Centralian Middle School
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56 Milner Road
Alice Springs NT 0870
Subscribe: https://cms.nt.edu.au/subscribe

Email: Centralian.middle@education.nt.gov.au
Phone: 08 8955 2333

31 January 2020

Newsletter Articles

Come in and meet us

Important dates

Monday 3rd February – Swimming and water safety program commences

2.00pm to 3.00pm Thursday 6th February – Invitation for Year 7 families to visit classrooms

4.00pm to 6.00pm Thursday 13th February– Meet the Teachers event

Friday 21st February – School photos

Wednesday 26th February to 8.30 Thursday 27th February – Clontarf Year 7 sleep over

Thursday 27th February – School Council Annual General Meeting

Friday 6th March – Swimming Carnival

Friday 20th March – Harmony Day and Battle of the School Bands

From the Principal

Dear families

We would like to convey a warm welcome to everyone in our school community. It has been great to meet all of our new students and catch up with our returning students this week.

For our Year 8 and 9 students, returning means getting back into those learning routines that are essential for students to progress and achieve. Things like making sure they are getting enough sleep, making sure that they are prepared with all materials and making sure that they are in the right place at the right time are essential. Most students have made this transition back into school successfully and most homegroups have focused quickly on the learning in front of them.

For Year 7s, starting at a new school is more involved. We have been doing a lot of work this week on key things like understanding the school, getting to know staff and who to talk to for different things, where things are and how the timetable works. We have also been doing a lot of work this week on developing relationships within the school. There have been many activities during pastoral care and lesson time to help our students learn names and get to know more about the students and the staff in their learning community this year.

As well as welcome new students into the school, we have a number of new staff. We are delighted to welcome the following teachers to the school:

  • Cassandra Wallace – Year 7 Maths and Science
  • Molly Yeldon – Year 7 Maths and Science
  • Frances Wilden – Year 7 English and Humanities
  • Joanne Dermody – Year 7 English and Humanities
  • Catriona Thomson – Year 8 Maths and Science
  • Rajinder Uppal – Year 8 Special Education
  • Marni Milankov – Year 8 Special Education
  • Jacelyn Anderson – Year 8 and 9 Science
  • Catherine Harris – Year 9 Special Education
  • Kaye Pedersen – Year 7 Health/PE and Year 9 Performing Arts

We would also like to welcome the following support staff to the school:

  • Sarah Sarmiento – is our new counsellor
  • Emma Stubbs – joins the Girls Academy program
  • Pietje Span – joins Clontarf
  • Sue Killingbeck – Year 7 Special Education Support

We have included photos of our new staff below so that you can get to recognise their faces.

We have a number of important events coming up. Next Thursday (6/2) at 2pm we invite our Year 7 families to come for a walkthrough of the Year 7 area so that you can see our classes in action. The following Thursday (13/2) we invite all families to join us for an afternoon tea which will start at 4pm. This is an excellent opportunity to meet the teachers and start a relationship that we can build on as the year progresses.

This is obviously our first newsletter of the year. These newsletters will come out fortnightly in odd weeks and contain important information about the school. Please ensure you read them carefully. We also have a Facebook page which we use to share stories – liking our page will help to get school information posted on your Facebook feed.

As always though, personal contact is usually best to clear up a misunderstanding or to resolve a situation. We encourage you at any time to come in and say hello to your young person’s teachers, us or other staff in the school. Alternatively, you can give us a call on 8955 2333.

We are looking forward to an exciting year of learning!

Warm regards
Paul van Holsteyn

Mr Paul Van Holsteyn

Welcome to our new staff

We welcome a number of new faces to the school this year. Please join us in helping them to feel welcome in the school.

Introducing our team

School Leadership

Paul van Holsteyn – Principal
Laryssa Montgomery – Assistant Principal
Simon Rowland – Assistant Principal

Year 7 Team

Laryssa Montgomery – Team Leader
Joanne Dermody – English and Humanities teacher
Frances Wilden – English and Humanities teacher
Natalie O’Connor – English and Humanities teacher
Cassandra Wallace – Maths and Science teacher
Mollie Yeldon – Maths and Science teacher
Natasha Mavec – Maths and Science teacher
Elliott Cox – Health and PE teacher
Bhawna (Pav) Pathik– Special Education teacher
Shirlee Webb – Special Education teacher
Barry Georgopoulos – Special Education Support Officer
Sue Killingbeck – Special Education Support Officer
Nola Hunter – Special Education Support Officer
Georgia Barlow – Tutor
Georgia Brown – Tutor
Jeremy Cook - Tutor

Year 8 Team

Simon Rowlands – Team Leader
Katharine Adams – English and Humanities teacher
Wellington Pasi – English and Humanities teacher
Laarni Gaces – Maths and Science teacher
Catriona Thomson – Maths and Science teacher
Jacelyn Anderson – Science teacher
Health and PE teacher – Jo Molin
Rajinder Uppal – Special Education teacher
Marni Milankov – Special Education teacher
Luis Nankivell – Special Education Support Officer
Shelly Caspani – Special Education Support Officer
JP Anderson – Tutor
Shantel Klarenbeek – Tutor

Year 9 Team

Dominic Fecteau – Team Leader
Andrew Brown – English and Humanities teacher
Em Webster – English and Humanities teacher
Paul van Holsteyn – Humanities teacher
Clarence Jenny – Maths and Science teacher
Mikaila Mangohig – Maths and Science teacher
Catherine Harris – Special Education teacher
Tenneil Wark – Special Education Support Officer
Ruby McMillan – Tutor
Tayla Seymour – Tutor
VET Hospitality – Scott Berry – Trainer & Assessor

Engagement and Special Education Team

Michelle Pinto – Senior Teacher
Ian Shepherd – Maths Special Education Teacher Y7 & Y8
Linda Lau – Teacher
Carol Turner – Assistant Teacher
Alex Pye – Special Education Support Officer

Teachers working across the school

Stone Lee – Visual Art
Julie North – Textiles and Home Economics
Stephen Ryan – Design and Technology
Kaye Pedersen – Performing Arts and Health/PE

Wellbeing support for students

Denise Casey – Home Liaison Officer
Jamahl Hayes – Aboriginal Education Worker
Sarah Sarmiento – Counsellor
Laura Higgins – Health Promoting School Nurse
Tai Gavin – School-based Police Officer

Administration and school support

Carol Watson – Business Manager
Kiri McKay – Front Office
Julia Pearson – Attendance & SAMS Administrator
Tiara Hawea – Executive Support
Carolyn Bindle – Science
Sandrine Frapier – Library
Vicki Smith – Canteen
Leon Weston – Maintenance


Tom Clements – Director
Damien Hall
Cheyne Miles
Pietje Span

Girls Academy

Emma Stubbs – Program Manager
Michelle Dhu

School news and updates

Swimming program

Our Swimming and Water Safety program commences next week (Monday 3rd February). This involves a weekly lesson at the town pool as well as as theory lesson back at school.

Families need to have completed the consent form and paid $50 to participate in the program. If you have not done so, please contact the school as soon as possible.

Students have been informed of their lesson days and they are listed below for your reference.

Monday – 7.1, 7.3, 7.5, 7.7
Tuesday – 8.1, 8.3, 8.5
Thursday – 7.2, 7.4, 7.6, 9.4, 9.6
Friday – 8.2, 8.4, 8.6, 9.1, 9.3, 9.5

The Swimming Carnival will be held on Friday 6th March.

Uniforms, stationery and the Back to School payment

We require that students are in full school uniform at all times – this includes a CMS polo, CMS or plain navy shorts and enclosed footwear. As the weather cools, a CMS hoody and plain navy or CMS tracksuit pants are required. Students should also have a hat at school every day. If a student is out of uniform, either they will be made to change into second hand loan uniform or you will be called to bring in appropriate uniform for them.

As well as uniform, students need to at all times have an A4 exercise book for each subject (5 minimum) as well as pens, pencils, a ruler, a pencil sharpener and an eraser so that they are prepared for learning. If a book is completed or lost, it needs to be replaced by the family. Students have a tidy tray at school in which they can store these items or they can carry them back and forth each day in their bag. In some classes, the teacher will keep exercise books in the classroom.

We sell uniforms and stationery at Student Access, which is open before and after school and at break times. Our prices are as follows:

  • Polo shirt


  • House t-shirt


  • Hoodie


  • Backpack


  • Shorts


  • Tracksuit pants


  • Caps


  • Stationery pack


Students are required to have a bag and a hat, but these do not have to be from CMS. For shorts and pants, plain (no logo) navy shorts or an appropriate length are also acceptable.

Additional to uniform and stationery, parents will be asked to pay a parental contribution of $100 and a swimming fee of $50.

The government is again providing a $150 Back to School Payment which can be spent at the school to help with costs at the start of the year. This can be used for everything apart from the parental contribution. The Back to School Payment will be available in the office when you come to purchase uniforms and will need to be redeemed before the end of Term 1.

Phones and Social Media

As you will be aware, students are not permitted to have phones or other electronic devices between 8.30 and 3.00 at CMS. Phones should either be switched off and away in bags or handed in to the Front Office to be returned at the end of the day. This is because the lure and distraction of phones and social media gets in the way of learning and we consider that students both need and deserve a break from these devices while at school.

If you need to contact your young person during the day, please call our office on 8955 2333 and we will endeavour to pass on a message. Alternatively, you are welcome to call them on their phone before 8.30 or after 3.00.

If a student has a phone or other device (including headphones) out during the day, they will be required to drop it in the office and they can then collect it at the end of the day. If they resist doing so, the phone or device will be confiscated and you will be required to come in and meet with staff to collect the phone. We appreciate your support in this matter.

Issues arising through Social Media

There are many positive things that are made possible through social media.

Unfortunately, many issues arise from how young people and adults use social media and there is increasing evidence suggesting a link between the increase in use of social media and mental health concerns. Issues have already arisen from interactions over the summer holiday break.

We strongly encourage you to discuss and continue discussing with your young person how they use social media. This communication will help them to feel that they can raise any concerns they may have with you. We also strongly encourage you to monitor your young person’s use of social media. Please note that in our experience young people commonly have multiple accounts on each platform that they use.

If you or your young person have any concerns around interactions on social media, we encourage you to let us know.

In our discussions with students, we recommend a – SCREEN SHOT / BLOCK / REPORT approach.

  • Screen shot – take a screen shot of the concerning interaction/image. (It is helpful if previous interactions are also recorded to provide the context of the conversation.)
  • Block – block the profile of the person who has sent the concerning interaction/image.
  • Report – report the concern to a trusted adult for support, such as a parent or teacher.

Young people can also report the concern to the social media platform (Facebook, Instagram etc), and need to do this before blocking. In our experience, these reports are generally ineffectual at fixing the situation and we recommend that young people report to a trusted adult for support.

If we can identify students involved in matters that are reported to the school, we will typically bring the involved students together to seek to resolve the issue and make an agreement on how to interact in future. We find that face-to-face people are much more respectful than how they interact online.

If we cannot identify students involved or others involved are not a member of the CMS community, it becomes more difficult for us to respond. This is where it can be appropriate to report the concerns to the police. In these situations, we work to support the student.

We have a counsellor on site who can work with young people around a variety of issues, including those that arise from social media. We can also refer young people for support into specialist youth services such as Headspace.

Please note that we do not respond to comments or posts that are made online. If you have a concern about anything at CMS, the way to seek resolution of those concerns is to contact the school directly. Comments made online can make resolving a situation more difficult as well as potentially being defamatory. Much easier to give us a call!


The Australian Government Department of Health has issued advice that all travellers who have recently returned from Hubei province in China, or who have had contact with someone who has a suspected or confirmed case of the Coronavirus, must stay isolated at home for 14 days, other than for seeking individual medical advice.

If you or your child/ren have returned from other parts of China, which is considered low risk, they may attend school and should not be excluded.

Please be assured this continues to be a precautionary measure and the Department of Education is continuing to receive advice from the Federal Government and the team of qualified health practitioners who are managing this situation.

If you or your child/ren are experiencing fever, sweats or chills, or other flu-like symptoms, please see your doctor. Additionally, if you or your child/ren have recently returned from Hubei province in China, please advise the school on 8955 2333.

For the latest information:


Community Announcements

Rovers netball club

The Rovers netball club is having a sign on day at the Gap View Hotel, see poster below for more details.

Sports voucher

Semester 1 2020 Sports vouchers are now available. Parents and carers will need to apply online each semester by going to the following website:


Please note if the details of the young person are already on the system, a voucher will be available to print or save straight away, if the details are not found by the system a voucher will be sent to the email address you have provided within 7 days.

More information is available at the link below, alternatively you can also contact our Sport Voucher team by phone on 1800 817 860 or by email sport.voucher@nt.gov.au.



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