School Council President Report – Term 2, 2019

Dear Fitzroy High School Community,

After 14 years association with Fitzroy High School, Pauline Rice has relinquished her role as Principal.  I spoke with Pauline last week and passed on all our thanks and best wishes.  As acting Senior Education Improvement Leader, Pauline is looking forward to a continuing role in supporting Fitzroy High School.  Pauline’s announcement means that we will now undertake a formal process to appoint a new principal.  As I wrote in my earlier message to you, there is an extensive process involved in principal appointment in Victoria, requiring significant input from the school community.  This will be a major focus for me and School Council in the coming weeks.  I will keep you informed on progress.  In the meantime, Linda Mitchell and Sandra Dickins will remain in the roles of Acting Principal and Acting Assistant Principal.  We are very fortunate to have such a strong leadership team at Fitzroy High School and confident in their capacity to lead the school.

One of the most important roles of School Council is to oversee fundraising and co-ordinate the use of parent donated funds.  In our May School Council meeting, we discussed fundraising, its role at the school and our general approach, vision and goals. You can find a summary of that discussion on Compass with the May School Council minutes. School Council confirmed that fundraising is an important way in which we seek to improve the quality of the Fitzroy High School program and support fair and equitable access for all students.  We talked about ways to improve our approach to fundraising, including by being more explicit about our aims and goals, improving our processes for managing fundraising and better communicating our successes.

And thanks to the generosity of the school community, there have been many recent successes to communicate about! 

Just a few:

  • School Council has allocated $5,000 from the school Building Fund to contribute to the development of the teachers’ bike shelter ($3,085) and the supply of electricity to the new kiln shed (approximately $2,000) and another $5,000 to contribute to the refurbishment of windows in the older part of the school.  The bike shed is now complete (including removal of the old, non-functioning water tank) and the concrete plinth for the shed has been laid.  The windows have been repaired and now await repainting.
  • A big thanks to families who have contributed to the school Scholarship Fund.  So far this year, the school has provided $4,500 to support students from less advantaged backgrounds to participate in the rich learning experiences of the school.  If any families are experiencing financial hardship and need some help to ensure their kids are able to participate, please speak with your child’s team leader.
  • School Council has approved $15,687.20 from the Performing Arts Fund for the purchase of two new projectors for use by the music and drama departments. Teachers and students are excited about the difference these will make to the quality of the music and drama programs.

Our Buildings and Environments committee has highlighted a number of additional major works we need to carry out in coming months and so now is the perfect time to remind you all that donations to the school Building Fund are fully tax deductible (as is the Library Fund). Please contact Ross McDonald in the school office to find out details of how to donate to any of the school funds.

Another important role for School Council is to review and approve school events and excursions, particularly through the perspective of risk or equity issues.  At the May meeting, School Council approved four new events: two outdoor education camps, the Feminist Collective camp and this year’s Y10 experience.  These activities look absolutely fantastic and I congratulate teachers and students for all their work on preparing and planning camps and excursions. 

Speaking of fantastic events, tickets for the 2019 Year 12 Theatre Studies production, The Awakening of Spring, and the Mid-Winter Recital are now on sale.  Tickets sell out every year so book early to avoid disappointment!  Details on Compass.

The next meeting of School Council will be a joint meeting with Collingwood College School Council to continue discussions about the Fitzroy Gasworks development.  We will have much more to say in coming weeks and months about this exciting new development – so stay tuned.

If you have something you would like to raise with School Council or would like to know more about getting involved with subcommittees or other volunteering opportunities, please feel free to contact me at ralphs@fitzroyhs.vic.edu.au.

Cheers,
Ralph Saubern
School Council President