Term 2 Update

Dear Families,

Welcome to Term 2, 2022! I am relieved that COVID restrictions have eased and that we have been able to start with a more optimistic outlook.

While we are still experiencing COVID in the community, including our staff, we will be facing challenges for a while yet. I am confident that the Joseph Banks Secondary College community will come together to overcome any challenge that comes our way. A continuing challenge from Term 1 is keeping up with the high volume of staff absences caused by COVID. To help ensure that all classes are adequately covered, our Leadership and Executive team members have been taking lessons where needed. This week we have also been able to access relief staff from the Department of Education. This has helped to alleviate pressure to some degree.

Your understanding and support is appreciated as we continue to navigate the impacts on staffing brought about by COVID-19.

The pandemic has also impacted staffing, in general, and you may be aware that there is a shortage of teachers Australia-wide. The shortage opens up an opportunity for high numbers of staff movement within the system, across systems and in other industries. As well, this year Joseph Banks Secondary College has a number of staff taking maternity leave. We are working hard to fill a small number of vacancies with suitably qualified teachers. Again, we appreciate your understanding and support as we work through these processes. Please make contact if you have any concerns.

In the coming weeks we will be offering a number of family engagement events to our community. Please find details for these on our Date Card on our website. Some events will be slightly modified as the timing has changed from our usual calendar of events. Most importantly, we would like to welcome our current Year 7 families and any other new families, to the College on Thursday 19 May 2022. We are having a sausage sizzle and would love for as many families as possible to attend. Please see details on our website.

Another important set of dates to keep in mind are those of our P&C meetings. At the Annual General Meeting last term, the committee agreed their dates should be alternated. The first meeting in each term will be Tuesday of Week 3 and the second meeting will usually be Monday of Week 7 (except this term due to the WA Day public holiday). Meetings commence at 7pm. Participating in the P&C is a great way to find out what is happening in the College.

At the end of last term I received feedback from a parent that our Positive Behaviour Plan and associated policies, including our Mobile Phone Policy, are out of date. This parent was correct! The College will be working through a process to update these policies over the next term or two. A consultative process will be established to gain feedback from parent and student representatives. During Term 1, it was evident that mobile phone use at school, and in some instances, outside of school, is more problematic than ever. We need to review our stance on the use of mobile phones, and we need your help. Please look out for information in the coming weeks seeking family engagement and consultation regarding these important policies that help us manage the school.

To kickstart Term 2, I was visited last Friday by Jay Peckitt, Deputy Director General from Department of Education, who delivered a Certificate of Commendation to the College, celebrating the success of our Year 12 students in 2021. A particular focus of our success is reflected in our Director General, Lisa Rodgers’ comment: “In determining the schools that have performed particularly well in 2021, a school’s overall performance was considered, taking into account the students who commenced in Year 11 and completed Year 12 with a WACE, as well as the progress and achievement of your Year 12 cohort, based on their Year 9 NAPLAN results”. You can find a copy of the certificate and supporting letter here on our website. I am proud of our students and our College community. This commendation is testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone!

I look forward to working with you throughout the year. I am sure we will have more success to celebrate.

Yours sincerely, Eleanor Hughes