COMMUNICATIONS PROTOCOLS

 

At Delacombe Primary School we believe:

 

Effective communication is essential in providing students, teachers, parents and the community with the necessary information to make appropriate decisions. Delacombe Primary School is committed to using communication processes and techniques that aim to build a positive learning environment for students, staff and parents in order to inspire and educate all students to succeed in becoming productive and valued citizens.

 

Communication Processes

DPS and its staff organise appropriate, timely and efficient processes for effective communication for a variety of purposes including transition of new students, school policies, classroom expectations and routines, events, programs and student progress.

 

Professional Communication

Communication is professional at all times.

 

Parent Meetings

School staff give priority to meeting promptly with parents to solve issues, ensuring appropriate feedback on steps taken by the school.

 

Written Communication

All written communication from the school is professional and timely.

 

Dealing with Issues

Delacombe Primary School has a process for dealing with issues expressed by parents.

Communication Process Practices

Whole school formal strategies include:

  • School newsletters: emailed fortnightly to each family. 

  • Notes and Leaflets: for a range of purposes including term planners, canteen menus, special days and event information.

  • School website: www.delacombeps.vic.edu.au assists in communicating with the immediate and wider community.

  • School email: Delacombe.PS@education.vic.gov.au is used for communicating essential information with parents and wider community.

  • Delacombe Primary School Face book page: up to date information for parents and the wider community is posted on Facebook regularly.

  • Delacombe PS Compass App: Parents and the wider community may keep abreast of new information via Compass.

  • School’s Vision, Strategic Plan, Policies and Procedures: information is given to the School Council and is available to all parents.

  • Annual Report: progress of the Strategic Plan is communicated with the School Council and the wider community via the Annual Report.

  • Parent/Teacher Interviews: an interview with the class teacher is held at the end of Term 1 and at the start of Term 3. All parents receive an Interim Individual Learning plan. Teachers are available for parent/teacher interviews upon request throughout the year.

  • Students with Documented Plans: regular meetings are held with parents of students who have documented plans for explanation and review.

  • Parent Workshops: workshops are held as needed. 

  • Information Sessions for Specific Purposes: Information sessions will take place as required for a variety of reasons such as inductions, transitions, camps, graduation.

  • Assemblies: held three times a term on a Wednesday at 2.30pm.  Student award certificates, Writing star awards, Virtue of the Fortnight assist in communicating student and whole school achievement.

  • Parent Help in the Classroom: parents and caregivers are encouraged to visit and assist in their child/ren’s classroom. This is to be prearranged with the classroom teacher well in advance.

  • Student diaries are a two way form of communication; parent to teacher and teacher to parent.

Professional Communication Practices

When communicating with parents. staff members:

  • Approach discussion in an open, courteous and respectful manner.

  • Emails are at their best when they are brief and informative. Issues that require a level of detailed discussion should be dealt with in person or over the phone.

  • The tone or intent of emails can easily be misunderstood, especially where humour or sarcasm is involved. Be conscious of this and pick up the phone rather than send an email in this instance.

  • Group emails have the potential to waste the time of many, so avoid sending emails to anyone for whom it is not relevant. It is also courteous to avoid time wasting emails, including jokes, chain letters and commercial solicitations.

  • Staff and parents are not expected to respond to emails that are contentious. A face to face meeting should be arranged in this circumstance.

  • Staff and parents must be careful not to disclose the email addresses of others without permission to do so.

  • Listen attentively to the concerns of parents, seeking clarification where necessary.

  • Present their own or the school’s point of view in professional and objective terms.

  • Seek support from Administration or colleagues if needed.

  • Take into consideration cultural and personal sensitivities and protocols when dealing with the school community.

  • Make available materials and information for a parent who lives apart from the child/ren upon request.

 

Parent expectations

  • Remember to respect staff personal time. Parents shouldn’t send emails outside of work hours and expect an immediate response.

  • While some matters may be addressed immediately, it is desirable to arrange meetings to address issues at a time and place that is mutually convenient and is conducive to a positive outcome.

  • Please only send non-vital messages by this medium. For example, do not use email to inform a teacher that your child is not to go home on the bus that afternoon, as the teacher may not see the message in time. Remember that given work demands teachers may not get to read emails until late in the day.

  • Please don’t seek to discuss in detail your child’s academic progress, learning expectations, or behavioural issues via email. These are best addressed over the phone or in person.

  • Unless unusual circumstances apply, staff arrange interviews with parents in a timely manner.

  • Case conferences are held where appropriate and notes recorded and distributed to all participants.

 

Written Communication

  • At least one week notice in writing is provided for school events that affect parents or require them to send money and/or permission.

  •  All written communication is edited to ensure clarity and correct information, spelling and grammar. All parent communication from class teachers must be viewed by a member of the school’s Administration team before being sent.

  • A copy of all notes is provided to the school office.

  • Written communication is jargon free, clear and succinct.

  • Major incidents that occur either in the classroom and/or the playground are recorded on Compass.

  • Playground incidents are recorded by teachers on duty. Those issues requiring follow up are identified.

Dealing with Issues

There may be times, despite ongoing communication, where members of the school community are unsure, disagree or believe there is a problem or issue concerning their child. Parents should not wait for a small issue to grow into a large one:

  • If the matter involves your child or is an issue of everyday class operation, parents need to make an appointment to see their classroom teacher, detailing the reasons for the appointment. The classroom teacher should be the first point of contact.

  • If the matter involves operations beyond the classroom or concerns that are not easily resolved, an appointment should be made with a member of the school’s Administration.