Dear Families, Students and Community Members,
At our whole school assembly on Monday in our stadium we launched this year’s production of The Addams Family with a performance of one the numbers from the show involving the whole cast. It has certainly created a sense of excitement about the performance week fast approaching, to be held in our Performing Arts Centre over four nights this year (instead of three) on Wednesday 22 to Saturday 25 August, with a matinee performance for our local primary schools on the Wednesday as well. Former school captain Josh Mulcahy is again producing the show in partnership with our wonderful teachers: Mara Sears – Production Coordinator and Performing Arts Coordinator, Demis Danoudis – Music Coordinator and teachers assisting, Adelle Stevenson, Ariana Nickou, Andrew Fisher and Liz Evans. I encourage you all to purchase tickets before they sell out, to see our talented students perform. Unfortunately we have a smaller seating capacity in our Performing Arts Centre compared to the old school hall, so we do anticipate that tickets will sell out quickly for the four performance nights. I congratulate all students who are involved, whether in the cast, crew or band, for their dedication throughout the year in preparing for this showcase event.
Tim Richardson MP, member for Mordialloc, spoke to our students this week about Homelessness Week with the theme “Ending Homelessness Together”. Right now there are more than 116,000 Australians who are homeless. In Victoria, that number is nearly 23,000 people, or 42.6 for every 10,000. Tim Richardson MP is partnering with the Chelsea Care Works and the Mentone Community Assistance and Information Bureau, to assist in supporting homeless and struggling members of the local community. He is calling on all local schools, businesses, churches and community groups to come together and give a can or a coin for Homelessness Week during the month of August. The food and funds will go towards the Free Food Pantry operated by Chelsea Care Works, as well as the emergency relief supply run by the Mentone Bureau, both supported by local volunteers.
This project ties in really nicely with the plans of our Year 9 students who attended the Alpine School for Student Leadership for all of Term 2. While they were away they had to develop a community project to implement once back at school, and they had designed a project around supporting the homeless. Expect to hear more soon from Meike Berg, Lauren Ditchfield, Matt Grice, Hannah Grieve, Rose Patel, Christopher Rodas and Matthew Wade who will now include this initiative of Tim's as part of their own project on raising awareness and supporting homeless people.
Open the Doors Project
School Captain, Sabrina Berg spoke to students about this project also on Monday. Our school chaplain, Lana Paten, and a past school parent, Julie Opperman, have been working on this project focused on reinforcing a positive and supportive school culture with some of our Year 7, 8 and 9 students. These students volunteered to create inspirational artwork and messages for the benefit of their peers and other students. Students will now see these artworks framed on the back of toilet doors at the school.
Student Attendance and Educational Outcomes
Daily attendance is important for all children and young people to succeed in education and to ensure they don’t fall behind both socially and developmentally. Studies show that absence does affect learning growth and that there are no safe number of days. A child missing one day a fortnight will miss four weeks in a year, and more than a year of school by the time they are in Year 10. It is important that children develop regular attendance habits at an early age. In addition, a student who is half an hour late each day misses the equivalent of 16.6 days of learning each year. This is not acceptable. It is not ok to be away or late without a medical certificate! School participation maximises life opportunities for our young people by providing them with education and support networks. School helps children to develop important skills, knowledge and values that set them up for further learning and participation in their community. If you are having difficulty getting your child to school, please contact the Wellbeing Team at the College to discuss strategies that may assist you.
Student Behaviour to and from School
As our school is growing I am starting to get more complaints about our middle school students' behaviour on the trains, particularly when travelling home, which is very disappointing. While I am sure the majority are doing the right thing there are still some students who are showing little respect to other train travellers by not following the basic etiquette in train travel. We have spoken to students a number of times in assemblies about living our school values in and out of school, particularly on public transport, and will do so again but I now seek your assistance in reinforcing the message at home. Students should wait until members of the public wanting to get off the train have done so and allow them a clear passage before moving to get on the carriage; don’t crowd the doorways when on the train; rather than try to all get into the front two carriages, use the whole train; offer seats to the elderly or those with disabilities; don’t muck around pushing and shoving each other, running or yelling on the train.
Thanks for your assistance with this matter and I hope together as a community we can reinforce our high expectations and have our students being noticed out in the public for proudly demonstrating the College values in all actions and behaviours. I should note, I do receive positive emails as well.
Parent Survey 2018
The use of opinion data to monitor school performance is a very important step towards making our school the best it can possibly be. Annual and anonymous opinion surveys for staff, children and parents are conducted and the information gained is used to drive school improvements and shape the future direction of the College. Over the next month it is the parents' turn to tell us what they think. Randomly selected families (about 30% of parents) should have already received information about the online parent opinion survey and we ask that these families please take the time to complete the survey. The survey is conducted online by ORIMA Research Pty Ltd and only takes 15 minutes to complete. It can be accessed from Monday 23rd July to Sunday 26th August. The survey will help our school gain an understanding of how you view our school climate, student engagement, and relationships. Results will be sent to the school by the end of September.