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Major developments for regional schools

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In a major boost for Catholic education in regional South Australia, Catholic Education SA has today announced the building of a new secondary school at Renmark and the expansion of St Mary MacKillop School at Wallaroo.

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The $19.5m Riverland college will cater for up to 360 students from Year 7 to 12, with Years 7 and 8 opening in 2022 and a new year level offered annually.

It will build on the quality Catholic education and pastoral care already provided at the four local primary schools – St Joseph’s School Barmera, Our Lady of the River School Berri, St Albert’s School Loxton and St Joseph’s School Renmark.

All Catholic primary schools in the Riverland will become Reception to Year 6 schools from 2022.

“I know that this decision will be welcomed by many local families in the Riverland,” said Ms Nichii Mardon, director of Catholic Education in the Diocese of Port Pirie.

“The expansion follows a thorough consultation process with the regional community that confirmed the strong desire for the development of the new college.”

Currently R-7, St Mary MacKillop School at Wallaroo will become a Reception to Year 9 school in 2022.

The $2.24 million expansion will see the school start offering Year 8 in 2022 and Year 9 from 2023.

Construction of a Year 7 to 9 secondary learning facility at the current school site will begin early next year and will include specialist areas for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and arts, and incorporate outdoor spaces designed to cater for the needs of young adolescents.

Founded in the Josephite tradition and the oldest school in the Port Pirie Diocese, St Mary MacKillop School has experienced significant enrolment growth in recent years.

Ms Mardon said they were excited to be expanding the provision of Catholic education on the Copper Coast and to be “building an even stronger focus on student learning and quality teaching in regional South Australia”.

The developments, approved by the South Australian Catholic Schools Commission this week, follow CESA’s decision to move Year 7 in regional schools to a secondary setting from 2022, bringing them in line with all South Australian schools.

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