Primary and Secondary parents and caregivers joined SIDE Principal Paul Mathews in an online meet-up on the evening of May 26.

The diversity of our cohort was reflected in the attendance, which included people from across Australia and the world, including Japan, India and Canada.

At SIDE we take pride in our accessibility to students. In addition to formal lessons and online resources, staff are readily available to create and answer emails, and make and receive phone calls. It’s what teaching looks like in a modern distance education school. This availability extends to parents, guardians and supervisors, as the relationships that form around educating our children are a vital ingredient in a successful learning experience.

The widespread geographic location of our cohort has been an obvious limitation over our 100-year history. That’s where our decade-long transformation to an online school has opened new doors for us. We can meet with parents and caregivers using all the powerful tools of communication we use in our teaching and learning. Our Inaugural Parent Webex session was a great success, and we were thrilled to connect with the more than 30 members of our community who attended.

Our Principal, Paul Mathews, shared some thinking about SIDE’s future directions, answered questions from parents, heard feedback from the parents’ and caregivers’ perspective, and discussed some ideas for future meetings. Other SIDE staff attended, and there was considerable delight in the corridors of SIDE the next morning, given the sense of community that was fostered in the Webex session.

SIDE will look to host a Parent Webex each term and invite guest speakers to attend.

Parents that could not attend this Webex but would like to offer feedback or topics to be discussed during our next meeting are invited to email We’re always ready to welcome you to our community.

If any parents are interested on being on the SIDE school council please email