15th September 2014
Dear Parents and Friends of JBS,
This is my first opportunity to communicate with you since my appointment as Principal of JBS. I joined the school as the new principal on 10th August and the quality and dedication of our teaching faculty and administrative staff and the study ethic, courtesy and respect of our students has impressed me. JBS is a great school and I feel privileged to be the new leader as we work together taking the school to higher levels of achievement and success.
My vision for JBS is to create a collaborative learning community characterized by achievement, encouragement, praise, teamwork, cooperative learning and self-discipline. I believe with a passion that my role is to maximize learning opportunities and outcomes for our students. You can be assured that this will be my priority within the school. I believe that leaders within our school are responsible for building an organization where our teachers, students and staff are continually expanding their capabilities and performance. and this includes teachers, staff and students
My four focus areas for JBS will be:
- Focus on Learning
- Strong Visionary Leadership
- Importance of Partnership with Parents
- Establishing and Nurturing a Culture of Collaboration
I have had the pleasure of meeting families over the past two weeks and have visited many classrooms in both primary and secondary. This has provided me with a perspective of the teaching and learning that is taking place in our school. As the year progresses I hope to meet many families and establish relationships that will benefit the school community.
Please accept my invitation to come to my office and introduce yourself – I would be pleased to meet with you and understand your expectations of our school.
During the vacation some major renovation has been completed with 9 new teaching/learning spaces created including music suites in the primary school and a major renovation of the performing space in the primary gymnasium. We now have the capability with lighting and sound to mount large-scale musical and dramatic productions. A senior common room area has been created on the upper floor of the library and our IB students are using this new area to study and prepare for the rigor of the IB program.
I am committed to the concept of parent partnership in schools and I am looking forward to working with members of the Parent Advisory Board and the Parents and Friends Association. I am also considering additional ways for parents to become involved and will be discussing this with the PFA at our next meeting. I have approached the PFA concerning the publication of PFA newsletter this year and we hope to have this underway very soon. It would be a monthly publication that could be sent home via online means as well as being placed on the school website.
Day 1 Issues
I am aware that many students were delayed in joining classes on Day 1 due to problems with payment of fees. I am sure you are aware that students are not permitted into class until fees have been paid or arrangements made with the Principal and Accountant. I do apologize to those parents who were kept waiting on Day 1 until fee payment was completed. However, I understand that numerous letters and emails were sent out reminding parents of the need to pay fees in order for children to enter class promptly. At school level we will endeavor to plan for this day so that the long lines of parents waiting at the accountant office will be decreased and I seek your support in paying fees by the due date. I am sure if we work together we can resolve this issue in the future.
There have been ongoing problems with communication within JBS for some time and during the long summer break, administrative software was changed and this led to further difficulties. I want to assure parents that we are fixing this problem and emails and other forms of communication including the website and the use of the communicator software is being addressed and rectified.
Safety and Security
The entire campus has been fitted with new doors for all buildings and security access is only going to be possible for those adults authorized to enter specific buildings. These new security access cards are presently being prepared and I will advise parents and families as soon as they become available. There have been numerous cases in previous years of adults wandering around the campus at all times during the school day and some parents used to walk through the corridors and interrupt classes. Once the new security system is implemented, the only way for parents to access buildings will be through gaining an authorized security pass and using it to open specific doors on campus.
I realize this issue may cause some concern for parents as they are used to the previous policy of allowing parents free access to all parts of the school campus. However, the safety and security of our students is my primary concern and these new security arrangements will be implemented in order to ensure our campus is a safe and secure environment for students.
I thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
I hope to meet many parents as the academic year continues.
Dr Bruce Robinson