South Otago High School

South Otago High School

Quality Education in a Supportive Community

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  • Principal’s Address 15th May 2020

    15th May 2020

    Dear Parents/Caregivers

    Kia Ora Tatou

    In the school for the last couple of days there has been the excitement at the prospect of welcoming students back into the school on Monday 18 May. The teachers have been re-arranging furniture and preparing posters and hand sanitizer to remind everyone of our new expectations. We have a one way system set to support social distancing as students move about the school. We are all prepared for the three R’s:

    • Relationships: rebuilding the positive support between students and teachers
    • Routines: introducing students and staff to the new way of working and making this part of our every day practice
    • Re-ignition: getting student enthused about being back in class learning

    I know that we will have a successful and positive return to school and I know that teachers are looking forward to seeing students back in school. Todays newsletter contains the last pieces of information for next week and some reminders regarding expectations and information from previous communications.

    Uniform

    Students are expected to attend in their winter uniform. The boiler has been restarted and the heating is working throughout the school. The only cold room is the assembly hall which will not be being used by students. Students who need to keep warm between classes as well as to and from school should have a plain black or navy jacket. I expect that every student will have their uniform organised ready for this re-start.

    Water bottles

    Our water fountains and bottle re-fill stations will still be available for students to use. They are being cleaned on a daily basis. However, we recommend that students bring their own personal drink bottle and refill this at the start of the day.

    Canteen

    The new process for ordering and payment for canteen purchases has been finalised. Detailed information on ordering and payment has been provided as a separate item in this newsletter. Due to the logistics in our new system we will only be allowing for lunch purchases only and these will be delivered to students prior to the lunch time.

    Sharing food

    It is timely to ask parents to talk to their children that they should not be sharing food. This is the advice from the Government and one which we would expect all students to adhere to.

    Student absence

    As prior to lock down it would be appreciated if parents could contact the school attendance line (03 418 0517) if their child is going to be absent from school.

    Reminders:

    School starts on Monday 18 May at 08:40: There should be no students on site before 08:30. As soon as students arrive they are to go directly to their mentor class.

    Buses: Will be running as normal. Hand sanitizer is available as students enter the bus. Students should social distance as much as possible and note who they sit next to each journey.

    Mentor class: The mentors will be going through the expectations for students. It is important that all students attend this time

    Focus on teaching and learning: Teachers will now be focussing their attention on face to face delivery. Students who are not able to attend school are able to access resources on line but there will be no further online teaching

    Social distancing: We have processes and expectations to provide social distancing as students move about the school. We expect students to adhere to these new processes

    Hygiene: There is hot water and soap in all hand washing stations about the school for students to use. Every class has hand sanitizer for students as they enter the classroom

    No Cash: We will not be accepting cash at school. Payments must be made on line

    Students off site by 4:00pm: All students are to be off site by 4pm and not return until the following school day. There are no sports practices for the week on 18 May.

    Parent appointments: Parents who need to come to school should make an appointment and will need to sign in at the main office at school.

    Face masks: Students may choose to wear face masks. The school will not accept the use of scarves or bandanas being used as a face mask and students will be asked to remove them.

    Staying healthy: Please do not send unwell students to school. Students who appear unwell will be isolated and parents expected to pick them up as soon as possible.

    Lunch passes and Year 13’s: Students who have a lunch pass will be able to go home for their lunch. They should travel alone and not be going to the shops. We recommend that Year 13 students remain on site and do not visit shops at lunchtime.

    Support for well being: Senior Leaders, Deans, Mentors, teachers and the school Guidance Counsellor are all available to support students and their families as we transition to a new working environment at school. Please do contact the school should you need any help.

    Other matters!

    I am aware that Gypsy Day is just around the corner and for some families with exit from Lock down may mean that they are able to move house. If you are moving or expecting to move please do inform the school as soon as possible so that we can update our records. This is particularly important in case we need to contact trace in the future.

    Finally

    I am really looking forward to seeing students back in school on Monday. Please talk to your son/ daughter about this newsletter and the contents.

    The return to school is exciting and it will be different but I can assure you that we are all committed to ensuring that school is a safe, welcoming and secure working environment for everyone who comes through the gate next week.

    Have a good weekend and keep safe.

    Ka Kite Ano

    Mike Wright

    Principal