High Notes, Vol 20 No 10, April 05 2019

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to Samuel Yu (12T), Oliver Yang (11T) and Joshua Reid (10F). At the NSW Inter Regional Volleyball Carnival held in Bathurst last week they were selected to represent NSW Combined High Schools in the Volleyball Quad Series Tournament to be played later this year. In the Quad Series tournament, NSWCHS comes up against the representative teams from CIS, CCC and an invitational team. At the GPS carnival two of our swimmers won events - Brain Ahn – 13s breaststroke with a time of 38;00 seconds and David Goh – 18s breaststroke with a time of 32;20 seconds.  A number of our students were selected in the Combined GPS Swimming Team: Brian Ahn & Justin Yi  - 13 – years;  Fraser Wait  - 14 years;  Ike Matsuoka – 16 years and David Goh – 18 years. Congratulations to all our swimming representatives and to all those boys who trained and competed this season.

Sick Students at School Policy 

Many students present to ‘sick bay’ with a variety of ailments. A School First Aid Officer makes an assessment of their condition. Many injuries are treated on the spot and the cases are managed between the school and parents. If the presented symptoms are serious, an ambulance is called and parents are notified of the School’s action and where the student has been taken. If the student just needs time to rest, lounges in ‘sick bay’ are provided. In the case of sprains and minor injuries, parents are notified and arrangements are made for students to wait until the end of the day or make their way home straight away, if the parents and the School agree and there is someone at home to care for them. There are cases where the student is clearly ill but is not serious enough to be hospitalised, and parents are contacted and asked to come and pick up their son. Usually, parents find a way to pick up their sons within an hour of being notified. Parents are reminded that the School has no resources to devote to caring for sick students at school if they need constant supervision. The School reserves the right to call an ambulance and have a sick student taken away if parents do not agree to attempt to pick up the sick student within an hour after notification.

Caught doing the right thing

A Year 7 parent emailed me last week to congratulate one of our students on his honest, caring and polite attitude”. The parent wrote:

“My Year 7 boy accidentally left his sport jacket at the bus stop in front of the school.  Cosmo had picked it up, and found my phone number on the jacket. He rang me very politely, and let me know he had my son’s jacket. He then texted me but I was in a meeting and couldn’t talk to him much. Also, very politely in the message, he texted me with instructions on how my son could get back his jacket at the school office on the next day. My son brought home his jacket the next day. I was so surprised that the jacket was folded in a very nice and neat way. I shared with my boy about this great attitude, he then shared the story with his friends in the school. I am very pleased that my boy is in the right environment where it develops kids to be honest, caring and polite, not just academic and sporting.”  You brought credit to yourself and to our school, Cosmo.

The Co-Curricular Supervision Levy    

In order for us to run a six-day school with after-hours activities for 15 sports, debating, music ensembles, cadets and chess, we need to provide a teacher/MIC/manager for organisation of the activity and staff to provide supervision of students to meet our duty of care obligations. Some parents are asking: ‘Why should I pay this co-curricular levy when I’m paying quite a lot in co-payments for a sport or activity for a season? The money raised from the levy is used to pay for the time that supervising teachers/MICs have to spend on the activity. Their duties include, but are not limited to, hiring and managing coaches, organising teams, fixtures and venues, buying and managing equipment, supervising coaches during training sessions, coordinating results recording / publishing, following up on attendance, awarding Student Award Scheme participation points in a text file, getting reports from captains, managing assemblies and dinners, as well as travelling and being there for competition fixtures on Friday nights or Saturdays. All these non-teaching duties take time for which personnel must have some compensation, by way of time, money or a combination of both.

In addition, the levy is used to pay for health and safety services and equipment. Physiotherapy services are provided at certain venues and at selected times at school in the winter season to assess injuries to students. Also, an extra allowance is given to the Head Teacher Sport to manage the overall sports program. The levy has to meet the cost of running athletics and swimming programs which are provided free of charge to all students. The levy does not cover the running costs of sports – coaches’ fees, venue hire, equipment, consumables. All these have to be funded through co-payments and school budget allocations.

To clarify why the levy is necessary and should be supported by all parents, I want to share with you the direct costs to the school of management, supervision and duty of care of sport and co-curricular activities. Staff members are remunerated by way of allowances (time free from face-to-face), or the period equivalent in money or a combination of the two. Non-teachers are paid the equivalent of the period allowance that would have been offered to teachers. The cost to the school for these services in 2019 will be $235k for sport, $134k for co-curricular and wellbeing and $131k for academic and administrative support. At its present level of support (c$250k), the co-curricular supervision levy is contributing only 50% of these supervision and management costs ($500,000) borne by the school. The shortfall has to be made up from voluntary contributions.  Please support the school and your sons in their sports by contributing to the Co-Curricular Supervision levy each year.
Dr K A Jaggar

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