Address: 158 Katoomba Street Katoomba
Phone: 4780 6800
Facebook: St Canice’s School Katoomba
St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Parish
Parish Administrator Fr John McSweeney
Presbytery Contact Ph: 02 4782 2804
Fax: 02 4782 6090
Monday 8.30am Friday 12.00pm Saturday 9.00am Sunday 10.00amConfession
Saturday 9.30am Confession outside this time is available on requestRosary
Saturday Cenacle Rosary and Consecration following benediction after 9am MassStations of the Cross
1st Friday of month, 12.30pmExposition of Blessed Sacrament
Fridays (Except 1st Friday) 12.30pmBenediction
Benediction Saturdays following 9am MassWeekly Divine Mercy Hour
Sundays 12.00pm to 1.00pmVespers
4th Monday of month - 6pm
Dear Parents and Carers,
All of our students K-6 are now at school. Our students who are familiar with the school have been enjoying connecting with friends and getting to know new teachers. Our new students in Kindergarten have made a wonderful start to their schooling. A very big thank you to our Kindy parents for ensuring a smooth start for their children and also to our wonderful teaching staff in the Kindergarten space.
I would like to spend a few moments explaining how we are ensuring that your child is learning according to his / her learning needs at St Canice’s. We have expanded our teaching staff considerably to ensure that we can provide additional individualised and group support for every student at St Canice’s. You will see from the table below the human resources we are making available to meet the diverse learning needs of all of the children. Oversight for children who need additional support in their learning rests with Ms Honeyman and Mr White is working with teachers and students to ensure that our most academically capable students are also being challenged in their learning. CHALLENGE. This is the key word for 2021. At St Canice’s we know that all students must challenge themselves and be challenged if they are to grow as learners. I should note that the level of support is equitable across all classes.
Kindergarten and Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)
Mrs Kellie Clarke (K)
Ms Alice Krawczyk (S1)
Ms Sally Piggott
Mrs Diana Laznik
Mrs Kate Micallef
Ms Colleen Bourke
Stage 2 (Years 3-4)
Mrs Angela Wedesweiler
Mrs Rose Gillespie
Mr Jan van der Walle
Mrs Rosana Friend
Mrs Michelle Sztelma
Stage 3 (Years 5-6)
Ms Kayleen Magann
Mrs Jessica Karatovic
Ms Alison Morley
Mr Patrick McCarthy
Ms Teresa Horan
Ms Corinna Welch
Ms Taylor Ferey
I would like to welcome our new students for 2021 to our school community. Welcome to Violet in Stage 1 (Year 2) and to Tamryn in Stage 3W (Year 5), along with all of our new Kindergarten students. We are delighted to have increased our enrolments into Kindergarten significantly this year. Many thanks to those of you who are working hard in the community promoting our great school. Keep it up, Parents. Make sure to spread these positive messages. This is the time of year when we commence our enrolments process for 2022.
Our COVID restrictions are easing somewhat and I am pleased to advise that we will be able to host our “Meet and Greet” meetings at the school in Week 5. These meetings put your child and yourself in the driver’s seat as you both have the opportunity to tell us about your child as a learner. The purpose of the meetings is twofold:
To establish / continue a partnership with you as the first educators of your children.
To support your child in developing a confident voice in talking to key adults about his / her learning
You will also have the opportunity to see your child’s learning space and classroom. We will provide information as to how to book your interview time in the days ahead and look forward to welcoming many of you back to the school for the first time since last March!
Homework is always a topic of great controversy. There are those who see it as vital to learning and others who think that it does little to enhance student learning. I would like to categorically state that at St Canice’s, there is no such thing as no homework. Teachers might not set prescribed tasks to be completed at home on a weekly basis but every child from Year 1 in the school understands the necessity to read daily at home. Children need to be reading from a wide variety of reading material daily in order to increase their reading stamina and to improve as readers. Parents, I encourage you to develop the habit among your children of reading, uninterrupted, for at least 15 minutes a day if it is not already set. Reading is the key to learning and better readers make for better learners.
Learning Overviews will be sent home in Week 3. Please take the opportunity to show your interest in your child’s learning by sharing and discussing the plan. I suggest keeping it at hand over the course of the term to pick up on the conversation along the way.
Mrs Wedesweiler is working with Fr John to coordinate our Opening School Mass. This will take place in the school hall on Tuesday next 9 February at 12pm. We can ensure adherence to COVID restrictions by celebrating in the hall. Mrs Wedesweiler has also organised a prayer gathering for staff on Friday mornings and I know that she is hoping to engage parents in something similar going forward. Our Faith In Action Team is about to commence its great work leading faith development at student level. On the subject of prayer, we continue to pray daily for Mr Geerligs, past Principal at St Canice’s and currently undergoing treatment for cancer.
I informed you in my opening letter of the year that, sadly, Mrs Sharon Debien has resigned. I would like to acknowledge the great contribution Mrs Debien has made to our community over her 10 years at St Canice’s. Sharon commenced at the school in 2009 and supported student learning in a variety of roles up until her departure in 2020. In her most recent position as Year 2 teacher, she took great care to ensure the learning and wellbeing of her students. She was in constant communication with parents, collaborating with them around the children’s needs. She was a great leader of many initiatives at the school. The Chicken Diva Reading Day last year and Mrs van der Walle’s farewell are two such events that immediately spring to mind. We will acknowledge Mrs Debien’s great contribution and provide an opportunity for the children to farewell her at a whole school assembly in the hall on Friday 19 February at 2:10pm.
Parents I am requesting that teaching staff at St Canices are not contacted on their personal mobile phones going forward. Teachers are professionals and the protocols that exist when we contact other professionals such as doctors and dentists must also apply to them. Email is the preferred way to communicate with your child’s teacher / teaching staff. We have included a list of teacher email addresses and roles to enable you to be able to do this. Please understand that teachers need time to respond to an email. We will be endeavouring to get back to you within 24 hours of receiving your email. If you need to urgently contact us, the phone continues to be the best way of doing this. In particular, advice about your child’s absence or transport arrangements should always be rung through to the office.
Please always feel free to contact us. Pre-arranged meetings are welcome should you wish to discuss any matters with us. A reminder that matters related to your child’s wellbeing or learning should be discussed with classroom teachers in the first instance.
I look forward to sharing a great year of learning and joy with you all,
|Wednesday 3rd February|
Stage 2 Strings Program
Captivate Private Violin Lessons
|Thursday 4th February|
|Friday 5th February|
Captivate Private Cello Lessons
Whole School Assembly
Whole School Sport - Dance
|Monday 8th February||Learning Overviews sent home|
|Tuesday 9th February||Opening School Mass 12pm|
|Wednesday 10th February|
Stage 2 Strings
|Thursday 11th February|
|Friday 12th February|
Whole School Assembly
Whole School Sport - Dance
|Monday 15th February|
|Tuesday 16th February|
School Photos - Thursday 25th February
Mrs Debien Farewell Assembly - Friday 19th February 2:10pm
Meet and Greet Week - Monday 22nd - Friday 26th February
Last day of Term 1 is Thursday 1st April
Good Friday Public Holiday - Friday 2nd April
Staff Development Day - PUPIL FREE DAY - Monday 19th April
First Day of Term 2 - Tuesday 20th April
Congratulations to the proud parents Sam and Peter Jones on the safe and healthy arrival of baby Harrison Richard Jones.
Harrison arrived 5 weeks early on the 20th of December 2020 and weighed 2.5 kgs.
Andrew is a big brother again along with his siblings Lachlan, Taylor, & Pheobe.
A 2020 Blessing - Welcome to our St Canice's Family!
Happy Birthday to all our lovely students who celebrated their birthdays during January.
Happy Birthday to all who will be celebrating in February
Rural Aid have presented St Canice's with a Thank You certificate for all the beautiful christmas cards we made for our farmers, Rural Aid would like to say thank you for our creativity and kindness.
When a child is marked absent from school you will receive a text message notifying you.
Please reply to these texts as we then enter the explanation into the attendance register.
If you know your child will be away for an extended period please notify the office and we can enter the leave so that you do not receive the texts.
Coming to school on time not only helps students learn the value of punctuality and routine, but helps children build and maintain friendships with other students.
Regular school attendance is essential in building a solid foundation for your child's future. It is also compulsory.
As a school we are required to monitor each and every students attendance and to follow up on any unexplained or unsatisfactory absences.
Please note that late arrivals /early departures are recorded as a partial absence and must be explained.
You can help your child be the best that they can be by:
Being punctual in arriving at school and collecting your child on time.
Work in partnership with the school on intervention strategies to improve attendance.
If a student is absent for three or more days without the school being notified, the school will contact the parent/caregiver for an explanation .
The Catholic Education Diocese Parramatta (CEDP) will implement policy in term 1 2021 in relation to Externally Funded Service Therapy/ Allied Health Providers in Schools (EFSP). Such services include those services funded through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
In 2021 it will become CEDP policy that EFSP will not be able to operate in CEDP schools effective 1st April 2021.
However, the collaboration and exchange of information between EFSP and schools, after written consent has been given by parents/carers/guardians, continues to be desirable. For example, with parent permission, a student’s psychologist or speech therapist may consult with the school to provide expert advice and support the personalised planning process.
In the event of a bushfire during school hours the following procedures must be followed.
When there is a bushfire throughout the Mountains, the emergency personnel (Police and SES) provide advice to the school in respect of road conditions and closures and evacuation notice.
Should a decision be made for the school to evacuate, the school will take the following measures according to Police and SES advice:-
If it is safe to evacuate the students to their residence:
Students who normally catch buses will be assembled ready for the buses.
Students who live close to the school and normally walk will be given permission to do so unless otherwise advised by parents.
The school will attempt to contact parents where children are unsure if anyone is home and if they live a long distance from a bus stop.
Students who do not catch buses or walk will remain at school until parents collect them.
If it is unsafe to evacuate the students to their residence:
the school staff will care for the students in a safe location according to the advice from the Police or SES.
It is impossible to telephone every family as the time frame for this operation is short. However, every avenue to contact parents will be sought. Communication will also be placed on Facebook and an alert sent via Skoolbag.
The school will remain open and therefore parents of bus travellers and walkers who require their child to stay at school can make that choice.
At all times the children’s best interests will be paramount.
Parents are asked to discuss arrangements they require with their children so that students know what is expected of them.
We continue to have good interest by prospective parents in our school and this often results in new enrolments. The children are always excited to welcome new children to St Canice’s and we too are always eager to expand our community by welcoming new families. Parents who visit tell us that it is word of mouth that encourages them to have a closer look. Parents and Carers, thank you for speaking highly of this great school in the community. I hear praise of our teachers and of our beautiful students from prospective parents time and again. I want to encourage you to keep up this great work. It has been proven beyond doubt that the single greatest advertisement for a school is the good word that is passed on.
For those students participating in private lessons, please ensure your child brings their instrument to school on the following days
Starting in Week 2
Ensemble - Wednesday Morning 8.20am - 9am with Bonita Silva
Starting in Week 3
Cello - Tuesday with Paul Smith
Violin Lessons - Wednesday with Bonita
We are now taking enrolments for Kindergarten 2022, if you know of people looking for a school for their child (even if it is for the other grades), please let them know about St Canice’s. The power of your words of recommendation has an enormous effect on our enrolments. Let’s keep working together to make St Canice’s that great school that has been in operation for the past 120 years.
All messages and notifications from the school are sent through the "Skoolbag" app.
Please make sure you have this app on your devices for all current and up to date school alerts.
Download skoolbag from the app store
Select St Canice's Catholic Primary Katoomba
If you have any difficulty accessing the app, please contact the school so that we can ensure everyone is receiving information sent out.
Building Child Safe Communities - Volunteer Undertaking
All Volunteers have until 30th September 2020 to submit a new Undertaking in the new system.
In Catholic Education Diocese Parramatta (CEDP), we see parents and carers as partners in your child's learning journey. Parents and carers are encouraged to become involved in our schools in many important ways such as supporting classroom learning, being part of advisory groups, mentoring programs, coaching sporting teams and supporting other extra-curricular activities and other kinds of help.
A range of checks and undertakings are required for people who work for or provide services to CEDP. These checks reduce potential risk and form part of our strategy to build child safe communities.
CEDP has launched a new Building Child Safe Communities form and online training module that all volunteers are required to complete.
The purpose of this training is to inform you of the standards of behaviour and other requirements that must be adhered to when volunteering for CEDP.
The undertaking should take no more than 5 minutes to complete and the training module approximately 10 minutes. Once the form and training modules are submitted, an automated email will be sent to you within two business days to confirm the status of your submission.
The undertaking form will expire within two years or when your Working With Children Check expires (if applicable), whichever is sooner. At that time you will need to complete the undertaking form and training module again. You will receive an automatic reminder email when this occurs.
Further information on the new online form and training module can be found at www.parra.catholic.edu.au and clicking on about us/building child safe communities. Within the form you will also find help sheets and a video tutorial to assist you.
Thank you in advance for your support.
The Diocese of Parramatta’s Office for Safeguarding and Professional Standards (OSPS) has launched a new website, strengthening their ability to deliver advice and support to parishes, agencies and ministries to ensure the Diocese is safe for all people. Visit the website at www.safeguarding.org.au