Newsletter – 15 March 2021

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Dear Parents

It has been a very messy start to the year with two lockdowns already. Our focus is back to normal routines as much as possible. Thank you for respecting the Ministry of Education and Health requirements regarding scanning or signing in. A number of schools will not let parents on site during Level 2 and Level 3. We believe, now more than ever your child needs the reassurance that everything is ok and if that means you need to sign in and walk them to the classroom then that is just fine.

Why We Do Not Issue Laptops and Ipads Every Lockdown?
There a number of considerations each time such as:

  • How long is the lockdown?
  • How much time do we have to issue the devices?
  • How many devices will we need to issue to students and families?
  • How long will it be before all devices returned and in some cases repaired before classes can use them again?
  • A number of families prefer hard packs or a combination of online and hard packs.

We issued 250 devices last year during the first major lockdown last year. The level 4 lockdown lasted four weeks.  It took 6 weeks after this to get all the devices back, cleaned and some repaired before the classes could use them again. We do not have 250 devices sitting and waiting in a room. All devices across the school are in lockable storage areas, so retrieving, reallocating by serial numbers all devices and cords is a major operation. 

Each time lockdown we get to hear it at the same time as you. It is impossible to cater for every child in terms of their learning needs when they are learning remotely as we have a wide range of abilities but we can assure we do our best. There are learning links on our website to extend or cater for your child’s specific learning needs and cover any gaps. Your child’s teacher also keeps in regular contact.

Lockdowns are generally stressful for everyone so we appreciate the huge amount of positive feedback and suggestions.

We hope that we will not have any lockdowns before the vaccinations are available for everyone who wants one. 

Last week Mrs Deanne Williams tendered her resignation in order to spend more time with her family. Her last day of work will be Friday 16 April, which is the end of this term. We are sorry to lose Deanne not only because she is a great teacher and leader but also a valued colleague and friend. We respect her decision to put herself and family first. Mrs Lisa Stafford will teach the class for Term 2. 

Teacher Only Day Reminder- School Closed Friday 26 March
School will be closed for instruction on Friday 26th March. The teachers will be working with an outside expert on the ARTS curriculum.  

Teacher Only Days – Why do they sometimes happen during the term?
We have been very reluctant to hold teacher only days during the term and so have had very few compared to most schools. We have and are very conscious of the disruption and inconvenience to parents especially if they are working. Last year we cancelled all out days due to Covid-19 disruptions although many local schools chose to continue with their days.

Below is an explanation about why we have to hold some during term time.

Through the Primary Teachers and Primary Collective Agreement settlement, eight additional Teacher Only Days allocated in an accord between the Ministry of Education, NZEI Te Riu Roa (Primary Teachers’ union and PPTA Te Wehengarua (Secondary Teachers’ union). The teacher only days, both in terms of actual days and use must be set in consultation with the Board of Trustees.

The School Board of Trustees has approved three of those Teacher only Days for 2021 when we set the term dates. 

Access to School Grounds After Hours
At present, we have allowed students from the intermediate to walk through the school before and after school. This is a privilege, not a right as long as they respect our school and community. In the past, we have issues with older students after hours who are not from our school. The issues are around inappropriate music, bad language and general attitude. We have since banned these older students from entering our property. There is a misinformed belief that schools are public property therefore anyone can access them anytime, this is incorrect as schools are deemed private property and come under the bylaws of the School Board of Trustees.

If you see any inappropriate behavior, please inform us straight away. 

Student Safety                                                                                                                                                             
We want to encourage and grow student ownership around safety.

Clearway Signs on Udys Road
The clearway between 8.30 am and 9.30 am and 2.30 pm until 3.30 pm has been very successful. This helped with not only traffic flow but also the safety of all students and families. 

Just a reminder that parking on the curb in these areas is unsafe and illegal.  The council do issue parking tickets regularly.

Please use the school crossings

We strongly encourage all students and parents to use the school crossings. Besides the obvious safety issues, it is also respectful to the student patrollers and staff are giving up their time to ensure your child is safe. 

Our staff have witnessed a number of close calls when students and parents fail to use the crossing, please help us keep our community safe by modelling the correct use of the crossing and encouraging your child to do the same.

Swimming Lessons
We are very fortunate to have access to free swimming lessons and transport to the pools for the middle and senior school. The children are divided into three ability groups and each group benefits from having their own swim coach. It is important all children learn the basics of surviving in and on water especially since NZ is an island surrounded by water.

Parent Partnership Meeting Date Change
This will now take place on Thursday March 18th. The booking page is now open. 

Please book a time through the website using the code: cws6j or if you do not have access to the internet you may book through the school office. 

School will close as usual at 2:30pm.

Please check our school Facebook page were we regularly update information on events.  Please like our page to keep updated.

Coronavirus Updates
We are regularly sending out updates as we receive them from the Ministry of Education and the Health Department. Please read these carefully.

Some common sense guidelines include:

  • Washing your hands frequently
  • Getting a flu shot this season
  • Stay away from sick people and don’t send your child to school if sick
  • Face masks don’t really help
  • If not sure about your health or someone you know seek medical advice

Stay safe

Fintan Kelly                                                                                                                   

What is the PTA?

The Pakuranga Heights PTA (Parent Teacher Association) is a group of parents of children who attend Pakuranga Heights School and includes a teacher representative from the school.  The PTA works to support the School to foster relationships amongst the school’s community and to raise funds to improve the services and facilities of the school. It is a fun way to meet other parents, get involved in the community and support our school.

We do this by;

  • Supporting the interests and educational advancement of our students.
  • Gifting resources that meet school needs 
  • Supporting school/student events e.g. Disco/cultural nights.
  • Providing catering support for school/student events.
  • Encouraging and supporting the school community to meet and get to know each other.
  • Organising events that will bring the school community together from across the school.
  • Organising Successful Fundraising
  • Grant Applications

Roles within the PTA
The Chairman
This person has been chosen by all members of the Association to be a leader and manager.  They secure participation, co-operation, harmony and a sense of responsibility from the members to display initiative, working spirit and ability.  The President aims to have a complete knowledge of the organisation and its possibilities, its aims and methods, its history, members and spirit. 

The Secretary
The two main jobs of the secretary are to keep the official records of meetings through minutes and to deal with all inward and outward correspondence. 

The Treasurer
The treasurer administers the funds of the organisation. They receive and disburse funds on behalf of the organisation and are responsible for accurate financial recording keeping. 

Other volunteers that help when and as is needed to deliver the various tasks of the PTA. 

Currently the formal roles are held by;
Chairwoman – Tara Fletcher
Treasurer – Paulette Shirley
Secretary – Gillian Ardern
Teacher Representative – Deanne Williams

How can I help the PTA?

  • Become a member and bring your skills, knowledge, abilities, and energy to help in delivering our initiatives
  • Volunteer to serve/help at events/initiatives we run
  • Offer goods and/or services you have access to
  • Support organisations that provide funding to the PTA eg. The entertainment book

What is the AGM?

The AGM (annual general meeting) is a meeting when the PTA offers the community a summary of our activities for the previous year and an accounting of the money given by parents in various fundraising events that we have run.

It is also an opportunity to elect onto the committee other people to become involved. Some positions are becoming available at our upcoming AGM.

Our upcoming AGM is being held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 30th March at Porterhouse Grill

Need to Know

Junior School Structured Literacy Parent Information Meetings
Junior School parents are invited to a parent information meeting where you can learn more and ask questions about this new programme.  

We will be running two meetings (these will cover the same topics), we hope to see you at one of these on:

  • Wednesday 31 March – 3.15 – 4.15pm in Room 9
  • Wednesday 7 April – 7- 8pm in the Hall

Claire Stretch
Junior School Team Leader


Upcoming events

House Captain title




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