Wow what an amazing first half of the year we have had.  Our retention across the school this year has been phenomenal, in the first semester in 2018 we had 25 students who withdrew from the school and for this year, we have only had 6 students withdraw.  We have only 6 places available for three year olds in Children’s House next term and all of these are going to siblings and the feedback from these families when I ask “Why Montessori” is just so beautiful.  It is truly evident that the Parent Ed, Montessori Morning Chats and your regular communication with staff is building a strong collective understanding about what Montessori is and also why a Montessori experience at RMS is so highly sought after and appreciated.  I want to thank all of our wonderful staff for making RMS a school of choice not just within our state but across Australia.  Our waitlist across the school is very strong and we have recently had three students who left last year re-join the school this term.  We also have had two families move interstate to join our school based on the feedback they have received about our School.  This is fantastic.

I would like to welcome Louisa Panetta as our relief Adolescent Program administration assistant.  A full recruitment process for this position will occur following my return in term 4. Louisa has extensive school administrative experience both in the government and non-government sectors and most recently worked in a Big Picture School, thus she understands the alternative approach we have implemented in the Adolescent Program. A further staffing update includes Natalie Wright extending her maternity leave until term 1 2020 and thus Carla and Nicole will continue in their current relief roles until that time. Stella Onderwater is undertaking further tertiary study and Penny Schwegmann will backfill Stella for two days per week in the Adolescent Program EA position.

Our Upper Primary students had the opportunity to join with Blue Gum Montessori, Chrysalis Montessori, Pioneer Village School, Casa Mia Montessori and Riverlands Montessori for a fun day of Soccer at Blue Gum Montessori this week. We look forward to having more inter school events in the future as this is a great way for our children to extend their friendships whilst having fun and fitness. We thank Kym Murphy our past Upper Primary teacher, for coordinating this event.

In our last newsletter blog we congratulated both Jay and Daniel for their participation in the Imen project and for Jay winning the Leeuwin Scholarship which was hotly contested by young men from the seventeen schools in the Kwinana Industries Council partnership. I am delighted to inform Jay has now returned from his Leeuwin adventure which has further developed his passion for taking on all the opportunities that are presented to him.  With RMS being a small school our greatest advantage in this partnership is enabling our students to have access to so many of the programs that students from larger schools rarely have the opportunity to participate in.

I would like to thank Paula Jacobs for coordinating her team of helpers for the Woodstock Open Mic Night on Friday. It was a wonderful opportunity for our families and children to demonstrate their artistic talents at this fun event.

With our solid student numbers and families deeply committed to our Montessori philosophy, I feel like we are moving into the “second plane” of our school’s development.  This is a time for putting down our roots and working hard to achieve everything at Karnup whilst maintaining the excellent program we continue to deliver through our beautiful Rockingham campuses. I wish you all well for term three and please know that I will miss all of the children, families and staff whilst I am away.

Vanessa Aikins – Principal