Dear Parents and Caregivers
During 2023, we embarked on a journey with Curtin University to introduce a speech therapy programme into the school. It has been very successful, and I’m happy to announce that this partnership will continue into 2024. Over the course of the year, around 30 of our junior primary students, most in need, received extra support from Katy Forest and her students who were in their third and fourth year of studying to be speech therapists. On top of that, we are about to realise a dream of mine and employ our very own speech therapist. From the start of next year, Alana Portacio, who is a fully qualified and experienced Speech Therapist, will work with our students who are most in need, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday every week. In fact, we are the first Catholic school to go down this path. Other schools make space for therapists to work on-site, however, they still charge parents the full-service fee. As Alana will be a member of staff, there is no extra cost to our families. Alana will also be doing the Kindergarten screening at the start of the year, which is a wonderful thing as she will be able to follow up with the students who most need an intervention programme. I think with both Alana and Katy (and her students), we will be well-placed to offer extra support to our students. This is a very exciting initiative. I just ask parents to be patient as it is a new programme, and it may take a while to get to all students. However, in the long term, I believe this will be a wonderful benefit for our community.
Awareness/Compassion Reflection Compassion is the ultimate expression of your highest self.
Booklists Another initiative we have been working on for some time now is also about to come to fruition. I know how many of you don’t look forward to this time of the year when the booklists are sent home. Therefore, our supplier, Campions, has offered us a new way of doing it. By purchasing everything in bulk, we no longer need to send book lists home. In fact, they have guaranteed us that by doing it this way, all parents will save between 20% and 40% off the old prices. So, for parents and caregivers, the only thing you need to supply next year will be art smocks or headphones (if requested by individual teachers). Everything else will be done for you by the school, and the reduced price will be added to the amenities section of your school fees next year. This will save you time and money around Christmas time. Everything will be delivered directly to the classrooms before the end of the year, and the teachers will have all stationery items set to go on Day 1 next year.
STEM Club Yet another new thing we are trialling for our students at Mary Mac is the introduction of an after-school Science programme. This programme is run by a company called Young Engineers and it is held in our Science room every Monday for an hour or so. This term, we already have 15 students enrolled, and they are having a great time learning robotics, coding, and game development.
Interschool Athletics Carnival We wish our athletes all the very best of luck as they represent our school at the interschool carnival this Friday, October 27. The carnival will be held at the WA Athletics Stadium, with the first race starting at 9.00 am. Parents and grandparents are most welcome to come along and support our athletes who I already know will try their best and display excellent sportsmanship.
Whole School Masses Our first Mass for the term will be held in our Church on Thursday, October 26 at 8.45 am. The Mass will focus on All Saints Day. Next week, we will have another whole school Mass as it falls on All Souls day, Thursday 2 November. All parents and grandparents are most welcome to come along and join in.
Annual Community Meeting for the School Advisory Council and P&F As is usual practice at this time of the year, all parents are invited to join our staff for the annual reports from the School Advisory Council and the P&F. Both bodies have an important role to play in our community. The SAC helps me with the financial direction of the school so that it benefits all students, and the P&F focuses on community building and fundraising. As we have enough members to make up the SAC for 2024, we won’t need to hold an election. However, the P&F is still very keen to have new members, as we have managed to run it this year with a very small committee. The meeting will be held in the hall on Monday, November 20 from 5.15 pm.