High Notes, Vol 21 No 14, May 15 2020

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From the Principal

Don’t forget to check out the roster so you know when to come to school.

Week and cycle Week 4C:
18/5 - 22/5
Week 5A:
25/5 - 29/5
Monday 7 11
12 12
Tuesday 10 9
12 12
Wednesday 8 7
9 8
Thursday 9 7
11 11
Friday 11 10
12 12

Term 2 Objectives

Now that we are back in partial operation, we are adapting to this alternating mode of online or face-to-face for each cohort. There are only around half a dozen teachers who still need to work from home. There are five objectives driving our planning:

  1. Preserve the timetable throughout the term.
  2. Find ways to assess all our students prior to the report deadline of June 30
  3. Report to the school community on the progress of all year groups by the end of the term.
  4. Reactivate as many of our co-curricular activities as we can – sport, debating, music, chess, committees, clubs etc 
  5. Provide the maximum possible face-to face opportunities for students to learn with their teachers that we can within the social distancing guidelines.

To achieve these objectives, we will need cooperation from students in respecting social distancing signs and rules. That respect extends to the regulations for social distancing on buses, light rail and heavy rail.

Canteen – Lunch orders

The canteen is back in operation but without the usual parent volunteers to help. It is important that as many students as possible place lunch orders so that the managers can serve as many students as they can during their trading times.

Governors Centre Update

The Governors Centre estimated completed project cost is $13,046,667.  The schools have contributed $12.4m and have pledged $550,000 more.  There was a sustainability grant of $59,331 applied to the project for the air conditioning.  Once that is added into the funds received for the project, the shortfall from the project cost is estimated at $37,336, at this stage. Outside of the contract, there are fit-out costs.  These were previously estimated at c$390,000.  Fortunately, some $190k of these were included in the contract at the builder’s request.  This leaves about $100,000 each for fit-out plus furniture for the examination room.  We will be closing our Governors Centre Appeal after June 30 this year. This is your last chance to purchase a brick in the ‘wall of gratitude’ for $1000 or to have a theatre seat display your name or family name on a plaque for $3000.

Site Development Priorities for the Next Decade

This GC project has had our undivided attention in fundraising for ten years, since it was launched officially in October 2010. It is time to turn towards our other priorities.  We need an additional science laboratory

We have 25 or more classes of science in Years 11 and 12 alone.  We have seven genuine science labs to share among thirteen science teachers who need access to them for their classes. We have a design, a site surveyed, approval and a budget of $400,000. We can add a demountable science lab for a senior class next to Killip Wing. 

Our ICT upgrade project was estimated at $486,000 for 54 teaching spaces to have interactive projectors and double whiteboards fitted.  So far, since commencing in 2019, nineteen of those spaces are fully fitted out.  We are planning to do 6-7 more at the end of term two and again at the end of term three.  It is a major project and parents supporting the SHSF Building Fund are helping a great deal in making this vision of classroom AV interactivity into a reality for many of our teachers and students.

Another project that we need to fund is the replacement of the Fairland Pavilion.  In 2022 the building will be 70 years old in the configuration generations of High boys have come to know it.  It had 19 years of history before its final refurbishment.  It has certainly served Sydney High well. The Botanical Gardens and Centennial Parklands Trust requires us, as a condition of a further twenty-year agreement to occupy the site, to upgrade or replace the Pavilion.  We will need to raise around $4,000,000 over the next few years to fulfil that requirement.  At this stage, we are using the facilities development donation category at the Australian Sports Foundation to accept donations towards the cost of the project.  The catch is that they take at least 5% commission on all funds donated.  They then can make a grant for use on the project, albeit with a reduced capital amount.  Such donations are fully tax deductible. We are seeking a more effective means of accepting tax deductible donations.

Finally, the Outterside Centre needs to have a great deal of work done to complete the upgrade approved in its existing DA.  While a ‘substantial commencement’ to the project was made with the refurbishment of the showers and toilets on the ground floor, there is much requiring attention. Extensive preventative maintenance was carried out in 2019. In recent times the guttering on the roof was replaced, a new fence erected, an additional strip of land purchased, and roofing repairs effected.  The 2001 pontoon which failed in a January 2019 king tide, has yet to be replaced. Over the years, funds have been reserved in a sinking fund to allow for the replacement of our pontoons at the end of their useful lives. The hold-up is the requirement for a new DA to be submitted and approved before work can commence.

MAN Bus Sold

Our old MAN bus was getting very tired and unlikely to pass its next registration test. Mr Marcos has spent considerable time finding a buyer for this bus before its registration ran out. We purchased our big bus in 2010. It has served us faithfully for more than ten years. During that time, the P & C has been paying into a bus replacement fund each year. It recently funded the purchase of the little 12-seat people mover which has been great for our basketball and cricket teams on the road. Mr Marcos is now scouring the bus ads to find a replacement. We have saved > $120k but we need more to buy a modern, comfortable second-hand coach. Our budget is around $150k. If you would like to support one our projects, go to asf.org.au. Hit donate now. select Organisations. Type ‘sydneyboyshigh’ in ‘Type to find a project’ and select from one of our many projects. For the bus, ‘Sports Programs’ is a generic term that can reach us. All donations made to projects on this site, including for the Fairland Pavilion, are fully tax deductible.

The Sydney Boys High School Council

At the May meeting of the Council, Life Governor Dennis Briggs asked that I pass on his congratulations to the staff at Sydney Boys for the wonderful job that they have been doing in adjusting their teaching to the demands of the COVID-19  pandemic.

Donation of Sanitizers and Antiseptic Liquid

I would also like to thank Ms Shelly Jin of Life Spring Global Pty Ltd for her very generous donation. We have received several boxes of hand sanitiser and antiseptic liquid for use across the school which will help keep our students and staff safe on school grounds.
Dr K A Jaggar

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