South Otago High School

South Otago High School

Quality Education in a Supportive Community

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  • Principal’s Address 12th February 2016

    12th Feb 2016

    Dear Parents/Caregivers

    Kia Ora Tatou

    Since starting at South Otago High School, I have been impressed with the friendly nature of the students and the positive attitudes that they have towards the life of South Otago High School. In last week’s newsletter I did make mention of the incident on last Friday afternoon. The students positive attitude and maturity with which they handled the situation was superb. This week we have been gathering information to refine our response to similar events in the future.

    Lock down training

    Prior to last Friday, senior staff and myself have been working on preparing for a training session with the Police for a ‘lock down’ situation. At this time we are still intending continuing with the training session. Below is a joint statement from South Otago High School and the Police:

    Lock Down Training, Tuesday 1 March, 2016

    As part of the training for emergency situations South Otago High School will be undertaking a lock down training exercise in conjunction with the Police. This is scheduled for 9:45am and will take about 40 minutes from the start to the conclusion of the de-brief for students by the Police.

    The Training exercise is the same precaution that schools must undertake for fire evacuation or an earthquake drill. In discussions with the police, the need for the school to ever need to go into lock down is very unlikely. It is possible that there may be a situation in the township which requires the school to maintain the safety of students.

    Prior to the training session there will be specific instructions for students. Most important of these will be that students cell phones are to be switched off. This is to reduce the risk of students contacting parents who may then wish to come to school and potentially into a dangerous situation.

    During the training the students will be under the direction of staff. There will be a number of police staff and vehicles on site. Please be assured that during this training exercise there is no risk to your child.

    We will report back to our community following the training exercise.

    Lockdown Police statement for Parents/ Caregivers

    Balclutha police want to remind parents/caregivers and students that this is a training exercise and not a pass/fail test.

    It is nothing to be alarmed about and it is all about ensuring that correct safety measures are in place if the school ever has to go into lockdown.

    It is rare that schools have to go into lockdown but all services need to know how to react to any threat near or on the school.

    The most likely events that a school has to go into lockdown is because of a serious incident that is occurring in the nearby vicinity of the school.

    This drill is not set out to scare students but merely give them a heads up in how to react.  It is important that parents understand this.

    There will be a debrief given by the police to the students and staff after the lockdown drill to address any issues or concerns that were highlighted from the drill.

    Constable Rochelle Gordon

    School Communities Officer

    Balclutha Police

     Contacting parents

    As part of an update of our systems, South Otago High School is changing its provision to send text messages to parents. This will mean that we will be able to send reminders and important notices to parents, caregivers and whanau providing that we have your cell phone number listed. If you would like to receive these reminders please contact Karen Wright to check that your cell phone number is registered with our system. We hope to have the new system operating within the next few weeks.

    NCEA Endorsement awards

    This week we have acknowledged those students who gained NCEA certificate endorsement in 2015. A list of recipients is provided elsewhere in this newsletter. These students exemplify the school value of excellence by:

    • Developing positive work habits
    • Setting goals
    • Striving for excellence
    • Planning for success
    • Having a positive attitude towards their studies
    • Listening to advice and acted upon the information.

    Many more students have excelled by gaining course endorsements throughout the year. Congratulations to all those students for their hard work.

    Finally

    Earlier this week, I spoke to students about the expectations for their uniform and explained that as of Monday they would be required to wear the uniform correctly or face the consequences. On Friday students have been issued with a reminder about the expectations with regard to uniform. The help and cooperation of parents is appreciated in this matter to ensure that there is a consistent message for all of our students.

    Ka kite ano

    Mr Mike Wright—Principal