Dear PLC Sydney Community

Dear PLC Sydney Community,

Earlier in the year, I wrote to inform you that we would soon be launching PLACES, the new PLC Sydney portal. I am happy to say that PLACES (our PLC Sydney portal) is launching today, Friday 24 February.

Please read on to find out what PLACES is and how to access it. Click on the picture of the computer (on the left) to see a short introduction video. 

 
The goal

Our goal is to bring all the different ways we communicate within our school (emails, SMS, notes) into PLACES. Our website will continue to be used to communicate with the world beyond PLC Sydney, while PLACES will be used to communicate within our school.

Over the course of the year, we will be using PLACES to communicate with you more and more. 

 
Why are we doing this?

The answer is long, but I will summarise it as follows:

  • We need to streamline communications. Parents consistently tell us that we communicate fully, but too much. Sometimes parents receive three communications about the same thing. PLACES will address this issue through the use of Notices. 

  • There needs to be one source of truth. If we have various communications we can mistakenly include incorrect details. PLACES is the one source of truth.

  • We need to target communications. PLACES, for example, enables us to give the parents of a Year 3 student just the material for Year 3.

  • We need to provide customised communications. PLACES enables parents to select the information that is important to them. For example, if Rowing is of importance, parents are able to select to receive those communications. 
 
Removing blocks

I know that a change like this can be challenging. As we alter the communications systems for every part of the College over a 12-18 month period, we will need to bring every staff member and parent along with us.

In order to limit problems that could arise from a ‘mass migration’, it will be staged. We will maintain two systems for a short period as we migrate. This should make it easier but it will not stop things being tricky at times.

I thank David Savill (Chief Information Officer), Lynne Emanuel (Head of Communications) and their teams for their leadership as we shift to a new system.

 
What happens first?

Below are the functions of the first release of PLACES:

1. A more thorough Calendar that is private to PLC Sydney

  • It merges the features of the old School Calendar with pages on the website into one data source.
  • It gives you the ability to download any related forms, information or content which may have previously been sent via email.
  • It enables you to add Calendar items to mobile devices. 

Moving forward, each Calendar item will hold the definitive source of information for that activity. This is a work in progress. We will also remove the School Calendar information from the website once parents have had a reasonable amount of time to become familiar with PLACES.

2. Replacing all the ‘ad hoc’ communications with a single source of truth for activities

This removes the need for parents to go searching for information on the website and stops multiple email communications. Instead, you will receive a tailored ‘call to action’ in your Notices feed.

3. A Weekly Digest summarising the Calendar and your Notices

This is the other half of the ‘many emails’ solution and gives you the security to know that if you only read that one email, you will be prepared for the week ahead.

4. Update your details

You can update your contact details and certain information on your daughter's records. Simply click on the Update My Details tile on PLACES homepage.  

How do I access PLACES?
  • PLACES is accessed by going to places.plc.nsw.edu.au
  • Your username and password are the same as your current PLC Sydney username and password.
  • Accessing Notices will give you a summary of all current Notices which are relevant to you.
  • The new Calendar is accessed via the Calendar tile on PLACES homepage and will give you a listing of all current Calendar activities (you can scroll down to see more and you can use the filters to narrow in on your interests).

Please remember that from today we will be phasing out mass emails to parents and students. Instead, all communications will be added to PLACES. You will receive a Weekly Digest, of unread Notices and upcoming activities, every Friday afternoon giving you all the information you need on the week ahead.

 
If you have a difficulty

If you require assistance, please contact assistance@plc.nsw.edu.au

We will start simply and build greater functionality throughout the year. 

Dr Paul Burgis
Principal