High Notes, Vol 21 No 20, June 26 2020

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From the Principal

High Talent

Thomas Zheng (11T) and Harry Wu (11R) participated in an international high school debating tournament called The Interschool Debate. They were grand finalists in a tournament with 24 teams but lost to a team from Singapore. They tied as 2nd best novice speaker and equal 6th best speaker overall. Congratulations on your initiative and result boys!

Restarting Our Programs

With restrictions being eased further from 1 July, our full suite of co-curricular programs should be back in operation by the start of Term 3. Adults are being allowed back into schools to deliver services. Debating and chess are up and running. Music ensembles will start again in Term 3. School-based programs involving groups of students – SRC, CSC etc- are back meeting again. Volunteers can return to help in the canteen and co-curricular programs.

Nevertheless, there remains in place regulations around knowing who is on site. Were there to be a case of COVID-19 identified on any one day, the department of Health would need to know the contact details of everyone on the site that day. Tracing cases is imperative to identify community transfer origins.

There is an External Visitors to School Site Form which needs to be completed by everyone visiting the school. We have adapted our Visitors Register to accommodate the requirements of this Form.  Essentially, we need your name, telephone number and email address, so you are capable of being traced, by the Department of Health, should this become necessary. Our lives are going to be affected by having to live with this virus for the foreseeable future.

Joint P & C Meeting – SBHS & SGHS

Geoff Waring and Binh Johnsun hosted the Zoom meeting for 210 parent online attendees from both schools last Thursday evening. Dr Jae Jung spoke about the inherent problems of university course selection for gifted students with multipotentiality. Often, they chose a narrow selection of traditional careers primarily to meet the expectations of others. He identified the need for both career information and career-related experiences in a future work landscape requiring multiple skill sets and varied roles.  Chris Lewis was confident that in time, clever kids work out how to find a rewarding career. In his experience at UNSW, 60-70% of undergraduates do not know what they want to do for the rest of their lives. He advises them to look around the intersection between their passions and their abilities. He stressed the need for technology, higher cognitive and socio-emotional skills in the contemporary workplace. Caroline Taylor advised school leavers not to choose a course or career on the basis of a piece of paper handed out at a careers’ information evening. She found work experience and internships helped her to decide what career she wanted to pursue. Oliver Kirk took time out to pursue his singing and song writing after Year 12. In the course of exploring and experiencing life, he happened upon a career involving the practical application of mathematics – a discipline he was good at and liked. Links to videos of the presentations have been sent to the school communities. I want to thank the SBHS P & C for organising and running the event so smoothly.

Winter Sport Co-Payments  

Invoices for participation in winter sports have been mailed. As usual, we ask for your support by paying them promptly. All of our winter sports depend on a timely settling of invoiced co-payments to pay coaches. Parents are reminded that all programs have to meet their budgetary obligations and cannot do so without maximum support from everyone. Our sports are delivered at a fraction of their actual cost, being subsidised heavily by allocations from the school’s budget, parking revenues and ASF donations, along with the structural support and supervision of MICs provided by the school with assistance from the co-curricular support levy.

In the current climate High’s finances are being pressured by two external forces out of our control. Our parking revenues were down by more than 40% last year as a result of the sports stadium rebuilding project. We do not expect that revenue to be back on stream until 2024. COVID-19 related restrictions this year have led to the complete collapse of parking revenue since January. There may be a few events with small crowds in the next few months. The entire parking proceeds are distributed among the co-curricular programs and the P & C each year. The estimated loss of these funds which are generated externally is $205,000 for 2020. To balance budgets in these circumstances is impossible, but revenues must be raised, and costs cut. Co-payments must rise and non-essential expenditures must be cut. Even with these measures in place, delivering our programs this year will mean expenditure will greatly exceed revenue. Schoolwide I estimate the worst-case scenario shortfall could be $350,000. Our operating reserves for 2021 will be placed under an unavoidable and onerous strain. In such circumstances, >95% compliance in paying co-payments would help considerably. I ask for your support.

30 June is EOFY time

More and more Australians are thinking about philanthropy, about giving something back to society to help others. Universities and schools are benefitting more than ever before from this growing social conscience.  Moreover, the donor feels better for having made a contribution to a worthy cause. If you have intended to make a tax-deductible donation to our SHSF Building Fund (The Governors Centre Fit-out or The Classroom Technology Project) to the SBHS Library Fund or to the SHSF Advancement Fund (Fairland Rebuilding Project), or to one of our ASF Projects but haven’t yet done so, I invite you to make that donation, as I have done, before the end of the financial year. There are so many great achievements that are made by the boys in a diverse range of endeavours. In order to consolidate, maintain and improve our facilities and resources for them and services to them, they would really benefit from your financial support. There are only a handful of days left to make a difference in this financial year. I ask for your help to make High an even better place in which our students can learn, grow and be enlarged as people.
Dr K A Jaggar

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