School Council Reporting

School Council Meeting 10 May 2017

As part of the governing body of the school, one of the recurring jobs of School Council is to review the Standing Orders that roll over from the previous year. The Standing Orders outline the general purpose of the Council and promote an efficient and effective operation. This is a job that is held over until the completion of the election process and time was set aside at the last council meeting to attend to this task. It was identified that a number of the details of the Standing Orders required attention and some clarification of intent. Various amendments were made in the meeting with further work continuing that will be confirmed by School Council members at the next meeting in June.

Current School Council Attends Governance Training

One of the responsibilities of Council Members as outlined in the Standing Orders is to participate in at least one annual professional development activity relating to the operation of the School Council. With this in mind and with the new year of School Council operation upon us, nine members of the current council attended a governance training session held by Synergistiq on behalf of the State Government on the 17th May at the school. The session covered the legislative framework the School Council operates under and clarified the roles and responsibilities of councillors, as well as delving into common issues School Councils might come across. The opportunity for questions within the training session allowed many of the issues that the school council has already come across to be discussed and resolved.

Finance Report Committee

Reports from the Council sub-committees included a report from the finance committee that all expenditure reports have been examined thoroughly and found no outstanding unaccounted for expenditure.  Further information outlined that the school continues to maintain a healthy position financially given the current student enrolment numbers.

Buildings & Grounds Committee

Buildings and Grounds committee has been continuing contact with Melbourne City Council to discuss streetscape opportunities in the school vicinity and is continuing to look into feasibility of new building projects within the school such as new toilets and connections between the Upper Comm and Flex as well as more options for bike parking for students and teachers.

Overview of Assessment Cycle

As we move to the end of term two and the teaching staff are busy working on reports for students, the School Council were in unanimous agreement that the overview of the assessment process used at NMPS and currently available on the school website be promoted to the parent community. You can find a fantastic video that shows how the assessment cycle works at NMPS via this link: http://www.northmelbourneps.vic.edu.au/learning/how-we-assess-at-nmps/

All School Council members were very impressed with the clarification provided by this video and felt that this resource should be highlighted. As recommended by the Education Committee, you will find links to the above web page on Compass in the coming weeks but we suggest that you take the time to visit the page in preparation for the reports that will be delivered home soon or just so that you can understand how the teachers at our school determine individual student progression.

NMPS Website as Resource for Parents

Finally, the School Council received advice from DET regarding unofficial school online presence. The School Council would like to make it clear to parents that NMPS has not established any online presence other than our official School website that can be found here. http://www.northmelbourneps.vic.edu.au/  We remind parents that this is a valuable resource where many questions you have about the school can be answered including information about news items, learning overviews for each year level, policies and procedures, staffing and classes and Compass access.

Next Meeting

School Council will next meet on 21 June 2017

 

 


School Council Report 21 March 2017

At our first School Council meeting with our newly elected members the following members were appointed to these positions.

School Council Positions       
President   Hayley Sandpearl
Vice President   Megan Cusack
Secretary   Megan Cusack - March, April & May
    Pam Newton – June, August & September
    Leon Prentice – October & November
Committees    
Buildings & Grounds   Paul von Chrismar (Convenor), Tyson Smith, Kris Mrska, Jason Aspridis (community member)
OSHC/Biz e Kidz   Josie Chan (Convenor), Cat Coley, Leon Prentice, Jed Corbett, Kate Carroll (community member)
Finance   Pam Newton (Convenor), Leon Prentice, Cat Coley, Anne Wrigley (Business Manager)
Education   Craig Turner (Convenor), Hayley Sandpearl, Mandy Coulson, Brent McDonald, Jed Corbett, Gen Kelly
Parents & Friends   Megan Cusack (Convenor), Mandy Coulson, Gen Kelly
Communications Committee   Hayley Sandpearl (Convenor)

 

How to make contact with our school council or committees.
All correspondence should be emailed to the President or Convenor at north.melbourne.ps@edumail.vic.gov.au  Please indicate in the subject line of your message whether to wish to contact the School Council President or a Committee Convenor.
Correspondence sent to private emails may not be received or documented effectively for timely presentation at School Council or committee meetings.

 


School Council Report Meeting 16 November 2016

Presentation of NMPS Assessment

Following a presentation to the Education Committee earlier this month, NMPS teacher Eve Wilson presented her overview of NMPS Assessment to the School Council. The aim of the presentation was to clarify the assessment processes used at NMPS covering the steps staff go through when determining a student grade. Eve gave examples of the variety of data that was collected and how that data was used to ensure that each student had a fair and accurate representation of their skills and the areas that needed more attention. The Council were impressed to see the level of detail the staff went into and the staff collaboration that was available to ensure the assessments were thorough. The SC feel that this information would be welcomed by the wider school community and have requested that Eve’s presentation be uploaded on to the school website.

NMPS Child Safe Policy

Tyson delivered an update on the progress of the NMPS Child Safe Policy that has been a work in progress over this year and was last presented to Council as an action plan. The policy is ready to be endorsed by the SC and then will be submitted for external endorsement. As the OHS Officer, Tyson also presented the 2017 camp proposals and risk assessments and the SC endorsed the proposal to continue running the camps in 2017 as they had successfully run for this year.

Changes to the Designated Neighbourhood Area (DNA)

As reported in the last SC report in the Errol St News #36, the Council determined it would be beneficial to invite a representative from the DET to attend this SC meeting following the release of the School Provision Review for Docklands Stage Two Report, to explain how proposed changes to the Designated Neighbourhood Area (DNA) for Uni High might impact NMPS. John Stone attended the meeting and confirmed that the change in DNA for Uni High will have no direct impact on our school and that at the moment there are no planned changes to the NMPS DNA. It was highlighted that at NMPS, the strict enforcement of policy where every child who resides in our DNA are eligible to enrol in the school but that those living outside the area are unable to, (including siblings of current students), has seen a dramatic decrease in numbers enrolled from out of DNA. While the enrolment pressures are still likely to be an ongoing issue for NMPS, John confirmed that the Government are actively looking for suitable land to build a new primary school in the area.

Parents & Friends Input

School Council received a summary of the outcomes from the Parents and Carers Forum held on Wednesday 9 November 2016 and will look at the information presented in conjunction with the information gathered from an online survey to the wider school community in the coming weeks.

Biz-E-Kidz

In general Council business, Biz-E-Kidz reported that the Prep welcome morning tea that was held in the Biz-E-Kidz space provided a positive opportunity for new parents to meet the staff and discuss the outside school hours care. Prep enrolments in the program are very likely all submitted and the applications look like they will all be able to be accommodated again this year. The successful Foundation Year initiation program that allows the new school students to settle in to the Biz-E-Kidz care at their own pace will again be able to run as it has this year. The enrolments for older years were still coming in at the time of the meeting.

 
School Council will meet next in February 2017.


Update on SC meeting attendance, 13 September 2016

The School Council acknowledges the recent interest from members of the community to attend NMPS Council meetings as observers.

Given this interest, the Council is in the process of revising the meeting attendance procedure and will share it with the wider community in the coming weeks. The purpose is to ensure that there is a common understanding of the notice period required to attend, when meetings are classified as closed confidential meetings or open meetings, the number of observers allowed per meeting and what observers can expect.

The Council looks forward to articulating this procedure soon, however if you have any questions in the interim, please do not hesitate to contact one of your School Council representatives. Email contacts can be found on our website: School Council Contacts

 

School Council Response to Requests to Attend Council & Sub-Committee Meetings, 30 August 2016

At the last council meeting it was noted that there has been an increase in the number of inquiries from members of the school community, wishing to attend council meetings as observers.

In keeping with our efforts the make council more open and transparent, the right of parents and carers to attend was affirmed.  It was agreed that this should apply to both council and committee meetings, subject to appropriate rules and conditions.

Obviously the right to attend has to be balanced against the occasional requirements of confidentiality, and the efficient running of council.

As a result, council resolved that the community should be provided with guidelines concerning attendance, so that everyone understands the process, and knows what’s expected of them. These guidelines will be published as soon as precise details have been settled and agreed upon, but certainly well in advance of the next council meeting, scheduled for 19 October.

We look forward to seeing those of you that are interested at our future meetings.

 


NMPS Communications Survey results and recommendations, 30 August 2016

In May 2016 a survey was issued to the North Melbourne Primary School (NMPS) community. The intention of the survey was to gain an understanding of how the school was communicating with the school community and to identity areas for improvement. During the two month period in which the survey was open, 71 responses were received. This is a good result for a survey of this nature whereby there was no incentive for people to participate.

The survey was issued to the school community through notifications on the app tiqbiz and the school newsletter which is distributed via email.

Results noted that there have been improvements in NMPS' approach to communication over the last two years following the introduction of tiqbiz, in particular that:

  • tiqbiz is an effective way of engaging the school community and providing immediate information
  • the fortnightly newsletter is a useful mechanism of providing more detailed information, that doesn't require an immediate call to action.

The survey also noted that there is still scope for improvement, including:

  • timeliness of tiqbiz notifications and the quantity of updates issued in a day
  • increased number of opportunities for parent and teacher engagement and communication - written updates and prospects to meet one-on-one or within a wider forum
  • newsletter format and content - a layout that is easier to read, more strategic content and accuracy of information  
  • enhanced knowledge within the school community on the level of engagement the school offers, i.e. process for responding to enquiries, school's preference for student lead interviews, opportunities to book appointments with teachers
  • communication with parents as their child begins their schooling journey.

The NPMS Communication sub-committee carefully reviewed the survey results, in particular the detailed commentary that was provided to key questions, to prepare six recommendations to the School Council for approval, and subsequent implementation.

These recommendations included:

1.    Newsletter

  • Review and refine the format of the newsletter to enhance understanding of content.
  • Implement mechanisms for a third party review of the newsletter to ensure accuracy of information, ensure views shared are professional and that there are no grammatical or spelling errors.
  • Establish a protocol for the sharing of information via tiqbiz, i.e. frequency of alerts, time prior to an event (2 days prior preferred)  and limiting the number of notifications per day.
  • Undertake an extensive communication campaign at the start of each year (for both new and existing parents) advising how to use tiqbiz, including the development of a Fact Sheet outlining the school's preferred communication methods, frequency in which information is shared and the measures parents need to take to be involved in receiving information.
  • Note: All recommendations relating to tiqbiz, may need to be on hold and modified as the school migrates to the Compass system.
  • Development of a clear protocol for communicating with the school leadership / teachers and parents - detailing who to contact if there is a concern, the timeframe a response can be expected, and where to go if additional information is required.
  • Establishment of an enquiries email (enquiries.nmps@edumail.vic.gov.au) where all school enquiries can be directed, and an establishment of a protocol of how these enquiries are addressed and timeframe responded to.
  • Establish a parent / teacher forum at the start of the new year for each grade, where teachers outline the approach to education for each grade for that year, what parents can expect and how parents can support their child and teacher during the course of the year.
  • Undertake a survey with culturally diverse members of the school community to understand how the school can improve communication within these communities.
  • Establish a buddy system for new families - both with those joining in prep and families new to the school . The system would involve holding morning tea mornings with a small group of parents so they can ask questions of existing parents on what they can expect when their child starts school and sharing contact details should the new parents have additional questions.

2.    tiqbiz

  • Establish a protocol for the sharing of information via tiqbiz, i.e. frequency of alerts, time prior to an event (2 days prior preferred)  and limiting the number of notifications per day.
  • Undertake an extensive communication campaign at the start of each year (for both new and existing parents) advising how to use tiqbiz, including the development of a Fact Sheet outlining the school's preferred communication methods, frequency in which information is shared and the measures parents need to take to be involved in receiving information.
  • Note: All recommendations relating to tiqbiz, may need to be on hold and modified as the school migrates to the Compass system

3.    General communication

  • Development of a clear protocol for communicating with the school leadership / teachers and parents - detailing who to contact if there is a concern, the timeframe a response can be expected, and where to go if additional information is required.
  • Establishment of an enquiries email (enquiries.nmps@edumail.vic.gov.au) where all school enquiries can be directed, and an establishment of a protocol of how these enquiries are addressed and timeframe responded to.

4.    Teacher communication

  • Establish a parent / teacher forum at the start of the new year for each grade, where teachers outline the approach to education for each grade for that year, what parents can expect and how parents can support their child and teacher during the course of the year.

5.    Engaging our culturally diverse community

  • Undertake a survey with culturally diverse members of the school community to understand how the school can improve communication within these communities.

6.    Engaging our with new families

  • Establish a buddy system for new families - both with those joining in prep and families new to the school . The system would involve holding morning tea mornings with a small group of parents so they can ask questions of existing parents on what they can expect when their child starts school and sharing contact details should the new parents have additional questions.

The School Council voted unanimously to support all of six of these recommendations. Discussions however need to be had with Sally and the teachers about the resources that would be required to make recommendations 3 & 4 possible. These are operational matters, not governance related. Sally and the teaching community will report back to the School Council at the next meeting on how these recommendations can be pursued and what resources they may require.

The Communications Sub-Committee would like to thank everyone who participated in the survey, as your feedback will help shape the way in which the school communicates in the future. Thank you.

 

Communications Sub-Committee Report, 8 August 2016

Meeting No. 2  8 August 2016

Meeting Date:

08 August 2016

Meeting Location:

Auction Rooms

Attendees:

Megan Cusack, Gen Kelly, Kris Mrksa and Robyn Phelan

 

Item

Actions

  1.  

Communications survey

General discussion on the Communications Survey report and the key findings and recommendations. A few amendments were made to the recommendations in preparation for presentation to the School Council at the August meeting.

  • Recommendation that the actions from the survey be endorsed and that the survey summary be included in the next newsletter on behalf of the subcommittee.
  1.  

Newsletter

Overall discussion on possible improvements to the newsletter, and opportunities to adopt changes immediately i.e. table of contents, regular segments in every edition etc. Robyn also provided information on the number of people subscribed to tiqbiz and the email newsletter. Noted that the number of users is quite high number in light of the number of families enrolled in the school.

  • Robyn to start to implement some of the recommended changes to the newsletter immediately.
  1.  

Communications policy

Robyn noted that she is still seeking feedback on the school's Communication Policy before it is publicised. Subcommittee agreed to review the policy at the next Committee meeting in light of the recommendations in the Communications Survey.

  • Table Communications Policy feedback at the subcommittee meeting on 12 September.
  1.  

NMPS communication processes

Discussion about the need for an overall communications process to provide families with a better understanding of how enquiries will be managed, the type of response they will receive and the timeframe in which a response is provided. While the process recently produced process goes some way to do achieve this, it needs more substance behind it.

Subcommittee would like the opportunity to talk more with the School Council and Sally about how this process can be enhanced.

  • Recommendation that the subcommittee work with Sally and staff to expand upon the newly proposed communications process - providing further clarity on how enquiries are managed and what families can expect and vice versa to school staff.
  • Megan to provide the subcommittee with a flowchart highlighting a previous enquiry management process.
  1.  

Next meeting: Monday, 12 September 2016, venue tbc


From Biz – E - Kidz Sub-Committee & School Council Committee. August 2016

Biz – E - Kidz program clarification

There seems to be some confusion around the 2017 Biz – E - Kidz program following the report in the previous newsletter (2 August 2016).  The School Council and the Biz – E - Kidz committee would like to provide additional information and clarify the number of positions available in next year's program.

The NMPS Biz – E - Kidz program is currently licensed to accommodate 165 children per session - that is a total of 825 available places across all sessions of after school care per week.  This licence is based on space available within the school, resourcing levels to child ratio, safety consideration and overall logistics.

The proposed 2017 program is based on keeping the program numbers the same per afternoon session, including 30 preps per afternoon session in a separate transitional program. The prep transitional program was successfully implemented for the first time this year with a similar number of children, and was praised by parents for successfully equipping children to adjust from childcare/ kindergarten to after school care. 

The Biz – E - Kidz subcommittee have explored many options to determine how best to accommodate the demand for this well-managed, and fun-filled OSHC program.  The School Council support this proposal, and believe that it is the best way to accommodate the increasing demand for this service, while not compromising the safety of our children and the quality of the care provided.


Report from Meeting on the 15 July 2016

B+G Committee - New Demountables Update

Following the first B+G Committee meeting for Term 3 on Friday 15 July, we have chased up the following direct progress update from the Builders and DET Project Manager.
 
Current Status

Both demountable buildings have been built off site and are currently taking up space in the Builders factory, awaiting delivery to site.
Melbourne City Council (MCC) have yet to issue the Building Permit, required due to the size of the project, which is required before construction on site can start. MCC are not able to confirm a date for final issue of the Building Permit, but the DET Project Manager anticipates it will be weeks not months.
The Builder and DET Project Manager have advised that once they can start on site, the first building will be ready for occupation by the school in 3 weeks. Work on the second demountable will then follow and take another 3 weeks to be ready for use.
Reasons for Delay
Site surveying and relocating existing underground services, including sewer pipes and higher water table conditions, has been more complex than anticipated. This has required more detailed engineering design and documentation to be approved and submitted to MCC prior to Building Permit Issue.
DET have requested a Staged Building Permit from MCC, to enable the school to occupy the first demountable as soon as possible, rather than wait for construction of the second demountable. This requires more detailed safety procedures to be in place and documented for council approval, which has added to time to the Building Permit approval process.

Stayed tuned for further updates from the B+G Committee and School Council as news comes to hand.



Action from Meeting on the 15 July 2016

Meeting with Minister Merlino's Representatives in the coming weeks.

At the end of last term the School Council wrote to the Minister urging him to visit our school and experience first hand the current enrollment pressures. We are pleased to report that we have had a response from the Minister, and that we will be meeting with representatives from the Minister and the Department in the coming weeks. We will report on the outcomes from this meeting shortly.

Contact for Communications Committee

Megan Cusack - convenor (meganjcusack@gmail.com)
Gen Kelly - genjack@gmail.com
Kris Mrksa - krismrksa@gmail.com

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

School Council Report 15 July 2016

School Security

At the last School Council meeting, members considered the matter of gate locking and school security. Although the importance of keeping the school grounds secure was acknowledged, it was also noted that this must be balanced against the need to comply with emergency evacuation requirements. Both the Department of Education and the relevant emergency services recommend against keeping all gates locked during school hours.

The ideal is to minimise the number of gates left open during the day, so Council resolved to adopt a policy of gate locking based on this approach, and to distribute a map of the grounds to the wider school community, detailing which gates will be open. The map is provided at the start of this report.

21st Century Learning Presentation

School Council also enjoyed a fascinating presentation by Year 4 teacher, Anna-Marie Low, a member of the NMPS leadership team, concerning 21st Century Learning, and the New Pedagogies for Deeper Learning ideals that are being adopted as the new school curriculum is evolved and implemented.

This included an in-depth look at the ways in which the school is striving to teach the skills that will be needed by our children in the technologically transformed society of the near future, grounded in the latest evidence based pedagogies. Interested parents can read further at:

http://npdl.global

http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/support/Pages/deeplearning.aspx

http://www.hewlett.org/programs/education/deeper-learning

School Council Meeting on Enrolment Pressures

In the wake of recent media attention concerning the school’s enrolment pressures, Council also convened an extraordinary meeting, and the recommendations of that meeting were brought to the wider Council. The Council acknowledged that, while the imminent provision of new portable classrooms would alleviate immediate pressures, longer-term solutions are still required. To that extent, Council finalised a letter to the Minister, highlighting our situation and inviting him to visit the school to discuss our situation.

The best result for NMPS would be a new school in the inner North, and Council urges parents to continue to advocate for this, by writing to the minister and voicing your concerns. Contact details for James Merlino are:

Postal Address
MINISTERIAL OFFICE:
Level 3, 1 Treasury Place,
East Melbourne Vic 3002

GPO Box 4367,
Melbourne Vic 3001

Ministerial Address
Ministerial Office, GPO Box 4367, Melbourne Vic 3001

Ministerial Email: james.merlino@parliament.vic.gov.au

 


1st School Council meeting on Wednesday 9th March 2016

Summary

Nominations were called for the President. A vote was taken and Jason was elected as SC President. In the case that Jason is absent, Justin will be the presiding Chairperson.

Interest for Secretary/recorder was called. Gen self-nominated. Discussion about reviewing this if it means the Secretary/recorder does not get to participate in discussions.

Committees:

B&G – Tanja (Convenor), Jason, Tamara, Kris, Katie, Sally

OSHC/Biz e Kidz – Josie (acting Convenor as Megan Cusack is trialling the Communication Committee), Kate, Sally

Finance – Justin (Convenor), Pam, Jason, Sally

Education – Craig (Convenor), Matt, Hayley, Hilary, Justin, Kris

Parents & Friends – Gen Kelly (Convenor)

Communications Sub-Committee convenor Megan 

At the next meeting on May 20th, School Council was joined by John Stone from the Department of Education and Training. He brought the good news that NMPS is high on the waiting list for delivery of a new demountable classroom, and that the waiting time for that classroom should be considerably shorter than had previously been suggested. Watch this space for further details on this positive development.

Discussion also focused on the importance of openness and communication between council and the broader school community.  To that end, it was resolved that from now on; it was recommended that the minutes of all council meetings will be published on the school website. However as some of our new School Council members attended SC training last week they were informed that we should not publish the complete minutes. 

Correspondence was received that Tamara Ryan was resigning her position on SC, due to increased work commitments.  Council was advised that her position should be filled by a casual vacancy; Sally informed SC that one of the other nominated candidates who had run in the last election could be invited to fill this vacancy for Tamara’s term.  Sally recommended Dayle Stevens for the role and after some discussion Dayle was selected to fill the vacancy.  Council would like to thank Tamara for her invaluable service, and welcome Dayle back.

Contacts for School Council members:

Matt       brown.matthew.s@edumail.vic.gov.au
Josie       chan.josie.c@edumail.vic.gov.au
Dayle       daylejstevens@gmail.com
Gen       genjack@gmail.com
Hayley       hayley_and_andy@hotmail.com
Hilary       hilary@hollingsworth.com
Jason       jasonta@live.com.au
Justin       justinkennedy@hotmail.com
Katie       kilner.katherine.j@edumail.vic.gov.au
Kris       kmksa@bigpond.net.au
Megan       meganjcusack@gmail.com
Pam       pamnewton2@bigpond.com.au
Sally       naylor.sally.sl@edumail.vic.gov.au
Tanja       tredl_mamor@hotmail.com
Craig       turner.craig.r@edumail.vic.gov.au

 


School Council Election Results 7 March 2016

Congratulations to Pam Newton, Hayley Sandpearl, Megan Cusack & Kris Mrska who have been elected Parent Members of the NMPS Council.

The 2016 AGM is on Wednesday 1st June at 6pm.

 


2015 School Council Parents Representatives

Matt Brown – DET representative, current Year 3 teacher

Tanja Redl - parent of a year 4, Tamara Ryan-parent of a prep and a year 2, Hilary Hollingsworth-parent of a year 5, Gen Kelly- parent of a year 2 are our parent representatives.

Jason Aspridis – community representative and Justin Kennedy-parent of a year 1 are our new co-opted members.

2015 School Councillors

President:  Dayle daylejstevens@gmail.com

Vice president: Kate katecarroll@iinet.net.au

Treasurer: Leon leonprentice@yahoo.com

Biz e Kidz Committee Convenor: Kate katecarroll@iinet.net.au

SC representatives: Kate, Sally, Matt

Buildings & Grounds Committee Convenor: Tanja tredl_mamor@hotmail.com

SC representatives: Tanja, Jason, Torben, Sally

Parents & Friends Committee Convenor: Meg north.melbourne.ps.committee@gmail.com

 


Thank you to the retiring School Councillors over 20 years of combined service, May 2015.

Bronwen Moncrieff – was the convenor of B&G and of ‘preserves’ fame for approximately 5 years.

Tony Lang – was the Vice President, on Finance and our ‘meeting procedure advisor’ for 6 years.

James Milne - was SC President in 2014, on Finance and our ‘Chief of Fete’ security for 4 years.

Cathy Robinson – SAKGP kitchen specialist, fund raiser and extra-curricular advisor for 3 years.

Colleen Pearson – Treasurer and all round financial advisor for 4 years and is not really completely retiring.

Daniel Betty – who retired and moved to NZ.

Anna-Marie Low – DET representative and curriculum/education committee for 2 years.

SC representatives: Tamara, Gen

Education Committee Convenor: Craig turner.craig.r@edumail.vic.gov.au 

SC representatives: Craig, Matt, Amanda D, Hilary

Finance Committee Convenor: Leon  leonprentice@yahoo.com

SC representatives: Leon, Sally, Amanda W, Colleen (advisor)