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Mackellar Girl’s High School P & C Report 2020

Well, it has been quite a year! The school year of 2019 concluded with a continuation of the previously elected P&C Exec team; Sally Gee (President), Kate Mooney (Vice President and uniform shop coordinator), Matt Brennan (Treasurer), Alexanndra Bailey (Secretary), Suzi Lemlin (Canteen coordinator) and Cristina Anderson (Communications coordinator). Doug Price also self-nominated and joined the team as 2nd Vice and Heather Cardin replaced Alexanndra Bailey in August. I’d like to thank Alexanndra for her contribution to the P&C as secretary.

The year kicked off in February with the hosting of year 7 Parents Welcome Evening. This event was well attended. Food and drink (non-alcoholic) were provided and served by the P&C. This is always a great night for parents to connect and meet some of the teachers.

We did manage to host our usual March meeting and while there was talk of how Covid 19 might impact on the year, none of us could foresee the incredible changes that were to come in the following few weeks. As the school closed its doors to students we quickly turned our attention to the paid staff in our Canteen and Uniform Shop. An enormous amount of gratitude goes to Suzi Lemlin who liaised with our book keepers and swiftly arranged for all staff who met the criteria to receive Job Keeper payments. Staff were reassured that we would do all that we could to keep this going as long as we could.

Like many businesses P&C meetings switched to being held via ZOOM. Meetings were generally attended with lower numbers than 2019 with 5-10 parents attending with a total of 18 P&C signed up members. We greatly hope with a return to face to face meetings in 2021 will see higher numbers return.

Our main priority was the safety of our staff in the canteen and uniform shop. Perspex screens were installed and a decision was made to implement Flexischools into the canteen as soon as possible. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Annette and Kylie the canteen managers who embraced this change and facilitated the Flexischools system seamlessly. There is no doubt that it required new skills and extra time to manage this successfully but we are delighted with how it went and are encouraged by the enthusiastic praise we have received from parents, teachers and students.

We are so fortunate to have such wonderful staff in both the canteen and uniform shop. Both continued to be an asset to the school and despite the closures earlier in the year overall profits have remained in line with the previous year. This was mainly due to Job Keeper and the reduction in wages paid by the P&C but also full credit to the canteen staff for the deliciously tempting menu. We were also able to donate a new oven and pie warmer along with various appliances that needed upgrading over the year.

As we move in to 2021 canteen profits will continue to be an issue due the cost of paid staff and the lack of volunteers. While we continue to actively seek volunteers in 2021 we are introducing an additional levy of $25 per student to assist with these rising costs. While this is a voluntary contribution we hope that those parents who are unable to volunteer will support the school with this additional payment.

The Uniform Shop has continued to be an asset to the P&C under the successful management of Leigh Macpherson and supported by her team of wonderful volunteers. The introduction of shorts and pants this year meant that additional options were available to the students. Shopify (point of sale system) continues to work very well with parent’s usage high. Due to safety issues regarding Covid 19 a decision was made to use an appointment system for the incoming year 7. This worked incredibly well and we will look to keep this in place for future years.

The planned Comedy night that was due to be held in May was unfortunately cancelled. We are yet to make decision on the 2021 dates but we hope to hold this in May again. We are also considering a trivia and movie night in 2021 if safety regulations permit.

Several grants were applied for this year, one from Zali Steggal’s office for bathroom renovations, one from Northern Beaches Council to fund the Clever Climate App and another via Healthy Harold for garden materials. Unfortunately, all grant applications were unsuccessful.

One question that has been asked many times by members of the P&C is how we can measure and reduce the school’s carbon and environment impact. This year (along with Manly Selective and Cromer High Schools we reviewed The Clever Climate App tool. This system is to provide the school with assistance to collect data on what the school is currently doing and to strategically evaluate and plan to reduce waste and carbon usage in the future. In 2021 this process will be facilitated by the school’s Environment group and STEM teachers. We will keep seeking parents who might like to be involved and assist with this initiative. A special thank you to Janelle Lofthus who presented this option to the P&C.

The P&C would like to take this opportunity to give a special thank you to our parents, volunteers, teachers, administration staff and especially the school Principal Ms Christine Dell Gallo for their continued and ongoing support of the P&C. I am sure I can speak for all parents when I say we are so grateful for the teachers who supported and taught our children in such unusual and trying circumstances.

We look forward to more fundraising and a less eventful 2021!

Sally Gee

P&C President

Dec 2020


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