I want to thank you all for your hard work these last few months. It has been a trying time for many people in many different ways. The Learning from Home surveys that students and parents completed in June gave the school some real insights into what was working and what could be improved, with the majority of feedback overwhelmingly positive. The staff has utilised the feedback to apply to the current round of remote learning, taking into account that it is somewhat more difficult at times this time around. I want to thank all of the students who have persisted in their efforts; reached out for help; and generally done very well, considering that they have spent more time in remote learning this year than face to face! Many of you will have received the green Compass posts acknowledging students’ efforts with regard to the School Wide Positive Behaviour remote learning matrix. It has been wonderful for me as Principal to open my Compass and see all of the positive posts about students doing their best. I also want to thank and acknowledge all of the staff who have done an incredible job this year. Many of them have been working from home with children of their own; many others have come into school to assist with operational tasks that cannot be completed from home or to support vulnerable students attending onsite.
School Council has been very busy this year and I also want to thank them for their amazing work, especially Ralph Saubern, the School Council president. I recommend his latest President’s Report to you; it can be found in the August newsletter and on the website. School Council was very involved in the school review in Term 1 and has subsequently worked with me on how the new Strategic Plan can be enacted through some of the sub committees and working parties. The DNA, if you like, of the Strategic Plan, is partnerships and collaboration: students and teachers, teachers and parents, students and parents, students and students, teachers and teachers, parents and parents. In order to achieve our goals we need to work together, especially in the current climate and the potentially challenging years ahead for our young people.
The 2019 Annual Report to the school community is on the website. I am planning to hold an open virtual meeting in the last week of term and will invite members of the school community to attend. This will give people the opportunity to discuss the Annual Report, the Strategic Plan and the future of the school. You will also see a separate article updating you on the Gasworks Senior Secondary Campus. This is the first of many newsletter articles to come, keeping the community updated on this exciting venture.
I would like to congratulate Jamie Bishop, who has been selected through an externally advertised process as the Mental Health Practitioner. This role is funded by the Department of Education at 0.5, meaning that Jamie can continue doing the great work he has been as a psychologist while also remaining on the teaching staff for the other part of his employment. We have also advertised an additional psychologist role at 0.4. Both of these roles will complement the rest of the wellbeing support that Fitzroy High School offers students, something that will be increasingly important during this time.
I will update you on the return to onsite learning once I have the information from the Department of Education, which I assume will be released after the Premier speaks on Sunday.
Linda Mitchell (Principal)