A MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
I welcome each and every one of you to the 2017 College year. This week, 990 students in our school began the next step in their educational journey at Bethany. This is a large student body stretching the College to its full capacity. As I have interacted with students, parents and staff during these first few days, I have been struck by the high level of enthusiasm and sense of poise and ambition in each encounter. New students at all levels are receiving strong support and the strong connections between our students have been re-established. Our spiritual theme for the year is “For many are called but few are chosen” and our academic focus will be to “Aim for the Longshot”, promoting the learning principle of Self-Directed Learning which is an important part of our school-wide pedagogical vision of “Together, we grow.
Students and teachers are all learning together in this special place. We believe we need to focus on adopting a Growth Mindset and make progress, however incrementally, setting a difficult goal (a longshot) and working hard to achieve it. We are all very excited about the possibilities of each and every one of us extending ourselves for others and as a consequence, reaching for milestones we never dreamed we’d reach!
I particularly welcome our new Year 7 students (“The Magnolias”) to the College and the new members of staff who have joined our community:
- Baldwin, Gemma (VA)
- Bird, Maria (Bursar)
- Black, Lisa (ICT Officer)
- Forrester, Damienne (Assistant Business Manager)
- Ibrahim, Elizabeth (English/RE)
- Laguzza, Sebastian (English)
- Nabaki, Chantelle (Music/RE)
- Napoli, Theresa (TAS/RE)
- Naticchia, Tanya (LOTE/RE, job-share with Mrs Colreavy)
- Poole, Hannah (Science)
- Straker, Nora (EAL/D)
- Taouk, Kahlie (English/RE)
- VandenHengel, Stephanie (English/Drama, job-share with Mrs Camer)
- Vrahnos, Elizabeth (HSIE)
- Walsh, Madeline (English)
- Wood, Jamie-Lee (RE)
We also welcomed back Mrs Amy Camer (nee Nelson) who has returned to the College in a job-share position following the birth of young Madison.
There have been a few changes to the curriculum team at the College. Namely:
- Miss Walsh is our new English Coordinator, previously at Waverley College.
- Miss Wood is our new Assistant Leader of RE and Mission, previously at Marist College Kogarah.
- Mrs Vrahnos is our new Vocational Learning Coordinator, previously at Marist College Kogarah.
OPENING SCHOOL MASS
All of our students and teachers were present last week at our College Commencement Mass which took place in Yallunga Hall on Friday 3 February. This significant event, officially celebrated the beginning of the school year and was celebrated by Father Janusz. We have two themes for the year.
Academically, we are focusing on each of you AIMING FOR THE LONGSHOT. You have done work already with your Year Coordinator and Home room teacher on setting your personal and academic goals for the year. By now, you’ve reflected on your personal attributes and how you can use the gifts that you do have can be used to enhance the pursuit of the ones you still want to achieve.
Spiritually, we will be adopting the theme of “FOR MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN”.
We have all been privileged to have been called and chosen. Because of the invitation we have received by being called, we now need to act on that and this is where we show that we are chosen – through our acceptance of the invitation. Through our baptism, that call becomes evident when either we or our godparents make our baptismal promises. These promises though, come with a responsibility to proclaim the good news of Jesus. This is where the action part comes in. This acceptance enables us to live our lives by modelling Gospel values and to show others, though our actions, words and deeds, what it really means to be Catholic.
We can all be assured of the call, but it is only through response to it that we are truly chosen. Our faith is about action and this is where we have the opportunity to show that action.
As part of our ongoing journey to live out Gospel values and to acknowledge the charisms of both the Charities and Josephites, the six values then become an integral part of being chosen. How we live by them, how we integrate these into our daily interactions with each other, how we are challenged by them in difficult times to step up and really live the way we have been called to are all things we can consider when understanding the privilege and responsibility that being chosen comes with.
Ultimately, the students will be challenged to see how they can act upon the invitation by living out the Gospel values allocated.
EXEMPTIONS AND LEAVE REQUESTS
There have been changes this year to the way schools are asked to manage exemption from school requests. It is the duty of the NSW State government to ensure that every child receives an education of the highest quality and it is the duty of parents to comply with the compulsory education requirements of the Education Act 1990. As such, in the case of students of compulsory school age (less than 17 years) who are enrolled in a school, applications for exemption from school attendance must be submitted in advance.
- Exceptional domestic circumstances, subject to being satisfied that this is in the best educational interests of the child
- Other exceptional circumstances such as health of the student where sick leave or alternative enrolment is not appropriate
- The child being prevented from attending school because of a direction under section 42D of the Public Health Act 1991
- Employment in the entertainment industry or participation in elite sporting events for short periods of time e. for one or two days, and at short notice exemption are very clear.
From the commencement of 2015 when Applications for Exemptions from school have been received, students travelling during school terms are not to be exempted. Do not complete the Exemption application if you wish to take your daughter on leave for a vacation. The following table indicated processes and procedures that need to occur. All forms can be located on the College website or alternatively, requested from the Main Office.
Summary of Forms
All parent forms are available through the College website to be downloaded.
Why such a strict protocol around attendance? The broad message from recent longitudinal research is that there is a close relationship between school attendance and academic performance: every day counts. Moreover, the effects of non-attendance accumulate over time. Days missed in Year 3, for example, are detectable in the years ahead. This is important and has not been, until now, documented in the literature. This is not a trivial issue.
We will continue to work with our students at ‘lifting’ our attendance rates. Students should only be on sick leave at home when they are genuinely ill with infectious or serious ailments. Students with chronic conditions work hard to overcome issues and we are so proud of their efforts to catch up on work and submit their assignments. I would urge parents to support the College in setting the expectation and pattern about attendance early. Please make it a priority to take your holiday breaks in published school vacation periods only.
A full research report is available for your interest at http://www.telethonkids.org.au/media/472779/final_report_2013.pdf
We keep the following people in our prayers:
- Miss Kahlie Taouk who had surgery late last week.
- Siena Dal Bianco (10) whose maternal grandfather Fausto Del Vecchio passed away.
- Mrs Azizi who is the mother of past ex-students (Dah Dah) who passed away after suffering serious injuries in a pedestrian-car accident.
- Rachel Cassar (12) who is recovering from surgery after having been hit by a car.
- Miss Robinson and Mrs Russo who both lost an uncle over the weekend.
Collectively, we pray that the souls of the faithfully departed rest in perpetual peace.
CHANGES TO THE PROCESSES FOR APPLYING FOR A FEE REDUCTION
Catholic families experiencing genuine financial hardship who cannot afford to pay fees can apply for a financial bursary through the Catholic Education Foundation (if Centrelink dependent) or other families by completing the Sydney Catholic Schools Fee Reduction Application Form and submitting this, together with the required documentation, to the Principal of the school that the eldest child attends.
The Principal of the school the eldest student attends, or the Business Manager , will arrange an interview and assess the fee reduction application using the Fee Reduction Matrix to determine the level of reduction. This matrix has been determined by Head Office and will be applied consistently across all 151 of our schools. A failure to provide all of the necessary documentation will mean that a fee reduction cannot be considered at all.
The fee follow-up processes are a little different to what has happened in the past. Late fee follow-ups will be happening earlier than what has previously taken place (Term 1, Week 5 and Week 7). If there is no payment or no contact made by the end of Term 1, the fee follow-up will be referred to the Sydney Catholic Schools Fee Unit and they will communicate directly with parents over fee plans and debt recovery.
These new processes have been put in place to ensure the smooth cash flow and operating budget of each school and will also achieve a level of consistency in support of families who need it.
CHANGES TO PLANT AND FACILITIES
In addition to the already forecasted change in demountables, the following has changed for our students and staff:
- Marian block and Yallunga bathrooms will now be available for use by Years 10 to 12 and alleviate congestion near the MacKillop Building facilities.
- Six new microwaves will soon be installed, one for each year group, and to be monitored by student leaders.
- Vocational Learning Room has been located to the MacKillop Building, across from the library entrance. This will mean easier access for students to our Coordinator, Mrs Vrahnos and a more visually pleasing place to access resources and advice.
HIGH ACHIEVERS’ ASSEMBLY
HSC Class 2016
Excellence in Performing Arts
On Stage Nomination
Excellence in Creative Arts
First Place in HSC Exam
Melissa Agapiou – Personal Development, Health & Physical Education
Rita Bechara – Senior Science
Monique Cacaj – Business Services
Emily Davis – Mathematics General 2
Adriana Dell’Aquila – Studies of Religion II
Francesca Garcia – Music 1
Isabella Georges – English (Standard)
Isabella Healion – Visual Art
Belinda Jones – Dance
Eleanor Kerwick – Ancient History
Melissa Lameri – English (Standard)
Shana Lee – History Extension
Alexandra Lisboa-Pinto – Society and Culture
Chiara Mastrogiovanni – Textiles and Design
Niamh McMenamin – Legal Studies
Rebecca Moody – Italian (Beginners)
Floriana Rizzo – Italian (Continuers)
Sabrinna Veloso – English Extension 2
Jacinta Walz – Physics
English Extension 1, Modern History
Modern History, Studies of Religion I
Personal Development, Health & Physical Education
Community and Family Studies, Hospitality Examination, Society and Culture
Business Studies, Economics, English (Advanced)
Chemistry, English (Advanced), Mathematics Extension 1, Mathematics Extension 2
Band 6 / E4 in One Subject
Dinuki Algama – Studies of Religion I
Jasmin Allotta – Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
Sarah Borg- Mathematics General 2
Monique Cacaj – Business Services Examination
Victoria Dakhoul – Studies of Religion I
Emily Davis – Mathematics General 2
Zoe Delaney – Visual Art
Fiona Gazali – Studies of Religion I
Amy Greenhalgh – Studies of Religion I
Belinda Jones – Dance
Karli Karagiannis – Dance
Tara Kousoulas – Textiles and Design
Monica Krstevski – Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
Sharlize Lasala – Hospitality Examination
Alexandra Lisboa-Pinto – Society and Culture
Lisa-Marie Maglione – Dance
Eilish McIntyre – Legal Studies
Tijana Miles – Personal Development Health and Physical Education
Isabella Nguyen – Studies of Religion I
Lucienne Pacifique – Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
Fiona Pelosi – Studies of Religion II
Irena Pitsos – Dance
Bethany Price – Personal Development Health and Physical Education
Floriana Rizzo – Studies of Religion I
Serena Siow – Visual Arts
Sophie Tran – Community and Family Studies
Lara Trisley – Society and Culture
Jacinta Walz – Studies of Religion I
Band 6 / E4 in Two Subjects
Band 6 / E4 in Three Subjects
Band 6 / E4 in Four Subjects
Band 6 / E4 in Five Subjects
Emily Davis – 90.0
Isabella Healion– 90.05
Chiara Mastrogiovanni – 90.1
Eilish McIntyre – 90.9
Qitong Huang– 90.9
Melissa Agapiou – 91.55
Shana Lee – 91.75
Adriana Halias – 92.45
Sabrinna Veloso – 93.0
Danielle Cavanagh – 93.05
Brooke Cibalevski – 93.2
Jacinta Tennet – 94.1
Niamh McMenamin – 94.2
Eleanor Kerwick – 94.3
Jacinta Walz – 94.4
Katerina Meliss – 94.5
Christina Ristevski – 95.55
Kristyn Katidis – 95.75
Anastazia Nedelkoska – 96.95
Anthea Michalopoulos – 99.0
Our mantra:“Girls can do anything. Bethany girls can do everything!* (*except divide by zero)” Vicki Lavorato Principal