Pikhristos Aftonf! Khen oumethmi aftonf! Ekhristos Anesti! Alithos Anesti! Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen! Χριστός Ανέστη! Aληθώς Aνέστη! المسيح قام! حقا قام! (al-Masīḥ qām! Ḥaqqan qām!);
|Hristos vaskrse!||Vaistunu vaskrse!|
|Christos t'ensah em' muhtan!||Exai' ab-her eokala!|
A warm and heartfelt WELCOME to all our Families, Staff and Students for the commencement of Pentecost Term 2. Though in this very strange situation we all find ourselves in, I do hope that everyone had a blessed Easter and pray that this current situation is resolved quickly, not only with us but worldwide.
Throughout this time, we've endeavoured to keep everyone informed as best we can, adjust our teaching and learning in record time (like everyone else) and teach and learn to a screen! Not the ideal, but hopefully with everyone's cooperation and care, the result from these measures will allow us a speedy return to full face to face teaching and learning for the commencement of Term 3.
Unfortunately, again like everyone, we have had to follow directives and requirements and as such so many, many events and activities have needed to be cancelled until restrictions are lifted. I must however emphasize that families and parents in general have been enormously supportive of what is being requested, informed or required and for this I thank and applaud each and every one of you as it's made this whole exercise that little bit more tolerable. A huge thank you to every member of staff for their amazing cooperation and support in learning AND then implementing totally new modes of delivery within a day or two! We are all humbled by the manner and care that has been shown and given.
Whilst all this is going on, the Building Project has been progressing with only minor set backs in order to abide by social distancing requirements. Demolition has been completed and workrooms/sheds have been installed. Excavation and levelling is currently being undertaken and the road in front of the site has been adjusted to comply with the approved Traffic Requirements. At this stage (and without any further unexpected delays or major weather problems) it is difficult to commit to a completion date, however regular updates will be provided to view progress.
Enrolment & Withdrawal Procedures
We apologise to all parents that have needed to have their enrolment interviews cancelled over the past month. We will be recommencing with Enrolment Interviews from week 3 however will limit the attendees to only 2 persons per interview, i.e. myself plus 2 from the family applying.
Regrettably the procedure for families withdrawing from the College has not been followed in some cases and as such many are surprised they are still required to pay school fees even though their child no longer attends. It is a requirement of a family's contract with the College that they enter into at enrolment, that one term's notice of withdrawal is to be given in writing to the Head of College, if a student is to be withdrawn from the School, otherwise one full term’s fees are payable in lieu of such notice. Unfortunately this has become an issue with a few families withdrawing from the commencement of this year and then surprised they are still required to pay school fees for term 1, or term 2 dependent on their exit.
So I offer the following explanation and notification to all current and future families in this Newsletter which may assist in your planning. The following is by no means unique to St Mark's Coptic Orthodox College and is standard practice in ALL Independent schools (not Catholic Systemic or Department schools that I'm aware of) around Australia.
In this advice to the Head, it is a legal requirement that the new school to be attended is also listed as this information is included on the Attendance Register which is linked to NESA and Government requirements (for funding purposes). Without receiving this written notice one full term PRIOR to exit, families will be charged the term following their departure for each child as each Independent school relies on their current enrolment data at any point in time which affects their funding and budgeting.
So, to be informed within the term of exit (or the holiday period before the exit term) will mean that the student-position being actively listed will no longer receive the designated departmental funding, hence why the following term is unfortunately billed to families notifying the College within the term of exit.
The College does not force anyone who applies for enrolment to accept, nor does the College force anyone to remain in the College if circumstances require them to seek an alternate school. All that is requested is that parents honour and follow the terms and conditions of the enrolment contract so that financial disputes and additional strains on families are avoided. Your assistance is requested in this matter so that if you are intending to withdraw your child/children at the end of this year, you MUST forward your written notification of intention to the College by the end of Term 3 at the latest. If in doubt with timing of notice to withdraw due to relocation/waiting list notification etc, then still please advise us that the intent exists and there is a strong possibility of withdrawing.
NSW Coptic Colleges Board
During mid-March, the College was advised that Mr Maged Zaki and Mr Matthew Nasralla had tendered their resignation from the Board, as per their notification letter emailed to all parents at that time. Mr Sam Saweres remained.
As such, the Diocese together with the Trustees recently advised us via a Decree from His Eminence Metropolitan Tadros that a new Board has been appointed and as such, we welcome, under the auspices of His Eminence Metropolitan Tadros and His Holiness Pope Tawadros ll, the following individuals appointed to direct and oversee the three Coptic Colleges in Sydney:
Mr Mina Hanna (Solicitor) - Board Secretary
Mr Sam Saweres (existing) (Accountant)
Dr Mourad Nosir (Medical Practitioner)
Ms Monica Ikladios (IT Director and Digital Marketer)
Dr Mena Salib (Medical Specialist - Cardiologist)
Firstly on behalf of the College, we thank Mr Zaki and Mr Nasralla for all their effort and involvement during the 18-odd months of their tenure and for their constant support of our College and effort towards its progress. Likewise, we warmly welcome all members of the new Board, many of whom have faithfully served on previous Boards over the past 20 years, and wish them every success and blessing that their efforts and guidance across all three Colleges is undertaken with support from all of us, working together collectively to ensure our Colleges continue to move forward in the right direction.