School Council Up-date May 2020
Hi everyone, on Monday we had our May School Council meeting. This was the second time we met virtually, and the technology seemed to work well, which meant we got some good discussion going.
Could I just start by saying that the School Council is extremely impressed with how our whole school and community has adapted and dealt with these challenging times. We have Dale, who is starting his first term as our new principal in the most unusual circumstances, and doing a fantastic job in communicating clearly and leading us through the evolving situation. Our teachers, many of who are parents as well, have been consistently positive and supportive as we work through the technological and social challenges of remote learning. And our support staff, specialist teachers and admin staff have all pitched in, in the true Menzies way, to keep the community supported and functioning together. Personally our family is looking forward to physically getting back to school, but we have learnt a lot from having our children at home - not all positive(!), but a much better understanding of where they are at and how they learn.
Like all of you, Covid-19 has impacted a lot of the carefully laid-out plans that we had for 2020. So the focus of our meeting was on re-prioritising what is achievable, and focusing our attention accordingly. Here is a brief update on focus areas for the sub-committees:
• Community Relations / Fundraising – at this stage it seems unlikely that we will be able to organise any school wide events (such as winter market), and we are conscious that some families are doing it tough financially due to the current situation. The focus is therefore shifting to fundraising that is more optional (for those who can support the school), and events which build community spirit, rather than raise money. The team is also reviewing and updating the website to keep it current.
• Pre-School – we expect a formal periodic review of the Pre-School once the Covid-19 situation evolves, and therefore the focus is on ensuring that the policies and procedures are all up to date and ready for this big event. The regulations and guidance for pre-schools through Covid-19 has differed to schools, which has made consistency challenging, and we acknowledge the preschool teaching staff for the wonderful way they have adapted and continued supporting the children.
• Facilities – working bees are out at this stage, but we are shifting our focus to the Orchard, and getting it build this year. This takes advantage of a large grant received at the start of the year, which will cover most of the cost. The orchard is a great concept, it will have a variety of trees that have been specifically selected to fruit during the school year, so that the students can understand and enjoy them. We will be asking families if they would like to support the project by covering the cost of one tree, which would be about $20-$40.
• Education – our new education committee has started working on policies, beginning with updating the school uniform policy to make it clearer and more relevant. This will be uploaded on the school website next month.
• Finance – Sarah is doing a great job working with Lee and Kate to put together a monthly budget that we can track the school performance against. Our school is fortunate in that it is currently in a relatively strong financial position, and we would like to keep investing this money into the facilities and programs of the school.
If you have any questions about school council, or ideas on how you could help out, please reach out to me or one of the other school Councillors. And looking forward to seeing you physically, from an appropriate distance, sometime soon!
0418 160 546