For our school 2014 was a busy and productive year. The role of School Council in that busy-ness is not always a highly visible one. Mostly we work behind-the-scenes to create a school environment where our students can reach their full potential.
In 2014 that behind-the-scenes work included the development of our new three-year Strategic Plan. The plan’s development drew on input from staff, school council, parents and friends and the broader school community. It allowed us to identify and express our school values and to reconfirm our commitment to successful learning outcomes for all students. The Strategic Plan also reflects initiatives that were introduced in 2014, including a renewed focus on assessment for learning throughout the school and increased attention to staff professional development. The inclusion of a Learning Coach in the staff structure for 2014 proved to be a highly valued initiative, encouraging and supporting planning and professional learning for all staff. I congratulate Jacqui Rotthier on the positive contribution she has made to the school in her role of Learning Coach.
School Council members have been involved in the introduction of Kids Matter and School Wide Positive Behaviours at KPS – working with staff and other members of the school community to look at how we can support students’ mental health and wellbeing so they can develop as happy, balanced kids. This work will be ongoing as an integral part of our school’s culture.
Over the last year School Council has contributed to efforts to share positive images and stories about the school through local media. We have considered feedback gathered through the annual parent opinion survey and actively looked for ways to strengthen communication with parents and the broader school community. The community BBQ and bush dance that School Council hosted early this year aimed to build relationships between families and their children’s new class teacher. It was a hugely successful event and couldn’t have happened without the enthusiastic efforts of all School Council members.
In 2014 School Council introduced a number of initiatives aimed at supporting families with the financial costs of education. A hardship fund was established to be used at the Principal’s discretion to allow students in need to participate in school camps and excursions. Processes have also been put in place to help family budgeting by sending home advance notice of camp costs, and by providing access to Bpay. As School Council Treasurer, Jodie Olden has worked closely with our Business Manager, Annie Ammitzboll, to put these initiatives in place. Thank you to them both for their efforts.
The maintenance and improvement of our buildings and grounds is an important part of School Council’s role – ensuring that the learning environment is appropriate for the needs of our students and staff. In 2014 School Council projects included replacing the Music Room deck, constructing the commemorative brick steps in the quadrangle and repairing the roof of the Year 3/4 building. Before the start of the 2015 school year further work in the grounds included replacement of shade sails and basketball backboards, installation of mulch retention mats and tree safety work. Heating and cooling solutions have also been installed in the library, library office, staff room and business manager’s office. The school has been fortunate to have had willing support from the school community at a number of working bees over the last 12 months. Thanks to Assistant Principal David Gray and to members of the Buildings and Grounds sub-committee for their contribution to maintaining and improving our facilities.
Events hosted by Parents and Friends over the last 12 months have contributed enormously to community building at KPS. As well as performing a significant fund-raising role, Parents and Friends have brought the school community together at special events like the Trivia Night and Open Air Movie Night. Thank you to all of the P&F volunteers for embodying the friendly and caring spirit of our school community, and special thanks to outgoing P&F President Pee wee Lewis on the conclusion of her enormous contribution to KPS.
Lots of other activities have occurred throughout the year. There has been the regular recurrence of established school traditions, like the ANZAC service, sporting events and Annual Art Show, and newer events that are becoming an integral part of KPS, like HPV and the music soirees. They give all of our diverse students an opportunity to shine and are possible because of the enthusiasm and dedication of our teaching and support staff. Thank you to all of them, and to Nathan and Dave, for your commitment to making our school the fantastic place that it is.
I want to acknowledge the contributions of our retiring School Councillors, Michelle Axford and Georgie Kibble. Michelle has served on School Council for six years, four of those as Secretary, and has been especially active in publicity and marketing activities to develop and promote the school’s connection with the local community. Thank you for all of your work.
Our school community’s interest in School Council has been demonstrated this year with the number of parents nominating for vacant positions on the Council, and by the very large number of parents who voted in the election. It’s great to have so many parents and families who are interested and engaged in the operation and future direction of our school. Welcome to our new School Councillors – Gavin Furness, Sam Davies and Kim Fowles. Thank you for joining us to help create a bright future for all KPS students.
School Council President 2014