News Archive

Principal's Report - Tuesday 26th July 2016

Parent Survey
Last week, many of our families would have received a Department of Education Parent Survey. The list of families is randomly generated by the Department, so I do apologise if you were also selected last year! Given our small numbers, it is possible that each family will be selected every two to three years.

The feedback we receive from parents is extremely important. If you think we are doing well and making progress in some areas – please tell us! Conversely, if you feel there are areas where we could sharpen our focus, then please include that feedback too. As a school, we take the results seriously and we appreciate the time and effort it takes to complete the document and return it to school.

There is a special box in the office for the completed forms – remember you need only place your family name on the removable tab on the envelope – the actual survey response is anonymous. We post the unopened envelopes to Melbourne for the data analysis.

Again this year, there will be a prize of a hamper for one of our lucky respondents. Ask your son or daughter to have their name recorded by Kaye or Donna when they return your survey and you will go into the draw for a prize!

Please return the completed surveys by Friday this week, July 29. Thank you in anticipation of your responses.

Student Attitudes to School Survey – Official Results - 2016
While I cannot reveal the finer points of the 2016 Student Attitude to School Survey until they have been tabled at School Council, I want to share that I am so proud of our school – our students, our staff and our parents – because the results this year are a testament to the great work and partnerships that exist here at DMSC.

When compared to other schools around the State – our results are fantastic! We are not perfect – and we still have work to do – but according to the vast majority of our students – we are moving in the right direction. I will provide a more detailed report after our next School Council meeting in August!

Parent Teacher Interviews
Next Monday we will be hosting our second Parent Teacher Interviews for the year. Please make every effort to attend as this is a great opportunity to discuss the progress of your child with their teachers. The interviews commence at 3.45pm and will conclude at 6.30pm. If you cannot make the interviews before 6.30, please phone the teachers you would like to see to make an alternative time to meet, or conduct the interview over the phone.

Thank you to Naomi Kuhnell
For the first two weeks of this Term, Ms Naomi Kuhnell has filled the role vacated by Georgina Smith, who was on Long Service Leave. Naomi fitted seamlessly back into DMSC – she is of course an ex student and daughter of Stu and Sue Kuhnell – as she tended to the library, first aid, newsletter and other duties that came her way. Naomi left a mark on our school by putting together a wonderful collage of images from around the various classes, now on display near the General Office.

We thank Naomi for so willingly stepping into the role and we wish her well as she embarks on some overseas travel later in the year.

We also welcome back Georgina and hope she is refreshed and rejuvenated after her four weeks away from school.

“Thank You Breakfast”
A final reminder that we are hosting a Thank You Breakfast for the many businesses who have hosted our Work Experience and Work Placement students over the past years. If this is you – please feel free to join us from 7.00am tomorrow morning Wednesday July 27.

Rubicon Camp
Yesterday morning our Year 9s headed off to Rubicon Camp. The first reports we have heard is that it is wet and cold! Not surprising given the weather we too are experiencing – and we are not near the Alps! Thank you once again to Kristin Klinge, Lachie Watts and Neil Zippel for accompanying the students – I am sure they will love the experience!

Child Safe Standards
From Monday August 1, all schools must be compliant with the new Child Safe Standards, or have a plan in place to become fully compliant by the end of 2016. I am confident that our school is well prepared to meet these new regulatory requirements and all of them have the one key goal at heart – to keep children safe from harm. I encourage all parents to look through some of the documents on our DMSC website, under the Child Safe link. There will be more documents added to this group over the next months and they reflect some of the processes and policies that we have in place to keep all children safe. If you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to call the college.

Staff Professional Learning
Over the last two weeks, staff have been completing their Mid-cycle Reviews. This process involves staff meeting with their TRIAD group members – the professional learning teams they work in throughout the year – Megan Vercoe, who is our Professional Learning Coordinator and me. Together we reflect on their progress towards achieving their Performance and Development goals and also discuss what their learnings have been from their peer observations. All staff have been visiting each other’s classes and making specific notes about an agreed area of practice. The staff then discuss the observations and changes to teaching practice are made if deemed appropriate. The number one goal is to improve student outcomes. Some of our DMSC staff have been visiting other schools to undertake observations and we have hosted visiting staff when they have come to look at some of our teaching strategies. This is a great process and one which enables staff to reflect on their own teaching practice and receive support and assistance from their teaching colleagues.

Anne Gawith