Newsletter Term 2, 2019

Newsletter Term 2 2019

Term 2 is just about completed and we are half way through the school year. It has gone very quickly and over the last two weeks we have rolled over the whole college and begun teaching our semester 2 program.

It has been a busy term with NAPLAN testing, Year 10 and 11 exams and the Year 12 GAT, Year 9 Morrisby careers testing, information nights and course selections days for Year 9 and 10 students, interschool sport and our college Athletics carnival just to name a few activities that we have undertaken along with the learning that has happened in every classroom every day.

Our new gymnasium is heading into the final stages and we should have the building handed over to us by the middle of Term 3. I can report that it is an incredible space and the size of the building is enormous. We will be delivering first class facilities for our students and staff and also for our college community. We will have new change rooms, a new foyer which doubles as a teaching space and a second basketball/netball court.

We will also be reconfiguring some of our old spaces and moving the weights and fitness room into this new facility creating a health and fitness zone. As you drive past the building you will be able to look through the glass windows and see our students in action as they undertake their physical education and health programs.

We also look forward to our community users regaining access to this much improved space and providing community base programs. As part of this build we will also be improving student safety by introducing an extra school entrance for our students that will further separate them from the traffic that enters the carpark areas on Brunnings Road.

While this building is being completed we have also been undertaking preliminary work to deliver extra locker bays for our students. These spaces have been problematic for a number of years and we are upgrading them as funds become available. Please keep in mind that when you pay your college fees we utilise every dollar of these funds to provide facilities and expanded teaching and learning programs for all of our students. You are investing in the future of the young people in our community.

As you will be aware through the information letter that was sent to all households we will be removing mobile phones and electronic devices from the learning environment from the first day of Term 3. Students will need to place their devices in their lockers at the beginning of the day and not access them until the end of the day. We have been developing our college policy around this program and consulting as to what will happen when students breach this agreed process. This will be communicated to all students before the end of the term and we will also be publishing it on our college website under our policies section.

I would like to request your support with the implementation of this program as we all know the impact of mobile phones on the mental health of our students and the interruptions that they cause to the learning environment and in particular the classroom. Please check with your child that they have a solid lock on their locker and that other students do not have their combination code or access to their locker as this is where their phone will be stored each day.

This will be an interesting transition for all of us but in the long run we have the best interests of our students at heart.

I note that the Minister for Education has just announced that all phones will be banned in every school across the state from the beginning of 2020 and they must remain in student’s lockers from when they enter the school grounds until they leave at the end of the day. This only reinforces our decision to move in this direction and I look forward to the long term benefits this will provide for our students, staff and parents.

This term we undertook our college review which occurs every four years. This is designed to celebrate the good work we are doing and focus on the work we need to continue with into the future. There are many positives to celebrate in our college and as our reviewer engaged with our various stakeholders they were able to gather a picture of our college and the work that we do each day. Feedback I have received from our reviewer is that we have been working very hard and focusing on the correct work and we still have some areas that need further development. Once we receive the final report we will communicate the continued direction that our college is headed which is focusing on supporting the learning of every student.

I wish all of our students and staff a restful holiday break. They have been working very hard this term and I look forward to their return for Term 3.

Regards

Mark Gow

Principal

Carrum Downs Secondary College