Dear Parents and Carers,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your support in 2019. The partnership between you and the school staff makes a tremendous difference in your child’s learning and experience of school.
Below is some information on the school staffing as we head into the school holiday break. I am pleased to say that our teaching and support positions have all been filled for 2020 and we have amazing teams of staff on each year level and in all roles. The majority of our staff have been retained for 2020 and many will continue on the same year level or in similar roles to 2019, adding to the consistency and effectiveness of our programs.
The staff and I look forward to the 2020 school year with lots of anticipation and excitement.
Mrs Vanessa Miller - Congratulations to Mrs Miller who has been successful in obtaining a full time teaching position in one of our local Catholic Primary Schools for 2020. Thank you to Mrs Miller for her work on Year 1 over the past 2 years.
Miss Rachel Pearson - Thank you to Miss Pearson for teaching Year 4A from Term 2 this year. Miss Pearson worked hard with the class and built a strong working relationship with them. We wish Miss Pearson good luck for the future.
Mrs Alisa Spackman - Mrs Spackman is moving to St Gregory’s Primary School Queanbeyan to take up a teaching position. Initially this is just for the 2020 school year on an internal transfer but may well become a permanent position from 2021. Alisa has been a stalwart at St Anthony’s and has taught here for 13 years. In this time, Alisa has taught many year levels and more recently made a successful switch to the Classroom Support Teacher role. Alisa has effectively led a large and dynamic team of support staff for a number of years. Her work at St Anthony’s has had a positive influence on many, many students. I wish Alisa a great start at her new school.
Mrs Monique Egan - Mrs Egan has been successful in the position of Acting Assistant Principal at St Vincent’s Primary School Aranda for the 2020 school year. This is a promotion for Monique and a great opportunity for her to showcase her leadership skills at this level. Again, Monique is hoping that position becomes a permanent option from 2021. Monique has been at St Anthony’s for 4 years as a teacher and coordinator. Monique has taught Year 6 and Year 1 in this time and played a major role in our curriculum development. I wish Monique every success in her new role.
Mr Simon Bugden - Mr Bugden will continue teaching at Holy Trinity Curtin in 2020 and drop his two days here. Simon has worked part-time at St Anthony’s for two years and he has been a great asset to the students in the senior years and the school in general. Simon’s daughter begins pre-school in the ELC at Curtin next year and he will be there to enjoy all of those experiences. Thanks Simon for being part of our community.
Mrs Vanessa Phipps - Vanessa is currently teaching Year 1 and also undertaking a classroom support teacher role. Vanessa will be on Maternity Leave in 2020 as her and her husband Leighton await the birth of their second child soon. I wish Vanessa and her family all the best for this exciting time ahead.
Welcome New Staff and Staff in New Roles
Miss Susannah Hoff - Congratulations to Miss Hoff. She has been successful in a teaching position on Year 1 for 2020. Miss Hoff did her university placement here at St Anthony’s in 2019 on Kindergarten and knows many of the students already. I am impressed with her progress as a teacher and I wish her good luck as she has her own class for 2020.
Mrs Sarah Stephens - I am pleased to announce that Mrs Sarah Stephens will be joining St Anthony’s staff in 2020 and teaching Year 4 Padua. Mrs Stephens is returning home to Canberra from Townsville after an extended period away due to her husband’s work commitments. She has taught a range of year levels and has been involved in a number of strategic initiatives and programs to support student learning in the schools that she has worked. Mrs Stephens is an experienced teacher with a variety of skills and attributes. She has a passion for Science, Mathematics, English, Dance and Music. Mrs Stephens has undertaken leadership roles in her schools and has an interest in fostering student wellbeing, belonging and positive engagement in school. Mrs Stephens comes to our school highly recommended. Her referees spoke very highly of her and stated that their loss from Queensland is our gain here at St Anthony’s.
Miss Beth Lehmensich - Following recent panel interviews, I can announce that Miss Beth Lehmensich has been successful and recommended for the role of Acting Religious Education Coordinator here at St Anthony’s in 2020. Miss Lehmensich acted in this role in 2017 and 2018 so she brings these experiences to the role again. Congratulations to Miss Lehmensich.
Mrs Angie Kisiel - Following recent panel interviews, I can announce that Mrs Angie Kisiel has been successful and recommended for the role of Acting Coordinator here at St Anthony’s in 2020. Congratulations to Mrs Kisiel. I’m confident she will do well in her new role and her experience on the school executive this year will have been of benefit.
Mrs Bernadette Whitfield - Congratulations to Miss Whitfield on her appointment to the role of Classroom Support Teacher in a full time capacity for 2020. Miss Whitfield undertook this role in a part time capacity in 2019, providing her with a strong insight into the role and how she can lead our team of support staff to support the students in our school. I wish Miss Whitfield good luck continuing in this role.
Mrs Lisa Daly - Congratulations to Miss Daly on her appointment to teach Year 2 full time in 2020. This is a position Miss Daly held in 2018 and I am pleased that she brings a good knowledge of the students and plenty of experience to this teaching role.
There have also been some changes to the staff in the St Anthony’s Early Learning Centre for 2020.
2019 School Governance Thanks
Thank you to our school governance bodies, the P&F and School Board.
Many parents and staff fill the roles on these two important groups within our school community. Thank you to our School Board Chair Clare McNamara and all of the members of the Board in 2019. They continue to support the school and assist in making decisions that will continue to improve St Anthony’s School.
Thank you to our P&F President Selina Walker and all of the parents and friends that have attended meetings or supported the P&F in many ways throughout the year. The P&F play a vital role in engaging parents in the life of the school and their child’s learning. St Anthony’s parents efforts enrich the spirit and ethos of the school.
In 2020 there are members of the School Board and the P&F stepping down from their positions, leaving vacancies to be filled by new parents. To this point we have not had any nominations for position on either body. In the New Year I will acknowledge and thank all of the parents vacating positions and open up nominations again for positions on these two important groups. Maybe consider a position while you are lying on a beach over the break!!
2019 St Anthony’s Yearbook - Awesome Publication
I hope that you all enjoy reading the 2019 St Anthony’s YEARBOOK! It is an amazing publication and a source of many stories, images and memories members of our community will cherish for years to come. Thank you to Miss Beth Lehmensich and all of the staff that contributed to the organisation, editing and publication of the book.
St Anthony’s New Classroom Building Program Update
The building project will begin in January 2020. Tenders close tomorrow Friday 20 December and then we should see some action on the site in mid-January and the area blocked off before school begins. I will know more information shortly but I am hoping that disruptions to the school will be kept to a minimum. It is very exciting that the project will be underway soon!
2020 St Anthony’s School Dates
Just a reminder that school resumes on Monday 3 February for all ELC students, students in Kindergarten and students in Year 1 to Year 6. See you then. The 2020 school dates for Catholic Primary Schools in the ACT are below:
IMPORTANT: Changes to School Hours for 2020
I would like to remind you again of the decision that was published recently to the community.
Thank you to the parents and carers that provided feedback on the proposed changes to St Anthony’s school hours. All feedback was discussed and considered by the School Board. In saying this, there were only a few submissions to consider from our parent body, perhaps an indication of general support for the proposal.
After due discussion it was agreed by all members on the School Board that the core hours for the primary school will change as follows from the Monday 3 February 2020:
8.30am Drive Through Drop Off and Teacher Supervision Starts
8.55am School Commences (same as previous time)
3.05pm School Concludes
3.30pm Drive Through Pick Up/Oval Crossing and Teacher Supervision Ends
A primary school day at St Anthony’s will now consist of a total of 6 hours and 10 minutes. This change brings St Anthony’s more in line with ‘time at school’ of other ACT Catholic Primary Schools. The earlier finish time will also be more consistent with many other Catholic Primary Schools. In 2020, all primary students will now be dismissed at the same time, 3.05pm. Transport Canberra dramatically changed school bus services earlier in 2019 and our ‘11’ afternoon school buses arrive over a longer period, meaning we do no require a set bus pick up time. This means bus services do have to use the school driveway at the same times as other vehicles, but this cannot be avoided. It has been like this since Term 1. We will manage this as best we can into the future with Transport Canberra and our families. There will no longer be a ‘bus, walker's/bikes or oval crossing’ early bell.
Students will still receive the same amount of time for eating recess and lunch and the play periods that follow as they do now.
Supervision times by teachers before and after school are listed above. Please note that the afternoon pick up supervision time ends 15 minutes earlier from 2020, in line with the new finish time. Parents and carers that are unable to collect their children by this time are required to enrol their child in the OOSCA afternoon care service.
In school term time, Our Early Learning Centre (ELC) day program hours will remain as 9.00am - 3.00pm.
In school term time, Our OOSCA (Out-of-Hours School Care Association) hours of operation will be as follows:
- 7.30am - 8.45am
- 3.05pm - 6.00pm
Information on holiday care times for 2020 will be provided to parents by the Directors of both the ELC and OOSCA.
2020 School Fees Finalised
Please see the separate communication sent to parents today clarifying and explaining the 2020 school fee structure ratified recently by the School Board. Thank you for your ongoing financial commitment to school fees that allow us to operate the school.
Changes to Communication - Schoolzine replaces Skoolbag from 1 January 2020
Primary School communication via skoolbag will cease in the new year and we encourage all parents to download the Schoolzine app before the start of the school year. The majority of Primary School communication will be via Schoolzine in 2020.
Please note that the ELC will continue using the skoolbag app until June 2020.
May the joy and spirit of the newborn Christ be present in your family and amongst your friends. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.