Finish of the Chrysalis School Year 2019

A letter to parents and staff

We are so sorry that this year has come to such an abrupt end.  Closing the School would have caused you considerable disruption and we want to assure you that such a decision is not taken lightly.  Some classes have been able to conduct activities away from School but limited resources and direct impacts to staff have meant we could not provide alternatives for everyone.

As we write this message, the fires continue at the headwaters of the Bellinger and Kalang valleys and our thoughts remain focused on those under continuing threat.  At this time, it looks that the School is not under any immediate threat.  Although the smoke was claustrophobic at School on Tuesday, it seems more favourable weather conditions and the tremendous efforts of our firefighters may be able to contain the fire away from our Thora campus.  Early days yet, but let’s keep our fingers crossed.

We have re-opened Administration today, before we will be closing again for the holiday period on Friday 20th December.  The office will then reopen on Monday 20th January. If you need to contact the School, and the Office is unattended, please email, which will be monitored all holidays except between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Next year is shaping up to be an exciting one for the children.

We have Cath Van Schie starting as the Class 1 teacher and Keith Goldsby-Smith taking over from Liz Sheppard as the new Class 3 teacher.  Both Cath and Keith bring much educational and life experience to their teaching and we know the children will grow so well with their guidance.

In Term 2, Lisa O’Donnell commences as the new Education Director.  Lisa’s experience and connection to Country will further strengthen our camps programme and her leadership will inspire the School as we enter a new era. Kelley will remain as the Education Manager during Term 1, before moving to the High School Portfolio role in Term 2, whilst Pete Rundle will return to his Behaviour Support role at the commencement of 2020.

Our thanks to Liz, Will Douglas and Michelle Salden, who leave us this year.

Liz has been a wonderful teacher, having taken the current Class 8 for the first six years of their journey and Class 2 since they commenced their journey at the beginning of last year.  Liz’s commitment and professionalism has been outstanding, both as a teacher and mentor.  In the latter role, Liz has been at the forefront of our Learning Numeracy Action Plan (LNAP) and provided a solid foundation for the School going forward.  As a teacher, Liz has gained the love and respect of all her students and she will be missed.

Will leaves the School after many years.  Having been a class teacher, Will’s latter years were in teaching art.  His gentleness and love of the children has made him a favourite, with his storytelling and art greatly appreciated by all those he has touched.

Michelle is leaving to further her studies in Steiner Education.  Her care, dedication and positivity are personal traits valued by her colleagues, and the children have loved having her in the classroom where she acted as both teacher and aide.

We wish Liz, Will and Michelle all the best for their futures and hope they look back on their time at Chrysalis with no small measure of joy and satisfaction.

Parents and carers are reminded that the School Survey closes at the end of this week.  Please be sure to take the time to complete the survey, as your feedback is important to us.  A link to the survey was emailed to parents and carers in the last two weeks.  If you are having problems with the link, please let us know.

Finally, we thank all of our families and staff for their support over the year, as well as your understanding over the last few weeks in particular. We wish you all a happy festive season and hope you can find some relaxation and valuable time together.

Please enjoy this year’s bumper edition of the colourful Emerge magazine during the break and we are looking forward to 2020.

Kelley, Pete and Tim.