A Strong Collaborative Community Model

Apr 5, 2019 | Principal's News

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our families well for the upcoming term break and also a happy Easter. We have been celebrating Easter early at Gippsland Grammar and I may have managed to consume a couple of early eggs and a hot cross bun.

As part of our strategic actions for 2019, we would like to develop a strong collaborative community model to ensure that effort produces effective and appropriate outcomes. Within our current strategic plan this goal is stated as follows.

Our community is defined by the many support groups that comprise our School and also by the broader Gippsland community and the many committed groups that support our region. For a school to be healthy and successful, strong connections with the various stake holders and support from our interest groups ensure that our culture is strong and sustainable. As a regional school we value the interdependence that country regions rely upon and look to foster relationships within the School and beyond. We value the connectedness that comes from positive interactions within the community for our students and families.

Many organisation will create and write goals such as the statement above without really understanding how to action this goal and create real change. We felt that this particular goal was, and always has been, critical to the success and sustainability of our School. As a community School we also understand the great responsibility that we have for the wellbeing of our students and members of our community. Community connectedness is the underlying principle behind wellbeing and is essential to the wellbeing of our students and our community. So how do we act deliberately to achieve this goal?

Actions often speak more loudly than words and we need to have clear intention with regard to our actions and how we monitor community engagement. Ms Jan Henry, Mrs Evans and Mr Van Berkel have been leading a team to develop a parent engagement model that will give us intentionality and purpose for our actions to engage our parents and also act as an assurance measure to ensure that we purposefully plan for actions to engage our parents.

The model categorises our engagement into six specific areas, share, support, refer, inform, connect and educate. Each year we use this model to plan and prepare for opportunities to engage with parents in each specific area and we also use this model as an indicator of our performance and ability to support and address each area of engagement. We hope to make the following flyer available for all members of our community to help keep us on track and possibly to assist us in delivering some of these actions. Some of the actions we have engaged with this year include:

Share- parent teacher meetings, individual parent meetings, school support group meetings, feedback from teachers via VOS and individual conversations.

Support- ongoing support from staff, our psychologist and our chaplain for families and individuals who require support for various confidential reasons.

Refer- referrals of students and at times parents to external psychologists, speech pathologists and other professionals.

Inform- we hold regular information nights and sessions for parents and students. We write weekly and monthly updates via the news feeds on VOS and we look for opportunities to discuss and inform our community of our strategic directions. In Term 2 we will run parent forums with an external facilitator for our next strategic plan.

Connect- This year we have held various functions across the campuses where parents can connect with each other and members of staff. These have included, Welcome drinks, performing arts events, McColl Club (rowing) activities and other Parents and Friends activities at each campus. Please contact the School if you would like to be more involved with these interest groups.

Educate- This year we have held forums for parents to attend. These have included the Project Rockit evening at Garnsey and in previous years, guest speakers at our junior schools. We would love to hear from our families regarding possible guest speakers or topics that would interest a broad group of people.

I am extremely proud of the document our Leadership team have produced and would greatly appreciate your feedback and suggestions.

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