High Notes, Vol 17 No 8, March 24 2016

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From the Principal

High Talent
At the season finale swimming carnival at SOPAC, High teams acquitted themselves well. The seniors finished 3rd in the point score to Newington. The Intermediate boys were 4th to the winners, Shore. Our juniors finished 5th to the high scoring Newington. The team and the supporters on the night were a credit to the school. Individual championship honours went to: William Lee 14 Years 50m breaststroke (32.64) and butterfly (29.90), Kalem Best 17 Years 50m freestyle champion (25.17) and 15 Years 50m breaststroke Allen Guo (33.92). Our 17 Years medley relay team (Rowlands, Kuo, Schofield L, Best) won in 1.56.53. Division wins were recorded by James Luo (14 Years 50m breaststroke), Irvin Tsui (15 Years 50m breaststroke), Christian Haddo (18+ 50m breaststroke) and Luke Schofield (17 Years 50m butterfly). The swimming program was managed again in great style by Mr Loizou, our MIC. Congratulations to him and to his competitive squad of dedicated swimmers.

Laser Cutter in Operation
It is an important step forward in precision technology for High to have its own laser cutter. The piece of equipment expands the possibilities for the type and variety of products that the students (and staff) can create. It can engrave, shape or cut with great precision. It is controlled by a computer and is an exciting step in the enlargement of our capacity to produce cutting edge products. There may be many opportunities for creative and commercial usage of the equipment. The total cost of the equipment, its exhaust facility and peripherals was c.$50k. This represents a major capital expense item for the school. I am confident that our students and staff will make great use of its potential.

Key Ingredients to High as an Effective Digital School

  1. A shared vision. Since 2000 we have had a consistent vision. Bring the world into the classroom and then connect learners to the world.
  2. Strategy and guiding principles. Our first priority was to put a PC on every teacher’s desk. Then we installed a data projector and PC in every teaching space. Stage 3 involved supporting BYOD and network interface. Teachers first was the guiding principle.
  3. Network architecture. After 2000 we made the decision to build the backbone first. We have achieved that and are now upgrading it. Connect the peripherals. We established specialist spaces with more computers for student use and expanded our printing capacity.  Maintain and upgrade ICT in the classroom. We now have a big network which requires constant maintenance and equipment replacement. Develop communications in public spaces. We are now turning our attention to the Great Hall and the libraries. Aim for high end connectivity. We have successfully lobbied to have our bandwidth increased from 50Mb to 100Mb.
  4. ICT Policies and guidelines. Since the early 2000s our acceptable usage of the internet policy and its associated protocols have been in place. We managed the DER laptop rollout to students and have supported the program up to our last cohort – Year 12, 2016. 
  5. ICT Technical support services. Our first objective was to support the network. Next we needed to manage DER.  We have funded the TSO role since the program terminated. Our next objective is to fully support all our learners, both BYOD students and staff.
  6. Digital Learning space. We have installed high capacity servers, routers and switches to facilitate data storage, collection, access and distribution. We have moved to improve the DoE Wi-Fi system left over from DER but face an imminent major expense to replace the obsolescent hardware
  7. Access. We provide support for every teacher and learner through BYOD.
  8. Applications, software and instructional toolsets. We have consistently developed teachers’ capacities to interface with the administration of the school. We have sophisticated student information software and online support but we need to ramp up our effort to upskill teachers. The recommended target is teacher facility with at least 12 applications.
  9. Professional learning. Our IT staff, particularly James Rudd, has supported individual teachers and faculties in personal upskilling projects. Staff are encouraged to hold faculty sessions to improve their familiarity with the useful applications and features of our school programs. We could work on improving our website refreshment protocols as some of the data and structures are dated or inaccurate. Better content and functionality from our site is a goal going forward.

Governors Centre Update
The Development Application document (all 628 pages) has been finalised and signed off by PCG members Danny Flynn, Alan Khaw, John Prorellis and me. I want to thank members for their work on the project so far and also extend my thanks to Geoff Andrews and Ian Sweeting for their service to the school in preparing the design. Our project managers TKD now have to go through the process of lodgement with City of Sydney Council. It will be a couple of months at least before we know if we have been successful.  In the meantime, Paul Almond (SHS Foundation & OBU President) and Kate Morgan (SGHS Old Girl) are working with Gilbert and Tobin to draw up an agreement for the two schools to move to the next stage – development, construction and management of the project.
Dr K A Jaggar

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