Principal’s Address 18th May 201818th May 2018
Kia Ora Tatou
From time to time I receive feedback which I enjoy sharing with students and the wider community. Late this week I received a letter from the RSA commending the participation of two of our head students, Briar Mills and Mohammed Shaiyez, during the ANZAC Day events. They have said: ‘It is not easy for young people to address such a gathering. South Otago High School should be proud of the way in which both delivered their addresses….Members of the public have commented on not only the way that they presented their speeches but also the meaningful content..’ As a school we are certainly proud of them and feel that they represent the positive character of the school and students. It is a pleasure to share this feedback with our community.
Despite the cool wind the turn out and participation in the annual school cross country was fantastic this year. The atmosphere out on the course was really positive with students encouraging one another. I believe that the event had the highest participation rate by students that we have ever had. Well done to all those who completed the course. Those students who beat Mr Wright round the course need to make sure they claim their promised chocolate fish from Mr McDowall!! Thanks to Ms Bathgate for her organisation or a great event.
Marine Science Extension Programme
Congratulations to Hania Col and Petrina Scherp who have been accepted into the Y11 programme also Samuel Waenga and Akira Baxter who have been offered places in the Y10 programme. Each year students are selected to participate in this extension work which is offered by the University of Otago and has students working from their marine studies base at Portobello. This is a great opportunity for our students and we look forward to hearing about their work on their return.
With just a week until this highlight of the school social calendar I have been talking to students about the expectations for students prior to the SNOB. Thank you to all those families who have cleared the outstanding accounts for co-curricular activities. This week we have been starting to check in on the student attendance rates and to ensure that students have taken note of their attendance. It is not our desire to stop students from attending the SNOB and this is why we have signposted this matter early in the year.
With regard to the events of the night, the school expects that students will abide by the normal school rules for such events. Of particular note are the expectations around alcohol and smoking. Students who are suspected of drinking prior to the event will be denied entry or asked to leave. The school takes responsibility for students once they enter the hall until the conclusion of the event at 11:30pm when they are returned to the care of parents. I encourage parents to make suitable arrangements for the collection of students at the end of the school event.
We also ask that students look after each other as we are aware that some may continue their night out after the school sanctioned event. This is not part of the school responsibility and we strongly encourage parents and caregivers to be familiar with the arrangements and responsibilities for students once the SNOB concludes.
Paid Union Meeting, Friday 8 June
The teachers union, the PPTA, have called for a paid union meeting (PUM) on Friday 8 June as publicised in last weeks newsletter. The school will close at 12 mid-day on this day. The school will adapt the timetable for the day, we will not be having the late start so school will start at 8:40 on this Friday in order to provide as much instructional time as possible for students who are in school. Students who are on work experience or polytechnic courses will not be affected by the short day and their courses will run as normal for the full day. Some buses will be departing at 12:10 whilst others will leave at 3:10. Please refer to the letter which was sent home earlier in the week for details.
Supervision will be available for students where parents have made this request.
This week the Education Review Office have been in school meeting with teachers, students, the senior leadership team and the Board of Trustees. Thanks you to all those that have participated in their discussions and provided information to our visitors. Next week the ERO team will report their preliminary findings to the Board of Trustees. I hope that within the following six weeks we will be able to share the report with our community once the final report has been confirmed.
Ka kite ano