From the Principal
Visit to our Sister School in Suzhou
I had the honour two weeks ago of spending the week in Shanghai, China, accompanied by the College’s International Student Coordinator, Simon Veerhuis. Our visit was primarily focussed upon travelling to Suzhou to visit our sister school, Cao Qiao Middle School. The school has a new Principal and I took the opportunity to conduct a series of conversation with him to secure agreement on future plans for both student and teacher exchanges between our schools.
At the moment, I anticipate that a study tour to China, involving a homestay component at the school in Suzhou will be organised over the next months and will take place in September/October 2019. In a similar fashion, I would anticipate that we will again host a visit by our sister school mid-2019.
Whilst in Shanghai we also had the pleasure of meeting with a number of the parents of our international students who come from this region. Such communications only served to remind me how committed our international students are on obtaining a quality secondary education and the sacrifices, often substantial, that families are willing to make to secure such outcomes for their children.
I am also very pleased and proud to report to our school community that whilst meeting with a number of agencies involved in the international student program, the reputation of East Doncaster Secondary College is strong and our recent academic achievements have been very much noted and ensure that our College is viewed as a very desirable educational destination.
Italy Tour Departs
Last Saturday morning fifteen of our Senior School students departed for our bi-annual three week tour of Italy – one of the truly memorable highlights of our College calendar. Supervised by our Assistant Principal Cameron Campbell and teachers, Justin D’Andrea and Liz Dean, the experiences gained throughout this tour are invaluable for our students and serve as an outstanding example of the rich variety of global opportunities available to our students. It has been very satisfying to see the strength of relationships built up between many of our students and our Italian Sister School from the region around Novara in Northern Italy and I have no doubt this will be further strengthened over the upcoming weeks as our students visit our Sister School.
I look forward to regular updates from Italy over the next two weeks and will eagerly anticipate the report from our students to publish in our first newsletter in term two.
Safe travels to our group.
On Tuesday afternoon and evening we conducted our first Parent – Student – Teacher interviews for the year. We were delighted to have presented opportunities for families to discuss the learning progress of their children with our teachers.
It was pleasing to see so many of our families use this event to reinforce the partnership we share in forming successful learning pathways for our students. From my observations and feedback provided throughout the day, the interviews were purposeful and the mood was very positive.
If parents were unable to attend personally on Tuesday or unable to secure an interview with particular teachers, could I remind all parents that the COMPASS system allows for ongoing communication via email. I would encourage parents to contact any teacher if they have specific concerns/queries regarding the education of their child. Alternatively parents may contact Year Level Coordinators to arrange meetings and discuss overall performance or other issues.
A special mention is also extended to our Parents and Friends Association for their efforts over the afternoon and evening in selling hot cross buns and raising funds for their next project. Their presence and assistance is always valued.
Eastern Zone Swimming
Last Tuesday our students competed in the School Sport Victoria Eastern Zone Swimming Championships at the AquaNation pool in Ringwood.
Overall the team finished the carnival in 5th place. This was a great achievement.
Our representatives through to the State Championships on 18 April, are Ashley Costa,
Misha Wierzbowski , Emilia Doherty, along with the team of for 17Yr 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay.
Josh Sist will also be representing EDSC in the Regional/State Diving finals on 19 April.
We wish them well!
For a more detailed report on the Carnival, please refer to a later section of this Newsletter.
Congratulations to all competitors for their contributions to individual and team success.
We are very proud of your efforts.
Outstanding Student Achievement
Congratulations to Chermaine Q 8D. Chermaine recently competed in the ITTF-Oceania Table Tennis Championships. She had an exceptional week, winning three medals (Gold - U21 Women's Teams, Silver - U21 Women's Doubles, Bronze - U21 Women's Singles). Chermaine was undefeated against opponents from the other countries. Her only losses in the individual events were against her senior teammates. She has received multiple State and National titles and is clearly an outstanding young athlete in her chosen sport.
Well done, Chermaine!
Whilst on the subject of outstanding individual achievement can I take this opportunity to remind the families of our school community that we are always willing to hear and share the deeds of our students in their sporting, academic, performing arts or community-based pursuits external to our College. We have, on a regular basis, students who are involved in a quite extraordinary array of activities and it is always a pleasure to share those with our wider school community.
Today we farewelled three staff members.
Firstly Jo Ballenger, a Learning Support aide at our College for many years, has decided to retire. Jo has given great service to our College community and worked very closely with many, many students and families over this period of time. A diligent, dedicated professional, Jo has made a real impact at our College and will be missed – we wish her all the very best in the next phase of her life.
Jenny D’Altera, our Careers Coordinator is also leaving to pursue another exciting opportunity. Whilst Jenny has only been with us for a relatively short period of time, she has assisted many student and families with her broad knowledge of career pathways and tertiary study opportunities.
We wish Jenny and her family all the best and thank her sincerely for her contribution to our College.
Kerry Trounson , an Instumental Music teacher has been with us since May 2017, replacing Emily Fry. With Emily returning in Term 2, Kerry will no longer be with us. We thank her for the great work she has done with her students.
It seems as if we have just successfully negotiated the start of the school year and now the Easter Term Holiday break looms large on the horizon.
A reminder to all families that Term 2 will commence on Monday April 18.
I sincerely hope that all members of our school community enjoy a safe and restful holiday period and make the very most of the opportunity to connect with family and friends.