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June 2023

St. Augustine School

Final Newsletter

Principal's Message

Dear St. Augustine School families,

As we approach the end of the academic year, I want to extend my heartfelt wishes to each and every one of you for a safe and joyful summer.

Reflecting upon the past school year, I am overwhelmed with a deep sense of affection. These nine months have only reinforced my profound gratitude for belonging to such a remarkable and extraordinary community. It truly is a privilege to be a member of this affirming, joyful, faith-filled, and supportive community, where we consistently look out for one another, regardless of the circumstances we face.   I am constantly reminded of the incredible nature of our St. Augustine family. 

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Father Ignacy, the PEC, all the dedicated teachers and staff, as well as the students and their families, for the unwavering support provided throughout the year. Your commitment has been truly invaluable, and I am deeply grateful to be part of this blessed community that I proudly call my home.

As the year comes to a close, I would like to share the following prayer with you:

We praise and thank you, Lord, For the gift of this school year. It has been a time filled with grace and blessings, With challenges and opportunities, joys and sorrows. The days have passed quickly.


The weeks, the months, the seasons, the holidays and holy days, The exams, vacations, breaks, and assemblies, All have come forth from your hand. While we trust that your purposes have always been at work each day, Sometimes it has seemed difficult to understand and appreciate just what you have been up to in our school.


Give us the rest and refreshment we need this summer. Let our efforts of this past year bear fruit. Bring all of our plans to a joyful conclusion, And bless us, according to your will, With the fulfillment of our summer hopes and dreams.


Watch over us in the weeks of rest ahead, And guide each day as you have done this past year. Help us return to school with a new spirit and a new energy. May we continue to grow In age, wisdom, knowledge and grace.


Enjoy this last month of the school year and have a wonderful, safe summer, St. Augustine’s! Take good care over the holidays!  See you in September.


God Bless,


Mr. Yaptinchay



Friday, June 23 will be FUN DAY at SAS.  Our students will be dressed in team colours for this annual celebration. It is a noon dismissal that day.  Stay tuned for full details!

We want to continue to honour and celebrate all our talented students!  A Talent Show is scheduled for June 26.   We will offer a hybrid opportunity for students this year:  you can submit your talent show performance to a shared album as we did the last couple of years OR you can perform live on stage in front of the student body  (the show will NOT be live-streamed for parents so they can watch virtually, but we will film and post the performances to the shared album after).  The deadline to sign up for a live performance will be June 9 with auditions June 13.  The deadline to submit a pre-recorded performance is June 23.   The criteria for either option is simple:  1) the performance should be limited to 1-2 minutes and 2) attire, lyrics, and language should be appropriate.  We are excited to be entertained by and to celebrate the many, many talents of our students!
  Stay tuned for the sign-up sheet.


Our Grade 7 Farewell  will be in-person at the church to honour and celebrate our departing students.   Farewell will be Thursday, June 22 at 7pm.  We will begin with mass followed by student recognitions then a reception in the Parish Centre.  More details to follow.


  • June 1 - New Kindergarten/Families Wine & Cheese Social at 7pm (in Learning Commons)

  • June 2 - Confirmation Retreat

  • June 5 - Confirmation at 7pm followed by Reception

  • June 8 - Grade 7 Parents Farewell Social at 7pm (in Learning Commons)

  • June 12 - CISVA Track Championships Day 1

  • June 13 - Talent Show Auditions

  • June 15 - CISVA Track Championships Day 2

  • June 18 - Fathers’ Day (9am Children’s Mass)

  • June 22

    • Grade 7 Farewell Assembly at 10:50am

    • Grade 7 Farewell Mass and Reception at 7:00pm

  • June 23 - Fun Day (noon dismissal)

  • June 26 - Talent Show

  • June 27 - Soak-the-Teacher

  • June 28

    • Last Day of School for Students

    • 10:30am School Mass 

    • Noon Dismissal (first stagger begins at 11:55)

  • July 14 - School Office closes for the summer


(Wednesday, June 28) 
Our last day of school is Wednesday, June 28.  We will be celebrating our final school mass of the year at 10:30am.  Staggered  pick-up will begin at 11:55am.   Final Progress Reports will also be issued on this last day.  

School re-opens on Tuesday, September 5, with classes scheduled from 8:30 AM until 12:00 PM for Grades 1-7, and  Kindergarten beginning their gradual entry. 



Introduction to St. Augustine School Strategic Planning Process
During the St. Augustine School Parish Education Committee (PEC) Annual General Meeting in February 2023, the PEC announced that the school will be undertaking a strategic review of the school’s mission and purpose as part of its membership in the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA).  CISVA policy provides that it is the responsibility and commitment of the PEC to participate in long term planning in consultation with school stakeholders including the Pastor, Principal and parents.

Why is the PEC undertaking a Strategic Planning Process now?
It has been many years since St. Augustine School formally engaged in a strategic planning process.  While preliminary discussions surrounding a strategic plan began before the COVID-19 pandemic, they were put on hold during that period.  Over the last several years our school has doubled in size and has faced new opportunities and new challenges as a result of that growth.   We are nearing completion of our first full year as a double streamed school and fundraising is well underway for a new gymnasium, the final phase of the school building project.  In addition, our community and neighbourhood have undergone and will continue to undergo tremendous change in the coming years.  This is an opportune time to hear from our school families, staff and other stakeholders as we look towards the future of St. Augustine School.

What is the purpose of the Strategic Planning Process? 
The purpose of the Strategic Planning Process is to identify and confirm the vision and mission for St. Augustine School and its strategic goals and priorities over the next 5 to 10 years.  The plan will create a focussed set of objectives, supported by our school’s values, with a concrete framework and understanding of how to ensure effective implementation and ongoing execution of the plan.
How will the Strategic Planning Process be managed?
The PEC has formed a Strategic Planning Subcommittee (SPC) that will oversee the Strategic Planning Process.  The composition of the SPC and Chair, Vice Chair, Parent and Staff Representative are appointed by the PEC.  The role of Parent Representative will be appointed by PEC following an open call for interest.  The SPC currently consists of the following members:











In addition to the SPC, the school has retained the services of Epic Strategy Group, a firm that specializes in assisting organizations such as the school undergo strategic planning processes and prepare strategic plans.  

The role of the SPC will be to work closely with Epic Strategy Group to manage the Strategic Planning Process, to collect information from stakeholders, to review the information collected, and assist in producing a strategic plan for approval by the PEC.  The SPC’s goal and intention is to develop a strategic plan that confirms the school’s mission and vision, as well as the strategic goals and priorities over the next five to ten years.

What is the role of the Parent and Staff Representatives?
Through the Strategic Planning Process, the SPC will be directly engaging with our parents and staff as stakeholders.  The hope and intention of the SPC is that every parent and staff member will participate in the Strategic Planning Process through completion of the survey, participation in focus groups, and other opportunities which may arise.  The Parent Representative and Staff Representative will assist the SPC in carrying out and achieving the goals of the SPC.  


Additional details regarding the role of the Parent Representative can be found at: SPC Parent Representative Role.  If this role interests you, please review the linked document and email the SPC before June 11, 2023 at to express your interest.

Who are the stakeholders that will be consulted?
The SPC has identified the following groups as stakeholders:

  • The Parish as represented by the Pastor;

  • School families;

  • School staff including the Principal and Vice Principal; and,

  • Parishioners.

How will families, parishioners and staff be consulted? 
As part of this process, it is important for us to hear from you, our families, parishioners, and staff.  As a first step, we are asking you to participate in a survey to obtain your comments and insight on what you see as the important considerations we need to be aware of, and take into account, as we develop the plan for the future of our school.  

In the Fall, you will be given an opportunity to participate in a second round of engagement with an invitation to attend focus groups to participate further in this process.  As we are still in the planning process for this stage, more information will be provided in the Fall when families return to school after the summer break.

What is the timeline for the Strategic Planning Process?
Our goal is to have the plan largely completed in late Fall 2023, with adoption by the PEC in February 2024.

Can I have more information about the survey? 
We have circulated a survey that asks four questions, outlined below.  We have not asked participants to provide their names or emails as we would like to encourage honest and fulsome responses.  We do ask that you provide the grade(s) of your children (or indicate that you do not have children in the school) so that we can determine whether families in our primary grades have similar or different insights than those in our intermediate grades and those with no children in the school.  Please only complete the survey once.  The Google form will allow you to modify your answer before the survey closes if you think of additional points to add or would like to make changes to your comments.

In answering the survey, we ask that you reflect not only your own experience, but also those of future St. Augustine families and what might be important to them in the years ahead.  


  • What do you see as the top few areas related to Student Experience that St. Augustine School needs to consider for its future?

  • What do you see as the top few areas related to our Physical Spaces and Facilities that St. Augustine School needs to consider for its future?

  • What do you see as the top few areas related to our Community that St. Augustine School needs to consider for its future?

  • What have we not asked above that you think is important for St. Augustine School to consider as we develop our Strategic Plan? 

You may access the survey via the link sent by Mr. Yaptinchay which will soon also be accessible on the school website or here: SAS Strategic Planning Survey.  

The information collected in the survey will be reviewed by the SPC and will inform the framework for the Fall focus groups and the Strategic Plan. 

Will all of my comments be considered?
The SPC welcomes and will be reviewing and considering every comment received both in response to the survey and the comments collected during the focus groups to be held during the Fall.  Your opinions, ideas, perspectives and insights are invaluable to us as a community and as part of this Strategic Planning Process.  As a diverse community of over 290 families, over 50 staff, and a broad group of parishioners, the SPC anticipates diverse comments and opinions.   The more comments, ideas and suggestions we receive, the stronger our final strategic plan will be.  Please, participate as fully as you are able.

I have more questions.  Who can I ask?
To efficiently manage communications, we have created a designated SPC email address:  Please, use this email for any questions or comments specific to the Strategic Planning Process.  Emails received at this address will be shared and available to the entire SPC.  Please note that questions received by any individual member of the SPC may be shared with the entire SPC for their consideration and response.  You may also contact the PEC at


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Staff Changes for 2023-2024

It is with sadness that I officially announce that several of our beloved teachers and staff will be leaving us at the end of this school year.   Among our classroom teachers, Ms. Brunnock, Ms. Dillon, Ms. Gastaldo, Ms. Vetro, Ms. Timms, and Ms. Chau will be  be saying farewell to St. Augustine School at the end of June.  We also say farewell  the following education assistants who will not be returning in September:  Ms. Earls, Ms. Kelly, Ms. O'Riordan, and Mr. Bondoc.

Thank you to Ms. Brunnock, Ms. Dillon, Ms. Timms, and Ms. Earls for their dedication to the school over the last couple of years.  They will be returning to Ireland and New Zealand to be closer to family and continue their careers at home.  We thank them for their service to our community and the children in their care during their short time at our school, and we wish them all the best in the future and hope perhaps to see them back in Vancouver one day soon.


Mr. Bondoc will be pursueing a different career path, and Ms. Kelly and Ms. O'Riordan will be moving on to continue their work as Education Assistants in other schools.  We wish them all a fond farewell and an immense thank you for taking such good care of our students during their time at our school.

One of our Grade 3 teachers for the last 6 years, Ms. Gastaldo will be saying farewell to St. Augustine's to be closer to her young family.  We will miss Ms. Gastaldo very much for her professionalism and deep care and love for her students.  

After 14 years at St. Augustine School, Mrs. Chau will be continuing her teaching career in special education at St. Anthony of Padua, one of our CISVA schools. We are saddened by Ms. Chau's departure after so many years of dedicated service to our community; yet we are happy for St. Anthony's as it gains a faith-filled and incredibly dedicated teacher.


A former parent then teacher-on-call, after over a dozen years of teaching at St. Augustine School, Ms. Vetro is announcing her retirement this year.  We cannot thank her enough for her years of faith-filled service to St. Augustine's and the multitude of lives she has touched and influenced. The halls of our school will not be the same without her.   

Though we say farewell to some staff, we welcome new staff, as well.   In Grade 1, we welcome Ms. Laura Nugent, who has worked to cover Ms. Brunnock already earlier this year.   We are excited to have her join our community and bring her talents and skills with her to our school.   Other positions are still open as we continue our search for the right teachers and staff.  Interviews are on-going, and we will keep you updated when we fill these roles.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire staff of St. Augustine School for their continued dedication and undying commitment to the community and the children in their care! 

In gratitude, we thank all our departing teachers, education assistants, and staff for being an instrumental part of the high level of Catholic education at our school.  Their gifts, talents, and the love they each have for our school and our students across all grades will be greatly missed.  We congratulate them on their new endeavours and wish them all the very best in the future!  Please, join us the last day of school as we say goodbye to our beloved staff at the end of year mass and recognize them more fully.

God bless all our teachers, friends, and families at

St Augustine School and Parish.


Have a wonderful and safe summer!

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