Thank you to all of you who attended last night’s AGM and for casting your votes for the new committee remotely. The following parents were elected to the Parents’ Association Committee for 2021/2022:
The procedure now is that I call a meeting of the new committee at which they elect office bearers and also have the opportunity to co-opt two further members if they so wish. I thank all those parents who put their names forward for election.
I want to thank the outgoing Committee chaired by Delene Mark for their contribution over the last year. Kay Layla-Sides, Advaita Naidoo and Chris Twycross did not make themselves available for re-election and I want to thank them for their active contribution over the last year and in Chris’ case, two years.
It is often presumed that this is just a fund-raising committee which is not true. They perform an important community-building function, serve as a sounding board for certain school issues and raise issues of general concern to parents, run an increasingly large outreach programme and similarly assist in the school’s transformation process particularly around parent discussion and involvement. They came in to office at a difficult time after lockdown and had to work through both the 2nd and 3rd waves of Covid. But I am pleased to say that they did everything they could do under the circumstances. Much of this is included in the Chair’s Report that was mailed to you in the last week.
I do want to highlight a few points though. I was so impressed that outreach to St Paul’s and Athwood Primary continued and in the case of the latter very creatively with shopping vouchers in place of sandwiches and, on Mandela Day, food hampers for the families most in need. The PA’s relationship with our VUSA Rugby and Learning Academy has grown exponentially, not only financially but also in the planning of creative opportunities for more connections between our boys and the VUSA boys and girls. Last term they organised a work party of families going out to assist VUSA children with the painting of one of the creches supported by VUSA. Their plan for families to go on outings with VUSA children could unfortunately not go ahead due to Covid restrictions but hopefully this will still be realised. A large part of any income from fundraising goes to the PA’s outreach and partnership projects and last term’s hamper raffle was extremely popular with the boys and they had enormous fun around it. More than R200 000 was raised.
We received very good feedback on the parents’ forum focusing on inclusion and diversity at the school, facilitated by the Committee, at which the Principal and I were interviewed and parents went into discussion groups. I am sure the new committee will continue to provide such opportunities going forward.
I gave feedback last night on the school’s ongoing transformation process. While some of the developments have been mentioned in our newsletters we will be sending out a specific Transformation Newsletter giving a full update. It will also include an updated draft Transformation and Diversity Policy recently discussed at the Transformation and Diversity Committee meeting.
Our boys have really enjoyed our two warm days this week as well as the inter-school sports fixtures we are managing to fit into the term. The last few days before we go off for our spring break will be given over to soccer which I know the boys are looking forward to.
To all our Jewish families we hope you enjoyed very Happy Rosh Hashana celebrations this week.
Have a good weekend