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Collapse Issue 564:<br />6 Mar 2023<br />_____________Issue 564:
6 Mar 2023
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Call for council to reconsider carpark sale
Brigade helps with low-hanging power line
Missed opportunity with Chemical Clean-Out
Dog owners urged to remain vigilant for baits
Teachers hope to establish alternative school
Nominate a teacher for an OAM, says Reid
Uniting Church continues despite shortage of ministers
Rotary club raises funds for youth program at theatre
The Bays community group elects committee
Giant chequebook opened
Gurdon Reserve playground to be upgraded
Beach sunrise meditation to celebrate Women's Day
Yoga to raise awareness and to support Coast Shelter
Beanies for Red Cross lifeblood campaign
'Masses of polystyrene' collected at Patonga headland
Solar panels installed at Woy Woy courthouse
All ages attended Mardi Gras viewing party
Electoral Commissioner to conduct council elections
CWA branch visits Japanese garden
Club provides two coaches for youth program
Council does away with internal ombudsman
Stallholders wanted for bacon and egg takeaway days
Basic tools workshop held in Umina
February's rainfall was one third of the average
Council agrees to rezone Ettalong foreshore land
Planning proposal attracts 95 objections
Summary given of support for rezoning
Council decides to sell commuter carpark
Residents call to 'genuinely consult' on car park sale
Housing strategy to be exhibited for public comment
Street design manual open for comment
One more example of ratepayers being kept in the dark
Planning system is at stake, COSS protection is urgent
Thank you for article on joint rally
Is Western Sydney getting attention at our expense?
Peninsula's oldest resident celebrates 106th birthday
New aged care wing to open in weeks
Coronavirus numbers level off
Club sponsors medical gowns for little heroes
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Tickets selling for Opera in the Arboretum
Opera singer flies from England to perform with his wife
Crafts centre offers floristry workshop
Landscapes exhibited at the Erina Centre Gallery
Troubadour to hold performers' night and house concert
Patchwork group makes faux cathedral windows
Free 'life writing' workshop at Woy Woy library
Guitarists to present journey through jazz rhythms
Five artworks selected for regional exhibition
Two new assistant principals at Ettalong
School gives behavioural advice to students and parents
After-school homework help offered at Umina library
Parents offered 'chats' with teachers
Colour run at Woy Woy South
Collection point changed as parents distract students
Bus company provides bus safety talk
Demonstrating the school motto
High school choices must be in before end of month
First disco, barbecue and raffle planned
Parents' association seeks members
Relieving deputy principal appointed
Money for outdoor area revamp
School adopts Sentral parent portal
Holly to shoot for Australia in archery championship
Umina comes 10th in surf life saving championships
Lions return to first grade competition
Eagles win five of eight pennant games
Umina's four grades win pennant round
Male netball players wanted for State titles
Soccer club appoints WPL coaching team
Bridge club plays open teams championship
Charity bowls raises $1078
Event attracts 49 surfers and 128 volunteers
Grant for new cricket nets



Teachers hope to establish alternative school

Four Central Coast teachers, including two from Woy Woy, are hoping to establish a new alternative school.

The school would be for school refusers, "our most vulnerable teenagers", said teacher Ms Gab McIntosh of Woy Woy

Ms McIntosh, who was awarded an OAM for her work in education for disadvantaged youth in 2007, said a special kind of a school was needed.

"Struggling teenagers need lots of help with reading and writing, and lots of time for sport or art."

She said they usually had high levels of anxiety and depression due to their poor educational experiences.

Constant assignments, tests and exams were often to blame.

"When they are forced into this type of learning their anxiety and depression issues invariably grow worse," said Ms McIntosh.

"When kids refuse to go to school at all as a result, they are in danger of getting into trouble with the police as they hang around with their mates doing nothing all day.

"For some, it will lead to incarceration and the State tells us indigenous kids have a much higher chance of being locked up.

"Kids can be different from each other.

"Some kids may love the classroom, tests and all the structure but for others it is simply a torture.

"Some will do better with less time in the classroom.

"There should be the freedom to cater for both types."

Ms McIntosh said: "That is why our school wants no tests, exams or assignments.

"It will be the kind of school that really struggling teenagers can thrive in."

Aboriginal teacher Belinda Huntriss, of Woy Woy, is also one of the team.

She said more must be done to ensure schooling is relevant and engaging for aboriginal students.

With many having low attendance rates in mainstream schooling, she said an alternative educational environment could be more tailored for individual students.

Ms McIntosh said: "The amount of paperwork required for a new school is huge and extraordinary complex.

"We have to have extensive documentation on just about everything that could ever go wrong in a school."

She gave examples.

"A risk assessment policy is required, which could easily run to 10 pages.

"We have to have a 20-page financial certificate, which will need professional help, before we begin.

"We will be lucky if we can keep our enrolment form down to 15 pages, as again there are so many mandatory requirements."

Ms McIntosh said an extensive document would be needed from a clinical psychologist which stated that "some students are actually harmed by lots of tests and exams and being in the classroom all the day".

"Fingers crossed we make it and our struggling teenagers on the Coast do get another chance at a school with no exams but lots of art and sport and much help with reading and writing too.

"It will be a miracle if we make it."

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