Principal’s Address 6th March 20206th Mar 2020
Kia Ora Tatou
It has been a busy week although a little quieter without students on Tuesday! This week also saw the first day of the building course which we run in partnership with Big River Homes and Otago Polytechnic. On Wednesday it was great to see the new intake of students from South Otago High School and Tokomairiro High School being welcomed to the course, equipped and ready to start building a new small home. This partnership provides great opportunities for our students and past history shows that many will be offered work or further training as a result of participation in the programme.
With the news this week that New Zealand now has three confirmed cases of the Coronavirus or Covid-19, the importance of planning for a pandemic in New Zealand has increased. As part of the South Otago High School preparation we have reviewed and updated our pandemic plan. We are reinforcing good hygiene practices with students and also investing in supplies to be able to manage the spread of the infection should this become necessary within the school community.
As part of our plan I would like to reassure parents and our wider community that we are preparing for this situation and the first part of our plan is to reassure our community. We also ask for you to reinforce good hygiene practices with your children. These include:
¨ Thoroughly washing hands with soap and water before eating or after toileting or after sneezing/coughing or before preparing food. This is known to be the biggest factor in reducing the spread of infections. It is also very important should they be sick.
¨ Dry hands thoroughly after washing.
¨ Sneeze or cough into elbow rather than hand.
¨ Use a disposable tissue to blow nose and discard into a bin
¨ Keep hands away from nose, mouth or eyes
As we manage this evolving situation we will be taking advice from the Ministry of Health and our local health services. We will maintain contact with our community through newsletters, email, text messages and letters home.
At this stage the focus of the Ministry of Health remains at keeping out the virus and stamping out the current infections.
At the recent conference meetings mentors checked to make sure that we had the correct contact details for parents, caregivers/ whanau. If you were unable to attend the conference events please do make contact with your child’s mentor to discuss goals and plans for this year and also confirm we have the correct contact details for you.
Qualish Group from Thailand
Due to the Covid-19 issues the Qualish group who normally would be visiting next week will now not be coming to New Zealand. We hope that we will be able to resume this trip in the future once the outbreak no longer poses a risk to all concerned.
Thank you to all the parents that attended the conference event. Over 85% of the school was represented at these meetings and I know that some parents have made arrangements to meet with mentors outside of the day and evening that were allocated. The involvement of parent/ whanau in student’s education is critical to student success. Thank you for your support in assisting in student development and success.
Year 10 camp
The annual year 10 camp is coming up next week. As I have said previously, this is a valuable learning opportunity and a great way for students to build positive relationships with peers and adults. Students who attend have a good time and thoroughly enjoy the experience, for some, they make life-long friends and reflect upon this camp as the highlight of their time at South Otago High School. Parents, please encourage your son, daughter to attend this camp.
Year 9 Survey
Congratulations to Emily Jenkinson who was the winner of the $50 Warehouse voucher for completing the parent and student survey for the start of the school year activities. Thank you to all the families who took the time to provide feedback to the school. We appreciate the time and effort that you took and this does inform our future plans.
This week, the first of autumn, has seen the temperature drop in the morning. Now is the time to prepare for winter and ensure that students have a plain black jacket for school. Hoodies will not be accepted and should not be worn to or from school or during the school day. Thank you for your support in helping us maintain a high standard of school uniform.
Have a great weekend.
Ka kite ano
Mr Mike Wright