Dear Parents, Caregivers & Whānau,
We celebrated a beautiful liturgy last Wednesday for Ash Wednesday and the start of the Lenten season. Lent is the period of preparation for Easter – a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving to those in need. During this time, we have an opportunity to draw nearer to God and be transformed by the Holy Spirit. The theme for Lent 2020 is Renewed by the Spirit. Pope Francis says, ‘Let yourself be transformed. Let yourself be renewed by the Spirit… do not abandon the path of love but remain ever open to his supernatural grace, which purifies and enlightens.’ (Gaudete et Exsultate #24)
At St Catherine’s we are committed to the mission of Caritas. Caritas is the catholic agency which delivers aid, supports development and advocates for justice around the world, including in Aotearoa New Zealand. It promotes action for real change. Many of our students are committed to the Caritas cause and for 24 hours over April 3-4 they will build solidarity with those living with poverty or injustice. They do this through hands-on experiences that are fun and informative, while raising funds. The activities include building and sleeping in cardboard shelters, giving up cellphones and laptops for 24 hrs, participating in activities that simulate people living in poverty and eating food traditional to the country that they are supporting.
I share with you the most recent health notice from the Ministry of Education (derived from the Ministry of Health).
The Ministry of Health has noted that although we have our first case of COVID-19, the chances of community outbreak remain low. This case was identified because the person affected and their family did the right thing and got in touch with health authorities. This is a good wake up call. New Zealand has been free of the virus to date, but we knew that would not last. For now, this doesn’t affect what you already are doing and the plans you and health authorities have in place. Continue to reinforce messages about hygiene practices. Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence:
wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
cover coughs and sneezes with clean tissues or your elbow
put used tissues in the bin.
We are still focused on keeping it out, and now stomping it out through track, trace and contain. It’s important we all continue to be alert but not alarmed. If you feel unwell stay at home and self-isolate. Please keep checking our website for the latest information - https://education.govt.nz/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-3/
Below are the attendance rates for St Catherine’s students for Term 4 2019.
These figures point to high levels of absenteeism across all year levels. Ministry of Education insights studies confirm that the fewer days a student attends school, the more likely their lower attendance is to impact negatively on their wellbeing. Attendance is also linked to levels of student attainment in secondary students. Recent research shows that each additional half day absence from school predicts a consistent reduction in the number of NCEA credits a student subsequently attains – whether that is the student moving from 100% to 99% attendance, or moving from 71% to 70% attendance. Students who are absent even 5-10% of the time (still “regular” attendance) obtain fewer NCEA credits than those with slightly higher attendance. There is no “safe” level of non-attendance.
It is important that school is attended every day possible. Taking a ‘sickie’ or a day off school for any reason other than genuine illness or personal circumstances cannot be condoned. It is important that we work together for maximum student attendance.
Year Level 90 – 100% Less than 90%
9 65.8 34.2
10 60.1 39.9
11 67.1 32.9
12 67.2 32.8
13 43.5 56.5
Sport is full on at St Catherine’s. We have teams across 6 codes: volleyball, floorball, futsal, tennis, lawn bowls, and touch rugby. Our sports coordinator, Heloise Welch is doing a grand job organising students and the hugely challenging roles of coaches and managers. If you might be able to help out with transport in the afternoon or managing a side Heloise would love to hear from you on firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Learning Conversations
Student Learning Conversations are an opportunity for students to explain their goals for the year, to identify their strengths and challenges, and to discuss how best they can be supported by both whānau and school to achieve their goals. The Learning Conversation enables the student, the college and the whānau to agree on and implement strategies to enable the student to achieve their expressed goals, and provides a base for ongoing conversations between student, teacher and whānau to check progress towards goals and to address any barriers standing in the way of reaching these goals.
We hope all parents and caregivers will make bookings online for Wednesday 8 April and attend our Student Learning Conversations. The links to make bookings will be emailed to you next week.
Attendance Dues have been confirmed for 2020. This is the compulsory fee you committed to on enrolment of your children to a Catholic school. The fees are used to pay for new school costs, existing mortgages, and insurance on all school property. The Archdiocese of Wellington oversees the collection of these Dues but if you have need for financial support please contact me anytime and to discuss a plan; I am available to meet with you wherever it might be convenient.
As of 18th March uniform can no longer be purchased from Moana Clothing in Miramar. Our new uniform supplier is NZ Uniforms. There will be a few days when uniform is unavailable as we transfer stock to our new supplier and for them to get up and running, but we will keep this to an absolute minimum.
The address of the NZ Uniform shop is 168 Thorndon Quay. This is a brand new store and there is plenty of parking outside. Their phone number is 04-238-4727.
Alternatively you will be able to order from their website https://www.nzuniforms.com/ where there will be a dedicated area just for St Catherine’s College.
We are hoping to have an item of each part of the uniform in each size on site here at St Catherine’s College so that girls can try before they buy online if they aren’t able to get to the store. Please contact Janet at reception if you wish to use this service.
There will be several payment options, including WINZ and a Uniform Club which is like a ‘Christmas Club’ where parents can put aside money regularly throughout the year in order to lighten the load in January. The funds saved on the Uniform Club card can be used at any time during the year and members of the club will receive some buying privileges.
We also have a range of second-hand uniform for purchase through the school. Please see Janet at reception if you would like to take up this option.
PUM Another reminder that next Wednesday 11 March school will start at 10am as all teachers participate in a PPTA meeting.
Video No 2 is attached to this newsletter. See Yr 12 leaders share information about upcoming special character involvements – https://www.facebook.com/SCCMERCYANDWISDOM/videos/240867973605926/ (copy & paste if link not working)
Mission Expo at Bishop Viard College is on next Saturday 14 March. This event organised by the Archdiocese of Wellington is for the wider Catholic community to share in courses, activities, games and fellowship. It’s a day for the family starting at 11am.
Paige Wilson who has been selected for the Te Matatini leadership programme which was open to all rangatahi in Aotearoa with a max intake of only 40.0
Mila Moriarty and Anna Coulman for their membership of the Big Air Cheerleading team which won the Level 3 National Championships in Texas, USA
Alessandra Unsworth for 3rd in tube rescue and 5th placings in the surf race at the Junior Surf Nationals competitions.
Ava Saulbrey for her bronze medal in the U14 mixed 2km Beach rely
Loredana Unsworth for 3rd in k4 500m, 3rd in k4 200m at kayak nationals, and 4th in the 5km at kayak nationals. Loredana also qualified for NZ junior world trials.
Mar 11 Teachers’ PPTA meeting; School starts 10am
Mar 12 BOT meeting
Mar 14 Mission Expo at Bishop Viard College
St Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival
Mar 18 BOP meeting
Apr 3 CARITAS Challenge
Apr 8 Student Learning Conversations all day / BOT
Apr 9 Easter Liturgy / Term 1 Ends
Apr 28 (Tues) Term 2 Starts
Ma Te Atua koutou e manaaki e tiaki
(May God bless and care for you all)