Executive Director's Welcome
As we draw toward the halfway point of the year for most of us, it is obvious that for many in our school communities it has been a trying semester. With students, staff and parents falling victim to Covid-19 at different times, trying to keep everything running smoothly has been hard work.
Although the health of everyone takes priority over everything else we must remember the difficulties school communities have been facing, ensuring that children who have been absent have the opportunity to catch up on learning, that teachers and school leaders have the time to recover after they have been struck down and that families who have been dealing with one sick child after another are supported where possible. We don’t always appreciate the work that goes on behind the scenes to keep everything moving in the right direction and so I would like to offer my sincere thanks to every member of our Catholic school communities for their commitment this semester.
As always, life goes on outside of Covid-19 and we now find ourselves working under a new Labor government led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. On behalf of Catholic School Parents WA I would like to congratulate Prime Minister Albanese and his team and look forward to working with them, particularly the Hon Jason Clare MP, the new federal Minister for Education. Through our affiliation with Catholic School Parents Australia (CSPA) we are looking forward to establishing positive relationships with members of the new government and ensuring that they are aware of the fantastic contribution that Catholic education brings to the Australian landscape because of parents choosing this form of education for their children and young people.
Last Thursday evening saw the Catholic School Parents WA 68th AGM take place in the now familiar hybrid way with parents joining in both via Zoom and in person. I am very happy to report that we had ten nominations to council with most of last year’s councillors renominating. We also welcome Lesley Pascuzzi from Mater Christi Catholic Primary School who joins us this year. Our constitution allows for three more councillors, so if this is something you might like to know more about, please don’t hesitate to call me for more information. You will also find a link to the AGM booklet further down in the newsletter, which provides lots of information about the work we have been engaged in, in the past year, including through our affiliation with CSPA.
Many of you will have seen or heard in the media the challenge that Vaping is causing in many schools. Many parents and indeed students themselves are unaware of the harm that vaping can do. It is important that as parents we discuss this harmful habit with our young people. It beggars belief that there are those out there who think it is a good idea to create ways of encouraging children and young people to start this damaging habit. Please take the time to read the article about vaping further down and have that conversation with your child.
We have lots of events and other ways that you can engage with us and have your say coming up in the next couple of months. As mentioned in the last newsletter, the annual ‘Awards of Excellence in Building Positive School Communities’ take place this year on Friday 5th August. If you feel someone in your school community deserves an award, please download a nomination form further down in the newsletter and get creative with your reasons why.
We are also involved with two significant projects through our affiliation with CSPA.
The parent survey project will help to inform the federal government about what the challenges and concerns are for parents and families in the Catholic school sector across Australia. It is important to note that if we keep silent on these things it is likely the presumption will be that we are all okay. However, if you feel that the past couple of years particularly because of Covid-19, but maybe other reasons as well, have been difficult for your family, please take the time to complete the survey when it goes live on July 25.
The second project is about the importance of the home/school partnership and how it contributes to good mental health and wellbeing and subsequently learning. We are looking for parents/schools to get in touch regarding the great initiatives that we know are happening in schools in relation to the home school partnership.
Additional information on both projects is available in the newsletter, however as always if you would like to chat about anything in person, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
In the meantime, enjoy the break that is coming up, hopefully most of you will be able to have a little time away from the business of life and take the opportunity to have some fun family time.
Until next time, God bless.