South Otago High School

South Otago High School

Quality Education in a Supportive Community

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  • Principal’s Address 17th May 2019

    17th May 2019

    Dear Parents/Caregivers

    Kia Ora Tatou

    This week has been a short one for students with the teacher only day on Monday. This was a valuable day for the high school staff to join with many of our primary colleagues to undertake some professional development around well being. The presenter, Dr John McEwan, also presented to a large proportion of our rugby playing students and their whanau.  I have this week been sharing some of the findings with students during assembly.

    In the afternoon, teachers worked in small groups on a diverse range of topics related to their teaching programmes. Some of these groups included teachers from the primary sector. The aim is to improve the transition for students from primary to secondary school and the outcomes and achievement for students.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents/ whanau for their support to allow staff to have this day to work together.

    Of interest to note

    Since the start of the year we have had a gradual return of students to school. These are largely young people who at 16 left to the lure of money working in low skilled work. They, in their own words, have learnt that the world of work is ‘tough and hard’. These young people have returned with a desire to gain skills and qualifications so that they have improved options. To be fair these young people were not, in the past, our model students! BUT they have returned to school and have settled to their studies. They have new respect for what school offers and are now re-engaged in learning and building prospects for themselves. They are also talking to some of our ‘at risk students’ and actively encouraging them to remain in school and encouraging them to be successful.

    Changes to NCEA and NZQA fees

    In the news this week has been the release of information regarding changes to NCEA. These changes are scheduled to be phased in during the next 3-4 years. As yet there is no schedule for when the changes will be implemented. However, one change that has been given immediate effect is the removal of fees for NCEA in 2019. For parents of Year 11 to 13 students your invoice will still show the $76.70 NCEA fee. Please disregard this, you do not have to pay. This will be removed from your account once the software that creates the invoice has been released for this update.

    For parents who have paid this already, it will be held in credit against other debts that may be encountered during the rest of the year.

    Industrial action

    Also in the news has been the confirmation of industrial action on Wednesday 29 May as part of the super strike organised by PPTA and NZEI. In the next week a letter will be sent home to advise if there will be any supervision for students available. I can confirm that we will not be able to offer instruction and that the normal timetable will be suspended.

    SNOB

    At the end of last week I have been reviewing the attendance of students to determine eligibility to attend the SNOB next Friday. I am pleased to report that nearly all students improved their attendance so will be able to attend the event next week. I would also like to thank those parents/ whanau who have cleared outstanding accounts. I am looking forward to seeing these students at the SNOB next Friday.

    Finally

    Our thoughts this week are with the Shanks family with the passing of Kelly, the mother of Ethyn (Y11) and Daymon (Y13, 2018) On behalf of the school community I send our condolences to you at this challenging time.

    Ka kite ano

    Mr Mike Wright

    Principal