Dear parents, carers, students, staff and supporters of the Victorian College for the Deaf community,
I would like to thank you once again for your continued interest in and support of the College and our shared vision for its future. I was particularly thrilled to see the success of the Class of 2019 recognised in the Herald Sun for their impressive VCE achievements taking out the highest median study score of 42, and I too would like to congratulate them on their success.
As many of you are aware, the findings of the Victorian College for the Deaf Review were released on Wednesday 4 September 2019 at the Victorian Deaf Education Institute (VDEI). During the event we committed to providing a quarterly update on the progress to the school and broader community. I am pleased to provide you with the following updates.
The Acting Principal has been working closely with the VDEI and the school’s Senior Education Improvement Leader to progress a number of actions and priorities identified to improve student outcomes. Most notably:
Staff development and professional practice
The VDEI has engaged with experts and researchers to identify teaching strategies for developing phonemic awareness in all students, and has provided resource kits and training opportunities to VCD staff to support this.
VCD staff participated in two two-day workshops organised by the VDEI focusing on literacy development and phonological awareness.
Additional support at school
The new Pathways Coordinator, who commenced at the school in Term 3 2019, has developed a Pathways Plan for the next three years, with support from the Region. This work has also included whole-of-pathways network meetings, meetings with agencies, and supporting students and families to identify pathways options for their futures.
The school has also held family information sessions with facilitators of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), providing a range of advice including how to get started with the NDIS and how to review a plan.
The College has also recently appointed a Community Liaison Officer, who will commence in Term 1 2020. This role has been created to:
- connect families and the wider community to the school as well as relationships between families to help create social events for students outside of the school
- facilitate home visits and support families to engage with seeking support through the National Disability Insurance Scheme for their child
Along with many other school staff, the Community Liaison Officer will be a strong Deaf role model for students.
Annual Implementation Plan
The school leadership team has been working closely with the school’s Senior Education Improvement Leader to develop the school’s 2020 Annual Implementation Plan. This plan focuses on three goals:
- Goal 1: To improve students’ language acquisition and communication skills – a consistent school-wide focus and understanding on teaching and learning that supports the skills students need.
- Goal 2: Improve individual students’ learning growth and achievement – the school needs to provide a tailored and targeted approach to teaching and learning for the students at their school.
- Goal 3: To improve and enrich deaf and hard of hearing students’ engagement and wellbeing – the wellbeing of young Deaf and hard of hearing students must be enhanced and supported so they develop their deaf life skills.
I am pleased to advise that the recruitment process for the principal role will commence early in Term 1, with the substantive principal starting on day one of Term 2. The position was advertised over the Christmas period for four weeks.
The recruitment panel will consist of the Senior Education Improvement Leader as the Regional representative, School Council President, a parent from school council, a staff representative, and a practising school principal.
Applicants will need to prepare a written application addressing six statewide selection criteria and one local selection criteria developed by school council. The panel will shortlist on the basis of the written applications, conduct interviews and contact referees in making a decision.
Thank you once again for your interest in and support of the Victorian College for the Deaf.
Area Executive Director, Western Melbourne