Term Two School Council President’s Report

Term 2, 2021

Dear Fitzroy High School Community,

As we near the end of Term 2, it’s worth reflecting on just how much we have learned and
grown as a community in the face of these most challenging times. Another lockdown and a
return to remote learning has meant yet more disruption and a reminder that the current
emergency is not yet over. Our commitment to the wellbeing of students, teachers and families
remains at the heart of the school’s approach. We thank all our teachers, school staff, students
and families for their continued flexibility, responsiveness and resilience and their commitment
to our values of “Trust, Engage, Respect”.

School Council met twice this term, in May and June. At the May meeting, we had a
presentation from Principal Linda Mitchell on the 2020 School Annual Report, a presentation
from Assistant Principal Chris Millard on the 2020 senior school results and pathways and a
viewing of the ‘fly over’ video of the new school campus:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auG6sGcJMgo.

A major discussion item at the May meeting was the proposal to undertake a fundraising
campaign to support the development of a major new sustainability, environment and
community education initiative for the school. The Shed is a secure, covered shed and
workshop which provides a custom facility to promote and empower students and the wider
school community to develop important sustainable life skills. Initially focused on the
maintenance and secure storage of bikes and other sustainable transportation, the Shed will
become part of a wider precinct, including the existing tram and kitchen garden area, which
emphasises practical, sustainable and outdoor skills development for students. Funding for the
Shed will need to come primarily from donations from the school community. Our target to raise
$50,000 is a challenge and we understand that in these difficult times, not everyone will be able
to contribute. We do believe, however, that as a community we can achieve this target and
together make an invaluable and long lasting contribution to the school and local community. If
you are able to contribute, please make your donations to the Fitzroy High School Building
Fund. The Building Fund has tax deductible status, so with June 30 just weeks away, now is the
perfect time to make a donation.

If you want to make a donation, please download the donation form from Compass or contact
the school office. Many thanks to the Buildings and Environments Subcommittee, which has led
this exciting work.

We are also looking for volunteers who would like to contribute their time to supporting the Shed
initiative, including parents and teachers who would like to join the Buildings and Environments
Subcommittee and help develop and steer the project. If you are interested in joining the
Buildings and Environments Subcommittee or otherwise volunteer your time to the project,
please contact Roger Smith rogersmith1546@gmail.com

Speaking of parent donation funds, so far this year we have spent the following amounts:
● $1,109 from the Family Support Fund (previously called Scholarships fund) to support
student participation in camps and excursions
● $3,950 from the Library Fund to purchase a school wide licence for the award winning
Stile online science resource
● $328 from the Wellbeing Fund to purchase psychology resources.

Donations to the parent funds are always welcome. Please contact the school office for details
on how to make a donation. Donations to the Building Fund and Library Fund are tax deductible.

At the June meeting, we had a presentation from Linda unpacking the data from the 2020
School Annual Report in more detail, in particular focusing on the parent and teacher
satisfaction survey results and a further presentation on the school’s preparation for starting
operation at the new campus in 2022. A major part of the meeting was taken up with a
discussion on the increasing level of requests and queries from parents to teachers and the
school and the impact of this on teachers’ workload and wellbeing. It was noted that the rising
number of contacts and requests was creating a significant burden for teachers and some
frustrations around expectations and responsiveness. This confirmed the need for the work
currently underway in Community Subcommittee on improving parent-school communications,
which is focusing on how we can clarify the best ways to communicate about different matters,
how different channels are used to post information (website, Compass, email, Google
Classroom, etc) and general expectations about responsiveness. We are hoping to progress
this work further in Term 3.

We have recently restructured the School Council agenda to clarify decision-making
responsibilities and processes and ensure that maximum time is allotted to discussion about
matters of importance to the school community and to hear from a diversity of voices. One part
of this is to set aside some time to hear from the student members of School Council. In our
June meeting, we heard some interesting feedback from the student members on the work we
have been doing to establish a student representation council and also about the growing
excitement amongst the student body about the development of the new school campus.

As we reach the end of Term 2, I want to thank all the parents, teachers and students who
contribute to School Council, subcommittees and other volunteering activities. Your efforts and
contributions are making a real difference to the school and the whole school community. Thank
you!

If you want to know more about School Council, participating in a subcommittee or other
volunteering opportunities, or have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.
My school email is ralphs@fitzroyhs.vic.edu.au

Cheers,

Ralph Saubern
President, Fitzroy High School Council