Term 2 has certainly been eventful with continued impact from COVID. During this term several staff have contracted COVID, but we appear to be moving to a more stable situation heading into Term 3. I wish to thank staff for their efforts over this challenging time and I look forward to staff and students having a less interrupted Semester 2.
I wish to address an issue that has been ongoing for the past few years – student use of mobile phones at school. As I am sure you are all aware, in line with government policy, student mobile phones are not permitted to be switched on or used on school sites. Over the past few years, we have attempted to support students in complying with this requirement. Unfortunately, students continue to use their mobile phones inappropriately and this has impacted learning and safety. Students have filmed events without permission, been on social media platforms instead of completing work and in some instances engaged in online bullying.
Our school’s pillars are Learning, Safety, Responsibility and Respect. We strive to ensure every student feels safe at school and supported in their learning. Balga SHS remains committed to ensure the use of mobile phones at school ceases. Students have been given warnings repeatedly and due to continued breaches, we are now going to enforce this without exception. Please be aware that student mobile phones are not allowed on the Balga SHS site. If a student is required to have a mobile phone for safety reasons regarding travelling to and from school, the phone must be switched off and remain in the school bag throughout the school day.
Our management strategy moving forward will be that if a student has a mobile phone out at school, it will be confiscated and will only be returned to the parent/carer’ not the student. I ask everyone to work with us to ensure we can maintain safety and the best learning environment in our school. Please note that because of this policy, our school canteen will only be accepting cash or card payments next term. Payments using mobile phones will not be possible.
On another issue, I also ask parents and carers to assist with compliance regarding school uniforms. It is a requirement that students wear the school uniform. Our uniform is the school shirt, with plain (no logos) black pants/shorts/skirt. We have our school jacket which can be worn on top of the shirt during cold days. Alternately, we do permit students to wear additional warmer clothing beneath the school shirt. If a student arrives at school out of uniform, they will be provided with a uniform from our Student Services team to wear for the day. Most students are doing a great job in complying with the uniform policy so well done and for those who are struggling to comply, we will assist by providing the loan uniform. Should you have any issues with obtaining a uniform, please contact the school and have a chat with me.
On a more positive note, our students have continued to work hard throughout this semester, and it was great to see more students passing ONLA. I look forward to even more students passing their OLNA next semester and I thank staff for the additional support provided to assist them in this regard.
The Performing Art Centre and STEM upgrade preliminary work continues to progress. Unfortunately, the start date for the actual construction of this facility has been delayed from the end of 2022 to the second half of 2023. We remain excited about this wonderful facility becoming operational by the end of 2024.
Our school board would like to call for parent/carer nominations. Our school board meets once per term and provides feedback and oversight on our school operations. It is important that we have parent/carer representation on our board because our school is for our community. If you are interested in nominating, please contact the school on 9247 0222 and I can provide more information regarding these important positions.
The rebranding of our House system has continued this term and we now have signage around the school to reinforce what will continue to be a vibrant and connected House system at Balga SHS. Our Positive Behaviours and Student Health and Wellbeing strategies will all be connected through our House model. A big thank you to our P&C for funding this project. We are currently in the process of implementing a program to further support our students – The Berry Street Education Model. This strategy will include information sessions with parents and carers to explain how this will function within our school, and most importantly, how it will benefit students. Staff training will be a priority in 2023 and all staff will be fully trained by the end of 2024. In the meantime, there will be staged implementation of the strategies.
Finally, I wish to thank my staff for their outstanding efforts during a challenging period again this term. I also want to acknowledge the challenges our students and the community have had to face throughout the first half of 2022, (and I hope we have a less interrupted Semester 2). Enjoy your holidays, be safe and we look forward to seeing everyone back at school on Tuesday, 19 July.
Mr Mark Carton – Principal
TERM 3 2022 STUDENTS RETURN
TUESDAY 19 July 2022