Principal’s Address 10th March 201710th Mar 2017
Kia Ora Tatou
After last week when I communicated South Otago High School’s expectations on attendance there have been a number of requests to take students out of school for an extended period of time. I would like to reinforce that such requests must be in writing, addressed to the Principal. Ideally we would like as much notice as possible to ensure that teachers can organise assessments or study to be completed so that students who are absent do not fall too far behind.
Similarly, it was very disappointing to see Year 10 students choose not to go to camp this week. The camps at Tautuku and elsewhere are a great learning opportunity for students. They also provide an opportunity for students to see staff in a different situation and vice versa. They also provide an opportunity to develop positive relationships between staff and students and for students with their peers. For those students who do not attend this is a huge missed opportunity.
With our change in timetable I would also like to have some clarification for students and families as to the requirements for school on Friday. This week all students have been issued with a letter outlining the requirements with regard to start time and supervision. A copy of this letter has been included in this newsletter.
As happened last year South Otago High School will be setting a minimum attendance rate for senior students to be able to attend the SNOB which is set for Friday 9 June. Prior to the end of term students who are at risk of not meeting the school attendance requirement will receive a letter advising that they are at risk of not being able to attend the SNOB. This will allow sufficient time for students to improve their attendance at school.
Year 9 Survey and feedback
Thank you to all the students and parents who responded to the survey that was given to all Year 9 students. Shea Juilland-Vickers was drawn as the winner of the $50 Warehouse voucher.
The feedback from students and parents was greatly appreciated and will contribute to some of our decisions for planning the start of 2018. The majority of the feedback was very positive and below are some quotes of the highlights for students:
What do you like about South Otago High School?
This is some of the student responses:
The chance to make new friends
Teachers, subjects, canteen
I like that there is a lot of opportunity to get involved with events and clubs
Learning new subjects we didn’t have at primary school
I like that everybody is really friendly
The variety of subjects I could take and the friendliness of the staff, teachers and my fellow classmates. I feel like I fit in.
Any other comments about the start of the school year:
This is some of the parent responses
Good communication between the school- home
Meet the mentor was good
We are excited about our journey in SOHS
Emails from Mrs Frisby have been great information source
I felt there were ample opportunities for my child to visit and view school before they started and having a day with just Y9 is a great idea- Less daunting.
Thank you all, your feedback, both good and bad is greatly appreciated.
Year 10 at Tautuku
This week most of the Year 10 students have been at Tautuku enjoying a very different learning experience. Whilst the weather may not have been perfect it is certainly an improvement upon the gales students had last year. I enjoy the brief time I get to attend these camps and often find myself wishing I could stay longer. It is wonderful to see students who may sink into the background at school take on leadership roles and grow in front of their peers. Our camps are a unique opportunity for students and are so beneficial.
Thank you to the parents/whanau that coaxed and encouraged some of the reluctant students to attend. I am sure that they returned home tired and yet excited and with great stories to tell of their time away.
Year 11 Careers Day, Invercargill
Last week a large group of students travelled to Invercargill to attend an open day at SIT. Students had the chance to have hands on experience in Carpentry/ Building, Automotive Engineering, Hair/Beauty and Design. The feedback from students was very positive and this is a good chance for students to learn about tertiary study and preparing for study beyond school.
Year 11 Get Ahead Agriculture day, Dunedin
Whilst most students went to SIT a smaller group attended the Get Ahead Agriculture day in Dunedin. This is a great opportunity to learn about some of the career pathways that exist in the agriculture sector. These include not just farm work and management but also engineering, science and research, finance and management.
This has been another week where great opportunities have been offered to our students. As always, camps, trips and courses outside of school do not happen without a huge amount of goodwill from teachers. It is not just the teachers who take the students out of class that make a sacrifice but also those that stay behind and cover for absent colleagues. I do appreciate all the time that the staff at South Otago High School put into supporting one another and the students. We are a very fortunate school.
Ka kite ano