Welcome to Term 1 Newsletter 2020
It would be difficult to move forward however without reference to the catastrophic fires which hit many of our communities around the country over the school holidays. Although in WA, the Katanning community has suffered significant losses and heartbreak this weekend, WA in general managed to escape the worst. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all our friends and families in Catholic school communities and indeed all communities across the country. It is never more important than at times like these for schools and parents to be working together to ensure our children and young people feel supported, as they manage the feelings and concerns they may be struggling with as a result of these extreme weather conditions, drought, fire and now torrential rain. Please ensure that you take the time to touch base with your child’s teacher to ensure you both know the best ways to contact with other.
The staff members of CSPWA have all hit the ground running since the office re-opened last Tuesday. We have been delighted to hear from those of you who have called the office looking for advice for the beginning of the year and it sounds like many of you will be having your first meetings in the next couple of weeks. Don’t forget to encourage the members of your parent group and the wider school community to ‘like’ Catholic School Parents WA on Facebook so that they can access the articles and information that we post on a daily basis. We will also be using FB to post information about our State Conference which this year takes place on 5th and 6th June. As with the last two conferences the opening dinner will take place at the Astral Ballroom at Crown on the Friday evening with the Conference itself being held this year at Catholic Education WA offices in Leederville. More information about that further down in the newsletter.
Towards the end of 2019 we commenced work on the CSPWA Strategic Plan 2020 – 2023. Laura Allison from CEWA very kindly gave up a Saturday morning as did many parents to come along and brainstorm ideas regarding the future goals and aspirations for CSPWA. The session was conducted through a strength based lens and this provided a really positive approach in taking the plan forwards. The Strategic Plan will be launched towards the end of Term 2 and a copy will be forwarded to all.
The Conference and Strategic Plan are just two of the pieces of work we are engaged in at the moment, with lots of other ideas and plans in the pipeline. It is however very important to Catholic School Parents WA that we are working on initiatives and resources that will benefit parents in our Catholic school communities and to that end we would love to hear from you. If there is any assistance you require or perhaps you would like a resource developed to assist you with a specific challenge please don’t hesitate to give us a call to chat about how we can help.
Theresa and I are looking forward to getting out and about over the next few weeks to meet with parent groups who have been in contact with us. We are looking forward to hearing your plans and hopefully being able to assist you with these.
Volunteering, sadly, seems to be on the wane in many places including our school communities. I would like to finish with a wonderful quote from one of our very dear councillors, Mrs Agnes Weymouth. Almost twenty years ago Agnes wrote:
“We live in turbulent times when substantial distrust exists between people, government and nations. It would be easy to excuse ourselves by not taking any responsibility for the affairs of the world and society around us – thinking there is nothing we can do. However as individuals and organisations we can at all times be honest with ourselves and honest with others and respect all people regardless of nationality, creed or political persuasion. Let us all continue to be known for our caring quality, integrity and trustworthiness”.
I find these works totally inspirational and I hope you do too. I wish you all a happy and successful 2020 with both your fundraising and in particular your friendraising!
God bless !
Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) is helping students engage in Year 11 and Year 12 courses of their choice.
Over 200 Year 11 and Year 12 students commenced their study last week through CEWA’s online learning program, the Virtual School Network (ViSN). In 2020, ViSN will provide access to 23 courses for Year 11 and Year 12 students, including ATAR, VET and alternate entry to university options.
Students in ViSN remain enrolled in their own school, and each day, connect with their online teacher and classmates across the state using Teams, OneNote and other Office365 products. Teachers are based in their own school and are available daily to answer questions and to provide help as needed. Once a week, the whole class comes together via Teams Call (similar to Skype) to discuss the week’s activities and to support each other.
ViSN is underpinned by strong connections, collaboration and learning communities. The teachers participate in a bespoke 12-month training program before they commence online delivery which helps them understand how to create an online classroom that ensures learners do not feel isolated.
To assist in building these strong online classrooms, ViSN students from across the state recently came together for a camp in Perth. Over the 2 day live-in camp at St Thomas More College, ViSN teachers and their students met in person to go over their course structure, content and the technology. Students also had the opportunity to get to know their classmates and other ViSN students through team games and recreation activities.
Students reflected that they felt far more confident about studying online through ViSN after camp, connecting with their peers and asking questions of their teacher.
ViSN is available to Year 11 and Year 12 students in CEWA schools and parents can contact the Deputy or Principal in their child’s school if interested. For more information, go to https://leadinglights.cewa.edu.au/visn/
CSPWA would like to thank Meredith Roe,Virtual School Program Manager for providing this article to give us an insight into this amazing program.Thank you also to Meredith for her warm welcome when Siobhan and Theresa visited the camp last week.
All the staff and council members at CSPWA are starting to get very excited now about our upcoming conference. We are very pleased to announce that we have been successful in receiving a Lotterywest grant which enables us to assist parents from rural and remote schools attend the conference by providing funding for accommodation and travel. For further information on how to access this funding please click on the link below.
CSPWA's Awards of Excellence in Building Positive Catholic School Communities recognise excellence in collaboration and community building by parents, school parent communities (P&Fs), Parishes and Principals in Catholic schools across Western Australia.
The Awards of Excellence in Building Positive School Communities are presented this year at our conference dinner on June 5th in Astral Ballroom, Crown. Recipients are invited to attend the event and showcase their school’s achievements.
Look out for further information on our website and Facebook page.
"We know that parent and family engagement matters – 50 years of research evidence tells us that when parents and families engage in their children’s learning we see positive impacts on student achievement and wellbeing outcomes.
However, there is still a gap in how this translates to effective practice in schools and school communities. So then, what works? And, how?"
This FREE resource provides school communities with practical guidance on family engagement, focusing on the ‘how’ rather than just the ‘why’. Check it out
Catholic schools in WA are committed to being environments where healthy and respectful relationships can thrive, where students can engage in meaningful learning, and can develop resilience and wellbeing.
Catholic Education WA are also committed to working in close partnership with parents and carers, who are always the first educators of their children and a vital part of healthy school communities.
Click the link below for some tips and concepts that may help you, as a parent or carer, in understanding and nurturing the mental health of your child.
It is a legal requiremnt for CSPWA to have contact details for the office bearers of all our member associations. Please find below the link to the office bearers form which needs to be filled out on an annual basis. Even if your role has not changed since last year we still need an updated form for 2020.
Office bearers form can now be completed online
or downloaded from our Website www.csp.wa.edu.au