Second P&C Meeting Tuesday 17th June 2014
Thanks for all attending our AGM for 2014. With no other nominations or objections the previous year’s executive committee have been elected for another year. Robert Curry spoke of his appreciation for all that the P&C have achieved under Linda Cumines, acknowledging that the work done shows the P&C is a wonderful medium to allow a smaller school reach out to the broader community, both musical and non-musical, especially in the lead up to the school’s Centenary celebrations in 2018.
The membership fee has now been simplified. Under our constitution we are obliged to charge a minimal fee (no less than 50c per annum) for anyone – parent or citizen – to be a voting member of the association. The membership will now be $10 per person for the time that a family’s student is attending the school. This means that for families of students at the school the payment will only be one-off requirement to be member and any parent who has paid to be a member of the P&C in the past will now remain a member until their child leaves the school.
We had some interesting reports for the work done over the previous year by some of the various subcommittees:
News from the Principal
With a number of small news items to report for this meeting, Robert Curry started by requesting we all drop ‘Dr Curry’ and please use Robert. He went to on to deliver some exciting news about the Buddy System, implemented by the P&C under Greg Anderson. Robert met a student who graduated a few years ago and had a very impressive job already – thanks to the help of a ‘buddy parent’ made at the school. We couldn’t be more pleased to know how far reaching the success of this program has been!
Carolyn Watson is now Orchestra Director at the world renowned Interlocken Arts Academy in the USA, but there is still a possibility that diaries can be synchronised to enable Carolyn to still have involvement with both the High School and the University, something which is warmly welcomed and hoped for by all involved.
It’s looking to be a very busy audition season for next year’s intake into the high school, with the avalanche of applications no doubt influenced by the school’s highly successful performance in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the SSO and the Sydney Philharmonia last term.
Robert’s major item of news was in regards to instrumental music tuition. In recent times parents have been required to arrange payment of lessons privately with tutors, which has unfortunately left parents exposed to the variety of fees charged and goes against the school’s firm belief in the equity principle in the provision of music education – at a publically funded school the music fee charged to cover the program should be equal for all. Thankfully a new contract for the University to provide tuition is being finalised and come next year, parents will be once again be required to pay a fixed fee to cover the music program at the High School. The tuition will be administered through the Open Academy Outreach Program whose members will be working closely with Robert and the school. Any difference in fees charged by tutors will not be a concern for the school or parents, allowing the focus at this end to be on finding the best matched teacher for the student. An added benefit of this arrangement will be the ability to accelerate students with advanced achievement, allowing them to move fluidly through the school and on to university programs as suits each individual child. In this way, the equity principle of providing music education is restored, a more collaborative approach is achieved between the school and the University, and the top quality of University tuition is guaranteed. Very good news all round.
Uniform Shop future
Jackie Chan is doing a stoic job running the uniform shop alone and still in a difficult small space and the meeting had an interesting discussion about the future of the venture. The upshot was essentially that the shop cannot continue to run without regular reliable help to run it meaning the P&C may need to write off the current stock it has and students will not be able to fulfil their uniform needs on site at the school. However there are many advantages to outsourcing the provision of uniforms to suppliers such as Wylies or others, including the freeing up of valuable space for both the school and the P&C, no longer needing to desperately search for volunteers all the time, very little difference in price on individual items, and no longer needing to have a large part of P&C assets tied up in unsold stock each year.
The other issue to consider in tandem is the fact that the girls uniform at the school is now quite complicated – involving many separate and interchangeable parts throughout the years and with costs easily mounting up it would be nice to simplify the uniform. No decisions have been made on any of these matters – so if you have input to make on the matter please do leave a comment, contact us or come along with your ideas to the next meeting.
Café Cantata future
A similar discussion ensured over the future of Café Cantata. Helen will be finishing up as coordinator soon and part of her report for this meeting raised some very interesting and pertinent talking points regarding the running and viability of the café. Some of these points include:
• The unavoidable fact that business is adversely affected now by the regular running of the Café in the University on Saturdays.
• The need for much more professional signage and direction.
• Finding a way to thank volunteers for their hard work.
• The need for greater communication with families about the value of the revenue generally, and how it gets used.
• Why do we run the Café and how important is it to the P&C in the broader scheme of what we do?
• What are the implications for swapping the café as revenue for the voluntary levy?
• Can the café be leased out to a commercial operator providing the P&C with income and not all the hard work?
As with the Uniform shop, do please take a minute to read the report and leave us your feedback so that decisions can be made that fairly represent the needs of all, where possible.
Volunteer Thank you party and Farewell to Year 12
Without any decisions made on any of the other points yet, we hesitated not on implementing this particular idea … who can resist another party! Finding a date at this stage of the year was not easy but we have opted for the last day of term 3 at 3.30pm so as to give enough preparation time (for us and for anyone wanting to organise their availability), not to conflict with the Valedictory concerts and farewell dinner, and to not miss out on including our faithful year 12 parents who have given so much of their time and energy over the last 6 years.