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

School Council President Report – Term 1, 2019

Dear Fitzroy High School Community,

After four years serving as President of the School Council, Kath Boyer has “retired”.  Kath has done an amazing job as President and member of School Council.  We thank her for all of her commitment, energy and effort over many years.  Kath leaves an important legacy, including long term support for the great improvements we have seen in the school environment, the vibrant and high quality performance program and, of course, the improved canteen facilities!  Kath has also been tireless behind the scenes improving school council processes to allow it to focus more effectively on supporting school leadership, staff and students.  

At the recent March meeting of the School Council, I was elected to the role of President by the new School Council.  For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Ralph Saubern.  I have two kids, a boy and a girl, in Year 9.  I’ve worked in education for many years, originally as a teacher and now for an educational research institute.  I’ve valued the opportunity to make a contribution to the school as a School Council member over the last two years, including as Treasurer for the past 18 months. I have a particular interest in educational technology and last year I was asked by school leadership to lead a review into the use of digital technology at Fitzroy High School. 

Stepping into Kath’s shoes is a daunting task but one that I take on with the knowledge that we have a strong School Council and great school community to work with.  This year, as School Council President, I am hoping to focus on a few key areas.  One is to complete the three School Council working group reviews currently in process (languages education, digital technology and reporting) and hand those reports over to school leadership for consideration.  Another is to support school leadership as we step further along the process of establishing the new senior school campus at the Gasworks.  Fundraising is another area that I would like to focus on.  The Fitzroy High School community has been incredibly generous and engaged with fundraising and we have seen the many benefits to our students and community.  I am interested in ways that we can further improve and focus our fundraising efforts and outcomes.  Finally, I am hoping to continue work to streamline and improve processes in School Council and the subcommittees to ensure that we spend more time focusing on important issues relating to school facilities, education, health and wellbeing and fundraising.

Other positions that were decided at the March School Council meeting were as follows:

  • Vice-President:  David Huxtable
  • Treasurer: Sharon Cleaves
  • Convener of Education Subcommittee: Marina Henley
  • Convener of Buildings and Environment Subcommittee: Roger Smith
  • Convener of Community Subcommittee: Ian Taylor

The conveners of the subcommittees have particularly important roles.  The three subcommittees are where we discuss the details of issues that come to the School Council and make recommendations about the use of parent donated funds for buildings and grounds, health and wellbeing, library, performing arts and scholarships.  Subcommittee meetings are open to all parents to attend and contribute to, as are School Council meetings.  Details of when subcommittee meetings are held and the minutes of the meetings can be found under the documentation tab in Compass.

Apart from electing new School Council officers, at the March meeting, the School Council endorsed the school Annual Report prepared by Acting Principal Linda Mitchell, ratified the February school finances report and gave approval for the Great Victorian Bike Ride camp.  You can find the minutes for all School Council meetings in Compass a few days after each meeting.

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,
School Council President

FHS SCHOOL COUNCIL Landscaping Project Sponsorship Drive

Help us improve our school grounds

  • Students, School Council and FHS staff are involved in a 2 year project to improve our school grounds using landscaping and selected indigenous plants with the aim to create much improved biodiversity and amenity.
  • Some work on the first stage of this project “The Escarpment Shrubland” has begun on the Eastern side of the school (Michael St driveway area) which will also include a sensory garden.
  • VCAL students and the local community are involved in aspects of this project with further potential to include more student projects, our Education for Sustainability programs and involvement in the ResourceSmart – AuSSI Vic Program.
  • We believe this project will provide many other educational and aesthetic benefits for students, our neighbours and the FHS Community.
  • We hope to raise $3000 to support the purchasing of plants and landscaping.

How can you help? Donate $10, $20 or $50 using this link: http://www.trybooking.com/YDAP

Below are photos of the areas in which we are planning improvements in this stage.

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We thank you in advance for your financial support.

Please have a look at the improvements to the school grounds we have made thus far next time you visit. Your support will enable us to complete this project as planned. There will be opportunities hopefully later this year for more community involvement.
Please contact our Buildings and Environments Convenor Roger Smith rogers@fitzroyhs.vic.edu.au if you have any questions or comments.

School Council News 2017 Term 2

Dear Fitzroy High School Community

Term 2 was a busy time for School Council with the School Review Report, our continued information gathering for our school Masterplan, a sizeable list of camps to approve, preparations to fundraise and assist at the school production and a plan to create a community group in response to a parent
proposal. Below is a summary and big thank you to all who sponsored and assisted with the production as well as other school council matters.

FHS & CC VCE Theatre Studies Performance of Christopher Marlow’s “The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Dr Faustus” or Dr Faustus for short.

Over 3 days and 4 performances our amazingly talented students and staff entertained around 600 theatre goers with this wonderful performance. Thank you to all who purchased tickets and attended, your patronage at these event is essential (this performance was a VCE Yr12 Theatre studies unit 3 assessment) and much appreciated. Thank you also for buying raffle tickets, snacks and beverages, these all add to our performance fund fundraising efforts. Our total fundraising profit from these sales was a pleasing $2, 400. We owe a huge thank you and our appreciation to:

  • Our generous and supportive sponsors: Cranford Cottages, Heathcote Harvest, McIvor Estate wines, Four Pillars distillery, Two Birds Brewery, Daylesford And Hepburn Mineral Springs Co., Mt Zero, Gewürzhaus, She Oak Hill Estate, Condie Estate, Nique, Smart Alec, Scally & Trombone, Collins Simms & Vital Signs
  • Our fabulous volunteers! I would like to personally thank the following parents and staff for giving their valuable time and skills to this event: Kate Parker (Master of Donations), Sue Smith, Justine Donohue, Robin Harper, Maria-Luisa Chiodo, Amanda Lawrence, Jane Bennetto, Christie Fowler, Elise, Meredith Potter, Yvette Higgins, Irene Savakis, Nicole Langner, Cate O’Neill, Maria Kaczmarska, Ella Hudson, Kath Brackett, Vanessa Paciocco, Lara Bickford & Emily Bennett. ​Special thanks to Daniel Tacconelli who answered the call for a bar volunteer with an RSA – we got much more than we asked for – a professional bartender!
  • Collingwood College for providing the venue.

None of this would be possible with our hugely talented and dedicated students and staff. Thank you, we appreciate all your efforts, sacrifices and time. Your Dr Faustus was totally enjoyed by many!

  1. Volunteering at FHS – ​at the June meeting of School Council we approved the Terms of Reference for a Friends of Fitzroy High community group. A launch date and general invitation to become involved will be announced asap.
  2. Voluntary Contributions – this year we have received approximately $10, 000 into our funds as a combination of contributions and fundraising. ​I will confirm and update these details once school council has approved the June and July Finance Reports. Many thanks to those able to make these monetary donations. School Council will be providing details of the projects selected for these funds as soon as this process is completed.
  3. FHS School Review – ​The executive Summary is now available for viewing on Compass.
  4. School Council Member Profiles – ​It was decided at a School Council meeting that we should publish the profiles of our parent and community members along with their contact email address. This is now available on the website fitzroyhs.vic.edu.au/our-school/school-council/ Please feel free to contact myself or other school council members with any matters you wish to raise concerning school council. Our school council subcommittee meetings are open to all. The dates for these meetings are also available on the school website.

Warmest regards,

Kath Boyer
kathb@fitzroyhs.vic.edu.au

School Council News 2017 Term 1

Dear Fitzroy High School Community,  

Welcome to all our new FHS students and families and welcome back to those continuing in 2017. This year we have 608 students making this the highest number of students enrolled since reopening in 2004 and means we have now reached our student capacity. 

School Council has a busy year ahead with the school review underway followed by the 4 year Strategic Plan and the Masterplan project. 

Contributions 

School Council gratefully thanks all parents who made contributions to our donation funds. The table below shows the subcommittee who oversees each of the funds and the balance of each fund as at January 2017. School Council approves spending at council meetings as recommended by the subcommittees or the school executive. 

Fund 2017 Contribution to date Fund Balance @ 31/1/17 School Council Subcommittee
Building Fund (tax deductible status)  nil 16.333.35 Master Plan 
Library Fund (tax deductible status)  nil 30, 488.42 Education
Scholarship Fund nil 22, 102.86 Education
Performance Fund 1, 586 11, 270 Community
Performance fundraising  5, 685 (2016) 13, 333 Community
Health and Wellbeing Fund 2, 897 9, 463 Community

Projects and expenditure will be updated in future newsletters and in School Council papers.

We also thank all families who have made parent payments on Compass. Your much needed contribution allows us to provide better programs and services for our students. We hope you found the experience of using Compass for these payments trouble free and efficient

We have an unexpected number of families who have not yet made payments or accessed the payment function through Compass. If you are having any issues with Compass please contact our Compass help desk by calling 9488 1900, email timc@fitzroyhs.vic.edu.au or consult our school Compass user guide available in printed format at the school office. Please also contact the school office if you prefer a printed parent payment statement mailed to you. 

School Council Elections

Encouragingly, this year we received more nominations than vacant positions on school council which triggered the election. Thank you to all families who voted, we appreciate your effort. The election results are: 3 school councillors who renominated and 2 new members whose valuable contribution to school council is much anticipated. The subcommittee convenors and school council president positions will be announced after the School Council meeting March 16th, 2017 

Subcommittee Membership

If this has inspired any of you to join our subcommittees please contact Abbey or myself at the school. Our subcommittees will next meet after the March School Council, early in Term 2 and before the May school council meeting. Meeting dates will be announced as soon as they are available. 

On this matter, the Masterplan Subcommittee will be looking for members who are able to assist with the school Masterplan project. We expect this will include Architects, Designers, Landscape Architects, etc. and any time that you could give to the project would be greatly appreciated. Our next meeting is March 29th at 4.30pm at FHS. 

School Council Reports

At the February and March meetings of school council and our subcommittees we approved and reported on the following:

  • The Environment Subcommittee has been temporarily subsumed by the Masterplan Working Party to form the Masterplan Subcommittee. This project commenced in 2016 to create a masterplan of the school facilities and grounds that will inform future decisions about the use of these spaces. This subcommittee also has the responsibilities of the Environment subcommittee.
  • An allocation from the Building Fund to provide automatic doors at the West entrance of the main building. By automating these doors we hope to capture cool and warm air, keep out leaves, rubbish and pigeons.
  • SC were pleased to learn that over the summer holidays the Jet rooms were fitted out with airconditioning and that students and teachers have been enjoying the cool environment
  • We congratulate Linda Mitchell and Pauline Rice for their hard work in securing our new status of a Respectful Relationships Leading School along with a $20, 000 grant to assist with the implementation. This was achieved on the back of the work done by the Feminist Collective as was an invitation to FHS teacher Briony O’Keefe to present with Deakin University at the 11th International Biennial Gender & Education Association Conference at Middlesex University, London in June this year. School Council congratulates Briony on this achievement.
  • We approved the much anticipated School Production scheduled for July this year so look out for more news on how you can be involved and for when tickets go on sale. The brief looks amazing!

Please feel free to direct any comments or queries regarding school council matters to me or the subcommittee convenors.

Kath Boyer
School Council President
kathb@fitzroyhs.vic.edu.au