Dear Parents & Guardians,
My apologies if there is a lot of repeated information in this week’s newsletter, however, there are some really important dates before the end of the year that all our parents and guardians need to know about.
2024 BEGINNING OF YEAR SCHOOL YEAR
Please note that the last day of the school year for students is Friday, December 15.
We will soon be sending home the calendar for 2024 with many important dates for next year (noting that some may change due to circumstances beyond our control). We are advising all parents and guardians that the start of the 2024 school year is as follows:
Tuesday, January 30:
First day of school: Exploration Learning Community (Preps) only: 8.50 am – 12.30 pm.
Testing Day: Discovery, Curiosity and Challenge (Grade 1- 6)
Wednesday, January 31 – Thursday, February 1:
Whole School Testing Days: All Learning Communities (Prep – Grade 6)
Friday, February 2:
First Day: Discovery, Curiosity and Challenge (Grade 1 – 6) only.
Testing Day for Exploration (Preps) Learning Community
Monday, February 5:
First full school day: Exploration (Prep) to Challenge (Grade 6)
All testing sessions are by appointment times only – The school administration team will provide details in due course.
GIVING THANKS CAN BE THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL
Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) is excited to be launching a Christmas campaign in December. The focus of the campaign will be on giving the biggest thanks possible to our amazing teachers.
To make the campaign more special, students have the chance to be part of it. MACS has created an online form at www.macsbiggestthanks.com, where students can write a message of thanks to the teacher who has helped them to flourish, whether by igniting their passion in a certain subject or by inspiring them to believe in themselves.
Not only will the messages of thanks be shared with teachers, but some of the students’ messages will appear on billboards around Melbourne and in future communications. We need parent/carer/guardian consent in the online form to give students the chance of having their message used in this way.
The form will be open until Friday 1 December. We look forward to seeing the messages of joy and positivity from students as we celebrate our wonderful teachers this Christmas.
2023 CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT
Natalie Bruzzese and the staff have been busily preparing for our annual Carols by Candlelight celebration on Tuesday, November 28 at 6.00 pm. The children always enjoy this night, and I am sure this will beat last year’s celebrations. This will take place in the courtyard between Stage 1 and 2 with the stage set up in the collaborative space in Stage 2.
We are encouraging all our families to bring a blanket and a picnic and enjoy the celebration with us. Bring nans, grandads, and friends along to enjoy the festivities. The long-term forecast is looking positive so hopefully, this year the weather will be kind to us!
2023 END OF YEAR SCHOOL MASS
We celebrate masses and liturgies in our school throughout the year, however, our beginning and end of year mass will always be celebrated in the parish church of St Anthony of Padua, recognising that our school is part of a bigger, parish community.
Our end-of-year mass at St Anthony of Padua will take place on Friday, December 15 at 10.30am. I hope that lots of parents, guardians and other members of our community come and give thanks for the year we have had by celebrating mass with us. Having it at St Anthony of Padua also means we can fit in a lot more parents and guardians. Please make time to attend.
2023 GRADE SIX GRADUATION
Our Grade 6 Graduation Dinner will take place on Tuesday, December 12 at 3.30 pm. More details will be sent out to the relevant parents and guardians soon. The 2023 Grade Six Graduation mass will take place at St Anthony of Padua Parish Church on Wednesday, December 13 at 6.00 pm.
On Thursday, November 23, all our Catholic children from Grade 3 to Grade 6 will participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation at our school with Fr Alex and some of his fellow priests. This is an important activity for these children as they begin the preparation for the season of Advent.
On Friday, December 8, all the Catholic Grade 3-6 children will be bused to St Anthony of Padua Parish Church to participate in the sacrament of Reconciliation in the parish church.
The 2023 Reconciliation liturgy and sacrament will take place on Thursday, December 7 at St Anthony of Padua Parish Church at 7.00 pm.
2023 SEMESTER TWO REPORTS, THREE-WAY LEARNING CONVERSATIONS
As I often said, the culture of our school has in large part been developed around our commitment to act in a spirit of partnership with our parents and guardians. We want to ensure that every parent and guardian is actively engaged in the learning journey of their child.
With this in mind, our Semester Two three-way learning conversations (parent-teacher meetings also involving the students) have been organised for Monday and Wednesday, December 4 and 6. We have had to make some changes to the previously announced dates to avoid a clash with important dates that are outside of our control.
It is expected that all parents and guardians make an appointment to meet with the classroom teacher to discuss the progress of their child. Please do not be offended, but I will be following up with any parent or guardian who does not attend a meeting. It is a reasonable expectation that every parent or guardian makes time for this meeting.
The Semester Two reports will be sent home the proceeding Friday, (December 1) as these will guide the discussion at the three-way learning conversations and this gives parents and guardians time to review these before meeting with the teacher.
2023 STEP-UP DAY
Tuesday, December 5 is the state-wide Step-Up Day for students. This is the day that the Grade 6 children spend a day in their new High School or College and the Kinder children come to school for their first school visit (except, that in our case we have completed seven Kinder transition sessions already!). We use Step-Up Day as the day that the children will spend part of the day in their new classroom, with their new classmates for 2024.
Attendance at the Step-Up day is required for all new students starting at St Lawrence of Brindisi in 2024, excluding next years prep students. These students will receive a letter from their teacher next year introducing themselves and welcoming them to their class.
We will announce the class teachers for 2024 just prior to Step-Up Day, noting that currently, we are still one teacher short for 2024 and this class will be supported on this day by one of the leadership team. We sincerely apologise for this, and I fully appreciate that this might make these children a little more anxious, however, unfortunately, this is the challenging reality we face. I can assure you that we are leaving no stone unturned to find a teacher for next year, though we have still made a stipulation that this must be a teacher suitable for our school.
CURIOSITY LEARNING COMMUNITY ASSEMBLY
The Curiosity Learning Community children will lead the school in an assembly on Friday, November 24 at 2.40 pm. We hope to see lots of parents there! (not just the ones with children in Grades 3 and 4).
FINAL SAC MEETING & AGM
Our final School Advisory Council (SAC) Meeting has to be rescheduled for Monday, December 4. The SAC meeting, which is only for SAC members starts at 6.00pm and our AGM starts at 6.45pm. Our AGM is open to any parent or staff member and is usually one of two occasions where we receive nominations from any parent or guardian who is interested in joining our amazing SAC team.
If you are interested in joining the SAC team, you need to send me an email to: email@example.com