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Pelican : June 2010
5 New parents' welcome night February 2010 was a good month for the Parents’ Forum when they hosted the welcome evening for almost 100 new parents to the school, students, staff and supporters in the new library at the beginning of Term One. Entertained by the combined Eddie’s and St Clare’s jazz band, with catering stunningly prepared by our own hospitality students who also waitered on the crowd, the excitement was electric. It was as if the transformation of the library into a multi-media meeting place had become symbolic of the school’s expanding vision that was now welcoming its newest parents. The evening was launched by Principal, Peter Fullagar and Helen Badger, a design consultant to the library project and parent at the school, who illustrated the collegiate nature of the school by describing how senior construction studies students were regularly and actively briefed onsite throughout the library building project by its designers and trades people. The new integrated library was one of the frst projects completed under the ‘Building the Education Revolution’ program in Australia, showcasing the school’s no nonsense managerial style that delivers results and appeals to families looking for a pragmatic but very welcoming learning environment for their sons. Alex Dunnin Parent Parent forum powers ahead Back by popular demand but under new management. After a hiatus of more than a few years the St Edmund’s College parents’ committee was reformed and reconstructed last year to provide what parents and supporters of the College really need – information about the College, a forum for discussing new ideas and a two-way channel for passing on feedback to the College senior executive. The new format was so successful that during the year the number of people attending its meetings increased from less than 10 to more than 20 and its early 2010 meetings attracted 30 plus, admittedly to discuss hot issues such as NAPLAN and the SEC building regeneration projects. This Parent Forum works because it is unlike similar groups at other schools. It is informal yet infuential, short – it never goes for more than ninety minutes – and it is a direct channel for parents and guardians to plug into the strategic direction and challenges of the school. It does not do fund raising and does not worry about cake raffes. This tougher direction is refected in how the Parent Forum helps parents work their way through the big challenges at the school: understanding the new national curriculum, NAPLAN and the My School website, building refurbishment, government funding formulae rethinks, Year 12 academic achievements and sporting priorities. There is however still time for practical things like StudyWiz demonstrations and briefngs from senior teachers about how they run their departments. The Forum is open to all parents and guardians and everyone is most welcome to join our regular informal meetings. Alex Dunnin Parent Top: Greg Stenning, Head of Music, Helen Badger, IQON Project Manager and Jessica- Draper Jones from the Development Offce. Bottom: Principal, Peter Fullagar (r), with his wife, Fiona and Deputy Principal, Peter Milligan. Right: Andrew Gaughan, Year 12 - happy to be of service.