Dear Parents / Caregivers

Welcome to the start of 2014 academic year in Catholic Education.

To the families who have joined our system for the very first time in 2014 I offer you a very warm welcome. I'm delighted that you've chosen to send your son or daughter to one of the 161 Catholic Schools operating across our state from Kununurra to Esperance.

To all who are returning to Catholic schools, welcome back.

Our schools rely on the contribution of staff, students and parents working in partnership to build a successful Catholic community. As a working parent and father of five children I understand first-hand the time pressure that you are under every day. Within the context of your busy work and family life, if every member of our school community could share just a little of their time and talents, our schools would be all the richer for it.

You can contribute by nominating to become a member of the Board, joining the P&F, volunteering to be a class representative, helping out at the annual sports carnival, doing a shift at the canteen or helping with school reading rosters. Every contribution makes a difference to your child's education.

This year will continue to be a period of positive growth for our system. Two new schools are opening in Hocking and Baldivis which will take our total numbers to 161. The decision to build new schools is the result of extensive planning over many years and is always in response to parental demand for a quality Catholic Education.

Over the coming years we have plans to build a number of additional schools across Dioceses in WA. The development of a new school community is exciting and challenging and is a visible sign of ongoing renewal for our system.

We have recently defined our Strategic Directions for the next three years which is encapsulated in the acronym LEAD - learning, engagement, accountability and discipleship. Over the coming years you will hear and see many references to LEAD as we work to embed it in every aspect of our schools. I encourage you to have a conversation with your school staff about what LEAD means to them and how they are working to bring it to life in a very practical way in the classroom

Over time we will produce some short video messages which we will place on our website and regular stories that showcase examples of schools bringing LEAD to life in their context. 2014 will also see some important changes to how we communicate with parents and schools. I encourage you to regularly visit our website to stay up to date with news, events and our latest videos. As always I welcome your comments and feedback which you can direct to communications@ceo.wa.edu.au

As a system, Catholic Education is committed to providing positive learning environments where every child will grow to their God given potential, committed to working for justice and centred on the person and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Pope Francis encourages us to share our Good News story with others. In one of his many talks at World Youth Day, he said "I want you to make yourselves heard in your Diocese, I want the noise to go out, I want the Church to go out onto the streets". I hope you join other members of your school community to enable our Good News story to flourish.

I wish you and your children the very best for the 2014 academic year. God Bless

Tim McDonald / Executive Director