DC Staff Update

30 March 2014

I'M GRATEFUL THIS WEEK FOR....

The wonderful work Chrissy has done for us in her role as DC's Design Guru, Technician and Teacher. I know that we are very sorry to see Chrissy leave, however, wish her every success at the Australian International School and look forward to catching up with her at social events.

Away this week

I am conducting a CIS Preliminary Accreditation Visit to an international school on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur this coming week. Peter Lasscock will be duty officer in my absence.

Salary increases for 2014-15

All staff should have received an email on Friday from the Directors of ESL announcing a 3.5% pay increase for 2014-15 for all eligible staff.

School fees for next year were also announced on Friday to DC families. There is a 6.6% increase to all school fees, while the NBL for next year remains unchanged at $5,900 per student per year.

Maureen O'Rourke

We are very happy to host Maureen back this Monday and Tuesday to continue working with some staff over their teacher inquiries.

WASC Accreditation

WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) has officially confirmed our 5-year accreditation status, which is to be read in relation to the CIS Report already received. In their letter, WASC commends us for the "stellar aspects of the school and congratulates us on the quality of instruction being offered."

ASCD and more...

The three ASCD keynote speakers were excellent and links to their web sites are available below:

Daniel Pink - Leadership and the new principles of influence. http://www.danpink.com/

Sir Ken Robinson - How finding your passion changes everything. http://sirkenrobinson.com/

Russell Quaglia - Student aspirations. http://www.qisa.org/about/leaders.jsp


Four key messages we brought back with us from the conference and school visits are:

  1. Student engagement, passion, ownership and voice - links to Russell Quaglia
  2. The increasingly valuable role of social media in supporting learning - use of Twitter as a PD tool for teachers; tagline.com to connect student learning to parents and community using a range of social media feeds. One school’s story - http://ps10tech.blogspot.hk/2014/02/we-tweet-p10brooklyn-lot.html
  3. Preparing future-ready kids - ID school at Master’s Academy
  4. Structures drive behaviours - curriculum, timetables, learning spaces - flexibility is key.

A bit random at the moment, however, other observations (and photos from Master's Academy) included:

  • How well we are doing at DC in many areas
  • Passion is a major driver for learning either by teacher and or student
  • 2-3 teachers in one teaching space at one time
  • Large groups of students (and staff) working together
  • Large periods of time for learning
  • Integrated project-based units
  • Importance of a clear vision and common language
  • Large learning spaces that are configurable with movable walls/furniture
  • All surfaces can be written or projected on
  • Focus on transformation and not just improvement
  • People don't buy what you do they buy why you do it

Feedback from the DC CPD Days

I have emailed you separately the very positive feedback from the recent DC CPD days. Many of your comments reflect the appreciation we have for those colleagues who ran the four teacher sessions, as well as the opportunity for collaboration and learning across both days.

Following on from the CPD days and in preparation for next year's Annual Plan:
  • CLT is working with the Wellbeing group to look at Positive Psychology as a possible major target for 2014-15 (have you joined the DC Positive Psychology google community?)
  • The IM committee has met with the Student Council to pass on your feedback with a view to incorporating IM into one of our school events. A lot of work still to be done here
  • Several staff, both primary and secondary, are working with Peter Lasscock in the writing of a case study for the new Visible Learning book
  • A number of small communities of learners have been or are being established amongst staff, including the start of a great professional learning community
  • And more...

Support staff positions for 2014-15

Thank you to those staff who submitted proposals for the two new support staff positions for next year. CLT considered these last week and have approved an additional Design Technician and an HR Officer, both to commence in August.

This Week