CSPWA NEWSLETTER JUNE 2020
Thank you CSPWA for the opportunity to serve our parent community over the past 13 years; it has been a truly wonderful and enriching experience. It is with some sadness that I write this as I stand down from the role of President and Council; all of my children have now left school so I must now pass the baton on to the next group of wonderful, generous volunteer Councillors. Thank you to Vice President Catherine, Secretary Rebecca, Treasurer Richard and Councillors Alan, Anna, Kate, Marina and Simone for sharing their gifts and talents to benefit the work of CSPWA.
We held our AGM on Thursday 18 June via Zoom. It’s much easier to run a meeting when everyone is in front of you -you can see everyone's face and contemplate whether they are listening or if they are bored? However, we did manage to get through everything and the meeting ran as efficiently as it could I felt. Thank you to all who joined in, we appreciate you taking the time to be part of the AGM. All the current Councillors have renominated and we are excited to welcome two new Councilors, Michelle Francis from Holy Cross College, Ellenbrook and Belinda Stewart, St Elizabeth's CPS, Hocking.
Volunteering has so many benefits and at times I have felt I have got more out of being part of CSPWA and my school P&F than I have put into it. Everyone has something to offer, so don’t be afraid to put yourself forward for something new, what is the worst thing that can happen? Whilst I still do not like public speaking (even after all this time) I do it when I need to, yes I have made mistakes (including, but not limited to introducing the Director of Catholic Education and politicians) but nothing bad has happened, to be honest, everyone is probably thinking they are glad it is not them up there or are amazed at how anyone can speak in public. Our schools need willing volunteers to create and be a community and now, in particular, the sense of community is so important. Navigating the COVID-19 world we need the people around us to support each other. I encourage you to be part of your school parent group and be involved with us-even a small thing can make a difference and currently any positive steps forward to help our schools, our children, our teachers, our parents will go a long way in making a great community. As we have heard so often "We are all in this together".
A big thank you to the office staff, Siobhan, Theresa, Anne-Marie and Donna for the work they do on our behalf. Their knowledge, professionalism, enthusiasm and guidance have made my role easy and I really appreciate that they share their gifts and talents so generously. Thanks also for being able to adapt so quickly to working from home for part of the term and change the way we connect with parents. We are truly blessed to have such a great group.
As always there is some great reading in the newsletter including some interesting and helpful articles on ways to communicate with your teenage children, a great article on subject selection for our Year 10 students and parents, as well some news on the Plenary Council.
To keep up to date, check our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram and CSPWA's website and please feel free to contact the office staff if you need help, guidance or even just an encouraging word.
For me, it’s not the end, just a new beginning and I look forward to still being involved in some way with the awesome organization that is CSPWA.
I wish CSPWA all the best for the bright future that lies ahead.
Thank you once again.
Be safe, take care and God bless
CSPWA were delighted to host 3 Parent Reconnect meetings via Zoom at the beginning of this term in response to the Coronavirus crisis. The meetings were well attended with over 20 schools represented. A summary of the discussions covered in the meetings included
- looking at how parent groups are staying connected within their own school communities
- the importance of checking in on parents and families within our communities was highlighted
- ways in which parent groups can assist their school communities in these difficult times
- the need for flexibility and adaptability around what plans parent groups had in place for the year- cancelling events where large groups would gather etc.
- sharing of ideas from other school parent groups
- resources available from CSPWA including template agenda's for Zoom meetings and Planning meeting
The feedback from these meetings was very positive and has led CSPWA to look at ways in which we can continue to incorporate Zoom meetings in our work, in particular with our rural and remote parent groups, in order to stay connected. Next term we are hoping to hold some cluster meetings with parents from neighbouring schools. If your school parent group is interested please contact Theresa @csp.wa.edu.au.
The 66th Annual General Meeting for Catholic School Parents took place via Zoom on Thursday 18th June 2020. As many of you will know the CSPWA AGM usually takes place as part of our biennial conferences. Unfortunately, Conference 2020 had to been cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As with many, many others, we have become regular users of online meeting methods, and we were delighted to have so many parents join us on the evening via Zoom.
Parents from 22 schools took time out of their evening to take part in and access the annual reports provided.
In addition to the tabling of reports and usual meeting protocols, the AGM provides the opportunity for parents from affiliated schools to nominate for CSPWA council and we were delighted to have all councillors from last year re-nominate with the exception of CSPWA President, Helen Anderson, who is retiring from the council as her children have now finished school and also long-serving councillor Agnes Weymouth who has retired.
However, the good news is that there were two new nominations to the council. These were:
Belinda Stewart from St Elizabeth’s, Hocking and
Michelle Frances from Holy Cross, Ellenbrook.
We also welcome back:
Anna Wood, St Kierans, Tuart Hill
Alan Buckley, Bunbury Catholic College, Bunbury
Catherine Howarth, Frances Jordan, Currumbine
Kate Price, St Anthony’s, Greenmount
Marina Hayward, Mater Christi, Yangebup
Rebecca Furfaro, Salvado College, Byford
Richard Bone, Mercy College, Koondoola
Simone Northcott, St Maria Goretti, Redcliffe
CSPWA, according to our constitution have the capacity to have an additional five more council members. We are currently following up with some parents from the dioceses of Geraldton and Broome, as we feel it vitally important that the voice of the rural and remote parent is heard at the table. However, we would be very happy to hear from 2-3 parents who feel they would like to serve the wider Catholic school parent community, through participation on CSPWA Council. For anyone who would like additional information as to what the role entails, please don’t hesitate to contact Siobhan on 0409 025 683 for further information. The key pre-requisite is that you have a child in a school which is currently affiliated with Catholic School Parents WA.
CSPWA staff congratulate all council members on their nomination and we look forward to working hard with all of you in the year ahead, continuing our commitment to those parents who chose a Catholic education for their children
Helen, outgoing president of CSPWA, as you will have read in her introduction to this newsletter has served on council for over 13 years. Siobhan Allen through the AGM commended Helen on her long term commitment, in particular driving up from Albany to attend meetings at one stage 8 times a year! In a state as big and diverse as WA is, Helen consistently brought the voice of the rural and remote parent to the table and educated all of us on the challenges for families who live outside the Perth metropolitan area. Helen is deeply committed to her faith, and we have seen this faith in action regularly over the years through her constant availability to contribute as and when required. In her most recent role on council as President, Helen has been a source of support for the office staff and council alike.
Finally but certainly not least, Helen is passionate about parents and the wonderful contribution they make to Catholic education communities and never misses a chance to encourage their participation in the life of their school. Helen will be sorely missed although we know we will always be able to call on her for support and input.
The 67th AGM will take place next year as part of Conference 2021.
See you all then!
The Awards of Excellence in Building Positive Catholic School Communities have always been an integral part of the work we do at CSPWA. The awards were introduced to acknowledge and celebrate the amazing work that is carried out within our Catholic school communities that demonstrates positive outcomes for students, families and the wider school community.
This is a fantastic opportunity to recognise and celebrate the incredible things that are happening in our Catholic School communities so if you have an exceptional Principal, awesome P&F, outstanding Parent, or wonderful Parish, please nominate for these awards. Anyone in the school community can nominate their Principal, P&F, Parent, or Parish. Applications are welcome from all Catholic schools however, only affiliated schools are eligible to win a prize.
Presentation of CSPWA's Awards of Excellence 2020 will be made at Catholic Education's School Staff breakfast, which will also include the Quality Catholic Education Awards, to be held on October 16th 2020.
Nominations are now open and will close on Sept 1 2020
For parents of students in Year 10 this is the time of year that you may hear, for the first time, terms such as WACE, VET and ATAR. There is lots of information coming through from schools about subject selection for next year but it can be a little overwhelming at times for parents. We have included some information from the Executive Director of SCSA (School Curriculum and Standards Authority), Mr Allan Blagaich.
"We want all students to enrol in a challenging senior secondary program for 2021, suited to your strengths and interests. It is important that you know that, despite the disruptions and challenges COVID-19 has brought, the standard of the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) has not dropped. Although this year has thrown up many challenges, it has equally opened doors to new opportunities. Consider these opportunities when making your selections".
To be awarded a WACE, students must meet a number of requirements. The first of these is a set of general requirements about course completion. Other requirements include demonstrating the literacy and numeracy standard, the breadth and depth requirement and the achievement standard requirement. All requirements must be met for a student to be awarded a WACE".
Students entering Year 11 in 2021 have three options for the course completion requirement to achieve the WACE. These options are detailed as part of the information presented in the handbook. As your child considers which will be the best option for them and begins the process of selecting courses for Years 11 and 12, you should talk with your child and their teachers about the courses and programs that will work best for them. Bear in mind that they want their options during and after school to meet their needs, interests and aspirations.
"You are about to enter into a phase of your life that will bring both challenges and rewards. However uncertain the times may be, by seeking sound advice, making wise choices and establishing good routines you will be helping yourself achieve your goals."
It’s often said that communication is the key to a healthy relationship. While it might sound like tired advice, it’s a skill worth learning that will help us do better in all our relationships. As your child grows up, the way you communicate with them will need to change to reflect the new boundaries in your relationship created by their increasing independence. Discovering these new and different approaches to communicating effectively with one another will be a learning experience for you both. Effective communication with your teenager can help you both feel happier and more connected in your relationship, and more confident about having difficult conversations and resolving conflicts.
To read the full article click hereWhat is ReachOut Parents?
On ReachOut Parents you will find:
- fact sheets, stories, practical tips and tools covering a range of topics, issues and experiences that are relevant to teenagers aged 12-18 years
- an online community forum where you can talk to other parents about your experiences and work through your concerns in a safe, anonymous environment.
We live in a fast-changing world that presents exciting opportunities and complex challenges. STEM skills will help us adapt to change, make the most of new technologies, and lead the response to global crises.
Taking 2 STEM subjects will give young people the skills to find a great job, and change jobs in the future. The opportunities are endless.
Students already use STEM skills in their everyday lives - at school, at home and for fun. There are plenty of things they already enjoy about STEM. You just have to ask them!
Parents play a key role in influencing school subject choices.
Click HERE to view the new website on STEM
The two assemblies for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia will be held in Adelaide from October 3-10, 2021, and in Sydney from July 4-9, 2022.
The new dates mean that the celebration of the Plenary Council has effectively moved 12 months from the original plan of a first assembly in October 2020 and the second assembly in June/July 2021. Read the full article here