Mackay State High School student Steven Ruhle, deputy principal Cameron Wayman and student Lachlan Forsyth look at the school’s new Facebook page..
Mackay State High School student Steven Ruhle, deputy principal Cameron Wayman and student Lachlan Forsyth look at the school’s new Facebook page.. Lee Constable

Facebook news on school's wall

FORGET about how many friends you have on Facebook, the social network has become a cyber community noticeboard.

Mackay State High School are taking advantage of the online phenomenon and using the site as a way to spread the good news about the school.

Mackay State High School deputy principal Cameron Wayman said the site dedicated to the school had been up and running for the past week.

“It is so effective that we already have 318 people who have read them since Tuesday,” he said.

“I know that we probably don't have 318 newsletters that get home to the parents' table and it is great that in two days we have had that many people read our updates.

“Facebook can be dangerous and fragile and we have made sure there are security settings in place so that our staff and students are protected while people access our information.”

Mr Wayman said students would not be posting things on the page and it would be one way communication that would be posted by members of the administration staff.

“We will have selected staff members who will put bits and pieces on there and we use the banner Mackay State High School.

“We are not allowed under Education Queensland laws to communicate with students this way (on Facebook) and as teachers are not doing that.

“We would be in lots of strife if we are communicating with students, so that is a big no-no and we made sure we have worked around that.

“At the moment it is one-way dialogue but we do hope to expand that out and get the community involved in what is happening and get their feedback.”

He said in a way it was an opportunity to open the doors of the school and allow more people in the community to see what is going on.

“We want to talk about the successes that are happening at the school, the great things we are doing. We are going to start and incorporate some students' work, so the broader community can see what we are doing.”

He said it was a way to get important messages and announcements to the mums and dads that might not necessarily get home to the parents.

“At the moment we are pushing the page to our parents, but down the track we want our students and former students and staff and let the people in the street see what is happening in the senior classes, videos or art work they have produced, and what is happening in the classes,” he said.

“At the moment it is a bit of a novelty so we have been updating a couple of times a day, with new updates, but I am predicting we will be updating two to three times a week. It is a great way to tell parents there are parent and teacher interviews on, that report cards have been issued or that an athletics carnival is on.”

Mr Wayman said it was not just the parents logging on but students.

“The other day we posted our rugby league team so all the students knew who was playing in the team this weekend. They all have mobile phones and they are checking their Facebook which is more than acceptable at our school and if I can't get the message across via out PA system or the notices, this is just another way that I can get that message across to them,” he said.