I have been very impressed by how hard students and staff have worked together throughout Term 1. You will notice as you read this newsletter, so much has been achieved by the students both inside and outside the classroom. If you follow us on Instagram and Facebook, you will also be impressed by all the wonderful activities and learning experiences that the students are involved in.

All of us live in communities where we are required to adhere to certain rules and regulations. This ensures that there is cohesiveness and that everyone is treated equally. MSJ is a community that strives to ensure that all are respected and feel welcome. We too, need rules and regulations to ensure that this can be achieved.

Over the last few weeks, there have been a number of conversations with students and parents about the wearing of the College uniform. Most organisations and work places have a dress code, a code that outlines the dress expectations of that organisation. Students that have part-time jobs may have found that there is either a specified uniform or a dress code that tells them exactly what they can and cannot wear at work. Those who belong to sports teams also have to adhere to specific uniform regulations. So to, do people who belong to clubs such as scouts/guides, dance groups, etc. There are dress codes for many organisations and situations. MSJ is no different. We too, have particular dress standards that we expect members of our community to adhere to.

When students wear the College uniform correctly and adhere to the College grooming expectations, it shows others that they are proud to be an MSJ student. The wearing of the College uniform is about providing our students with a sense of unity and belonging; it ensures that all students are on a level playing field.

With the introduction of the new uniform, we have listened to students and parents. We have provided students with a number of different uniform options. During the transition to the full implementation of the new uniform, we have also given them flexibility in regard to the wearing of the old summer and winter uniform. We have compromised, we have met students half way. I now need every one of our students to meet us half way, I need them to commit to wearing the uniform correctly and with pride.

Two years ago, we introduced CANVAS, an online learning management system that provides students and parents with ongoing feedback about a student’s learning in all subject areas. This approach means that as a College, we no longer issue an interim report at the end of Term 1, instead we have allocated two half-days and evenings to run our Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews. These interviews provide a valuable opportunity to discuss a student’s progress and strategies for improvement. Information in regard to these interviews will be provided to parents early in Term 2 via PAM.

The devastating terrorist attack in New Zealand has had an impact across the world. Such a hateful act is so hard for us to comprehend. It goes against all we stand for as a faith community that accepts and welcome all. We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand as they grieve and mourn. We stand with our Muslim sisters and brothers, we condemn terrorism, violence and racism and we pray for all people who have been so hurt by these acts.

I am taking three weeks long service leave at the very beginning of Term 2. Please feel free to contact either Joanna De Bono or Steven Mifsud in my absence.

Have you ever wondered why people give each other Easter Eggs? The answer lies in the symbolism of the egg. The egg represents new life. For Christians, Easter means new life in Christ. So eggs and Easter have a firm connection. For centuries, Christians have decorated eggs as a way of celebrating Christ’s Resurrection. In more recent times, this practice evolved into giving chocolate eggs to family and friends. We must remember on Easter Sunday morning as we exchange eggs this connection as we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ.

I wish everyone a happy and holy Easter. Please take the opportunity over the two week break to relax and rejuvenate, ready for a busy and productive Term 2.

Kate Dishon