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Principal’s Message

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Welcome to Term 2

Thankfully it has been a smooth start to Term 2 with the relaxation of isolation restrictions helping considerably. Close contacts do not have to isolate for 7 days. This means that our student and staff can still come to school as long as they are wearing a mask indoors and testing five out of seven days.

Due to current circumstances that are outside of our control (all schools unfortunately are in the same situation) we have some gaps to fill with our teaching staff. We have had to be innovative to overcome some of these issues. I want to thank our teaching staff who have stepped up once again and taken additional extras, yard duties and prepared work for classes outside their normal allotments. What great staff we have at Fairhills!

Staff Changes

Arrivals

I am pleased to welcome Jacinda Thadanabath into the teaching fold. Jacinda has been an incredible integration aide at the school and has now been given permission by the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) to teach at Fairhills. Jacinda is teaching Year 7-10 Math and Science classes and has started off very positively.  Jacinda creates positive relationships with all students which is essential in supporting student growth. She will be extremely busy as whilst teaching she is completing her degree! However, I know with all of our support and kindness she will overcome all challenges and thrive.

I would also like to welcome Kelly Taylor to the Fairhills High School community who will begin on 24 May.  Kelly comes from a high performing school and her focus areas are English and Humanities. Kelly currently leads the tutoring and MYLNS programs at her current school and is very adept at teaching at each student’s point of need. Kelly will be teaching in the Year 7 and 10 levels.

Departures

We are sad to announce that Sharon Cocks from the General Office is leaving after 14 years of service to the school. Many of you will know Sharon as she has had a lot of contact with our students and families. Over the years she has assisted students and families with day to day queries, sickbay support, ensuring students are safe and in classes, following up with absences and supporting teachers. Her dedication to the school and the wonderful energy she brings to the office will certainly be missed. We wish her all the best in her future endeavours. On behalf of the staff, students and families, thank you Sharon for all the wonderful work and support you have provided to our Fairhills community.  Her last day will be 27 May so pop by the office to say goodbye.

Capital Works

I am pleased to inform our community that the tender process has now be completed. We have two building companies vying for the building contract. By next week it should be determined which company will construct our new STEAM building, music hub and landscaping projects. Building is expected to commence in June. This is a little later than expected but we are very happy none the less.

High Expectations

As a part of our Annual Implementation Plan one of our Key Improvement Strategies is to create high expectations for all. As a part of this process we asked students and staff to complete a high expectations survey to evaluate our current perceptions.

Some of the results are below.

Questions Student Positive % Teacher Positive % Questions
My teachers expect me to do my best 84 100 I expect students to do their best
My teachers encourage all students to do their best 64 65 All teachers at Fairhills encourage students to do their best
My teachers believe that all students can have success 61 92 I believe that all students can have success
My teachers get to know students as people 44 100 I get to know students as people

As staff we examined the survey data as well as previous data linked to high expectations by completing a ‘I notice and I wonder’ activity. This is a great activity to ensure you examine data without making judgements. The next step will be to dig deeper to discover why there are some noticeable differences. For example, speaking to students on how they would like teachers to get to know them. Is it knowing their hobby, or much more? We will set up some student workshops to find out!

Knox Empowering Community Forum

The State Government has granted Knox approximately $700,000 to develop proactive strategies to tackle violence in the Knox region. I am a member of the committee who will oversee the whole project. This is a three year commitment, and am excited to see the impact we can have on reducing violence in our council area.

On 5 May, a forum was held at Hyatt Park hotel. The forum had over 100 attendees from different aspects of Knox life. This included Susan Laukens – Mayor of Knox, Natalie Hutchins – Minister for Crime Prevention and most importantly Mia and Taylor – two of our incredible students. There were some great discussions and conversations held throughout the day. Stella Smith, CEO of Crime Stoppers told me I should be proud of Mia and Taylor for their positive contributions. Indeed, I was. So much so I have invited them both to be committee members. It is so important to hear the voice of our youth in Knox. Well done Taylor and Mia!

 

Ian Van Schie
Principal

 

 

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