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.

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 if they were initially enrolled prior to 2018. 

Click here to access each 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. 

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. 

There are three different activities scheduled: 

  • meet and greet with the Prep teachers; 
  • joining a Prep class for a Kabbalat Shabbat, 
  • joining Prep students for lunch eating so the incoming Prep children can ask the current Prep children questions and benefit from their experience.  

These 'visits' to the school are scheduled to take place during the course of November for our current Upper Kinder children, and on 30 November and 7 December 2020 for new students joining the College in Prep. The activities for new students will be subject to the COVID-safe regulations at the time and may be changed in line with these requirements.  

In January, just prior to the commencement of the school year, the students are invited with their parents to meet with their Prep teacher. 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. 

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 SeeSaw 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, SeeSaw, 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 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 once you know your child's class placement. 

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 information 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 and in Year 7 onward, your child's ongoing assessment results, 
  • 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 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.

SeeSaw 

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

Seesaw 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 Seesaw 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 will be no book lists for Primary students moving forward 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 have again been reviewed with further costs savings 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

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

Junior Campuses (Prep to Year 3)

Buses run between FKI and GBH each morning and afternoon at no extra cost to parents as per the following schedule. 

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

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

As school finishes at 3.00pm on Friday afternoon during Terms 2 and 3, an earlier return time will be communicated to parents at that time.

Gandel Campus, Burwood (Years 4 onward)

Families can choose to use the bus on a permanent or casual basis. 

Permanent usage incurs an annual charge, billed alongside the school tuition fees.  Students can travel on their standard permanent route OR use the early or late buses as required for school activities.
Casual users are charged per use (currently $10 per trip) and have access to an online booking system. Casual users are not charged to use the early or late bus to attend a before school or after school activity run by the College.
Students are required to tap on and tap off the bus for each journey with their bus pass that is provided to them when they start using the bus.  

Bus route information

Bus routes, including bus stop and times information are reviewed each year in line with the changes to the distribution of addresses of families at the College using the bus service. The bus stop details will be  made available via  the bus portal  in December, to allow plenty of time for parents and students to familiarise themselves with the location of their stops prior to the commencement of school.  

Accessing bus route information
  • a notice is issued to parents once the information is available on the portal;
  • families will need their child's Student Code provided by the College to be able to set up a new account; this code is available via Parent Lounge (see the Website, apps and portals page for further details); 
  • the set up will only work if the steps are followed in order;   
  • three  security questions will be required; student's first name,  student's last name and the student code.

Tip: On occasion, students may need to use the early or late bus services which have two routes each. To determine the most convenient route / stop to use parents can refer to the map on the portal. 

The links below provide the instructions to set  up an account for the online transport system:

Permanent / yearly pass set up manual

Casual user pass set up manual

Friday afternoon drop off times 

On Friday afternoons, and some other days as advised, drop off times vary from the advised standard (Monday to Thursday) stop time as follows: 

Terms 1 and 4 (Summertime):  40 minutes earlier

Terms 2 and 3 (Wintertime):    60 minutes earlier

Miscellaneous information

custom info for GBH - 

lunch order / tuck shop

student photos

pick up and drop off

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

Once your child commences, the following are the key contact details you may require.