Dear ADHS Community,
Welcome to 2020! After such a tumultuous summer break, it was comforting that all staff and students arrived back safely. It was fantastic to see so many Year 7 parents on the first day with their young people, as well as the large number of parents who also stayed on for a chat with our team and each other. I have been delighted to see how well our Year 7 students have settled in to their learning programs and the high levels of engagement already occurring. Our inspiring Year 7 Coordinator, Elizabeth Lorenz, has been integral to this successful transition. A very warm welcome also to our new students and families in Years 8, 9, 10.
Wellbeing Resources for Natural Disasters
Many staff and students may be returning to school having been directly affected by the recent and continuing bushfire and hailstorm events and will understandably feel distressed, and at times overwhelmed, by what has happened.
To assist, staff in schools have been provided with a resource pack which is designed to provide information and guidance to educators within ACT Government schools on how to help themselves and students recover from the impact of the bushfires.
The information is evidence-informed, recently reviewed and is sourced primarily from Emerging Minds (National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health) and Headspace. This information is being used widely across States and Territories in response to the recent bushfires.
If you or your young person has concerns, I encourage them to speak with a trusted teacher or member of the Student Engagement Team.
There are some services that parents and children (and educators) can access at any time, without having to go in and see someone in person. Many of these can be found on the internet and a few key services are listed below.
1800 551 800 or kidshelpline.com.au
13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au
1300 30 1300
1300 224 636 or www.beyondblue.org.au
Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement
1800 642 066
headspace 1800 650 890 or headspace.org.au
Education Directorate Air Quality Response
The Education Directorate has provided all schools with additional risk assessment and response plans to manage the air quality issues Canberra has been experiencing since late 2019.
Schools are provided with a daily air quality rating, spanning one of four impact levels – normal, minimal, moderate or high. This rating will determine the school’s response and mitigation actions, which range from minimising outdoor activity through to remaining indoors.
Additional interventions are included for sensitive students and staff. This category includes:
Parents may elect to keep their child at home in response to issues of air quality at any time. To support this choice the absence will be recorded as leave (approved) in line with the attendance policy.
- Children 14 years or younger (for practical purposes Year 9 and below)
- Those with existing heart or lung conditions (including asthma)
- Pregnant students
Please contact the school via the Tutor Group teacher or Front Office if you would like to provide any updated information about existing medical conditions or student medical management plans in relation to air quality.
Alfred Deakin High operates a highly successful parental engagement model, which centres on a series of Parent Forums and Parent Support Group sessions. The model was designed a number of years ago in response to feedback from our community around what type of parental engagement best enables parents to engage with important topics impacting young people’s education in a contemporary high school setting. Parent Forums operate in lieu of a traditional P & C.
ADHS Parent Support Group This group meets once per term during Week 5 and provides an opportunity to hear from experts and discuss issues impacting the wellbeing, lives and learning of our young people. The topics are generated by our parents and you are most welcome to come along to any or all sessions, depending on your needs and interests. The focus for this term is on the Google Apps for Education (GAFE). It will be held on Wednesday 4th March from 5.00 – 6.00pm in the e-Hub (library). More information to follow.
Alfred Deakin High School values our parent community and we invite you to be partners in learning. This year we will again conduct parent forums to discuss a range of topics including Year 10 certification, Year 7 transition, Australian Curriculum, assessment, College transition and other topics that parents may suggest. The term 1 Forums are as follows:
Parents can discuss student progress over the term with each of the teachers. Interview times are five minutes long, but additional time can be scheduled on request – before, during or in the days following. Booking information is issued with the Progress Reports midway through the term.
- Year 10 Information Night on March 5th from 6.00 - 7.00pm. Staff will advise parents on requirements for Year 10 Certification, Road Ready, Work Experience and other significant issues/events for our Year 10 students.
- Year 7 Information Night on February 26th from 6.00 – 8.00pm. This will be an opportunity to experience your student’s timetable, meet their teachers, and alert them to any issues/concerns/aspirations you have in their education.
- Parent – Teacher evening
- 31st March from 4 – 6 pm
- 6th April from 4 – 6 pm
First point of contact for parents
Tutor Group teachers are an important first point of contact for all parents. All students meet in Tutor Group at the start of each day, and in an extended session of Pastoral Care once per fortnight. Tutor Group teachers will be contacting you in the coming weeks (by phone or email) to canvas how we can form a great partnership for the benefit of your child.
Year Coordinators and Assistant Year Coordinators are allocated to a specific year group and play a pivotal role in looking after students. Their role is to organise year group activities (eg. camps, major excursions), take care of concerns for their year group and work closely with Tutor Group teachers. Year Coordinators work closely with the Executive Teacher of Student Services, Kristy Buchanan. The Year Coordinators for 2020 are:
Year 7 – Elizabeth Lorenz & Harry Grimes
Year 8 – Ellie Templeton & Jo Hopman
Year 9 – Sarah Flynn & Damien Plenty
Year 10 – Cara Irvine & Rhys Lintern
Staff changes in 2020
We welcome the following new staff to ADHS:
Zuzette Fahey - Indigenous Education Officer
Kieran Sibley - Languages
Sarah Dyball - Diversity
Catriona Silverstone – Science
Ross Burdon - Maths
Manase Kaho– Learning Support
Manny Snooks – Learning Support
Jake Provan – Learning Support
Ellie Brislane – Learning Support
We are delighted the following staff will be returning:
Zoe Lewer - Science
Coreen Sauriol - Languages
Jacinta Lee - Languages
Alix Dayhew – Central administration
And equally delighted we have been able to retain the following:
Emma Mahon - Administration
Sharon McCoy - Administration
Jordan McGillivray - Science
Amber Turner - Languages
Kerrie Trott - Languages
Rhys Lintern – Arts
Sam McLoughlin-Wilden - Science
Robert King – Health & Physical Education
School Executive changes
Todd Brazier, after 13 years of great service to the ADHS community, has moved on to work in the Directorate’s Student Engagement Team. Todd has had a significant impact on the culture of our school and has positively impacted the lives of many young people. I know many families over the years have greatly appreciated Todd’s support and counsel in sometimes challenging circumstances. We wish him well in the new role.
Kristy Buchanan has moved into the role of Executive Teacher Student Engagement. Kirsten Bedggood is currently leading the Student Diversity area and Kellie Williams is acting as Executive Teacher in Languages.
Mobile Phone Policy draft
Following the period of consultation with parents, students and staff in 2019, we were able to launch the revised Mobile Phone Policy with our students to begin the year. The document is attached for your information and comment.
I look forward to catching up with may of you at the term 1 parent forums.