We trust that all families suffered little or no damage during the recent spell of torrential rain and storms. There was certainly a lot of disruption and chaos in our communities and we are grateful that there were no serious injuries to members of the St John Paul II community. The disruption to both campuses on the Wednesday and Thursday of the storms meant that there had to be considerable changes to school routines and student travel arrangements. We are also very thankful to the parents and caregivers for your assistance when students needed to be picked up from school and when the Nirimba campus was closed for the Thursday.
Every cloud has a silver lining and one silver lining during this time was the teaching and learning that occurred when the senior students spent a day at Schofields in the newly constructed Co-operative Learning Space. It was quite special to see groups of students and students engaged in the learning in active and dynamic ways. With the new co-operative learning space and new group learning areas at the College, Year 11 and 12 students comfortably continued their studies with their teachers and had the opportunity to learn in the new building! The other aspect of day was that, for the first time in our history, all year groups were gathered together on the one site as one community of members of St John Paul II Catholic College for teaching and learning lessons.
Recently ANZAC Day ceremonies were held at the Schofields Campus to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landing and pay respect those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. Two services were held: one for the Year 7, 8 and 12 students in the Co-operative Learning Space and one for the Year 9, 10 and 11 students in the Performance Workshop. To see the students participate in the services with such dignity served as an example for all of us in the wider community. In addition, on Anzac Day itself, a number of staff and students attended the Dawn Ceremony at Riverstone as St John Paul II ambassadors, again showing great respect to the fallen.
Another mark of the way the school is valued by the community is evidenced in our continued healthy enrolments with in excess of 160 applications for enrolment into Year 7 in 2015 having been received at the time this newsletter was printed. Our first interview sessions will be held next week for all those students who applied from outside our three feeder schools. Applications from families with children at Mary Immaculate, St John’s and St Joseph’s Primary Schools are also being processed and they will be enrolled without need for an interview unless the family requests one or there are special needs to be considered. If you are aware of families who have not applied to attend St John Paul II Catholic College, please let them know that they need to send their application in now otherwise they may miss out on being enrolled. Interviews will be arranged for these families in the next few weeks. If parents/caregivers have forgotten to send in their applications or if you know someone who needs to apply and receive further information, an interview, and a tour of our college please contact Mrs. Fay Lovett at the College on 9208 7205.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs. Fiona Scully for her work as St John Paul II representative on the Diocesan Parent Representative Council. Additionally we thank the members of the St John Paul II College Council for their continued support of the college: Mr. Michael Richards, Mr. Rowan Russell and Mrs. Jenine Garcia. Should any other parents / caregivers wish to contribute to the life of the college as members of the Council we would be most pleased to talk with them.
As we commence the term and look to the future we take this opportunity to provide updates three of our staff members, Mr. Daniel LaGuzza, Mrs. Michelle O’Neill and Mr Ken Wolffe. Both Mr. LaGuzza and Mrs. O’Neill are undergoing chemotherapy for illnesses they have at present and their recovery needs our prayers. We hope that Mr. LaGuzza’s treatment will allow him to return to work later this term while Mrs. O’Neill’s treatment will keep her off work until at least term 4. Mr Wolffe underwent shoulder surgery last week and will be off work for the remainder of this term. He will be replaced as Assistant Principal by Mr Francis Mackay. Please keep them and their families in your prayers.
Jim Fanning and Phil Smith