Principal's Report - Thursday 27th June 2019
This week, we are featuring staff member, Gaynor Baker, Year 12 student, Jonty Hunter and Year 11 student, Mackenzie Ryen. I hope you are enjoying reading about some of our DMSC family each week.
We Made It!
Term Two is often considered the longest, due mostly to the fact that the weather turns cold and the days are very short. As mentioned last week, the colds and flus have crept in and we have had students and staff in need of rest at home. I am hoping that the next two weeks of holidays provides us all with a well-deserved break and that we can start Term Three on July 15 with renewed energy and enthusiasm! Our term will conclude tomorrow with a free BBQ for all and some fun student activities. Thank you to our VCAL students, Mr Mattschoss’s Media students and the SRC for their efforts. Please remember that the school day will conclude at 2.30pm.
This week, DMSC has launched a Facebook page. As a non-user of Facebook, it has been a steep learning curve for me! For the many parents that have requested that we have a social media presence, we hope that this page provides a great means of communication and also a platform on which we can celebrate our students’ successes. Whilst the vast majority of people who use Facebook do so with respect and courtesy, it is important that I remind students, parents and friends of our school, that all comments must be appropriate. If ever you have a concern with the school, I ask that you continue to use the usual channels. Come in and see us or give us a call on the phone and we will endeavour to sort the issue as quickly as possible.
Year 10 and 11 trip to Melbourne
At 7.15am this morning, two buses departed DMSC with some excited students on board. After pick-ups in Pimpinio and Horsham, they have headed to their first destination, the Suzanne Cory School for Science in Werribee. Mr Werner has arranged an action-packed itinerary, with many looking forward to watching the AFL Essendon v Giants match at Docklands tonight. The weather is going to be fantastic for their two days away and we look forward to seeing some photos on our new Facebook page!
Thank you to Luke Werner, Jake Hobbs and Sue Kuhnell for accompanying the students.
The refurbishment of Rooms 1 and 2 and the staff workroom will commence on the holidays. Onley Builders have been awarded the project through the VSBA (Victorian Schools Building Authority) tender process. The first part of the project will involve the removal of asbestos from various areas in the school. Please be advised that the entire school site is closed during the asbestos removal phase. At this stage, we believe the removal will take place on July 4th and 5th and that the site will be reopened on the 6th. We will notify any changes of these dates via our Facebook page.
We are very excited that the works are about to commence and after a semester of discomfort, we will have two great student spaces and a significantly improved staff work space to move into at the end of the year.
Hands on Learning
Our 2019 Hands on Learning group are involved in some great projects around the school. Yesterday, they completed the rebuild of the “privacy” wall in front of the external toilet block. Their rustic and asymmetric design looks wonderful and they should be proud of their efforts. As an acknowledgement of how beneficial this program is, we unveiled a new banner which showcases some of the HOL projects and activities. Thank you again to Donna Baldock and Peter Hayes who lead the HOL program.
Mobile Phone ban in Victorian Government Schools
As I am sure most of you would have seen in the press this week, Minister for Education, James Merlino, has announced that from the beginning of 2020, all Victorian Government schools (Primary and Secondary) will have a ban on mobile phones. If students choose to bring their phones to school, they will be required to place them in their lockers until the end of the school day. They will not be permitted to have them in class (unless with explicit permission from their teacher) nor use them during recess and lunchtime. We will work with students and families to implement this policy and we look forward to your continued support.
Year 12 Parent Teacher Interviews
Thank you to our parents who attended interviews last night. This was an additional opportunity for parents and students to meet with staff to discuss their progress and raise any concerns. There will be another round of interviews for all year levels in Term Three. Thank you also to the staff that made themselves available for this extra round of interviews.
The “Pointy” end of VCE!
Our Year 12 VCE students now only have Term Three for Unit Four coursework, then it will be practice exams and revision tasks after the September/October holidays. As we near the final exams, student stress levels rise. This is expected and should occur if students are genuinely invested in their own outcomes. However, stressed students can and do lead to stressed parents, and often, parents are unsure of the best way to support their children. While the VCE experience is different for every individual, years of research has suggested some strategies that can work. A one page sheet was made available to parents last night and it is again published here in the newsletter. It will also be posted on our Facebook page. If you – as a parent – are feeling overwhelmed with the increased pressures of your child’s Year 12, please contact me, Mr Werner, Ms Tellbach or Mrs Kuhnell for a chat. We don’t have all the answers, but hopefully together, we can work towards alleviating some of the stress.
A final thank you to all members of the DMSC community who work to make our school a great school! The Lutheran Ladies Guild have just made another generous cash donation to the school, Robyn and Des Lardner donated funds for our Year 10 and 11 trip to Melbourne, Charles Rees continues to work tirelessly on our Avenue of Honour, many parents support Helen in the canteen, we also have parents accompanying our students on excursions and members of the community who are MATES Mentors to several of our students. I am sure that there are others who go unseen who contribute in a multitude of ways to our school. THANK YOU ALL – and apologies if I have left anyone out!
Thank you to the majority of students who have worked hard this semester and to those who need to raise the bar – there is still time to get back on track with your learning. To the staff who work very, very hard to deliver great programs – thank you – and I know some of you are taking senior students to study days over the holidays, or running additional classes here at school. We are very fortunate to have a committed and caring staff.
Have a safe and relaxing holiday and we will see all students back on deck on Monday July 15.