Issue 15 - Principal's Video Update

Welcome to the final newsletter of Term 3. I have tried hard to avoid using the word ‘unprecedented’ in all previous communications. However, we finish this term, with Year 12 students learning face-to-face, other students learning remotely, repeated rescheduling of multiple events, and ongoing uncertainty about the remainder of this year, so it is difficult to think of a more appropriate word. I believe that throughout this term the College community has coped magnificently with what has been asked of us.

In recent weeks it has become clear that having the vast majority of the population vaccinated is the only way for a return to something approaching pre-COVID-19 normality. As of this week, all our students can access vaccinations. Being vaccinated makes you less likely to get sick from COVID-19 and less likely to infect others. The College strongly encourages all students to seek vaccination as soon as possible. It is a personal and communal obligation.

The St Joseph’s College Advisory Council (formerly known as the College Board) plays an important liaison and support role for the Principal and the College leadership team. The Advisory Council consists of between 7 and 11 members, each appointed for a three-year term. At the end of 2021, we are expecting a small number of places to become available and hence are seeking expressions of interest from members of the College community. Members of the Advisory Council do not represent particular interest groups within the community but it is important that the council includes members with diverse skill sets. From 2021 we are particularly interested in expressions of interest from members of the community with skill sets in a range of areas including in one or more of the following:

  • Building / Engineering
  • Commercial
  • Environment
  • Health / Well-being
  • Human resources
  • Innovation
  • Local government
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Operations
  • Technology / Information technology
  • ATSI / multicultural awareness
  • Safety

If you would like to find out more about membership of the Advisory Council please contact Adele Watt at [email protected]

Last week the Council held its annual seminar online over two three-hour sessions. Sessions/presentations included: the monthly Council meeting; commencing development of the next iteration of the College’s strategic plan (which will replace the current version available on our website); the financial plan for 2022 and beyond; and a summary of student academic achievement data.

As a follow-up to this there will be an opportunity for the broader community to have input to the strategic planning process early next year. Decisions regarding finances including 2022 school fees will be communicated in the coming months. The data on the educational achievement of our students provides some interesting food for thought and strongly suggests that academically and vocationally we are getting many things right. There is an article by Lisa Pope in the Deputy Principal’s section of this newsletter which provides more detail but highlights include:

  • Our Year 9’s in 2021 have shown growth in numeracy 6% above the State average, and reading 5% higher than the state average since Year 7 (2019)
  • 82 students in Year 9 received the Year 9 NAPLAN achievement certificate
  • St Joseph’s students who leave school before the end of Year 12 are employed at almost twice the rate of other students in the region and across Victoria.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge all those students who applied for positions of leadership throughout all year levels of the College. Applying for leadership positions or similar office requires a degree of bravery as there is always the possibility of not being selected and bearing disappointment in public. Congratulations to those who have been appointed to lead their peers in 2022. I particularly recognise College Captain Patrick F and Deputy Captains Seamus R and Arden C and Touchstone leaders: Tane B and Patrick J (Gospel Spirituality), Flynn B and Sullivan J (Inclusive Community), Samuel D and Jaylen W(Liberating Education) and Sascha W and Zakary E (Justice and Solidarity).

Stay well and God Bless