Newsletter – 21 February 2022

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As the number of covid cases soar in Auckland we hope you and your whanau are well and that you have plans in place, should you have to isolate.  

Although we are not at pre-covid attendance levels, it was pleasing to see our student attendance rate at 82% in the first week of school this year. Today, like last week we are down to 78% present at school. 

Please be assured that we are doing everything we possibly can to keep your children safe at school by strictly sticking to health and safety protocols i.e. frequent hand sanitising, well ventilated classrooms, mask wearing (Yr4 up), staggered break times, deep cleaning classrooms daily, etc. Our tamariki have had their learning interrupted several times over the past two years and it is vital that they get their learning back on track at every opportunity we get.  Being present at school means that routines can be established, social skills learnt and embedded, assessments carried out so your child’s learning needs are accurately planned for and any special needs your child may require, will be picked up .  

We welcome two new teachers, Miss Jessica Hackett teaching in our junior school and Miss Jazmyn Garrett-Dalton teaching in the senior school. For this term, both teachers are working alongside their team leader as part of a Ministry of Education initiative to give new teachers a supportive start to their careers.

We also welcome Mrs Shelly Hays to our Learning Assistants team.

Parent Partnership Meetings – All week 21-25 February
The format for this meeting has changed this year due to restrictions on numbers onsite in the Red Traffic Light setting. These will now be a 10 minute virtual meeting and you can choose either an online meeting or a telephone call. If you haven’t booked a meeting with your child’s teacher it is not too late please contact the classroom teacher to make a booking. Building a relationship and connection with the classroom teacher is vital to your child’s learning and success at school and this is an excellent opportunity early in the year to start that. 

If you are having difficulty booking, call your child’s teacher or the office and they will book you in.

Updated Contact Details 
Please update your details with the office if these have changed. It is really important especially now when we are identifying and have to inform you when your child is a close contact of positive covid cases. 

Reporting a positive case of Covid
I would like to acknowledge the swift action of those parents who have reported positive cases to us in the past week. Because of this we were able to promptly interview, identify close contacts, notify parents, notify the Ministry of Education and provide information gained to the Ministry of Health, all in a very short timeframe. To maintain confidentiality you  will receive a call from either myself or one of the senior leadership team asking for the date your child was tested and for the date symptoms started to show. We use this and other details like last day at school, etc to work out close contacts. 

Student Support
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child, the classroom teacher is your first point of contact. If you are still concerned, please see the team leader or Mrs Margaret Walker whose responsibilities include behaviour and learning needs.

If you have any concerns regarding health, custody issues, special needs, or require support with attendance or behaviour issues, please make an appointment with Mrs Margaret Walker. For questions on the curriculum or assessment, please make an appointment with Mrs Sue Kandasamy or Mrs Monique Brown

Property Update

– Hall
The hall progressed well initially but slowed down a bit as the contractors had planned for 40% re-cladding but that quickly changed to 80% as they opened up more of the building. They are back on track but the completion date has moved out two weeks, so at this stage we are looking around the middle of March. 

– Rooms 18 &19 and Senior School toilets 
Again as expected with buildings of this age further damage was discovered and plans had to be adjusted for more cladding than expected. We are waiting for a specialist cladding report which will have to go to council before the cladding starts again. In the meantime new roofing is going on.

School sun hats are compulsory during Term 1 if the children are playing outside.  The school provides free sunscreen in all classes and we now have some great sunshade areas.

School Uniform
It is expected that all students wear the correct school uniform. This includes hats, trousers etc. Thank you for your support.

Teacher Only Days
These were planned for the holidays but had to be differed when Auckland went into the Red setting. Instead teams met in their bubbles at school and planned for your child’s learning this term.  

Drop off/Pick up zones
Please note that we are continuing with the restricted access to the pick up zone in front of the school this year and please ensure you don’t park in the clearway zone on Udy’s Road, from the roundabout Reeves Road to the church opposite the school – tickets were issued last year to vehicles parking there.

Lost Property
The lost property bin is located on the deck by the Parent and Whanau Centre.  Please encourage your children to look there as often they have left their clothing on the playground or field and gone back to class.

Term Dates – Start and Finish Times – the Reasoning Behind What We Do?
You may be wondering why we finish late in the year and start later than some schools.

Schools and kura (Māori Medium schools) have some flexibility around their start and finish dates. Terms 2 and 3 are fixed. Essentially, if you finish late in one year you start later in the New Year, but all schools must be open the same total amount of days per year. Most school terms are 10 weeks. Public holidays generally fall in the school holidays.

In our last community survey parents overwhelmingly supported a late finish and a late start. Many appreciated the opportunity to work up to Christmas and the chance to enjoy our summer which seems to be getting later and longer.

Please feel free to come and ask me or one of the senior team any questions or wonderings that may arise.