Term 3 President’s Report

Dear Fitzroy High School Community,

As we move towards the end of Term 3, we continue to see the amazing resilience, agility, creativity and commitment of our Fitzroy High School community as we confront the impact of the COVID-19 crisis together.  In some ways, it’s been easier this time around.  We have all learned a lot as teachers, learners and parents and carers about the technology, about flexibility and about supporting more self-directed and independent learning.  But in many ways, it’s been harder.  The adrenaline and excitement that pushed us through Term 2 has gone and now we are confronting the challenges of dealing with something longer and more undefined.  

Confronting these challenges together as a school community has made so much possible.  I want to publicly thank all the parents and carers who have contacted the school in recent months to offer their support, expertise – and their encouragement and kind thoughts.  I also want to thank again all our amazing teachers, support staff and school leaders who continue to go above and beyond in their work. And I’d like to congratulate our students who are working so hard to make the best of a difficult situation and acknowledge their resilience and flexibility.  

During this time, the work of the School Council continues. We held two School Council meetings in Term 3.  Our July meeting was a busy one. We discussed a number of items relating to the school’s buildings and environment.  We noted that the ‘corridor’ area between the old building and the science/technology building has been reordered and replanted – and it looks great!  We also noted that, as a result of a successful application to an Australian Government fund, new air conditioning units have been installed in the Library and IT Area.  And we approved the school’s application to the Greener Government Schools Program to have additional solar panels erected on the science/technology building.  A special thanks to members of our Buildings and Environment Subcommittee and other supporters who have contributed so much to improving the quality of our school environment over the last couple of years.

Another area of discussion was around the annual School Council Self-Assessment, which is intended to help school councils understand and focus on opportunities for improvements in governance and operations.  Two key areas of improvement that we noted were in the induction and learning processes for new School Council members and ways to increase diversity on School Council.  On the second point, I’d like to encourage all parents/carers and students to consider nominating for election to the School Council.  We’ve had some great parents, teachers and student members join the School Council in recent years and their perspectives and ideas have greatly contributed to the way that the School Council supports our school and community.  You don’t have to be an expert or know a lot about the school to join the School Council.  It’s the diversity of views and experience that is most important.  If you are at all interested in joining the School Council next year, please feel free to contact me to find out more about the process of nominating.

Finally, Linda presented the 2020-24 School Strategic Plan to the School Council.  The School Strategic Plan is one of the key outcomes of the four yearly school review that the school completed earlier this year.  Some key takeaways from that plan are a focus on improving the growth and achievement of all students, empowering students as learners and leaders and improving student engagement.  We discussed ways that the School Council and our subcommittees can focus their efforts on supporting this ambitious agenda. 

Speaking of our subcommittees, in recent months, our subcommittees have done some excellent work providing input in areas such as the use of technology, languages education and the reporting of student results.  Current work includes a review of the school dress code and a working group focusing on student voice, agency and leadership, both led through our Community Subcommittee.  A reminder that you don’t have to be a member of the School Council to attend a subcommittee meeting or be part of a working group.  If you’re interested in joining in to have your voice heard or just to find out more about what is being discussed, feel free to contact the Subcommittee convenors or just look up the calendar on Compass.

Subcommittee convenors are:

  • Buildings and Environments: Roger Smith
  • Community: Clare Kermond
  • Education: Mim Ingvarson

Our August School Council meeting was also very productive.  Our main focus was on the 2019 School Annual Report and the 2020 Annual Implementation Plan.  We received a detailed report from Linda focused on the formal indicators of performance for the 2019 school year and discussed how the school plans to address areas of improvement in line with the School Strategic Plan.  We also discussed how the report can be presented to the school community at the annual public meeting.  More details about that soon.

If you want to know more about our July or August meetings, you can find the minutes and supporting documents for those meetings and all School Council meetings in Compass in the school documentation section and of course please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about School Council or the subcommittees.  My school email is ralphs@fitzroyhs.vic.edu.au

We are all fortunate to be part of this strong and supportive Fitzroy High School community.  I encourage you all to keep up your connections with the school, teachers, parents, carers and students.  We will all need help at some stage; we can all help someone else at some stage. 

Ralph Saubern
President, School Council