At our third meeting for 2021 on Tuesday night, the Board focused on learning environment.
We thank Deputy Principal Erika Holst-Marsh for her excellent presentation. We learned how the school supports students so they can make the most of their learning opportunities. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach, and support is tailored to individual needs.
The operational plan for health and wellbeing is jam-packed with activities such as:
- a school-wide behaviour matrix covering what respect looks like,
- the Youthcare G.R.I.T. (Growth, Resilience, Integrity, Traction) program, and
- the Zones of Regulation to help students self-regulate their emotions.
The school uses restorative practises for positive behaviour management. ‘Think sheets’ (also known as reflection sheets) help identify what happened, and what a student could do differently next time.
We discussed bullying, unkind and mean behaviour at length. Erika and Lisa encourage students and parents to bring any concerns to the classroom teacher’s attention swiftly, and subsequently to the administration if concerns are ongoing. Please don’t be shy! Shining a light on these behaviours is the first step to resolving them. Sometimes students don’t realise they’ve upset their friend or classmate.
We learned about funding for Education Assistants (EAs) to support students at educational risk (SAER). Many common conditions such as dyslexia, ADHD and anxiety don’t attract special needs education assistant funding. Even for conditions that do attract funding, it’s often limited to two to three days’ worth of an EA’s time each week. We don’t have a high number of students eligible for funding. If you’ve ever wondered why we don’t have more EAs for SAER, that’s why. Lisa and Erika are very happy to talk to parents about this process.
Students also draw on an array of physical and social tools to regulate their emotions and overcome learning challenges. We loved hearing how the students support each other in this area.
We tabled two queries from the P&C and class reps:
- Whether the uniform shop can offer cotton polos, long-sleeved shirts and broader brimmed hats. We will report back when we’ve had a reply from the supplier.
- Using indigenous place names. Kate Bockman is working on the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) as part of her portfolio. She’ll incorporate this suggestion into her consultations with local elders.
Sian Rosser is leading the parent and community speaker program. Thank you to those who have already signed up (please sign up here if you haven’t already). You can present in person, or via livestream or pre-recorded video. The school is looking for a dietician to talk to students in class. If that’s you or another member of your family, please get in touch with Erika. Please also keep an eye out for more speaker requests in Lisa’s blogs throughout the year.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 16 September at 7pm. We’ll be discussing resources, leadership and relationships. Please get in touch if you have queries or suggestions.
Lacey Filipich (Chair)
On behalf of the School Board