It's hard to believe we are already more than halfway through term 2, with less than 4 weeks to go.
If you have had a chance to pass by our new school site on Glenlyon Rd you will have noticed that the church hall has been boarded up and that works have begun on the refit of the building to accommodate us in 2024. Irene and I will continue to work closely with the architects from Content Studio, the builders and the Victorian School’s Building Authority to ensure the project is delivered on time. In the meantime we are watching the progress excitedly and planning for the move from our current site to the new site over the January school holidays. In preparation for this move we will be continuing to sort through the learning materials and other items that have accumulated at the school, a big task after calling 350 Sydney Rd our home for more than 40 years. Please keep your eyes peeled for invitations to working bees that will be scheduled in Term 3 and 4 to help us prepare for the move.
Back at school, in our classrooms, students and staff are feeling the impacts of increasing COVID and influenza in the community. No doubt your young people will have come home and reported they have been missing their teachers and have had many of their lessons covered by staff who are either familiar to them, or in some cases, new. The staffing shortage is being felt across the state and is causing major disruptions, with many schools needing to reduce their face to face teaching time. So far at SRCS we have not had to resort to these extreme measures, and we would like to take this opportunity to express our immense gratitude to our teachers and support staff for stepping in and covering classes. Everyone at SRCS is working above and beyond their normal teaching load to ensure that we can continue to run our full program and meet the learning and support needs of our students. We could not have made it this far without the generosity and support of our staff.
The increase in staff absence due to illness has been mirrored in the student population with many young people needing to take time out to recover from sickness. At the same time there have been changes to the government and department advice on isolation rules and the COVID screening program. Staff and students, who are household contacts of a confirmed positive COVID case are now able to attend school as long as they have no symptoms and return a negative COVID test each morning for 5 mornings. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our families for your patience and support during this challenging time as it is taking us longer than we might like to follow up on certain things, book student’s support meetings, and maintain communication between school and home.
You may be aware that schools across the state are reporting an increase in challenging behaviour and bullying. Unfortunately SRCS has also seen the impact of the last 2 years manifesting in increased disruption to learning and greater incidence of students behaviours that are not in line with our school values. For this reason our priority for the rest of the term is to continue to support students to settle into a school routine and strengthen our school culture, focusing on our SWPBS values of Learning, Respect, Safety and Opportunity. We want to focus on kind behaviour that ensures all students feel safe and included in our school.
In June a number of students from across all year levels will attend an optional leadership/adventure camp to support them to build confidence and maximise their leadership potential. With the end of Semester 1 approaching, VCE students are finishing off units 1 or 3 and preparing for mid term exams and assessments. Teachers are preparing academic reports which will be emailed out to parents and caregivers on the 23rd of June, ahead of Student Led Conferences which will give each student the chance to present part of their learning journey from Semester 1 to their parents, caregivers or kin and their contact teachers.
We are already looking forward to Term 3 and the continued work of developing our own SRCS instructional model for teaching and learning, building a Student Wellbeing Framework, supporting final year students to get ready to graduate, increasing social and emotional learning opportunities for students in all year levels and preparing year 9 & 10’s to attend work experience, as well as plan for 2023.