Executive Director's End of Year Message
And so, just like that we come to the end of another school year. Term 4 is a crazy one, in one sense finishing up whilst at the same time starting preparations for next year.
The office of CSPWA is very definitely in that mode at the moment. As with schools our office closes for the school holidays, so we are now down to our final couple of weeks.
This time of year, also provides opportunities for school communities to come together to celebrate, prepare for the season of Advent and look forward to the joyous feast of Christmas. As nativity scenes go up, final assemblies take place and lots of our children and young people are undergoing orientation in new schools or classrooms, schools are hives of positive activity.
As previously mentioned, the office of CSPWA has been busy over the past few weeks, providing support to P&Fs who have been holding their AGMs, electing new office bearers for the year ahead and encouraging good handover procedures, ensuring that the new P&F groups are ready to go at the start of 2022. It is always positive to receive so many calls seeking advice as this demonstrates to us the willingness of P&F office bearers to ensure their governance procedures are as they should be.
Whilst the key role of P&Fs continues to be around Fundraising and Friendraising, and many groups run relatively informally, it is important to have good guidelines in place to ensure positive outcomes. Currently many P&Fs use constitutions as their set of guidelines, whilst others are moving towards a ‘Terms of Reference’ type document which aligns more with the School Advisory Council TORs. In assisting many P&Fs this year it has become apparent that some work needs to be done to provide more consistency around the way they operate particularly in regard to governance. As mentioned in our last newsletter we will be doing a review of P&F practices next year and will look forward to working with parents to ascertain what works well and also what does not. Watch this space!
This edition of the newsletter is packed with a wide variety of articles which I hope you will find useful. We have already had lots of interest in the Induction Evening on Feb 17th so if this is something you would be interested in attending, please let us know as soon as possible as we have begun preparations for this popular event.
Although we look forward at this time of year to spending some special time with our families, it is also a time of celebration and parties and the question of alcohol and young people arises again. The other issue which seems to have become a real problem for both parents and schools alike is that of vaping. We have included information regarding both of these issues, from Paul Dillon at DARTA and hope that the practical advice provided will assist parents on how to have these tricky conversations with our children and young people in an informed way.
However as always, we like to end the year on a positive note and I would like to take this opportunity to offer thanks to all those we have had the pleasure of working with this year. From the many committed parents and principals in schools to staff and members of Catholic Education WA. In particular, I would like to thank sincerely the council and staff members of CSPWA. Fr George, Catherine, Anna, Richard, Michelle F, Belinda, Marina, Kate, Alan, Michelle M, Rebecca and Wayne give of their time in a voluntary capacity and the office staff could not be more grateful for their ongoing support and commitment! Many of these council members are highly engaged in their own school communities and to have them give of their time to CSPWA is a blessing. Finally, but certainly not least, Nicole and Jennifer in the office! In addition to being wonderful staff members these two ladies bring with them a passion for the role of the P&F in Catholic schools. All in all a fantastic team to work with.
In this season of goodwill, I urge everyone to take good care of each other especially those who most need our love. Charities, like many other organisations have been struggling this year in attracting volunteers so if you can find a couple of hours somewhere between now and Christmas to help out for a good cause, please do so, and bring the kids – it is so good for them to witness their parent/carers volunteering - it may even awaken the volunteer inside them!
So now all that remains is to wish each and every one of you a truly blessed and joyous Christmas as we look forward to celebrating the birth of the Christchild.
See you all again in 2022.