South Otago High School

South Otago High School

Quality Education in a Supportive Community

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  • Principal’s Address 21st June 2019

    21st Jun 2019

    Dear Parents/Caregivers

    Kia Ora Tatou

    Winter appears to have arrived in earnest with very cool mornings this week. It is worth reminding parents that students should not be on the school site until 8:30am in the morning as there is no access to buildings and no supervision available. Thank you to those parents that have supported by ensuring that students have the correct warm clothing such as a school jersey and plain black jacket. Unfortunately there are still one or two students who have hoodies and other coloured jackets and we are working with these indicviduals.

    Music festival

    This week South Otago High School students performed at the South Otago Music Festival held on Wednesday and Thursday evening. Our students were excellent and there has been a lot of positive feedback on their performance. Worth particular recognition is Kareena Dunlop who gave a solo performance backed by a mass choir.

    Cultural Competition

    On Thursday 4 July we will be holding our annual cultural competition. In recent years the standard of the performance by students has greatly improved. The event is always exciting and the passion of the students in their performance of the Haka and Waiata is wonderful to see. I encourage parents and caregivers to come along for the performance in the afternoon. More details of the competition will be published in next week’s newsletter.

    Industrial action

    I am pleased to report that an offer has been made to the teachers which I would hope will be accepted. However, members of the PPTA are required to attend a Paid Union Meeting next Friday 28 June in the afternoon to vote on the offer. As a result school will be open for instruction from 8:40am to 12 midday. There will be no late start, the canteen will be available for lunch orders which will need to be placed in the morning.

    Students on work experience and vocational training programmes will attend these for the full day as normal. Some buses will be departing early and the details of these is in a letter sent home on Thursday. Supervision for students in the afternoon will be available upon request.

    Holidays

    It is nearing the end of the term and we are noticing that some families are taking students out of school for holidays and other trips. I would like to remind parents that they should contact the school at least a week prior to departure to request permission. This gives time for teachers to talk to students and be aware of possible issues around assessment. This is particularly important for senior students working towards NCEA.

    Finally

    Last week I shared some of the positive results from the Me and My School survey. This week I would like to share a concerning trend. That is the use of social networks. From the students who responded, which is the majority of Year 9 and 10, they are using social networks like Facebook, Snapchat etc. significantly more than the national averages. At a meeting I attended this week was a suggestion that parents should be talking to their children about the use of social media and limiting the access time for young people. Quite often we hear of students who are posting messages into the early hours of the morning when they should be sleeping. Too often we hear that this has a negative effect upon young people and I do encourage parents to talk to and actively monitor their children’s use of social media.

    Have a good weekend.

    Ka kite ano

    Mr Mike Wright

    Principal