McGuire Year 7 influx part of ‘super school’ merger plan

By Myles Peterson

McGuire College will house upwards of 450 Year 7 students next year as part of the ‘‘super school’’ merger plan.

The region’s Year 6 students, their parents and carers are invited to attend information sessions next week at McGuire College to discuss how the new Greater Shepparton College, an interim name yet to be finalised, will function during the two-year merger phase.

Genevieve Simson, appointed in March to lead the school, said the information sessions would allow students from the region’s primary schools to tour McGuire College and learn about what was in store for them next year.

One of the new initiatives Ms Simson was keen to promote was the online based tool Compass, which allows parents and carers to track the attendance and progress of their children in real time.

‘‘The parent will get up-to-date information every day,’’ she said.

‘‘Parents can see that students got to school that day (and) that they’re in class. They can see what the homework is.’’

Ms Simson said students would be broken into groups of 25 or less and monitored by a mentoring teacher.

That teacher would be the first point of contact for parents and carers to discuss their child and any issues that might eventuate.

A uniform for the unified campuses was also in the works with plans to have it implemented as soon as next year.

Revealed in March by Victorian Education Minister James Merlino, McGuire College, Wanganui Park Secondary College, Shepparton High School and Mooroopna Secondary College will be merged during a two-year process.

Ahead of the eventual relocation to Shepparton High School site, all Year 7 students will attend McGuire College and all Year 9 students will attend Mooroopna Secondary College.

Some students will remain on their current campuses, while others, including all Shepparton High School students, will be moved.

Further information sessions next month will discuss the impact on Year 8 to 12 students.

Shepparton High School will close in December to allow for construction of the new campus.

‘‘Almost all of the buildings are going to be demolished and then we’ll construct brand new facilities, brand new everything. It’s going to be great,’’ Ms Simson said.

McGuire College principal Claire Kelly said along with parents and students, staff were working through the changes.

But she was excited at opportunities the Shepparton Education Plan was unlocking, including access to targeted funding, support from institutions such as Melbourne University and new buildings and resources.

‘‘We’re also excited about the calibre of staff that are wanting to come and be part of the journey. Last year the recruitment was a really easy process,’’ Ms Kelly said.

The Victorian Government allocated $21.5million for the first phase of the merger.

Further funding for the construction of the new campuses is to be announced at the state budget due at the end of this month.

Information sessions will occur next week during and after school hours.