School Council President’s Report – Term 3, 2022

Term 3, 2022

Dear Fitzroy High School Community,

As we move towards the end of Term 3, it is great to see more and more community life coming back to our Year 7-10 Campus and, of course, the exciting development of the Wurun Senior Campus. Hosting a voting centre at Falconer St for the May election was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the school and connect with the broader community. Our FHS Democracy Sausage and Constitutional Cake Stand was a huge hit and the parents, students and school staff who volunteered throughout the day were regularly approached by members of the public to congratulate us on the wonderful environment and positive spirit and atmosphere of the school.

Speaking of the election day fundraiser, thanks to our many volunteers, the support of our major sponsor, Piedemonti’s supermarket, and the enthusiasm of the local voting public, we were able to raise $3640 on the day! Together with more than $6000 in direct donations to the School Building Fund so far this year, we have made substantial steps towards our major goal of a $50,000 contribution to the development of The Shed.

Thanks to the generosity of the school community, we have also received over $6000 in donations to the School Library Fund so far this year. The Library has used that money and some additional funds saved from previous years to purchase new texts and novels and upgrade Library equipment. We have also received a $2000 donation from Rotary to our Student Support Fund. The Student Support Fund (previously known as the Scholarships Fund) is used to support students to ensure that they have full access to educational programs while at FHS. So far this year, we have spent $2617 on supporting students to attend year 7 and 8 camps and ensure they have access to appropriate computer equipment.

If you would like to make a donation to any of our parent funds, please contact the school office at any time. Also a reminder that if you not yet been able to make your 2022 school year parent payments for curriculum and other contributions, please contact the school office to discuss payment options.

We held two School Council meetings in Term 3. The main focus of our July meeting was on the 2022 Annual Implementation Plan.  We received a detailed report from Principal Linda Mitchell focused on the formal indicators of performance for the 2021 school year and discussed how the school plans to address areas of improvement in line with the School Strategic Plan and statewide priorities.  We also discussed how the report can be presented to the school community in more accessible ways.

In the July meeting, we also received a report from student and teacher members on progress on school initiatives in relation to student voice, agency and leadership. We heard about the work behind the development of new, more formal structures to encourage and support student voice at the senior campus and more broadly across the school, including plans to establish a form of student representative council to be called the Student Representative Team (SRT).

We also heard about a new working group that has been established to lead the thinking around a final design for The Shed project. Now that we have made substantial progress towards funding the project, we can start to develop the details of the design and construction of The Shed and its integration into the wider school learning environment. Students, parents and teachers interested in being part of that design group, should contact Roger Smith, who is leading the working group. (Update – The Shed Working Group held its first onsite meeting on Wednesday 24 August where we did a walk through of the proposed site and began discussions on possible layouts and integration points.)

Our August School Council meeting was also very productive.  A major focus was on discussing the development of a new Recognition of Student Achievement Policy. The development of this policy has been part of a wider discussion that we have had in relation to further developing student voice, agency and leadership at FHS as part of the strategic plan. The purpose of the Recognition of Student Achievement Policy is to formalise a process that already occurs within the school, clarifying the rationale and principles around recognising individual student achievement. To summarise, at FHS we recognise and celebrate student achievement because it highlights and encourages the effort that all our students make to their own development and in support of the wider community. We will continue to work on the policy with input from students, teachers and parents.

A highlight of the August meeting was a presentation from one of the student members on issues to do with neurodiversity and inclusion in the school. Some excellent suggestions were made about ways to improve education around neurodiversity and disability at the school, including through student-led initiatives and by establishing a new working group on wellbeing and inclusion.

The last topic for the August meeting was the issue of succession planning. After six years on School Council and four years as President, my time at Fitzroy High School is coming to an end. At the meeting, we agreed on a plan for me to step down from the President role at the next School Council meeting in October and for School Council to elect a new President. This will mean that I will be able to support the incoming leadership team for at least a few months as an ordinary member of School Council before my term finishes in February next year. It has been a great privilege to have been President of the Fitzroy High School Council for the last four years. With the strength of our current School Council membership, I am very confident that we can manage a smooth handover to a new leadership group.

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

Cheers,

Ralph Saubern
President, School Council
Fitzroy High School