From the Principal Class Team
Dear Parents and Families
From the school assembly, to the swimming carnival, to MAC auditions, the inter House chess competitions, our Valentines and Multicultural Day celebrations, camps to Melbourne University, Strathbogie and the Alpine School, student forums, Class Captain and SRC meetings, our Alumni morning tea and parent nights, and many more events in between, there is so much to acknowledge and be proud of this term. And all of these things are in addition to the dedicated teaching and learning work being done by teachers and students in classrooms every lesson of every day, and to the work of our excellent Education Support staff teams across the school.
There has certainly been a range of challenges this term, but the collective efforts of everyone in our school community including our families have made it possible to address these productively together.
We are really pleased to welcome David Dang to the school as a member of the PE and Maths Departments. Sara Ibrahim joins the Wellbeing Team as a social worker whilst Lalith Buddhadasa is on leave. And, on that note, congratulations to Lalith and his partner on the arrival of their baby daughter, Lilac Rakarun Buddhadasa,
and to Linda Soulemain and her partner on the birth of thier son, Qasim.
We wish both families the very best of happiness and health.
To Craig Jennings, Emi Narasaki, Peta Burgess and Craig Moore who are taking leave for Term 2 for an enjoyable and restful time.
To Janet McKenzie who is replacing Craig Jennings as Assistant Principal for Term 2.
Janet is known to many of you as a teacher director of MAC, previous head of Middle Sub School, and leader in the school. We are excited to welcome her to this role, and wish her well for the term.
Foodbank is a hugely valued partner of our school. They also provide food for school breakfast programs for the Department of Education. On Monday 6 March, Foodbank celebrated a fabulous milestone – 30 million breakfasts provided for Victorian school children. And we were privileged to be asked to host the event.
Our student leaders greeted guests, including the Honourable Natalie Hutchins MP, Minister for Education and Women, David McNamara CEO of Foodbank Victoria, the Honourable Natalie Suleyman MP, Minister for Youth, Veterans and Small Business, along with Foodbank staff and Department of Education representatives.
It was a beautiful morning, and wonderful to see the work of Foodbank being recognised for the significant difference it makes every day to the lives and participation of so many young people and families.
Congratulations and thanks to Carmel Castorina for her leadership of the Breakfast Club, to John Coulson for his initiative and coordination with Foodbank, and to Hayley Acevski and the Wellbeing Team for supporting students and families in partnership with Foodbank.
Alumni Morning Tea
It was such a delight to host eighteen alumni for a tour of the school morning tea last week.
Past students across 3 decades from 1995 to 2020 Joined Alumni Program Coordinator, Nicole Gurd, student leaders, and staff to reminisce, marvel at the changes to their old school, and to catch up with teachers and staff, and to make new connections. It was lovely to hear their memories and, importantly, about what their lives and pathways have been since leaving St Albans Secondary College.
The Alumni Program has really enriched and strengthened the fabric of our school, as well as had an impact on individual students; and we are so grateful to Nicole for her leadership and inspiration.
If you would like to know more about the program, please get in touch with Nicole through the school office. We’d love to have you involved.
New School Council
Our new School Council commenced its term of office on 23 March. We have a 15 member council: 7 parent representatives; 3 staff; 2 community members; 2 student representatives; and the principal as Executive Officer.
The members are:
|Dr Tracy Nero||Community||President|
|Mr Quan Nguyen||Community|
|Mr Dat Do||Parent|
|Ms Diane Hanmer||Parent|
|Mr Haider Khan||Parent|
|Ms Marian Phan||Parent|
|Mr Sanjesh Raidu||Parent|
|Ms Parekohai (PK) Whakamoe||Parent|
|Ms Piera Biondi||Staff|
|Mr John Coulson||Staff||Treasurer|
|Mr Matthew Olthoff||Staff|
|Ms Crystal Nguyen||Student|
|Ms Haily Le||Student|
We are grateful for the advice and guidance provided by our School Council.
You can get in touch with your School Council by emailing the school: email@example.com
Our development of facilitied for students and staff continues this year. We have a new outdoor chess set which is proving to be very popular. And the Wood Technology room has had a refit to increase access to equipment for students.
We are now in the process of seeking permission from the Victorian School Building Authority to reblock the F Wing and to raise the corridor ceilings.
A feasibility study for a complete rebuild or renovation for the Performing Arts Centre has been completed, and we are seeking funding for this.
A reminder of how important it is that students are fully prepared for learning. Part of this is being punctual to all classes. Please support your child’s learning by ensuring that they arrive at school in plenty of time to get the correct books and be in class by 8.55am. We are continuing to run lateness blitzes, and will contact parents where there are issues with student punctuality.
Every year in March, we celebrate our school’s diverse multicultural communities. We are a school of over 70 countries and languages, a fact that makes us tremendously proud.
To celebrate Cultural Diversity Week and to Celebrate Harmony Day, our VCE-VM students, in partnership with our Wellbeing Team, held a lunchtime event to celebrate our diversity. The food and cultures of over 15 countries were represented and students also sang and performed creating a joyful atmosphere that celebrated who we are as a College. The theme of the event was “Everyone Belongs” and, thanks to the work of our students and staff, that message was clearly communicated.
Also, as part of this week, teachers shared the above theme with their classes and facilitated discussion with them on multiculturalism, belonging, differences and similarities. At our school, we believe we all have a role to play in creating a safe school environment where everyone belongs. As a member of our community, we also ask you to consider what role you can play to ensure everyone feels welcome and how we can celebrate different cultures and communities. How do you call out discrimination if you see it and teach others to do the same? Together we aim to ensure that everyone at our school feels Connected, Protected and Respected.
Parent Teacher Interviews
Parent teacher interviews for all students will be held on Wednesday, 5 April 2023 between 1:00 pm & 7:00 pm.
We would like all parents and guardians to take this opportunity to meet teachers and to discuss their child’s progress with them. Students are expected to attend interviews with their parents so that they can take an active role in discussing their learning and setting goals for further improvement or challenge in each subject.
There will be no regular classes on this day.
The interviews will be conducted in two sessions:
- Session 1: 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm (last booking is 3:24 pm)
- Session 2: 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm (last booking is 6:54 pm)
Further information can be found on your Compass feed and all Year 7 Parents should have received a hard copy of the letter that is attached to the Compass post. To book your child’s interviews, log into the Compass Portal and follow the instructions. Please contact your child’s Year Level Coordinator if you are having any difficulties making bookings.
All Year 7 to 9 and selected Year 10 students travelled to Oak Park Aquatic Centre on Tuesday 7 March for our annual Swimming Carnival. The weather was mild and a little overcast, but this did not dampen the enthusiasm of competitors. Many students made use of the giant waterslide and took part in volleyball and other activities run to win house points throughout the day. You can read more about the Swimming Carnival later in this newsletter.
The final points for each house were:
Well done to all participants, and to Irwin House for being named the overall winner. Thanks to Mr Lakovski, the Physical Education staff, House Leaders and all the staff who attended and helped plan this event.
Western Chances Scholarship Award Ceremony
Last week, a number of our scholarship recipients participated in the Western Chances Scholarship Award Ceremony and were presented with their scholarship certificates. This was an event to celebrate and support this year’s recipients and alumni. The guest alumnus was also a former student of St Albans Secondary College, Eangano Singehebhuye who spoke so positively about his experiences both with Western Chances and also while at our school. Eagano is a truly remarkable young man who is giving back to his community in so many ways.
Please take a look at the photos and more detailed information later in this newsletter.
Annual Privacy Reminder for our School Community
We wish students, staff and families a happy and relaxing break over the holidays and look forward to seeing you on 24 April for the start of Term 2.