Assistant Principals’ Report

New College Website

We are not sure if you have noticed, but our college website was looking a little tired.

We have been working hard behind the scenes to research, plan for and develop our new college website. Our new college website has been under construction and planning for quite a number of months now, with many people working at updating pages, photos, details and college policies.

Updating student details, new enrolment enquiries, updated policies and student handbooks among many other resources can all be found on our new website.

While it is still a work in progress, it was with great excitement that we were finally able to launch our new school website last week.  We hope you like it as much as we do!



 Building and Grounds

Our college 2022 Building program is now up to stage 4. We have already been enjoying the completed library resource centre, Administration building and staff hub.

Stage 3 was finalised at the start of Term 4 with the reopening of our newly refurbished textiles room, one of our Food Technology kitchens, kitchen prep room and also a new storage area for food technology.  It has been a mammoth task of decanting these areas, and then sorting and finding new homes and storage areas for resources.  Classes have now resumed and staff and students are loving the fresh new learning environments for these technology areas.  Stage 4 will see the second Food Technology kitchen completed, a staff hub, external locker bay for the Year 8 students (new lockers have been ready and waiting for a while now).  The area will be completed with a corridor with windows that allow visibility into the kitchens and also seating and cabinetry in the corridors.

Recently our Year 7 locker bay was moved into the senior building.  This is in preparation for the temporary closure of ‘A block’ (our Year 7 centre) next week.  All spaces in A block will be getting an upgrade, including flexible teaching spaces, break out spaces, separate smaller locker areas (to reduce student congestion at locker bays) and also a thoroughfare in the corridor with additional breakout spaces, group work and collaboration.  Our science block will also be getting urgent repairs to the roof in E block.  We are very much looking forward to this work to improve our learning areas for staff and students.

Hopefully you have also all seen the announcement of the pledge for further funding made recently at our college to further upgrade our facilities.


We have recently welcomed a new Facilities Manager to our college, Dennis Curnow.  Dennis comes to us from Croydon Special School and has many years of experience working in a school setting.  He has been hard at work, both decanting different buildings and also getting work completed in the buildings and grounds of our college. 

Emergency Management Procedures

We have recently updated our College Emergency Management Plan for 2022/2023.  We would ask that you update your contact details if required (remember this can now be completed on our new website).  In the event of an emergency our best way of contacting families is through SMS as the first point of call.  In the case of an emergency, please follow the information in the text that is sent from the College.

 Teaching and Learning

The recent Curriculum Day saw staff continue to design curriculum for our new Middle Years Program.  We can confirm that we have over 60 Middle Years Units that will be running in 2023.  Staff have been working together to design learning activities and resources for these electives next year.  Next week we will be forming student forums to seek student voice and feedback to inform further planning for the Middle Years electives.

Janine McMahon – Assistant Principal


Term 4 Week 2

Welcome back to our college for our final 2022 term.  I have been very privileged to have had a term of leave travelling Australia with my family and have returned refreshed and refocused for Term 4.

I am further privileged to be working in the capacity of Assistant Principal with two of my focus areas being Positive Education and Amplify (Student Voice and Leadership).

Positive Education

Emerald Secondary College is committed to ensuring we are providing a holistic education and programs which educate the whole child – we endeavour to improve connectedness to school and instil pride in our college through a positive culture.  The concept of Positive Education is centered on the work of Dr. Martin Seligman and is based on the science of Positive Psychology, which he defines as ‘…the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work and play’.   At ESC we aim to

  • Strengthen relationships
  • Build resilience and
  • Promote positive engagement

and in doing so improve students’ self-worth, their engagement to school, their purpose and academic motivation.  We are working on a robust, fun, evidence-based wellbeing program that reflects these beliefs and objectives and will be embedded in the College program for students 7-12 from 2023.


In Week 2 of this term we began the very exciting process that is the College Captaincy Selection Process for 2023.  We encourage Year 11 students this year to consider the four leadership positions that are available and access the Application Form on Compass under ‘School Favourites’.  Applicants will be shortlisted by a panel comprising myself, our College Council President Nadia and one of our incumbent College Captains, Ruby.  I’m very much looking forward to talking with what I know will be a high calibre of applicants.

In liaison with our SRC and the wider college student body we are also working towards shaping a whole school Student Leadership model with lots of opportunities for students to shine in both formal and informal leadership positions, extend their skills and have their voice heard.  The aim is to increase opportunities for student voice, agency and leadership and nurture students’ sense of empowerment.

I welcome any ideas and suggestions from our wider college community – please feel free to contact me at the College.

Exciting times at Emerald Secondary College!

Tanja Korsten – Assistant Principal


Welcome back to Term 4 as we launch into a very busy end to the year.

Whole School Assembly

What an amazing opportunity it was for the whole school community to come to together to celebrate the talents and achievements of our students across different curriculum areas. Our College Captains Michael Dance, Ruby Pugh, Vanessa Dewar and Hendrix Boyle led this whole school assembly with exemplary leadership. We were welcomed by Dustan Rosevear and Hayden Walker with an outstanding Acknowledgment of Country and entertained by Chalee Tjepkema and Kai Hughes. The College farewelled our Year 12 students  and recognised their contribution to the College over the last six years. Once again, we wish them all the best for their final exams.

Year level assemblies

Our students engaged in year level assemblies throughout week 1 where they were welcomed back to a busy term. This was a chance for staff to outline key dates and the high expectations of all Emerald Secondary College students.  Students were provided with the opportunity to participate in some fun activities to build upon the sense of connection and belonging to our school, promoting a sense of pride at ESC.

Updated Mobile Phone Policy

Please familiarise yourself with the updated mobile phone policy communicated to the community through Compass and the new College website. All policy updates have been communicated to our students as we prepare for an enjoyable Term 4.

Updated Toilet Process

  1. Student asks to go to the toilet
  2. Student receives out of class pass from their teacher
  3. Student collects a key form the librarians to attend the toilet.
  4. Students will go to the toilet and return the key to the librarians and head back to class.
  5. All toilets will be open before school, recess, lunchtime and afterschool.

Charged Laptops

Emerald Secondary College wants all students to be able to access the curriculum through Compass. Students must ensure their laptops are fully charged for the start of the school day. This allows them to be ready to learn with the required equipment. Due to the nature of charger cords it causes an OH&S risk to the classroom and therefore we cannot allow students to connect their chargers to power points during class time. Students will be able to charge their laptops during recess and lunchtime if they drop their device off at sub-schools or the library with their charger.


Schooling is compulsory for children and young people aged from 6 to 17 years (unless an exemption from attendance or enrolment has been granted).

Daily attendance is important for all children and young people to succeed in education and to ensure they do not fall behind socially or developmentally. School participation maximises life opportunities for children and young people by providing them with education and support networks. School helps people to develop important skills, knowledge and values that set them up for further learning and participation in their community.

Both schools and parents have an important role to play in supporting students to attend school every day.

Emerald Secondary College believes all students should attend school all day, every day when the College is open for instruction and is committed to working with its school community to encourage and support full school attendance.

Our school also promotes student attendance by:

  • Articulating high expectations of attendance to all members of the College community
  • Creating safe, supportive learning environments which promote success through active participation and engagement in purposeful learning
  • Adopting consistent, rigorous procedures to monitor and record student absence
  • Implementing data-driven attendance improvement strategies
  • Providing early identification and supportive intervention for students at risk of poor attendance
  • Linking with local community groups and agencies to maximise program and individual support
  • Accessing specialist support for individual students with identified behavioural, health or social issues
  • Providing a staged response to non-attendance
  • Supporting students to return to school after absences

Student responsibilities

  • Attend school every school day
  • Arrive at school and classes on time and be prepared
  • Talk to a teacher if there are issues that might impact on their ability to attend school/class

Parent responsibilities

  • Ensure student attends school every day when instruction is offered
  • Ensure student arrives at school by 8.50am

If students are in attendance at a school approved activity, the teacher in charge of the activity will record them as being present.

New Attendance Requirements

If your child is sick or absent, you are required to notify the school as soon as possible on the day of absence, by Compass or contacting the school on 5968 5388 or [email protected].

Notifying the school of your child’s absence either prior to, or on the day that they will be away, helps ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and will fulfil your legal responsibility.

From the end of Term 2 2018, all Victorian government schools are required to contact parents/carers as soon as practicable on the same day of an unexplained student absence. If your child is absent on a particular day and you have not contacted the school to explain why, the absence will be marked as unexplained.

This system also promotes daily school attendance. Going to school every day is the single most important part of your child’s education, they learn new things every day – missing school puts them behind.

Contact details

There are times when we will need to contact you, including on the day if your child is absent and you haven’t informed the school as to why. Do we have your most up to date contact details? If not, please contact the school on 5968 5388 or [email protected] so we can update our records. Please include parent/carers’ name, address, phone numbers, email address and emergency contact details. Please remember to contact the school if any of these details or your circumstances change.

Same-day notification of unexplained student absences

Our school will text/call you as soon as practicable on the day if a student is not at school and you haven’t notified the school as to why. If you are notified by the school that your child is away without a reason, please contact us as soon as possible by calling the school on 5968 5388 or email at [email protected] to let us know where your child is. If we cannot reach you because we don’t have your correct contact details (i.e.: message notification fail, disconnected number), then we will make contact with any emergency contact/s nominated on your child’s file held by the school, where possible, on the same day of the unexplained absence.

Please remember it is your responsibility to contact us to provide an explanation for your child’s absence from school, and where possible, please inform us in advance of upcoming absences.

For further information on the processes and procedures our school uses to record, monitor and follow-up student attendance and absence please read our Attendance Policy Attendance Policy.

Many thanks again for your ongoing support of the College.

Jarrad Donders – Acting Assistant Principal

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