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22 November, 2022
P&C essentials!
Thanking your volunteers

Before the year is out, take a moment to say thanks to your team to keep your volunteers keen! 

We have lots of ideas and resources to help you Thank Your Volunteers, including celebration graphics and certificates of appreciation.
Hand on your knowledge

If you're planning to hand over your P&C role next year, please take a little time to jot down all the things you wished you had known at the start! 

To make this as simple as possible, we have template handover notes describing the job of President, Treasurer, and Secretary, ready for you to fill in the blanks and customise for your P&C.
Help for P&Cs
Science week
National Science Week Grants provide individuals and organisations with up to $20,000 to support the delivery of science engagement activities during National Science Week 2023. Close 15 December. ABN needed to apply.

Community Support & Infrastructure Grants
This Program aims to support community groups to improve their programs and services for the benefit of the ACT community through: community support and capacity building; non-fixed infrastructure, furniture and equipment (not including IT); and, minor capital works and fixed infrastructure. Many P&C projects could be cast in this light and there is special mention of groups and organisations re-engaging and reconnecting with their target communities affected by COVID. Apply by February 6 for up to $10,000. Your P&C must be a registered charity.
Help for Canteens
Multicultural foods

The Healthy Kids Association has created a great collection of dishes from around the world. They are perfect for new additions to your canteen menu or to celebrate school cultural days, Harmony Day or a special fundraising lunch.

Check out Around the World in 20 Plates.
More single-use plastic bans: consultation

From 1 July 2023, the ACT Government is proposing banning additional items, including:
•    single-use plastic takeaway containers
•    single-use plastic plates and bowls

How would this impact your canteen?
You can learn more and have your say on the Your Say website (submissions close December 8). We will also discuss the impact at our Canteen subcommittee, which will meet in Term 1, 2023. If you'd like to be notified about that meeting, please let Janelle know.
At our P&C...
Community Café

Macquarie Primary P&C have provided the perfect lure to get parents back on site after years of restrictions: great coffee and space to connect in the school’s new community café. 

We were lucky enough to attend the opening last term and loved what we saw.

Check it out in this article.
Parent voice
School refusal 

Does your family have experience of school refusal? 
If so, we'd like to hear from you.

Council is making a submission to a Senate Inquiry into the rising national trend of school refusal. School refusal is when the idea of going to school causes such great distress for a student that they are unable to attend school.  We're looking for parents to have input on five questions: 
  • What are the reasons for school refusal? 
  • What is the impact on the student? 
  • Success stories - what has worked to get back to school? 
  • What is the impact on families?
  • What can be done, including at the school or government level? 
To provide your input by November 28, please contact us. We are happy to give you a call at a time that suits you and collect your responses to the questions over the phone (just email with your contact details and suitable timing).
Pupil free days

It is not yet clear whether there will be more pupil-free days in 2023. We have asked the Education Directorate, on behalf of parents, for advanced notice of any days, and are still waiting to hear back.

Council notes that we are likely to continue to see staff shortages affecting schools next year.
Parent engagement in schools

We're very aware that pandemic restrictions on parents coming into schools continue to affect home-school relationships. There is still a sense of being disconnected from the school for many. We also know that even where some schools and P&C have created family spaces with the ACT Government's Parent Engagement Grants, many have remained underutilised. Because parents feeling welcome in schools and being engaged is so important, we've started some conversations with experts and the Education Directorate to put the focus back on effective parent engagement. 

Council is asking for schools to be explicit in planning activities to welcome and connect parents and carers, and to be deliberate about inviting parents back post-COVID.
Council events
Celebrate with us: tonight!

Our November meeting is tonight, and we'd love to see you there - in person

This is a great opportunity to speak face-to-face with others in the P&C world, and celebrate what we have all achieved this year. 

There will be a special Thank You to all the volunteers.
Plus some important discussions to be part of:
  • Voluntary contributions
  • Mobile phones in schools
Join us tonight - Tuesday 22 November, 6:30 for nibbles and networking before the 7pm meeting, Centre for Teaching & Learning, 51 Fremantle Dr, Stirling.

It's also our AGM: be part of the 2023 Council team!
Council positions available, and how to nominate, have been circulated with the AGM papers to all delegates and P&C presidents.
Disability working group meeting 

Council's Disability Working Group is meeting next week, Monday 28 November, 7pm (online).

The meeting will focus on gathering input for Council's submission to the Senate Inquiry into rising 'school refusal'. All members of the group are welcome to attend to share their experiences and ideas.

We will also have two guest speakers from the Education Directorate, with updates on the Inclusive Education Strategy, and changes to in-school small group programs.

Email us to find out more about joining our Disability Working Group.
Early Learning meeting: report

Last Thursday’s early learning meeting discussed the current busy season of orientation activities, and grant funding for small events. We looked into closed Facebook groups as an option for connecting preschool/kindy families, and resources for extending P&C-school relationships. There are also some key dates for early years parent rep's 2023 calendars.
See more in the meeting summaries.  
Upcoming events
  • Council Annual General Meeting, TONIGHT 6:30 for 7pm. In person, Centre for Teaching and Learning, 51 Fremantle Dr, Stirling. All welcome.
  • Council's Disability Working Group meeting, Monday 28 November, 7pm - see above.
  • Executive Meeting, Tuesday 13 December,  7pm.
For parents & carers
NEW! ACT CDS Impact Calculator

Ever wondered about the positive impacts of recycling through the ACT CDS? The new ACT CDS Impact Calculator invites you to input the number of containers you have returned for recycling at your local return point to find out the water, energy and landfill savings as well as the CO2 emissions avoided from recycling your containers. You can print out a certificate or generate a social tile to share with your friends. 
Making inclusive education work

To celebrate International Day of People with Disability, the ACT Education Directorate and Advocacy for Inclusion invite you to attend an online event: Making inclusive education work.
Hear from:
  • Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Yvette Berry
  • Students, parents and educators
  • Advocacy for Inclusion
  • A panel of thought leaders and advocates, including Catia Malaquias, co-founder of All Means All and co-convenor of the Australian Coalition for Inclusive Education.
It's on Friday 2 December, 12:30 - 2:00pm. Register your interest.
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Comment authorised by Veronica Elliott for the ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations Inc.

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