High Notes, Vol 23 No 6, March 11 2022

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From the Principal

The War in Ukraine

Just as we ask for sensitivity and discretion in our utterances and written communications around the Ukrainian conflict when students or staff with cultural ties to Ukraine are in our classes, teams or activities, so too must we respect the feelings of those with Russian affiliations who may be conflicted or distressed by the events in Ukraine. Now is the time to demonstrate our twin values of compassion and respect.

International Women’s Day 8 March

Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow. This year’s theme could not be more topical for us here in Australia as we live in the Continent most susceptible to climate change and we rank 14th in OECD countries in regard to gender equality practices. Tackling climate change and environmental degradation and boosting disaster risk reduction is the theme of this year's Commission on the Status of Women. Women play a crucial role in the climate and environmental sectors, and they are often leading frontline natural resource management strategies. This makes them well-placed to identify and implement effective and sustainable solutions. Yet environmental degradation and increased competition over scarce resources are exacerbating the risk of gender-based violence while women environmental human rights defenders, including indigenous women, often face threats and violence. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the University of Pittsburgh's Global Report on Gender Equality in Public Administration show that even though women are disproportionately impacted by the climate and environmental crises, they are still hitting a glass ceiling that stops them from advancing to the highest levels of leadership in environmental protection and climate action. Women's participation in ministries of environmental protection averages 33% globally. The UNDP's Climate Promise is currently assisting 120 countries to enhance their climate pledges, known as National Determined Contributions (NDCs). These NDCs are important vehicles for advancing not only sustainable development but also gender equality. Globally, over 110,000 people have engaged in NDC stakeholder consultations and women are leading the process in many cases.’ At High, we need to understand and embrace our obligation to advance the cause of gender equality in our actions and utterances.

The Technology Levy

At High, the 2021 expenditure for technology and communication in teaching and learning was $987,700.  To support technology the Department of Education makes an annual grant of hardware. All of the current budget is paid for by parents and school generated funds. We are not an eT4L school. Our specifications for ICT exceed DoE standards and we support these higher standards ourselves. In 2021, parents contributed $375,108 by way of their contributions to the Technology Levy. The wages bill for our four ICT staff members and HT teacher relief alone was $475,000. Our Classroom Technology Project specific expenditure for 2021 was $200,000. Network project upgrades cost $118,000. Recurring and maintenance expenses $90,200. Sentral, Edval and related software, as well as building works and furniture for room fit-outs, cost $104,500. We expect to spend $915,800 on technology and communication support for learning this year. The plan equates to $758 for each student. Our technology levy is requested from parents to ensure that our school can supply cutting-edge technology and online tools for teaching and learning. It would be very beneficial for our learning improvement if as many parents as possible supported our technology in teaching and learning program by paying their levy. Your support is very much appreciated. The wonderful support of our parents over the last 22 years contributing their technology levy has enabled us to keep upgrading our services to staff and students to be at the leading edge of blended learning delivery.

Early Bird Discounts Have Closed

Parents of students in Years 8-12 have had an opportunity to earn a substantial discount in return for paying all of the items listed in their invoice letters. The scheme concluded at close of business on Friday, March 11. Discounts no longer apply as from Monday, March 14. Thank you to so many parents who have supported the school fully in its efforts to provide high quality facilities and resources for everyone. It is very much appreciated.

Invoices for Summer Activities Co-payments  

Families in Year 7, and those later year enrolments, have had statements emailed for term 1 activities. Despite these charges, most activities are also heavily subsidised from school funds, particularly in direct grants from school funds (voluntary contributions), provision of MICs, teacher supervision, WHS compliance costs and first aid costs (co-curricular supervision levy) and parking allocation support. Co-payments are used primarily for the provision of coaching. In basketball alone, a team of over 40 people delivers the program! We have staff, students, Old Boys, parents and volunteers working to make your son’s school experiences more enjoyable. It would be appreciated if you could make your co-payments promptly for your son’s summer sport and co-curricular activities. Thank you.
Dr K A Jaggar

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