DC Staff Update

9 May 2016

I'm grateful this week for...

A successful start to our Diploma exams, and for the many staff who are assisting with invigilation and helping out those Y13 students who are coming in for those last minute requests for help.

budgets & finance

All curriculum budgets for this year are now closed. Kudos to Leanne Sercombe, who spend 99.96% of the PYP Library budget, closely followed by the other two library budgets, visual arts, science, film, PYP maths and EOTC.


As most of you are aware, the school is working towards achieving a balanced annual budget by 2019-20. We are on track for this, mostly due to the increases in school fees and the introduction of the NBL (Non-refundable Building Levy) in 2013. DC is now the most expensive ESF school and will continue to be so for some time yet, although in HK comparison terms we are still relatively inexpensive.


Our budget deficits since opening in 2008 have ranged from between HK$5million to over $20million per year. These deficits have been covered by accumulated funds held by ESL, however, ESL cannot continue to do this and DC has to become self-sufficient. The impact of this is that we do not have a lot of money to spend outside of our core functional budgets (staffing, curriculum, PD, utilities, repairs & Maintenance, etc). ESF has been very generous in ensuring that we do not suffer in comparison with other ESF schools - our curriculum, PD and staffing formulas are the same (and we have the added advantage of having LDT and a few other additional staff who are paid for through our scholarship fund). At the same time we have ESL wiping off our annual deficits.


Unlike RCHK, which is now operating in the black, any extra costs we add to our annual budget simply means that our deficit becomes greater. This can be a difficult concept to grasp, especially when staff are asking for things such as additional items, building enhancements or greater funding for particular projects.


At some stage relatively soon we will be in a much better position and once we are, then the school will be able to explore initiatives that we currently cannot consider.

staffing update

I am sorry to announce that Madeleine Jenkins is leaving us in June to take up a position at the new ESF Tung Chung kindergarten. Our loss is definitely their gain, and my congratulations to Madeleine. We are planning to split Madeleine's role next year to provide a full-time HE Assistant and another full-time secondary support assistant. The HE Assistant position was advertised last week.

College staff meeting

The focus of tomorrow's meeting is a quick sharing of what has been happening across school, an update from the Pos Health Group, followed by small group sharing. Each staff member will be sharing and reflecting on their practice as related to our Growth Mindset focus.


Initially we will all be meeting in the theatre for approx 15 min and the rest of the time will be in groups - click HERE:

Groups 1-5 will meet in the staffroom

Groups 6-10 will meet in the Y4 & 5 shared area (1/F)

Groups 11-14 will meet in the Y2 & 3 shared area (G/F)


Don't forget also:

  1. Growth Mindset PD is being run by Jason - starts Tuesday @ 7:30am (refer to SMORE for more details)
  2. Positive Health Workshops being run by Kate and Gill - starts this Tuesday afternoon (refer to Kate's SMORE and below)

new staff handbook

A new version of the Staff Handbook is on the server. Please replace your existing copy.


Resources > College > Staff Handbook > 2015-16 Staff Handbook.pdf

House Picnic

On Tuesday afternoon we have our 3rd House Picnic. This is an important day for building cross school relationships. We hope that all of you can support making this the best day it can be by ensuring that students are actively engaged and stay with their cross age buddies. Detailed information has gone out in an email and is also on the Ding! Bulletin. Please note that if it is wet, lunch will occur in the alternate locations and students will return to their regular programme at the start of secondary lunch.

Positive health workshop #1

Members of the Positive Health Team at DC have put together a series of workshops for anyone (staff and friends), who may be interested in increasing their positive health through small changes to our nutrition and daily lives - without a fancy diet. The workshops will kick off with a screening of That Sugar Film at 4.30pm this Tuesday 10 May in the Staffroom.

staff social committee

A reminder of the meeting for any staff interested in being part of next year’s Social Club Committee is being called for 7.45am this Wednesday 11 May in the Staff Room. If you are keen to help plan out what next year looks like, and perhaps even being part of a new Committee, please come along. We are very keen to make sure that we have representations from all sectors of the school staff.

Whole college CPD day - Saturday 28 May

A heads-up that our CPD day is coming up Saturday 28 May. The programmes for the day can be found in the Primary and Secondary updates. Please also note that a BBQ lunch will be provided.

Digital Life survey - part 3

In the continuing report results from our Digital Life survey, 78% of our staff feel they get fast solutions from the Tech Support staff whilst 7% feel that they don’t. In comparison to International schools, this figure came in at 61% (for other Hong Kong schools it’s 84%). Our IT support staff are always endeavoring to ensure that all staff are supported and there is a focus on always improving this service, particularly with the 'urgent' issues during teaching times.


The Digital Review Committee

2016-17 Calendar

Click HERE to view the draft Calendar for the 2016-17 academic year. Please send any remaining comments or suggestion to me by the end of this week.

This week

  • Diploma exams continue. Thank you for your consideration over noise on the 4/F.
  • Whole college staff meeting tomorrow, along with the start of the Y1-3 swim programme.
  • Don't forget to come to the staff room at recess on Thursday for the May birthday morning tea.
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