunch at home and are not carrying cash with them.  

Some Parents Association lunch orders in the primary school are also made via Flexischools.

Toddle

Toddle is an online learning journal and digital portfolio used at Mount Scopus from Little Learners to Year 6. 

Toddle is a simple way for teachers and students to record and share their learning and what's been happening in the classroom.

Parents need to download the Toddle App via the App Store and then are invited by the class teacher to access their child's journal at the start of the year. 

Learning resources and uniforms

Enrolling at a new school becomes more tangible once new books and uniforms are purchased. 

The guide below outlines the processes around these and other areas. 

Books and learning resources 

Our Primary Bulk Stationery program  includes all book list items for Primary students. This effectively means that there is no book lists for Primary students and that all resources including stationery and Jewish Studies texts and siddurim, haggadot and chumashim will be provided within the classroom as required throughout the year. The cost of these resources has been included in the tuition fee. Requirements are continually reviewed to ensure that costs savings are achieved and passed on to parents via a lower impost in the school fees.

Uniforms

The information relating to school uniforms is available by clicking here.  

There are details of which items are compulsory and optional. The Summer uniform is permitted to be worn all year round;  the Winter uniform is worn in Terms 2 and 3. In the case of significantly unseasonable weather this may be varied by the College.  

NB: Shoes - please note that students can choose to wear black leather school shoes OR fully black runners (including black laces) as per the uniform list. 

NB: Year 3 students only - Students entering Year 3 will also require a sports uniform which includes a sports top, sports shorts, sports jumper and tracksuit pants.  Students’ sport house will be confirmed before they commence as a house-coloured sports top is required. 

Ashkanasy = green

Bialik = red

Hillel = blue

Monash = yellow

Uniforms can be purchased from Dobson’s at 667 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn or can be ordered online at www.dobsons.com.au. The password is MTS4335. 

Second-hand uniforms

Second-hand uniforms are available for purchase at the Posh Opp Shoppe at 484 Glenhuntly Road, Elsternwick  with proceeds going towards the JCAS (Jewish Children’s Aid Society) which helps integrate children with disabilities into Jewish day schools.

The JCAS strongly believes that every Jewish child has a right to a Jewish education regardless of their special needs. In addition, and just as importantly, a whole generation of school children are educated to embrace difference and welcome all Jewish children into the community. Mount Scopus College supports the JCAS and benefits from the support of disadvantaged students.

The Posh Opp Shoppe is open during the week which will allow parents to shop without making an appointment.

Transport and drop off / pick up

To ease the logistics for parents of school aged children, the College offers a private bus network. 

Buses run between FKI and GBH each morning and afternoon at no extra cost to parents as per the following schedule for children in Prep to Year 3. 

FKI to GBH - depart FKI at 8.00am, return at 3.45pm

GBH to FKI - depart GBH at 8.15am, return at 3.35pm

Students will need to be registered to use the bus to ensure sufficient capacity is available. Children progressing from FKI  to GBH, and families with siblings across both campuses will be prioritised. 

Note: Kinder aged children are not allowed to use the bus service.

Direct pick up and drop off at GBH*

As there are three schools within the immediate vicinity there are tight parking restrictions within Mayfield Street itself as well as the surrounding streets. To facilitate the pick up and drop off process for school children parents are required to enter GBH from the Hotham Street side. They will not be allowed to turn right into GBH if coming from the Furneaux Grove side.  

Drivers will be guided by the security personnel and their child/ren assisted by the pick up / drop off attendant. 

Outside of these times parents will need to observe the parking signs as much of the parking is dedicated for residents with parking permits.

*Please note that during the COVID-19 pandemic period the process may be varied and would be advised via the Scopus App in late January.

Miscellaneous information

Lunch orders and Tuckshop 

Lunch orders are organised by the Parents Association and scheduled on Tuesday, generally about four times per term at GBH for school children. Orders can be placed online via the Flexischools app by the prior Wednesday evening. 

Tuckshop takes place on Thursday lunchtime; children purchase items on the spot. 

Both of these require volunteers to assist; a notice is issued prior to the start of each term by the Parents Association to call for volunteers. Students are always delighted to have a parent or grandparent volunteer.

Student Photos

Class and individual student photos are generally taken in Term 1. All students commencing after that date will be sent by their teacher to the Primary Office to have their individual student photo taken shortly after they commence.  The date will be advised at the start of Term 1. 

Extra-curricular activities

To provide extra enrichment for the children, once they have settled into school, they will be able to choose from a range of lunchtime clubs, which may include Art Club, Gardening Club or Ball Games. These may be instigated by staff, or by students who are able to present their request to the Campus Coordinator. 

Private Music Tuition is also offered on a term by term basis. Eight x 30 minute lessons are offered each term and can be organised either during the school day or after school. Registrations will open shortly for students wishing to commence in Term 1. There is a wide array of options including piano, guitar, violin, drums (set not required at home) and voice. 

Nut policy

The College has an ‘Allergy Aware’ policy. Staff and students are strongly encouraged not to bring nut or nut based products onto the College Campus, however this cannot be guaranteed. All anaphylactic students are strongly encouraged to question the ingredients of all foods they eat.

The College cafeteria and camping programs are ‘Nut Free’ as are all special school celebrations/activities catered for by the College

Illness and medication

For your own child’s benefit, and the well-being of other students and staff please do not send sick children to school or kinder. An unwell child will not be able to concentrate or learn effectively, and conversely, risks becoming more unwell and delaying their recovery by not being able to rest. 

Medication will only be administered for chronic illnesses, asthma or anaphylaxis. If your child requires other medication then they are not deemed well enough to be attending school. 

Fee statements

The initial fee statement and policy is sent out in mid-January. It will detail the amount due for all children registered at the College, including tuition fees, security levy and transport levy where appropriate. A direct debit form is included. 

For new families, when you receive your fee statement it will include details required to access your Parent Lounge account. 

Child Care Subsidy

Both the ELCs and OSHC (Out of School Hours Care) programs are approved programs and attract the government subsidy for eligible families who have submitted the required information. The fee statement will reflect the full fees prior to the subsidy, but the subsidy will be received directly from the government and credited to the parent account after the year has commenced. 

Parent involvement / volunteering

Parents and grandparents are encouraged to volunteer for various activities, including reading to the children in the kinders and lower primary levels, tuckshop and lunch order, cooking club and other events from time to time.   

Parents are also invited to assist on some school excursions, but will be required to undertake some basic security training. 

A Working With Children Check is required for all volunteers at the College. 

Opportunities also are available  for parents to be meaningfully involved in events such as careers day, or share their expertise via the Parents Association or the College Council which acts as an advisory body to the Principal in the areas of direction, philosophy and policy. 

Parents Association (PA)

The Parents Association is very active throughout the kinder and primary year levels with varying activities, such as the weekly Challah stall, Mothers and Fathers Day gift stalls, and social and fundraising events.  

The PA also coordinates volunteers for a number of years in advance who run the Simcha list to avoid clashes in scheduling Bar and Bat Mitzvah functions.  Contact the PA Administrator to request further information regarding the Simcha list for your child's year.

Useful contact information

Principal’s Office:                     Rabbi Kennard         03 9834 0005  

To contact College Principal only

 

Deputy Principals:  

Deputy Principal, Primary        Greg Hannon             03 9900 4602

Deputy Principal, 

Director of Alter Family School of Jewish Studies and Ivrit

                                                   Matti Borowski            03 9834 0003

GBH Reception:                                                             03 9900 4600

Campus Coordinator                Monica Brivik              03 9900 4640

Main Reception:                                                           03 9834 0000  

For general enquiries at the College  

To contact financial and clerical administrative staff  

To contact Medical Centre

Enrolments:                                                                   03 9834 0070

Parents Association Administrator                             03 9834 0160

                                                                    

Accounts:

Tuition fee payments                Carmen Stania            03 9834 0026

Holiday program payment  enquiries

                                                    Edit Kucharski              03 9834 0023

Fee assistance enquiries          Laurent Schonker        03 9834 0027 

Summary checklist

Summary checklist for NEW STUDENTS:

  • complete and submit child profile form by Thursday 26 November 
  • complete medical and emergency contact information no later than Thursday 3 December
  • confirm if use of the FKI/GBH bus is required by Monday 7 December
  • NEW students - send end of year school report to Wendy Saffer by Friday 18 December
  • schedule pre-commencement parent/child/teacher meeting prior to school commencement if required
  • download Toddle App by 15 January 2021
  • download Scopus App and subscribe to relevant tags (campus, class, OSHC) by 15 January 2021
  • check information on Parent Lounge by 15 January 2021 and complete MCEECDYA government data section via Student Details / General Details 
  • completechild profile on Operoo by 28 January 2021
  • set up Direct Debit / fee payment by 28 January 2021
  • download required apps / e-learning resources onto device by 28 January 2021