Thursday 26 November 2015

1. Principal News - Week 7 Term 5

What are you doing this year to prepare for Christmas? Shopping for presents? Wrapping gifts? Baking cookies? Decorating the tree? Do something life-changing—rediscover God’s mercy.
Advent (the 4 weeks leading to the birth of Jesus) begins on Sunday. Join the Best Advent Ever, a free email program from Dynamic Catholic. Based on Pope Francis’ call for the Year of Mercy and Dynamic Catholic’s new book Beautiful Mercy, Best Advent Ever will help you rediscover God’s great mercy and show that mercy to others. Participants will receive daily inspirational emails with a short video, words of encouragement, or spiritual coaching from Matthew Kelly and other influential Catholic voices of our time. This program will transform your life, relationships, work, and ability to embrace and experience all of life.
The program is free! All you have to do is sign up at Best Advent
Let’s all rediscover God’s incredible mercy as we prepare for Christmas. 

Parish School Christmas Float
Thanks to all of the children who have expressed interest in joining this float in the Christmas Parade. You can still join us. Meet us in the school hall as we are leaving at 9:30 am on Saturday morning. Come dressed as shepherds and angels and join in the fun as we share the joy of the birth of Jesus with our North Otago community. 

Strategic Plan consultation for 2016
Are your interested in contributing to our plans for 2016? Go to this link to learn more.

New Year 8 trophy from the Kunnethedan family
Thanks to Jasmin and Jose for this special award. Here is their letter to explain more. Year 8's will be able to apply for this award. It is called the "Star Award" to recognise academic, cultural, sporting and service in and out of school.

Dear Mrs Jackson and team,

We can scarcely believe that our kids time at St Joseph’s has come to an end. It truly seems like just yesterday that we were getting ready to send Joel to school for his first day at school.
In the past few years our kids Jibi, Jino and Joel have grown into honest, considerate, hardworking young men and we know that we have St Joseph School to thank for that. The one to one attention that they received from your teachers has made them confident in their abilities and sparked their interests in various fields. Playing on soccer teams, being part of Choir, drama as well as in leadership roles all taught them the value of discipline and team work. They also made friends with whom they remain close to this day.
More than anything else we would like to thank you for your leadership and all the teachers along with the board of trustees for the fun that they have had during their time at St Josephs.
As a token of our appreciation for the School we would like to donate a cup to be presented at the end of year celebration as we have discussed earlier.

Warmest wishes

Jasmin and Jose

Home and School News 
Here is a message from Rachel Fowler who works tirelessly with other members of the Home and School to help raise necessary funds for our school. We appreciate the work that this team do and value your positive support for these hardworking parents.

Dear Parents,  

As the year is coming to a close, I wanted to update parents on Home and School news and events.
Thank you to all those parents who have supported the home and school this year, we have nearly reached the target of $11,000 which our board asks of us each year.  This donation contributes to the annual budgeted wish list which includes: PE gear, engraving of trophies, library books, art and craft materials, Young Leaders Day costs, school council and leadership badges and bibles for New Entrants.  An outline of the wish list has been put into the blog/newsletter each year for families to see where the money is going. It’s important to understand that the funds raised benefit all of our children.  

 We are currently working on upgrading the kitchen in the hall.  An application for a grant has been put in to support us with this upgrade.    We are hoping to have this completed early in the New Year. 

If anyone has any suggestions of how we can improve the way we work, please email me on I am a very busy working mum of 4.  I have not chaired a home and school committee before and have been following on from past procedures.  I am open to any suggestions, especially fundraising ideas. 
We always need more supportive parents to help on the home and school committee.  We meet once a month usually on a Tuesday night.  We are all working mums and are very busy, so having more parents on the committee will help to lighten the load.  It doesn’t matter if you can’t attend every meeting.

We are looking at 2 small fundraising ideas before the end of the year, however they will only be for families who want to get involved in them.  They are Jamberry nails, and toilet paper.  More details will follow.

Lastly, we have started making plans for the Food Fair 2016,  this will be held on Sunday March 6th 2016.  If anyone would like to help with this, please email me on the above email.  

Once again, thanks to all those who support the home and school with our fundraising, remember the money goes to support all our children.  

Rachel Fowler 
On Behalf of the Home and School Committee

Pasifika Fono news
Thanks to our families who joined the fono on Tuesday night. It was lovely to welcome guest speaker Hotili Asi in his new role as North Otago Fale Pasifika Coordinator. Mrs Plieger shared information about her Christchurch presentation with Mrs Bell as leaders of the North Otago Pasifika Cluster. We also discussed progress in learning and how the homework club will work in 2016.

Family Learning Hui (FLH) news
Thanks to the families and staff who attended our final FLH for the year. Here are some of the things we shared:
Mr Cartlidge gave a preview of the site that we are developing to capture the attitudes and values we want children to leave us with by Year 8. We are gathering this information to contribute to a purposely designed flyer to inform parents more about learning at St Joseph's. Here is the link.

Children from Year 6 & 7 shared their passion projects. Thanks to Molly, Peta, Rhea and Sebastian.
Molly's presentation about Hawaii

Peta's presentation about Tonga

                                                   Rhea's presentation about India
                                                 Sebastian's career presentation
Mr Cartlidge shared the Linewise video. This helped parents to understand the changes we are making for 2016 around cybersafety. Linewise provides reports for the teachers, blacklists programmes and games so that they can't be used and gives control over how we use the internet. It provides peace of mind for parents, staff and students.
We also shared the two samples for school jerseys. Community consultation has led to an option that is less expensive than the existing jersey. We have a polar fleece and a merino sample to get feedback on from parents and students. They will be on display in the office over the next few weeks. 
Our Year 8 students were available to answer questions about preparing for high school. It was pleasing to hear that they feel the hub arrangements this year have helped them to prepare for the change. You can learn more by watching their video.
We finished with a special icebreaker game with a focus on left and right and having fun.
Special blessings for our children preparing to make the Sacrament of Reconciliation this weekend. Thanks to everyone who is continually working hard to ensure our children Reach for the Stars as Lifelong Learners in the Catholic Faith.

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