Principal's Report - 15th May
Little Desert Cross Country
Congratulations to our students who competed in the Cross Country event yesterday in Kaniva. We had some great results with several firsts, several personal best times and great team spirit exhibited by all. Mrs Klinge reported that our students were very well behaved and made the most of this sporting opportunity. Thank you to Mrs Klinge and Mr Hobbs for accompanying the students. Please see a full report in next week’s Hilltop.
Last Friday, all members of the teaching staff participated in a day of professional learning. The day commenced at 7.15am with a hearty cooked breakfast and our first session was on developing our teaching practice to improve student outcomes. The second and third sessions for the day were devoted to Cultural Understanding and Safety Training that was facilitated by members of the Koorie Workforce team from our area. Members of our local community also attended and the feedback from the sessions has been overwhelmingly positive. The focus of the sessions was on building a positive culture at school, so that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students feel safe and well supported in their learning environment. There will be a follow up session for all staff later in the year. Please see a photo later in the newsletter of the course facilitators.
This morning, our students in Year 7 and Year 9 participated in the first of the Naplan tests. Today’s two tests were on Language Conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and students also completed a Writing test. While we realise there is increasing controversy surrounding these national standardised tests, they are only one measure on one day and they are also beneficial in that they introduce students to the scenario of completing work under strict conditions and in a set amount of time – both valuable skills for later in life. Tomorrow the students will complete a Reading test, and then finish with Numeracy on Thursday. Any queries regarding the Naplan should be directed to Mrs Charlotte Pyers or to me.
Menzies Foundation 40th Anniversary Dinner
This Friday, I will be representing DMSC at the Menzies Foundation 40th Anniversary Dinner in Melbourne. Our school now has a long-standing relationship with the Foundation, with a Menzies Centenary Prize of $10,000.00 presented to one Year 12 student each year. This is an extraordinary amount of money for a school of our size to be awarding and we are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support we receive.
In a broad sense, the Menzies Foundation supports future leaders; those who will represent the Menzies’ ethos of being the best you can be, no matter where you start; taking risks, inspiring others and being willing to work hard. The Menzies Foundation was established in 1979 through a public fundraising appeal following his death in 1978.
Farewell to Donna and Butch Schultz
This Friday is Donna’s last official day at DMSC! Starting here in 2003, Donna has undertaken an incredibly diverse range of roles and responsibilities. The one constant with Donna, regardless of the job that she is assigned, is her warm and calm nature, and her genuine willingness to help others. She has developed wonderful relationships with students, staff and parents over many years and she has been such a welcoming face when visitors come to our school. Having worked in the office next door at DMSC, I will miss Donna very much. She is often here early in the morning, getting ready for the business of the day ahead and sharing a quick chat with me. Gary – or Butch as we all know him – left his teaching position at DMSC in 2010 to take up a role with what was then, the Grampians Region of the Education Department. Butch worked in many IT related areas and played a key role in setting up the Wimmera Virtual School. A great resource that our senior students still use today. Since his retirement, Butch has come back to DMSC to help us out with a range of tasks and we thank him for his ongoing support of the school.
While we will miss Donna, we are excited for her and Butch as they embark on this next exciting chapter of life in South Australia. They will be able to enjoy more time with family and both step back from long careers in the world of education. We will be officially farewelling them both at a morning tea on Friday.