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This is the last newsletter for 2019 and once again we have had a very exciting, challenging and rewarding school year. During the year there have been many events showing what a great community we have here at St John Paul II Catholic College.
Some of these events have included: Year 6 into Year 7 Transition Day, Debating, Public Speaking, Science and Mathematics Competitions, Write A Book in A Day, Year 11 HSC Retreat at Collaroy, Year 7 Camp at Yarramundi, Year 7 -11 Reflection Days, Terra Sancta/St John Paul II Day and Chess Competitions. We’ve also had the College Creative and Performing Arts Spectacular evenings, Vinnie’s Van, further implementation of RISEUP, internal and external Sports Competitions, Sports Presentation Awards, Academic Merit Assemblies, TAFE/WSU/ACU courses, NAPLAN, and another Higher School Certificate.
Being a catholic college students and staff have had the opportunity on a number of occasions to attend mass with their year group or as part of the whole college, plus currently some Year 9 to 11 students and staff are preparing to attend the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Perth from 8-10 December.
Our Current Year 11/HSC students participated in their retreat in Week 6 this term. The retreat marked a very important time in their lives and an opportunity to form the way they look at the world through a lens of faith, to encourage them in their daily search for the sacred and to remind them that they are greatly loved by God. Twelve months from now, they will be leaving the college to face the next challenges in their lives, and we know the experience of retreat will remain with them forever. Whenever a teacher meets ex-students the retreat continues to be the memory they want to share.
As we wait upon receiving the HSC results on 17 December. St John Paul II Catholic College’s performance in the 2019 National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) testing is improving each year. There was an increase in the number of Year 9 achieving Bands, 8, 9 and 10 in comparison to previous years. This has resulted in Year 9 having an increased learning gain since completing their NAPLAN in Year 7- 2017. Nearly all Year 7 and 9 students are above the national minimum standard average across all five areas of the NAPLAN test (reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy).
After a distinguished career in teaching and leadership Kathy Cairns is retiring. This year we also say farewell to the following permanent staff who are taking up positions at other schools as part of their professional development: Serena Napoli, Martha Ghougassian and Sara Sundstrom. Alicia Shaw has been seconded for 2020 as the Religious Education Coordinator to Marian College, Kenthurst. We look forward to her return in 2021.
The following staff who have been on temporary contract are also finishing with us at the end of the year: Emma Kotowski, Liam Muss, Louise Varga and Jacob Abboub. There will also be staff on maternity leave for the majority of next year: Amanda Saunders, Jessica Idone, Shanice Vella and Melissa Spence
We welcome the following staff to St John Paul II Catholic College in 2020: Luke Albery (Science/Maths), Sarah Azzopardi (English/HSIE/RE) Mary Clark (Learning Support/ Diversity), Pascale El-Bustani (English/HSIE/RE) Michaela Evans (Religious Education) Breanna Fitzpatrick (TAS/Agriculture), Anastasia Modderno (Maths), Justine Phillips (TAS/Agriculture). Samantha Valderrama (Visual Arts), Jeffrey Victorino (HSIE) and Andrew Valenti (Maths). We also have staff returning from leave, Naomi Preusker and Nicole Debono.
At the college we recognise that email is a fast and convenient way to communicate with your child’s teacher. As you could appreciate, teachers read their emails at various times throughout the school day. Further, that other than in the case of a genuine emergency, they are generally not expected to respond to emails from parents/caregivers and students outside of normal working hours. Please keep in mind that if you send an email to a member of our staff outside of normal working hours, a reply may not be received until the following working day.
If you wish to contact your child’s teacher, please continue to direct your emails to the teacher which will be replied to as per usual practice. We appreciate your assistance and understanding. If you have any questions about this matter, please feel free to contact me at the college.
Communication between parents/caregivers, teachers and students is crucial to ensuring a student’s education and wellbeing is at its best. In response to the ever-increasing digital communications via social media, we have decided to embrace these technologies in a positive and productive manner. Currently we use college website, Facebook, Skoolbag app, intranet, SMS and email as the information is provided closer to the date of the event
In 2020 we will be creating more opportunities for parent/caregivers/students to receive information about their learning. We will be implementing Compass with the other schools in the Diocese of Parramatta. Compass is a school platform that assists schools in parent/caregiver, student and staff communication. Compass is designed to assist schools to improve the home school partnership with more timely and relevant communication.
I wish everyone a safe, happy and above all holy Christmas.