New ideas for Lismore schools to be debated at meeting today

A MAJOR public education initiative for schools in the Lismore catchment will be discussed with parents and staff at a meeting in Lismore today, chaired by NSW schools deputy director-general Greg Prior.

The project, titled The Rivers P-12 College, has been under development for the past 18 months following consultation with students, P&C groups, teachers and other interested community members.

One proposal is the appointment of an executive leadership position to oversee collaboration between almost 4500 students at 32 public schools in the Lismore region.

A new executive leadership group of principals will liaise with the new office, and a board will be formed to allow other stakeholders have input into its direction.

John Lynch, director for the Lismore Network, said the project was a "grass roots" initiative, designed to improve opportunities for students.

"We are looking to link our schools more closely together, but the schools will still retain their individual identities," Mr Lynch said.

"Right from the start this has been about consulting the community and responding. It's about professional learning, and opportunities for curriculum expansion."

Mr Lynch said providing "gifted and talented" programs in sports, music and academic pursuits to all students regardless of campus would be one benefit.

"The way to do that is to co-ordinate your efforts," he said. "There's a lot of variability between schools."

Feedback from the evaluation of the Lismore Community of Secondary Schools (LCoSS), the existing collaboration between Kadina, Lismore and Richmond River high schools, will contribute to the new project.

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