South Otago High School

South Otago High School

Quality Education in a Supportive Community

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  • Principals Address – 21 February 2014

    21st Feb 2014

    Tena Koutou Katoa

    Athletics Day 25th February

    I hope you are planning the picnic and the family luncheon here at school this Athletics Day, Tuesday the 25th February.

    Bring a folding chair and a blanket and make a day of it. As usual for Balclutha – the weather is forecast for fine and balmy weather, so we are assured of a great day.
    The entries for this years’ event are way up on previous years, there will be food available for sale on the grounds surrounding the track and the Council members will be cooking a BBQ (huge, fat sausages for the first 300 students who have a $1 burning a hole in their pockets.

    Please encourage your young person to come and participate in this day. This year the event is organised by Mr Palmer and he has a huge range of non-championship events for students to simply have fun together. This type of school events build school pride, a sense of belonging (Maori know this as
    turangawaewae) and unity in House Groups. This was a great day last year, with music, painted bodies, chants, banners and races against the teachers – don’t fear – the staff don’t expect bossy middle aged women to run very fast, so I am usually off the hook.

    Annual Plan

    I have been working towards completing our Annual Plan – this is a document that the BOT submit to the MOE as the actual expectation I have around student achievement, retention and engagement. When I have finished this I would like to email it to you all so you can read it and understand exactly where we are headed and what focus we have arising from our actual data.
    I have completed the Variance Report.

    This is the document that I compare the goal of the previous annual plan with the actual results of the students – and explain why.

    I would like to send this to you also for your consideration and will do so after the 27th February – when the previous year’s achievement data has been finalised by the NZQA.

    Uniform Committee

    I meet with the uniform Committee this afternoon to discuss changes to our uniform that many students have voiced. I will update you with the discussion and decisions around this when completed.

    Do not worry about this – you will not be expected to spend any more money this year – the Y11’s have been asking me to consider them being dressed as the rest of the senior school, but all changes approved would be for next year and beyond, if the changes are approved.

    I appreciate your on-going support over attendance and uniform, having expectations that are consistently reinforced at home and at school mean that, eventually, there is less resistance and more compliance. We just have to say the same things about these areas, repeatedly, and we will change habits.

    Contacting the School

    Since beginning here I have repeatedly invited you as parents and concerned community members to contact me with your concerns. Thanks to those of you who have done so. It has occurred to me that what I was actually trying to convey to you is to keep in touch, make contact and get to the bottom of every concern. However the way in which we make that highly beneficial for all staff in contact with your young person is to follow a set of contacts.

    The first person you should contact with a concern is the student’s Form Teacher. You will find a list of email addresses on our webpage – but the rule of thumb for all email addresses is the lower case first initial followed by last name followed by @sohs.school.nz.

    For example,
    Mrs Jory (English and Y9 Dean) is jjory@sohs.school.nz
    Ms Brown (Economics, Y10 Dean) is kbrown@sohs.school.nz

    The Form Teacher will alert the Dean, if needed, and if he or she cannot solve the problem then a Senior Manager or myself will be involved.

    This means that the Form teacher, Dean, Senior Manager all know what is happening and nobody is left out of the loop.

    I am happy to listen to your concerns after you have been through the appropriate channels of communication. We are all happy to do everything we can to ensure happy, confident young people who want to come to school.

    Ka Kite Ano
    Mrs Joanne Hutt
    Principal