Dear parents, carers, students and staff
COVID-19 restrictions this term has meant that it is business as usual for classroom learning but with few excursions or out of classroom activities. I think the students have been quite settled and appear to be undertaking very productive routines—which is going to benefit their learning progress. Recently there has seen a slight increase in COVID-19 case numbers, from an average of five or six per day, up to nine or 10 now. Hopefully this will return to the former in due course.
Our first Community Council meeting occurred on 1 March and we welcomed two new parents and two staff members to the team. (See http://sfx.act.edu.au/college/community-council/ for the council members.) The two main items on the agenda included the 2021 Year 12 data and a financial budget for 2022. Data Analyst and teacher, Tom Klekner, gave a more in-depth presentation on the Year 12 results, of what he announced as ‘our best results for over a decade’. The Year 12 cohort of 2021 really worked together as a team and benefited enormously from their concerted and collaborative effort. Also notable were the dozen students who secured apprenticeships during the year. The results were very pleasing indeed.
The College needs a significant injection of funds for upgrades and renovations. SFX is a well sought-after College and we must maintain our facilities in a manner that our students and staff deserve. Government grants are scarce at the moment, so we have to generate the funds to do the necessary improvements. Our Business Manager, Niyati Bhatt, has begun the process of preparing the College to meet these capital demands, which she presented in the 2022 budget.
We are part way through the season of Lent. From Ash Wednesday (2 March) to Holy Thursday (14 April) we are called to spend more time in prayer, fasting and almsgiving. It is a period of self-sacrifice that means we be less ‘self-centred’ and more ‘others centred’. The Social Justice team has taken the initiative in supporting the Caritas Australia Project Compassion fundraiser during Lent by encouraging others to donate to this very worthy cause. Pope Francis offers some practical suggestions to help us through this period as we prepare for the Easter celebrations:
Fast from hurting words…and say kind words
Fast from sadness…and be filled with gratitude
Fast from anger…and be filled with patience
Fast from pessimism…and be filled with hope
Fast from worries…and have trust in God
Fast from complaints…and contemplate simplicity
Fast from pressures…and be prayerful
Fast from bitterness…and fill your hearts with joy
Fast from selfishness…and be compassionate to others
Fast from grudges…and be reconciled
Fast from words…and be silent so you can listen.