End of Semester
Tomorrow brings us to the end of term two and semester one. School finishes at 1.30pm tomorrow. The first day of term 3 is Monday, 12th July.
The year to date has provided a mixed bag of experiences. We began the year hoping for a relatively uninterrupted school year but this has not been the outcome with two lockdowns so far and uncertainty about future pandemic responses.
I am not looking forward to, but it is reasonable to assume there is a high possibility further lockdowns will occur in terms three and four. If they do, and they impact on Manor Lakes College, I hope the disruptions are short term and result in minimal interruption to our teaching programs.
Given the pressures we are all under with the uncertainty the pandemic responses create, I very much wish to thank families, students and teachers for their efforts in managing the lockdowns. The restrictions imposed are often confusing, and the response from the vast majority of our families and students is helpful given the changes that occur as restrictions are relaxed and then increased.
I look forward to the day when camps, excursions, meetings, events and sports can be planned without wondering if they will be allowed to go ahead, and how many people can attend.
Many families may have heard that Kim McCabe, our Primary sector Leader, has taken leave after moving to Regional Victoria for family and personal reasons. On behalf of all the community I thank Kim for her outstanding work over the past three+ years at Manor Lakes P12 College. Kim, in concert with Natalie Vulic, have led the primary sector of our school to substantially improve student outcomes. Kim’s energy, high expectations and drive for student success will be missed. I wish Kim well and expect to hear in the near future of a leadership role in a school near her new home.
The position of Primary Sector leader will be advertised in term 3 to be filled on a substantive basis for 2022. In the meantime, Daniel Condon and Michael Lanyon will share the Principal of the Primary School duties. Emily Batchelor will fill the Acting Assistant Principal role, and some senior staff will take on some additional duties. A primary newsletter in term 3 will provide greater clarity about who will manage which duties.
In the recent state budget, Manor Lakes P12 College was allocated $9.4million for additional classrooms. After contingencies (10%), architects and project managers fees (18%), and furniture (2%), are deducted from the allocation, the school will be working with approximately $6.5 million.
Over the next few years, I am expecting there will be changes to enrolments between secondary, primary and supported. The new classrooms will be located in a way that provides flexibility for sectors to grow or contract as their enrolments change.
Last year, School Council approved the purchase of two midi-buses, (capable of seating 28 students and teachers). These are expected to arrive very soon, and should be available for classes, camps, sports teams and school clubs from term 3.
Technology Network Upgrade.
School Council also approved the replacement and upgrade of the school’s Network infrastructure. Houratious Albert, a parent and school councilor has graciously provided his time and expertise to ensure we were obtaining fit for purpose technology that integrated into DET resources. We are close to commissioning supply and installation, with the hope this will be completed during term 3. The delays have been frustrating, but Houratious identified areas we needed to improve, so without his assistance, we may well have ended up with a less than ideal outcome.
Additionally the school has purchased a hundred devices which will be made available to secondary students as loan or purchase devices. Details of the process will be provided in an early term 3 secondary newsletter.
Emergency evacuation drill
We are required to practice emergency response situations, including lockdown drills. I’ve mentioned this in today’s newsletter because we had a lockdown drill today. If parents of younger students hear stories about a stranger in the grounds and having to hide in the classroom, hopefully this provides some context.
The practice today revealed some issues, (new PA and identifying the bell override button, some rooms with inadequate blinds), and these will be addressed. Next term we will have a practice evacuation of the site.
It was very pleasing as the principal to see the involvement of our community and the outcome from our recently conducted colour run.
Assistance was provided by students from the secondary school offering their leadership and support.
I would like to thank the parent helpers, the secondary students, all participants, and the efforts of Bec Collins in achieving the outcome of raising over $30,000. The money collected will be put towards our maths and science resources. I hope all those who have contributed to the fundraising will see the benefit of the additional resources in their child’s learning.
Mother’s Day stall
Similarly it was wonderful to see a large number of parents assisted Bec Collins with operating a Mother’s Day stall back in May. As a thankyou, the VCAL hospitality team provided a luncheon for those parent helpers. I believe both the caterers and the diners were equally pleased with the results.
(Our VCAL hospitality team has now catered several events and their work is outstanding both the visual and the taste. Well done to this team).
Bonney Sports Field, and Secondary Playing Fields
Families may have noticed the goals that have gone up at the Bonney sports field as well as additional goals in our secondary area for soccer, football and rugby. I have observed many students making use of the goals during their recesses and I hope they continue to attract high usage. I look forward to this resource being an ongoing source of pleasure for our students.
The facilities department of the school used to operate out of the McKay building. Since they have moved into their facility located near the community oval, the Workshop area has been converted into two classrooms. One room will be used for technology and systems lessons. The plan for the other room is to hopefully run a secondary automotive and/or metal class in future years subject to staffing and student interest.
I hope all our families and staff are able to enjoy the fortnight’s break from school, and I look forward to what will be pretty much the final term of school for our year 12 VCE students, and an intense learning term for all students.