I can honestly say that the last six months have been the most challenging I have ever experienced in over thirty years of working in schools. During Term 1, we had constant changes to the Covid restrictions which were confusing and difficult to implement. Many parents felt bombarded by the ever changing updates we were required to distribute to you which is understandable. On top of this, we had many students miss time at school due to illness and isolation protocols. At the beginning of Term 2, the restrictions eased which was great except that our staff tested positive to Covid in high numbers. As you may be aware, we are currently experiencing a teacher shortage in Australia, and we often had days with over ten staff being absent, which was a huge challenge as we didn’t have enough teachers to replace them. This meant we had to be very flexible and creative with our timetabling and myself and the Assistant Principals had to teach on many occasions just so there was a teacher in front of those classes on those days. I really need to acknowledge the mighty efforts of Lisa Liebregts and Jacki Tucker who did a huge amount of work behind the scenes just keeping us ticking over day by day. I also would like to acknowledge the whole staff as this semester has been very difficult for them too. I believe they have done an extraordinary job under very difficult conditions. Lastly, I would like to thank all our parents who supported us though this time. I appreciate it wasn’t much fun being contacted, informing you that your children are unwell and that you need to go into isolation. This has had a huge impact upon all of us, and as a community, I believe we had stood up really well and have come through in very good shape. I sincerely hope that next term, we can go back to a more normal routine where we are all safe and healthy and experience fewer disruptions.
Resilience Reflection People who are resilient have the inner strengths of both compassion and courage.
Kindergarten 2023 I am well into the enrolment process and the field for next year is very strong. One class is already full and the other one is filling quickly. The second class is over half full already and I am anticipating it will fill next term. Our highest priority is to keep our families together by granting younger siblings automatic enrolment. However, we don’t necessarily know if you have another child coming unless you tell us. Please make sure that we know about your younger children as I would hate for them to miss out.
Staff Updates Kylie James will be taking Parental Leave from the start of next term as she will be having a baby in the coming months. I know many of you will miss Kylie as she has been a wonderful teacher over a long period of time here. However, this is a very exciting time for her and I’m sure you will join me in wishing her well for the safe arrival of her child. Damon Guest will be taking over from Kylie. Marisa Versace will also be leaving the St Joseph Centre from the start of next term and Laura Nelson will be replacing her from Week 5 onwards. Ashleigh Cameron will fill in until Laura starts. We wish Marisa every blessing in all her future endeavours. Laurie Power will return from his long service leave next term and we say a big thank you to Natalie Brescasin who did a great job filling in for him. Finally, from the start of next term, Steve Tucker (no relation to Jacki Tucker) will commence work with us as our accountant/finance manager. Sue Haynes will reduce her days as she transitions into retirement at the end of 2023 which allows for a thorough hand over.
Term 3 Starting Date All students will return to school on Tuesday 19th July as the staff will be having a professional development day on 18th July where we look at the charism of Mary MacKillop and the St Joseph sisters who are the very foundation of our school’s culture. I take this opportunity to wish you a well earned rest and I look forward to seeing you next term. Thank you once again for your ongoing support throughout this very challenging semester.