St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully Newsletter

Tuesday April 23rd 2024

Letter from the Principal, Kelli Johnston

The Ode

For the Fallen 

They shall grow not old, As we that are left grow old,

Age shall not weary them, Nor the years condemn.  

At the going down of the sun,  And in the morning

We will remember them. Lest we forget.

 We will remember them. Lest we forget.  

School Photos - Summer Uniform

School Pix will be onsite at St John the Baptist on Wednesday 24th April for this year’s school photos. Students are required to wear full summer uniform, including socks and leather school shoes. Students are strictly not to wear sports uniform on photo day.

ANZAC Day Prayer Service - Wednesday 24th April

Dear Families

On Wednesday, 24th April at 9:00am you are invited to join our ANZAC Day Service to be held at the flagpole on the top playground. This will be led by our Year 6 student leaders.

Due to school photos taking place on the same day, the service will be attended by our Year 1-6 students

As you may know, traditionally flowers are laid at memorials to honour those who have died as a sign of respect. In keeping with tradition, any children wishing to bring flowers to school on Wednesday will be invited to present these during the service. Please note that these could be a posy of flowers cut from their own gardens.

With thanks, 

Marialisa Mandarino  (Religious Education Leader)

ANZAC Day School Closure & Time in Lieu Closure Day

Families are reminded to place in their calendar the School Closure days for ANZAC Day - Thursday 25th April and Friday 26th April as a staff Time in Lieu Acquittal Day. These dates are this Thursday and Friday.  School will resume on Monday 29th April. 

St John the Baptist Open Days for 2025 Prep Children

Throughout the term a number of school tours have been conducted for families seeking to enrol their children for the 2025 school year. The school open days have been well attended and therefore we are including a Saturday Open Morning. Dates for the Open Morning & Open Day are as outlined below:

Open Morning: Saturday 4th May - tours @ 9am, 9:45am & 10:30am

Open Day: Thursday 9th May - tours @ 9am, 10am, 4pm & 5pm

We ask families wishing to take a tour to please book at the office.

Families with siblings commencing school in 2025 are asked to submit enrolments as soon as possible to assist with confirmation of student numbers for 2025.

St John the Baptist School Expectations

At St John the Baptist School we pride ourselves on high expectations and positive relationships with our community. Relationships in a school community include teacher to teacher, teacher to student, student to student, teacher to parent and parent to student.

In fostering strong relationships along with continuing to create a positive contemporary school environment we have commenced a partnership with Patrice Wiseman. Patrice is a consultant with extensive experience in the area of Positive Behaviour for Learning. Patrice has worked with MACS and in schools for 40+ years having a pivotal role in embedding school wide positive behaviour for learning.

Our initial work with Patrice commenced with reflecting on and reviewing the notion of ‘School Rules’ and moving towards a contemporary approach of ‘School Wide Expectations’.  School Wide Expectations encompasses a set of clear expectations for all. This includes staff, students, families and community.

Throughout Term 1 the staff worked with Patrice to develop an Overarching Statement and School Wide Expectations.  The Overarching Statement and expectations align with the school vision and mission statements with the aim of enacting these across all facets of SJB. Over the coming weeks we will be explicitly introducing and implementing the SJB School Expectations across P-6.

Overarching Statement to SJB School Expectations

At St John the Baptist we believe in fostering respectful relationships, so that we are people of competence, conscience and compassion, made in the image and likeness of God.

Therefore at St John the Baptist:

  • We care for each other

  • We are responsible learners

  • We move and act safely

  • We look after property and the environment

Families will see, hear and gain understanding of consistent language and expectations being implemented across St John the Baptist.  We encourage families to use this same language as we work towards a whole school and community approach to Positive Behaviour for Learning.

Over the coming weeks we will share examples of the work undertaken in this area across the school. This is an exciting time for us as a school and community as we work together to embed the SJB school expectations.


Congratulations to Aiden, Will and Josh on their efforts and achievements at the Division Tennis Competition last Wednesday.  The boys were outstanding in the efforts and achievements. We are exceptionally proud of you.

Introducing our brand-new school social media accounts!

We're thrilled to announce the launch of our official Facebook and Instagram pages, dedicated to embracing our Catholic identity and celebrating the remarkable achievements of our students and staff. Join us in fostering a vibrant online community where we engage, inspire, and flourish. Let's come together to share our school culture, celebrate successes, and strengthen our bond as a school community. Follow us today and be part of our journey! 

SJB Cross Country

The SJB Cross Country will be held on Monday 29th April from 9am at Kings Park in Ferntree Gully. Students in Years 3-6 will be competing for their house colour and also to gain a place to run at the District Cross Country event on Friday 24th May. 

Families are asked to complete the Operoo form to provide permission for their child to participate and be aware of the requirements for the morning. 

We warmly welcome parents who are able to assist on the morning.

Qustodio Digital Monitoring - Information Evening

At St John the Baptist School we are constantly monitoring the digital wellbeing and cyber safety of our students. We deliver learning experiences and utilise the most up to date resources at our disposal to educate and protect our students.

We are delighted now to be able to offer you a tool that can facilitate the protection and guidance of your children's online activities in the home. This tool comes in the form of an app named Qustodio.

Qustodio's mission states:

Our mission is to provide our schools with solutions to enable your parents, guardians and educators to create safe, positive digital environments where children thrive.

Qustodio allows parents and carers to:

- Filter and block content and apps. Create a safe space for their children to explore

- Set time limits. Avoid screen addiction and support better sleep and homework patterns

- Track calls & messages to monitor suspicious activity

- Have visibility on browsing history, social media, and screen time

- Track their child’s location. Receive alerts when they arrive or leave  saved places

- Get tailored reports and alerts for inappropriate content. Real-time alerts tell you if they are in trouble

Thanks to our partnership with Linewize, each family at St John The Baptist will have access to Qustodio to monitor two devices, and the option to sign up for a 30 day trial of Premium.

Looking forward to seeing you all there,

Wayne Daniell

E-learning Leader

Prep Parent Information Evening

We warmly welcome our Prep families to join us for a Prep Information evening on Wednesday 8th May at 6:30pm in the Prep classrooms.  The session will run from 6:30-7:30pm.

Laura, Melissa and Shari will provide families with an understanding of a typical day in Prep, Learning and Teaching in Prep, how families can support their children at home and what being a parent helper looks like in a Prep classroom.

We hope our families are able to join us for an informative evening.

Selman Avenue Car Park

We ask that families keep the drop and go car park bays on the Selman Avenue car park clear for families to safely drop students and continue moving. Families wishing to come into school to drop their children off are asked to park in the designated angle parking bays.

ANZAC Day Ferntree Gully Rotary Dawn Watch

The Ferntree Gully Rotary Club & CFA invite the community to join this year’s Anzac Day Dawn Watch on Thursday 25th April at Quarry Park, Quarry Road, Ferntree Gully at 5:45am for a 6:00am start.

We are most appreciative of St John the Baptist families who attend the Anzac Day Dawn Watch as representatives of the St John’s Parish and School Community.

ANZAC Appeal Tokens for Sale in Office

The following items have been delivered by Boronia RSL and are available to purchase in the lead up to ANZAC Day.

Badges - $2.00 & $5.00

Wrist Band - $3.00

Keyring - $4.00

Pens - $5.00

School Car Parking - Important Safety Information

In the past the car park between the Church and Parish House/Library was the staff car park. Recently the Right to Use Land and Boundary Agreement has been updated in alignment with the school building program that is due to shortly commence.  The majority of this car park is now designated to the St John the Baptist Parish.  The update of the car park is to allow parishioners access to the church and church buildings whilst ensuring the safety for the school community.

Families are required to continue to use the lower car parks on both Forest Road and Selman Ave for school car parking. The church car park area is strictly for parishioners and is not parking for school pick up and drop off. We ask that out of respect for the parish and safety of our school community that families refrain from using this car park.

School Building Update

The building program continues to be moving along as we work with the school’s architects and MACS.  Over the last few weeks the process of seeking tender options has been completed.  We were most fortunate to have many strong tender applicants.  During this period we have been able to select six tender options.  Over the coming weeks contact will be made with each of the tender applicants.  Site visits and interviews will be conducted as we work towards selecting a final candidate. All going well, the building program will commence in the Term 2 school holidays. 

As we gain further information in regard to the building project we will provide families with updates.  There will be a number of adjustments required to ensure the ongoing smooth operation of the school and safety for our community at all times.

Exciting times ahead as we prepare for the building of six new classrooms.

Teacher Replacements (CRTs) Winter Season

As we move into Winter and the colder months of the year, colds and flus begin to have an impact on all school communities. At St John’s we are fortunate to have a number of CRTs to assist us with replacing staff, however as illness begins to occur the demand for CRTs increases significantly.  This unfortunately means there may be times when we are unable to fill staff absences.  In the event that these situations occur, as a last resort we will be required to split classes. At all times we will try to replace teachers to ensure consistency for students as we know that this is the best option. 

Mother's Day - Afternoon Tea

We warmly welcome all SJB Mums to come together for afternoon tea followed by a special Mother’s Day family activity in classrooms.  Mums/Special friends are welcome to come together for a Mother’s Day afternoon tea in the hall on Friday May 10th from 2pm.  We ask our Mums to move to allocated classrooms for 2:45pm to complete a family Mother’s Day activity.

We look forward to celebrating our amazing Mums.

Mother's Day Stall and Bunnings Cake Stall

This year’s Mother’s Day stall will be held on Tuesday 7th May.  

Families may commence purchasing tokens in preparation for the Mother’s Day Stall. Please refer to the Mother’s Day flyers for further information.

The Parents and Friends Committee have been busy preparing this year’s Cake Stall at Bunnings Scoresby.  This year’s Cake Stall will be held on Saturday 11th May.  Families may donate baked cookies, slices or cakes to be sold at the stall on Saturday 11th May.  All baked goods are asked to have an outline of ingredients used and be wrapped on delivery.

There are a number of tasks to be completed in preparation for the Mother’s Day Stall and Cake Stall. Families can place their name on any of the lists attached through this link:

Please note - this week, tokens will only be available on the Wednesday (tomorrow) from 9am & 2.30pm, as Friday is a Pupil Free Day (please check next week's newsletter for any updates)

Have a great week everyone.

Kelli Johnston

Audiri (formerly Skoolbag) App

Audiri app is a simple and effective way to communicate school information with families.

As a school we will use the Audiri app to communicate reminders and events occurring throughout the school. 

Families can also use the app to advise student absences.

We ask that families install the Audiri app on their phones and then add St John the Baptist School. Information on how to add the Audiri app and St John the Baptist School can be found below.

Term 1 Dates


24th - ANZAC Day Prayer Service

24th - School Photos - Summer Uniform

25th - ANZAC Day Public Holiday - school closed

26th - School Closed TIL

29th - SJB Cross Country Years 3-6


2nd - Mater Christi & St Joseph's Taster Day - Year 4 students

2nd - Qustodio Parent Session

3rd - Assembly - 1/2B presenting

4th - Open Day morning - 9.00am, 9.45am & 10.30am

7th - Mother's Day Stall

8th - Prep Information Evening

9th - Open Day - Tours 9.00am, 10.00am, 4.00pm & 5.00pm

10th - Mother's Day Afternoon Tea & activity at 2.00pm

12th - Mother's Day

15th - School Advisory Council

17th - Assembly 3/4SJ presenting

18th - Term 2 Working Bee

19th - Pentecost Sunday

24th - National Sorry Day Prayer Service - Year 5/6

24th - District Cross Country

Second Hand Uniforms

Open Tuesdays 2.45-3.15pm

Due to a work commitment, the 2nd Hand Uniform Shop will be closed on Tuesday 30th April. Sorry for any inconvenience. It will open as usual on Tuesdays from the 7th May.

Any donations of clean, official SJB uniform (without holes or tears) can be left at the office at your convenience. Thank you to the many families who have supported the 2nd Hand Uniform shop so far this year with donations and purchases.

Janice S

Canteen News

Open on Wednesdays & Fridays

Canteen orders can be placed via

Orders must be placed no later than 7.30am on the Wednesday or Friday.

Canteen Roster Term 2, 2024

Friday April 26th 
School Closure Day

Friday May 3rd

Lauren Wearne

Adriana Ambler

Shamindri Aponso

Community News

Enrolment Forms available at school office

St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully