Dear Parents, Teachers and Students,
Welcome, everyone, to the 2021 school year. I hope that the school holidays were a restful and rejuvenating break for all our students and staff and that everyone is looking forward to a joy-filled year of learning. A very special welcome to Mt Carmel’s new Kindergarten students (How exciting... big school!) and to all students and families who are joining the Mt Carmel community this year. I hope you and your children will soon feel very at home here at Mt Carmel School. A special welcome, also, to Fr Peter My, our new Parish Priest. Fr Peter has moved to Yass after 12 years at St Thomas the Apostle Parish in Kambah. As well as overseeing the diverse communities that make up St Augustine’s Parish, Fr Peter will also continue his important work as chaplain to the Vietnamese community. We look forward to working closely with Fr Peter to strengthen the ties between school and parish.
With various COVID-19 outbreaks over the holiday period and, in all likelihood, more to come, maintaining a COVID-Safe environment continues to be a high priority this year. Whilst many of the restrictions we were operating under last year have eased, it remains imperative that students, staff and parents experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness do not come to school, and there are still limits on gathering sizes that will affect the way many of our school events are run. Attached to this newsletter is a summary document of current restrictions for NSW regional schools, for your information.
Open, honest and timely communication is a very important aspect of our relationship with parents. If you have any concerns about any aspect of your child’s progress, you are encouraged to speak first with their class teacher. If you wish to speak with a teacher please do so before or after school and not during class time. It would always be preferable if you could make an appointment, as teachers have duties and meetings on various days.
Please do not hesitate to make contact with me directly if you have any concerns, questions or feedback about any aspect of school life at Mt Carmel. You can make an appointment at the front office, send an email to email@example.com, or stop me for a chat in the playground.
As always, there has been much going on around our buildings and grounds over the Christmas break in preparation for the new school year. I am very grateful to all staff for their preparation of classrooms and learning spaces throughout the school over the holidays; they look very welcoming. Thanks to Robbie Shepherd for preparing the school grounds; he has spent many hours making our school look beautiful.
In addition to our overarching school theme, we will be joining the Catholic Church in marking a year dedicated to Saint Joseph. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church, Pope Francis has proclaimed a “Year of St Joseph”, running from December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021. Fathers have a vital role to play in their child’s education so, in this year dedicated to the earthly father of Jesus, we will be looking for opportunities to strengthen relationships with the fathers in our community.
Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Mrs Esther Glover for the significant time and effort spent supporting student participation in sport at Mt Carmel as Sports Coordinator over the previous three years. Congratulations, Esther, on a job so well done; I'm very grateful. Mr Ted Dunstan will be taking on the role this year; thank you, Ted.
Weather permitting, our school swimming carnival will be going ahead this Friday. Thank you to the families who assisted by completing the online registration form this year. To minimise numbers at the pool, we are limiting the carnival to a Year3-6 event this year. Parents are able to attend as spectators and/or volunteers but must sign in using the Service NSW app.
Fr Peter My will be celebrating our Opening School Mass next Thursday 11 February at 9:45am. Because of social-distancing requirements the Mass will be held in the PAC rather than St Augustine’s Church and unfortunately, with the exception of parents of our 2021 school leaders, we are unable to invite parents to attend.
We would normally hold a Welcome BBQ early in the year, coinciding with Open Classrooms. Unfortunately, limits on numbers for gatherings make this impractical. It is extremely important, however, for parents to establish a relationship with their child’s teacher early in the school year so we will still be holding Open Classrooms in Week 3. To limit numbers on site, in accordance with our COVID-Safe Plan, families will be required to book a time for their visit. More information and RSVP details to follow next week.
Another traditional event early in the school year is the Pancake Breakfast. Shrove Tuesday this year will be on 16 February, Week 3. Like the Welcome BBQ, however, limits on attendance will make it impractical to host an open breakfast; instead, we will be providing a Pancake Recess for all students. All dietary requirements will be catered for; please contact the school office if your child has any dietary needs that you are concerned may not be on our records.
Although Mt Carmel does not declare ourselves to be a nut-free school, we do encourage all our students and families to be allergy aware. This week, if your child is sharing a classroom with another student who suffers from a food or contact allergy, you will receive a letter outlining precautions that we ask you to consider. Please also have a conversation with your child about the importance of not sharing food or canteen money at school, as it contributes to our Stay Safe rule.
Kindergarten Rest Days and Assessment
I hope that everyone’s first days of ‘Big School’ have been filled with learning and fun. Kindergarten Rest Days commence today and will continue on Wednesdays until Week 5. The final rest day will be on March 3, with full weeks commencing in Week 6. The Best Start Kindergarten Assessment Program commenced today, so if you have not yet made an appointment time with your child’s teacher, please contact the school office as soon as possible – bookings are filling fast!
The start of the year is a good time to give a reminder about traffic safety around the school. I ask all parents to model safe behaviour when driving, parking and crossing roads around the school. Also please be mindful that the length of Dutton St from the school office to the Meehan St intersection is a no parking zone before and after school, so you can use these spaces to drop-off or pick up, but if you leave your vehicle, you may be booked.
Katrina Hodges will be running our Mt Carmel Playgroup again this year, starting Thursday 18 February, Week 3, in the Playgroup Room off the Dutton Street entrance to the Performing Arts Centre from 9-11am. Cost is $3 for the first child, then $1 for any additional children and includes morning tea. All are welcome, and we are very happy to have playgroup back at Mt Carmel!
Catholic Care Counsellor
This year we have a new CatholicCare Counsellor, Nadia Ho, who will be at school every Friday and every second Tuesday. Student counselling can help children to better manage social and emotional issues, supports improved mental health and reduces the likelihood of them engaging in risk taking behaviour. It supports children to develop ways to stay happy, healthy and improve their experience of school. If you believe that your child may benefit from speaking with our counsellor, you can fill in a referral form at the front office.
GOSPEL: Mark 1:21-28
They went as far as Capernaum, and at once on the Sabbath he went into the synagogue and began to teach. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority. And at once in their synagogue there was a man with an unclean spirit, and he shouted, 'What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.' But Jesus rebuked it saying, 'Be quiet! Come out of him!' And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him. The people were so astonished that they started asking one another what it all meant, saying, 'Here is a teaching that is new, and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.' And his reputation at once spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside.
This week, Jesus and His disciples are in Capernaum. As was His custom, Jesus went to the synagogue and began to teach. His listeners were amazed at his teaching. Jesus taught with authority, unlike the scribes. In the synagogue was a man who had an unclean spirit. When the man saw Jesus, the unclean spirit within him cried out asking Jesus what His purpose was. Immediately, this unclean spirit had recognized Jesus as the “Holy One.”
Jesus rebuked the spirit and instructed it to be come out of the man and the spirit instantly obeyed. All who witnessed this event were amazed at Jesus’ power to heal and his ability to release unclean spirits. Immediately, word began to spread of Jesus’ wondrous powers. His fame spread throughout all of Judea.
Mark does not say that the witnesses of the healing believed in Jesus. Yes, they were astonished by his power to heal, but did they listen to His Word? Did they recognize Him as the “Christ?” Did they decide to follow Jesus or did they simply listen and then go home and talk about Him? Did thoughts of Jesus and His preaching stay with them or did they simply go back to their daily routine?
Do we truly recognize Jesus as the Christ? Do we know Jesus personally? Do we have a relationship with Him or is He simply a figure in the Gospels? Jesus is at work in our lives, though most likely not in as dramatic a way as was depicted in this passage. Jesus is healing us even if we don’t see it. Jesus is gracing us with all we need. Today may we look for Jesus as we move through our day. Jesus is with us! (Sr Kristine Anne Harpenau).
THE YEAR OF ST JOSEPH
With the Apostolic Letter “Patris corde” (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis recalls the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To mark the occasion, the Holy Father has proclaimed a “Year of Saint Joseph” from the 8th December 2020, to 8th December 2021.
St. Joseph was the husband of Mary. We do not know much about him; however, what has been written regarding his life reveals to us that he was a faithful and prayerful man who loved and trusted God very much. He is honoured and respected as a saint, for he responded to the call of God in the unfolding plan of salvation for all human kind.
St Joseph will be a focus throughout our school this year.
We welcome Fr Peter My to our parish. Father will be working closely with our school community this year and we look forward to his leadership and spiritual guidance. We also welcome all families back for 2021 and look forward to an exciting year celebrating our faith together.
Religious Education Coordinator
Mount Carmel Swimming Carnival – Friday 5 February
Our swimming carnival will be held this Friday at the Yass Memorial Swimming Pool. The pool will be open from 7.45am for warm ups and the 100m freestyle and 200m medley events will begin at 8.30am. Students in these events must make their own way to the pool. All other students will walk up to the pool with their classroom teachers after morning assembly. Pool entry is $1.50 or a season’s pass.
We ask that any students leaving early be signed out by their parent in the class roll – these rolls will be kept at the recording table.
Thank you in advance to all our parents who have volunteered to help us with our carnival. This day would not be able to run without you and we really appreciate your time. We are looking forward to a great day!
Please remember to pack lunch, snacks, a hat and sunscreen for your child.
Students must not attend the carnival if they are displaying COVID-19 symptoms or are required to quarantine per Public Health Directions. This may be due to attending a hotspot or being a casual or close contact of a COVID-19 affected person.
If the carnival is cancelled, it will be announced over Yass FM 100.3 at 7.00am and an alert will be sent via SZapp.
Pathways in Swimming 2021
Northern Region – Queanbeyan Swimming Pool, Friday 12 February
Archdiocesan – Narooma Swimming Pool, Monday 1 March
CPS Swimming – SOPAC, Sydney, Monday 29 March
Summer Trials for Year 5 and 6 students
Registrations are currently open for the following sports’ trials:
Cricket – Friday 20 March 2020 (Gundagai)
Basketball – Friday 5 February 2020 (Belconnen, ACT)
Tennis – Friday 5 February 2020 (Belconnen, ACT)
AFL (Combined Canberra Goulburn/Wollongong Boys trials) – Tuesday 16 March (Wollongong)
Soccer – Friday 12 March (Lyneham, ACT)
For more information or to register, please go to https://www.sport.cg.catholic.edu.au/nominations. Please check the C & G website and the Facebook page for information about upcoming events including winter trials for netball, rugby league, hockey and touch football.
Hello and welcome to another year at Mt Carmel School Library. This year due to COVID restrictions we will be having the Scholastic Book Fair but in a different way. Unfortunately, the Grandparents’ Morning Tea will have to be cancelled and maybe, if everything improves, we could have it later on in the year.
The books are arriving at Mt Carmel on 15th February. The students will get to see them during their library lessons. They will be given a wish list for you to view and speak together about the book/books they would like to purchase. If you are happy with their choice, just fill in the bank details of the wish list or send in cash in an envelope. We will then give the students the books they have purchased. If you would like to visit the Book Fair with your child/children, you will need to book a time to visit the library. There will be 15-minute slots and only the allowed number of parents will be able to enter the library.
Details of how to book a timeslot will be provided in the Carmeletta next week.
We will also take photographs of the books on the trolley for you to see.
More news in next week’s Newsletter.
This term, Fish Bites and Fish Burgers will be available on Fridays only, as these items will replace Meat Pies and Sausage Rolls during Lent. Lent will run from Wednesday 17 February to Saturday 3 April.
The Mt Carmel School Uniform Shop is open each Tuesday afternoon between 2.30pm– 4.00pm during school terms.
Ordering Options - Uniform orders can be placed online via Qkr! or by order form, which can be collected and paid for from the front office.
All Qkr! orders placed before 2pm each Tuesday will be bundled up and sent home with your child on Wednesday afternoon.
Please note that if the incorrect size/item is ordered or the size selected does not fit correctly, please return the item along with a note regarding changes required and the correct size/item can be sent home.
The St Augustine's Youth Group for Year 5-6 strudents will commencing on Wednesday 10th February. The group will be run from 3.30pm-5.00pm each fornight during the school term. Clare Barry will be running the group each week and students can meet Clare outside the PAC after school and walk around to the Hartigan Centre together.
Due to COVID regulations, it is requested at all students who will be attending to contact Clare to RSVP and for catering purposes. If any students or parents have any questions, please contact Clare on 0418840650.