What is it?
The Board of Trustees want to provide your child with all the tools to give them a 21st Century Education. One of the areas which is in need of the most support is Information Technology. In 2008 the Board of Trustees assessed the financial resources and the costs of providing the internet, computers, inter active white boards in every classroom and easy access to relay information to parents (mobile phones and emails). Over the next three years a total of $77,000 was spent equipping each classroom with interactive whiteboards and purchasing laptops and mobile teaching devices. The funds raised from a portion of the parent contribution (30%) were supplemented from grants (TECT and Pub Charities) and fundraising by the PTFA.
By making a contribution of $220 per child each year our school is able to budget for most of the ICT maintenance costs ( internet, repairs, purchase of software, cabling and electrical connections) as well as providing swimming lessons, buses and fees for sports events, cultural events, trips and concerts. Our school office is able to contact parents with messages through texts and emails and mobile phone messages, as well as keeping an up to date website. You’ll always be informed with our weekly news magazines provided in hard print to every family or posted on our website.
Families choose to do this in many ways, $50 per child per term or $5 per week through direct debit. We want to make it as easy as possible for you.
Parents have commented how much easier it is now, because by making their parent contribution they aren’t bombarded with requests for $5 per week for trips, raffles or other fundraising activities as was the case prior to 2008.
By publicising the parent contribution at the start of each year we hope you are more aware of the costs involved in attending school – we don’t want there to be any surprises.
Costs that aren’t included in the Parent Contribution are Camp for year 5 and year 6 in term 4, sports fees for middle and senior students who choose to join teams outside of school time and school photos (which have always been an optional extra).
We ask you to pay the Parent Contribution directly to St Thomas More School (not the Catholic Schools Office, Hamilton) for the benefit of our students.
We commend the efforts of our PTFA for all the support and goodwill that our school community has received. The Gold Group Sponsorship initiated by the PTFA is contributing to the success of grant applications made on your children’s behalf.
Our school community wants to maintain and build on the excellent reputation we have established for academic, sporting and cultural success. It is the intention of the Board of Trustees to support the learning which is taking place in our classrooms through the provision of professional development opportunities for staff in order to continue the development of ICT as a tool for learning. Our strategic plan asks everyone to be involved in the provision of the technology needed to empower our 21st century students to reach their goals.
Catholic Character Levy
The Catholic Schools Office in Hamilton (our Diocese) has asked parents/caregivers to donate $40 per child to cover the cost of teacher education in the Diocese. Our teachers are continually learning about their faith and how to inspire their students to love God. This is what makes St Thomas More School stand out from the rest. All of our successes are directly linked with the strength of our commitment.
It is up to us, the Catholic community, to keep our school’s Catholic Character fresh and alive.
The Government’s operational grant does not pay for our Catholicity.
This Catholic Character Education Levy is paid directly to the Catholic Schools Office (Hamilton), not St Thomas More School. It is for the good of the whole Diocese.
When you enrol your child at our school, you sign a contract with the Catholic Education Office to say that you will pay the Attendance Dues. This money is collected to pay for loans on previous school developments and for current building projects in Catholic schools. The ownership of Catholic schools remains in the hands of the Proprietor (in our case the Bishop of Hamilton). This means that maintenance and updating of our buildings is also the responsibility of the Bishop’s Office.
These can be paid annually, each term or through the year as it suits you. Please advise on your enrolment contract how you wish to be billed. This money is not collected by us but will be invoiced to you from the Catholic Schools Office in Hamilton. Any queries about Attendance Dues need to be directed to the Catholic Schools Office (telephone : 07 856 6989). If you are in a situation where paying Attendance Dues is putting undue financial pressure on your family, rather than leaving the school, make an appointment with the Principal to discuss ways we can support you.