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From the Principal

Message From the Principal - End of Term 2.

posted 10 Jul 2017, 14:28 by trevor jones   [ updated 10 Jul 2017, 22:27 ]

Kia ora koutou,

 

 

Term two has come to a close and as usual is marked by yet another very successful school ball.  It was great to see so many people come to view the hall and to watch the students as they arrived for the ball.  A lot of work goes into every ball that we have at the school and this was no exception.  I would like to thank the Hokitika Lions for setting up the hall before our ball committee added all of the decorations and made all the final touches.  The ball committee along with Ms Cunningham did a fantastic job of organising the event.  Organising the ball was no mean feat but it is truly remarkable when you consider how much time most of those students put into other activities to support the school. I would also like to thank Ms Reeves and her team of students for organising the catering which was absolutely superb.  Finally, I would also like to thank Ms Hutt and Mr Straker for there enormous contribution as usual to ensure the success of the night.

 

Looking back this has been a successful term in many ways with a fantastic Variety Show, tremendous success on the sports field with our soccer, basketball, netball, rugby and special Olympics teams having some great victories.  Our students have also made some really positive contributions to the community with Kids’ Day and the discos at the Hokitika Primary School being two stand out events.  It has also been great to see the school council being active in the school and working with the school to challenge bullying and to build better relationships in the school.

 

We have lots to be proud of at Westland High and we should hold on to this dearly.  As well as all of the successes mentioned earlier we also have a lot to be proud of academically.  Our national standards results have generally shown positive trends over recent years so our year 7 & 8 students are doing better.  At NCEA our level 2 results have been very positive and our results have been better than the national results in recent years.  At level three the last three year’s results have been the highest and look like they will improve further this year.  Our biggest negative is getting students through level 1 at the end of year 11.  However, most of our students have both level 1 and level 2 before they leave the school.

 

Unfortunately, there is a lot of negative talk about the school at the moment and much of it is not supported by the evidence.  It is very easy to join a bandwagon and complain or criticise but we should make sure that we look at all of the evidence before making a decision.  If the school is going to get back onto its successful path then we really are going to need to pull together, support each other and start working together because that will be the best route to achieving success for our students.

 

Finally, school will re-open at the usual time on Monday 24th July.  The school will be closed for most of the holiday with only a few staff in during the school day.  However, if you have any queries or questions please feel free to contact me by email.

 

 

Nga mihi Nui,

                                                               

Trevor Jones.

May 3rd 2017

posted 2 May 2017, 21:28 by Nick Meissel   [ updated 2 May 2017, 22:22 ]

Address from the Principal

posted 11 Mar 2017, 17:32 by Vanessa Watson   [ updated 30 Apr 2017, 22:43 by Nick Meissel ]

Kia ora koutou,

 Not long ago there were a few comments in the social media about bullying at our school so now is a good time to raise this issue in the newsletter.

 Firstly, bullying takes place in all schools and Westland High School is no different.  We do not condone bullying at our school nor do we tolerate it outside of the school.  We always take allegations of bullying seriously and every incident of bullying is investigated and recorded.  We encourage all students who are bullied or who witness bullying to report it to a teacher or another adult.

 As a restorative school our goal is to find permanent and long lasting resolutions to bullying by getting all parties to understand each other better, to see each other's point of view and get on with each other in the future.  That is not always easy to achieve, can take a lot of time and sometimes we don't achieve that goal.  In which case, we need to provide other solutions and consequences.

 Restorative processes will often involve students and whanau from both sides and it is very important that we have the full support of the community to help us to minimise bullying at the school.  Just as we encourage students to report bullying as soon as possible after it has happened we need our parents, caregivers and whanau to do the same.  Delays in reporting bullying always make it harder to resolve.  Please do not keep bullying to yourselves.  If you do not report it you guarantee that it will not get resolved.  Please encourage you sons and daughters to report bullying whether they are the victim or a witness.

When witnesses report bullying to teachers we can often intervene before it reaches more serious stages.  Please, also remember that there are many forms of bullying and these include spreading rumours, ignoring or isolating people, calling people names, using power to make people feel bad, cyber bullying, physical assault, telling lies about people. The list is endless.

 Another important issue is about how students respond to bullying.  Violence or bullying back are never good responses to bullying and neither is taking sides.  It is very important that we encourage students whether they are being bullied or whether they are observers not get involved in ways that make it worse.  Encouraging people to fight, taking sides or ganging up will escalate matters and only makes things more difficult to resolve. It can also be helpful when people write about incidents on social media because they can distort the truth by making false allegations and inflame situations making them harder to resolve.  We can only make decisions in school that are based upon reliable and accurate evidence and sometimes this is much harder when comments have been made on social media.

 So, my message to everyone is to report bullying as soon as you can so that it can be resolved.  Do not take sides and do not escalate matters in any way.  We have worked hard at having staff visible whilst on break or lunchtime duties in key areas where bullying takes place and currently things are calmer. My expectation for teachers is to respond to all allegations of bullying.  That means dealing with it or passing it on.  Our teachers are passionate about our school and they are all very caring and will always do their best to find ways to resolve bullying situations.  However, with the best will in the world our attempts to resolve issues don't always work, in which case we try different strategies until we do find a solution. 

 We all want our school to be a safe place for everyone and we all have a role to play.  We need to encourage our students to treat everyone with respect, to be inclusive and how to deal with problems in ways that maintain everyone's mana.  Observing our two core values of manaakitanga and whanaungatanga ensure that this will happen.

 On a more positive note I have been approached by two groups of students who are interested in playing an active role to help reduce bullying at the school and we have already discussed some ideas about how we might achieve this.  Mr. Meissel is also interested in working with the community to help address bullying in the school and community and he has organized a meeting on Thursday next week.  If you are interested in being part of this group could you contact him by email. People who step up and commit to initiatives like this can have a huge impact in a school and I am excited by these kinds of proposals because of their potential to impact across the whole community in a sustainable way. 

Toki Pounamu

 We are currently experiencing some unforeseen issue with our chromebooks delivery which are beyond our control.  Please accept my sincere apologies for this.  we are doing everything that we can and we hope to have them at the end of next week.

 Congratulations

 Finally, congratulations to our students for some fantastic events recently.  Firstly, congratulations to Ms Bateup, all the staff and all of the students for making athletics day such an awesome event.  We had great weather, a fantastic turn out (students and parents) and a truly amazing event.  Well done everyone. 

 We have also had lots of other events where our students have behaved impeccably including the presentation on alcohol and the teenage brain by Nathan Makaire-Wallis, swimming sports and the ugly Shakespeare company. Our touch teams did well recently in their first tournament with the girls coming first and the boys coming second.  Well done to everyone.  We are all so proud of you.

 Head Girl and Head Boy

 We have recently had our election for Head Girl and Head Boy.  After a very close vote the results are as follows:

 Head girl                             Ellie Pearson                           Head boy                                 Mitchell Robinson

 Deputy head girl               Laura Jones                             Deputy head boy                  Rhys McAuliffe

 Thank you to everyone who put their name forward for this and well done to Ellie, Mitchell, Laura and Rhys.  This is a very important role for the school and I am sure you will all do admirably.  I look forward to working with you.

Nga mihi nui,

Trevor Jones.

 


Principal Term 1 Welcome

posted 11 Feb 2017, 16:42 by Vanessa Watson   [ updated 11 Feb 2017, 16:47 ]

Kia ora koutou,


2017 is already upon us and I would like to welcome everyone to our school.  Firstly, I would like to extend a special welcome to the students, whanau and teachers who are starting at the school for the first time.  Our school has a strong community and you will find everyone is willing to help newcomers to our school.  Of course, I also extend my warmest wishes to those people who are returning again.


We have had a very successful start to the year with two very busy but productive teacher only days, sorting out timetables and schedules and the first full days of teaching.  This year we had to have our pōwhiri outside because we no longer have a school hall.  It proved to be a great start to the year and there was lots of positive feedback about how nice the event was.  So thank you and well done to everyone involved, including our students who always behave with pride and dignity at such events.


During the holiday there has been a lot of work in the school related to the rebuild and we are also painting most of the school this year.  Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t been too kind this summer and that has slowed the painting down considerably.


I am very pleased to be able to say, “well done,” to our students for some very good NCEA results this year, with all of our year 13 students who wanted to go to university achieving their goal, with our highest number of level 3 excellences achieved by our students for at least five years and our level 2 results improved on previous years, however, our level 1 results are a cause for concern.   


In the junior school our year 8 students continued to improve their overall performance at national standards but our year seven students did not achieve as well as expected.  This may have been attributed to the disruption at the start of the year which will have been more critical for the year 7 students.  However, we will be keeping a close eye on the progress of our year junior students this year.


One of our goals this year will be to ensure that parents and whanau are better informed about the progress of our students and we will be issuing regular reports about attendance, attitude and achievement.  We believe that this will make whanau better able to support the students and identify if they are starting to struggle with their learning.


We have also created three academic and pastoral leaders who will be responsible for tracking and monitoring student progress:


Junior school (7&8): Miss Harrison

Middle School (9&10): Miss Bateup

Senior School (11-13): Miss Reeves.


This is an important role in the school’s drive to raise student achievement and each academic and pastoral leader will be tracking student achievement, attendance, behaviour and uniform to ensure that they are on task and committed to the school’s values.


We will be focusing on school uniform at the start of this year and we are asking for your support in this area please.  If students are not wearing the correct school uniform and are unresponsive to their whanau teacher’s requests, we will be contacting parents and caregivers.  Students wearing the correct uniform make a very positive statement about the school to the wider community.  We want all students to be proud to be part of the school community and wearing the correct uniform tells us that a student is committed to our rules, values and protocols.


If you want to find out about our school uniform please visit our website: (http://www.westlandhigh.school.nz/).  


School uniform has been pretty good on the whole so far except for a few individuals and students wearing incorrect shoes and socks.  I would be grateful if parents and caregivers could please check these items and ensure that students have the correct socks and plain black shoes as soon as possible.


Some of you will be aware that the school has recently joined Toki Pounamu and this will provide new learning opportunities for students in years 7 & 8 this year.  It does include the use of a chromebook but it is not purely about digital learning.  Some important points in relation to this:


  • Chromebooks should be arriving shortly

  • If you have not sorted out payments for your daughter’s / son’s chromebook please go to reception so that you can make the arrangements.

  • Remember an adult whanau member must attend the Kawa of care meeting before chromebooks can be taken home. This will be in the evening of Wednesday 22nd, February 2017.

  • This programme will be rolled out to different years in the future, so if you are thinking of getting a new device for your son or daughter it will be well worth considering buying one of the chromebooks from the school because it is a very good deal which includes low cost payments, a good insurance scheme, a protective case and support with the device through the school.  If you buy a chromebook separately you will lose those benefits.


Westland High School has an extensive co-curricular programme and a lot of highly successful teams and clubs.  If you are new to the school please take advantage of those opportunities and even students who have been here a while, why not try something new this year.


So, we have an exciting year ahead of us , full of exciting opportunities and I hope that you have a thoroughly successful year ahead of you.  If you have any questions, queries or concerns please do not hesitate to come and see us.  We want this to be a great year for every single student at the school.



Nga mihi nui,


Trevor Jones.

December 2016

posted 13 Jan 2017, 12:54 by Vanessa Watson

Kia ora koutou,

Academic year 2016 has finally drawn to a close.  So, first of all I would like to congratulate everyone on an incredibly successful year.  This year presented our community with some real challenges and we have shown strength, resilience and perseverance as we have risen above every single obstacle that we have met.

I would like to thank everyone in the community for the amazing support that they provided both when we were working off-site and when we were back in school.  Thank you, to all of our staff for the wonderful job that they have done in providing our students with the opportunity to succeed in their learning despite all of the difficulties.

Thank you to all of the coaches, managers and helpers who have run our teams, supported our performing arts events, supported trips and visits and helped to provide wealth of unique opportunities for our students. Thank you also to the BOT for helping us to navigate some pretty stormy waters this year, particularly at the start of the year after the fire.

Finally, well done to all of those students who have given their best and enabled our teams to succeed to such a high level and for making it such a pleasure to be a teacher at our school.  Let’s hope that we can make next year even more successful.

I would like to give best wishes to everyone who is leaving the school.  All of the students who will be moving on to another stage of their life journey.  This includes year 13 students heading for university or other colleges, as well as those moving to different parts of the country. I would also like to wish all of the teachers who are leaving every success in the future.

For those of us who remain we have a lot to look forward to.  We will be continuing our journey to rebuild the school as well as the development of the community and sports centre.  Our aim is to make sure that both projects become part of the same vision and that the community has a great opportunity to be involved in the process.  It is important, however, to remember that they are two separate projects and that our first priority has to be to ensure that we do an excellent job of replacing the damaged parts of the school building.

As I have said, at all of the large school functions towards the end of the year, we have had to be more relaxed about things this year because of the lack of resources and because of the stress and trauma that people have been through.

So, next year is a fresh start and we will certainly be raising the bar higher.  This time last year we had strong evidence of improved attendance and better behaviour by students and we were keen to build upon this.  Unfortunately, this was not possible.  Our focus on attendance in 2015 led to an increased attendance of more than 10%.

In 2017 we will return to the system of reporting attendance to parents at fortnightly intervals but we will develop this further to include information about attendance, attitude and achievement.  This will enable you as parents or carers to know about issues much earlier and therefore to be able to provide the support for our students to get back on track for success.  We will also be focusing more on uniform next year and if students are not in the correct uniform they can expect the school to be contacting whanau on a regular basis.  School uniform creates a positive image of the school and this leads to more opportunities from the community such as jobs in the future.  It makes sense to create a positive image of the school that provides a better future for our students.

We will also be signing up to the Toki Pounamu Cluster and this will bring exciting new pedagogical practices to our school. We will be taking big steps to build better learning focused relationships with students, whanau and the community.  The school will have been upgraded considerably when we return and most of it will have been repainted.  So we can continue to make our school better in every sense and create a school that we can be even more proud of in the future.

The arrangements for the start of term are in this newsletter.  However, can I draw special attention to whanau of students in year 7 next year to make sure that chromebooks are ordered through the school by the 27th January.  If you have any problems please contact the school.  Please note students in any year group can take advantage of the offer for chromebooks, so if you are interested just contact reception.

In conclusion, I would like to say well done for making 2016 such a successful year, thank you for all your support and I look forward to an even more successful year in 2017.  Have a great holiday, seasons greetings to you all and the very best wishes for the new year.  If we continue to work as a team and build stronger learning focused relationships we can guarantee an even more successful year.

Nga mihi nui,

Trevor Jones.


Term 2 Update

posted 2 May 2016, 02:40 by Julie Shawcross

Important notice to parents

Kia ora koutou,

I hope that you have had a good break and that you are ready for the next term. Some key work was carried out to restore our building over the holiday and I thought it would be useful to provide you with an update.

Heating

The majority of the work to reconnect the heating system was completed according to schedule. However, some leaks were found in unexpected areas and some of these have been difficult to fix. The current work should be completed by Tuesday unless further problems are encountered. We expect to have heaters working in the school on Wednesday. In the meantime students and staff are advised to wear warm clothing to the school if cold weather is expected.

School uniform is expected, but warm jackets can be worn over the uniform.

Internet

The Internet will be running across the whole school and there will be full access to staff and students. The Internet speed will unfortunately be quite a bit slower for a short while until the next stage of the repairs are carried out. We will have a timescale for the full upgrade later this week but we expect to be done fairly soon.

Bacterial and mould contamination in classrooms

After the previous samples taken from some classrooms we have carried out further tests in A and B wing and these have shown high levels of mould and bacteria, most likely caused by the water in the building after the fire. Some levels are very high. Fortunately, there are no class A (Harmful) moulds or bacteria that present a serious risk to health. The main concern is the existence of high levels of pseudomonas bacteria. These are commonly found outside in dirt and water. Most are harmless to humans. However, continuous exposure over a long period of time can result in allergic reactions and other side effects. The fact that there have not been any reported instances of allergic reactions or other effects in the school is a positive sign.

Whilst we are concerned about this situation it is actually far less of a problem than when students have infectious illnesses such as the various forms of flu.

In the first instance we will minimise use of the contaminated rooms as much as possible and ensure that everything is done to improve hygiene standards by having anti-bacterial hand wash in classrooms and not eating in the rooms etc.

We are by no means complacent about the situation and are seeking further advice on the situation. Current options being considered include a disinfectant regime, immediate removal and replacement of all carpets and getting some mobile classrooms onto the site so that we can close down A and B wing as soon as possible to undertake the best course of remedial action.

We would ask parents and caregivers to remain alert and inform the school if their son or daughter is experiencing any allergic reactions and also to seek medical advice if they have any concerns.

Meeting with Parents and Caregivers

There will be a meeting at 6:00 pm on Monday 2nd May to discuss any concerns with parents or caregivers who wish to attend. This will be in room 11.

The important thing is to remain calm, maintain healthy hygiene practices and to contact the school if you have any worries or concerns. I fully understand that this is a difficult and emotional subject but we are doing everything that we can to ensure no further disruption to the education of our students whilst ensuring their health, safety and wellbeing.

Once again I would like to thank staff, students and whanau for their cooperation and support during these difficult and challenging times.

Nga mihi nui,
Trevor Jones
 


Information about Pseudomonas

Pseudomonas are gram-negative bacteria. They are found widely in soil and water. Some species are very common on human skin surfaces. They favour moist areas. Only a few of the many species cause disease or infection. The most common species that causes infection is called Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Healthy people are usually not at risk of infection. People who already have a weakened immune system because of another illness or condition are at a higher risk of infection. This is especially true for patients who are hospitalized for an extended period of time. The bacteria can be spread in hospitals via the hands of healthcare workers or by hospital equipment that is not properly cleaned.

Pseudomonas infections are considered opportunistic infections. This means that the organism only causes disease when a person’s immune system is already impaired.

Very mild illnesses like skin rashes and ear infections have been reported in healthy individuals but they are not common.

April 19, 2016

posted 21 Apr 2016, 00:32 by Julie Shawcross

Kia ora koutou,

Holiday Arrangements

Please note the school is closed from 18th April and reopens on Monday 2nd May.  I would like to thank everyone for your support and commitment through a really challenging first term.  The repairs are continuing for the school and by next term we should have internet for all staff and students and also the heating should be repaired too.

The staff and students have shown remarkable resilience and flexibility and it is a credit to them all that we have managed to complete this year so successfully.  Next term we will be back to normality and will once again be reporting on attendance and will also expect students to wear correct school uniform.  We ask for your support in this and also to encourage students to ask for support and help with their courses if it is needed.

Board of Trustee Triennial Elections, 2016

It is a very exciting time for Westland High School and there couldn’t be a better time for members of the community to get involved with the school on our board of trustees.  This year Westland High School will have elections for its board of trustees (2016 Triennial Trustee Elections). This year Westland High School will have its election on the common election date of Friday, June 3rd.  

The returning officer for the school is Casi Agnew who can be contacted through the school office if necessary.

Trustees play a very important strategic role in a school and it is important that the BOT contains a range of people from different backgrounds with a wide range of skills and experience.  You can find out more about being a trustee here (www.trustee-election.co.nz), including a short, simple to understand video.  There is also further information about being a trustee attached to this newsletter including a copy of the leaflet sent home with all students.

Prior to the election process it is important that we have accurate contact details for all parents and caregivers so that you all have an opportunity to vote for the candidates of your choice.  An electoral roll for our elections will be available in school and you should check that your name is on this list.  If you know that your contact details have changed or just want to check them, please provide the correct information to the school administrative team by phoning, visiting or emailing (when school reopens from May 2).

If your details are not correct, you may not get papers for nominations of trustees or your voting papers. (A parent representative must be nominated by a parent of a student at the school.  They do not need to be a parent.) A parent can nominate themselves they do not need another person to nominate them.

(The following paragraph was updated on April 21st to provide clarification of parental voting rights for the BOT elections)

Each person entitled to vote can only vote once:

  • A teacher at the school who is also the parent of a student at the school can either vote as a teacher or a parent.

  • A parent who has two children at the school only votes once.  They cannot vote twice (once for each of their children at the school).

  • When you vote you will be able to choose up to five candidates in the parent representative elections because their are five parent representatives on the WHS BOT

We will be calling for nominees for the election shortly and you will be contacted about this by Casi Agnew, the school returning officer.  Our school has five parent representatives on the board of trustees.

and finally…  Have a great break and we look forward to seeing the students at the normal starting time on Monday 2nd May.

Nga mihi nui,

Trevor Jones, Principal

March 28, 2016

posted 27 Mar 2016, 23:05 by Julie Shawcross

Happy Easter to everyone.

The Easter break couldn’t have come sooner for many of us.  This term has been quite tiring for staff and students as we continue to manage a very big change to our lives.  It has been really nice since our return to the school building, to see all of the students training for various sports. The school has been buzzing with activity and our students have already achieved really well on the field with our senior rugby sevens boys winning the West Coast tournament and some outstanding performances in the athletics including a record breaking 100m run by Sientje in year ten, beating a Canterbury record that has stood since 1997.

Open meeting to start planning for the new buildings (5:30 pm Thursday 31st March)

Now that we are back in the school building our focus has to change to the future and what will our new building look like.  There are lots of questions to answer:

  • Do we replace like with like ?
  • Do we build on the same spot or in a different position?
  • How do we integrate this build with our plans for modern learning spaces and the long-term plans for the community and sports centre?
  • How do we ensure that the new build enables us to support our vision and values for Westland High School?
  • Which things are really important for the rebuild?
  • What do we want and what do we not want?
  • How do we involve the community?

There are lots more questions and we want to start with the whole community, everyone connected to Westland High School and beyond. 

To start the process we are inviting everyone in the community to visit the school next Thursday (31st March) any time between 5:30 pm and 7:00 pm.  You will have an opportunity to look around the school and also to help shape our plans for the future by sharing some of your thoughts and ideas about what the future of our school should be and how it can best meet our cultural heritage, values and aspirations for the future.

Board of Trustee Triennial Elections, 2016.

It is a very exciting time for Westland High School and there couldn’t be a better time for members of the community to get involved with the school on our board of trustees.  This year Westland High School will have elections for its board of trustees (2016 Triennial Trustee Elections). The suggested common election date is Friday, June 3rd

However, our first task is to appoint a returning officer.  A returning officer should be someone who has an eye for detail, ability to follow instructions, has good communication and can work effectively under time constraints.

If you are interested in becoming the school returning officer please contact the school office and leave your contact details.  You can find out more information about being a returning officer here.

Trustees play a very important strategic role in a school and it is important that the BOT contains a range of people from different backgrounds with a wide range of skills and experience.  You can find out more about being a trustee here, including a short, simple to understand video.

In the next few weeks some of our current trustees will write articles in our newsletter about being a trustee so that you get a flavour of what it is like to be a trustee.  It can be a challenging role but it is an extremely important and rewarding role. I hope that you are interested in becoming a school trustee and look forward to receiving your application once the official process has begun.

Prior to the election process it is important that we have accurate contact details for all parents and caregivers so that you all have an opportunity to vote for the candidates of your choice.  Please contact the school office as soon as possible when any of your contact details change.

and finally…

Finally, it is often said all over the world that young people are disinterested in the democratic process, so it was very pleasing when Nicole in year 13 asked me if we could organise our own school referendum.  Nicole organised this for the school with the support of her whanau and we had an 85% turnout (mainly because trades students were not in school) and of those who voted 64.6% were in favour of the current flag.

March 20, 2016

posted 19 Mar 2016, 23:50 by Julie Shawcross   [ updated 19 Mar 2016, 23:51 ]

Good to be back home!

It has been good to be back in our own school building again and although it is strange to see some parts missing it still feels like we are back home.  Well done to our students who have responded so positively to the changes and have settled in very calmly and sensibly.  Thank you too, to all of the staff who have shown real resilience and flexibility during this latest period of change.  It’s also been great to see students practicing at various sports after school and there is definitely a busy feel about Westland High again.

Phase I, making the school habitable, is now completed.  Phase II is making what’s left of the school as efficient as possible and there are still lots of things to sort out in this phase.  Not least the heating, internet access for students, electricity in every part of the school and our telephone system.  (The school can still be contacted on 03 755 6169 but we only have one line available at the moment.)  Hopefully, these will be sorted as quickly as possible.  If you have problems contacting the school by phone, please use email or send a note with your son/daughter.  You are also welcome to just drop in to our new reception area (the school library) and you will be seen to.

It will take time for everyone to settle down into a full routine and it will continue to be stressful for our seniors and their teachers.  If students are worried about their progress or any other aspect of their work, I can’t stress how important it is to discuss their concerns with their teachers.  I will be looking into ways for us to provide extra support for our students and welcome any ideas or suggestions from staff, students or parents.  We will also review the school calendar shortly because this has been seriously disrupted because of the long period where we have been off-site.  We will, of course keep you fully informed.

We are also planning to have an open evening for the community in about two weeks time to give people a chance to see how the school looks from the inside and also an opportunity to contribute to the first discussions about the future plans for the school.

Finally, I have a few reminders of forthcoming events.

Earth Hour 2016 (Saturday 19th March 2016.)

Unfortunately, you may get this too late because it fell off my radar.  This is an international event and it would have been nice if we could have inspired the community to do something together in recognition of Earth Hour.  One thing that you could still do is to switch off as many of your electrical appliances as possible between 8:30 and 9:30 one evening this week.  Here is a link for Earth Hour 2016: https://www.earthhour.org/  If you are interested in doing something next year please contact me with your idea.

UN International Day of Happiness  (Sunday 20th March 2016.)

This is always on 20th March and is an opportunity to just be happy and share your happiness with others.  We have a lot to be grateful for in Hokitika and at Westland High School.  Here is a link to the UN International Day of Happiness: http://www.un.org/en/events/happinessday/

Westland High School Benefit Concert (Monday 21st March 2016.)

This has been organised by the Regent Theatre in conjunction with the performers and supported by Postie Plus.  It would be great to see as many of you there as possible for what looks to be a great night.  A huge thank you to all of the people involved. (http://www.hokitikaregent.com/page-events.php)

I know I keep saying this but it has been absolutely amazing how everyone in the community has rallied around to help us overcome this challenge and it really reminds you of what is special about our cool little town.

Nga mihi nui,

Trevor Jones

March 10, 2016

posted 9 Mar 2016, 22:59 by Julie Shawcross   [ updated 9 Mar 2016, 23:14 ]

School Reopening

I am very pleased to announce that we are now in a position to inform you that the school will be opening next week. The exact day is subject to a council inspection. If everything goes to plan the arrangements will be as follows: 

Tomorrow (Friday 11th March)

The teaching will continue in the offsite venues as planned.

Next week (week beginning 14th March)

Monday (Whole School):

  • 09:00 am There will be an assembly at the Regent Theatre for the whole school.
  • 10:00 am There will be a theatre performance by the Ugly Shakespeare group until 11:00 am – 11:30 am

Monday (Years 7 & 8 including JTeReo class)

  • All year 7&8 students will attend for assembly and the Ugly Shakespeare Group activity.
  • After these activities year 7&8 students will return to their normal offsite venues (Hokitika Primary School or St Mary’s School).
  • Lessons will finish at 2:45 pm.

Monday (Middle School and Senior Students)

  • All middle school and senior students will attend for assembly and the Ugly Shakespeare Group activity.
  • After these activities senior and middle school students will be allowed home to do private study unless they are involved in the performing arts workshop.
  • Students who cannot get home or stay with friends will be supervised at an offsite venue (most likely West’s)

Monday (Students from Te Whare Atawhai)

  • Students from Te Whare Atawhai will attend for assembly and the Ugly Shakespeare Group activity.
  • After these activities students from Te Whare Atawhai will return to their normal offsite venue (The Scout Den) or Te Whare Atawhai if circumstances allow.
  • Lessons will finish as previously arranged.

Tuesday (All students):

  • Teacher only day. School will be closed for all students.

Wednesday (All students):

  • School opens at the normal time. Students expected to wear school uniform.
  • Period 1 will be a whanau class. Period 2 onwards – normal lessons.

Other Issues:

  • General: The school will have been made safe but there will still be repairs going on while students are onsite, for example telephone systems, internet access and tidying up of the site.
  • School Reception: The school reception and administration will be based in the library. Students will have access to the library for books but it will not be used as a learning room. The entrance to the library will initially be through the back door.
  • Communication: The school can be contacted using the normal telephone number and all usual email addresses will be in use.
  • Asbestos: Asbestos tests have been run during the demolition and removal and all results have been negligible in comparison to national minimal standards with all but two readings being zero.
  • Construction zones: Some areas will be off limits to all staff, students and public. These will be clearly signposted and securely fenced off.
  • Visitors to the school: All visitors to the school will have to sign in at reception and will be given health and safety guidance which they must comply with.
  • School uniform: All students will be expected to wear their full school uniform. (Some students will have their uniform delivered to them in the next couple of days.)
  • Information: Please keep checking the school website and Facebook page for further updates.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff at the school for their amazing efforts to keep the school functioning under very challenging circumstances, the parents and caregivers for their patience and understanding, the wider community for their fantastic support and for our students for responding so magnificently and showing real resilience when faced with significant challenges and change.

I look forward to working with the community to create our vision of what the Westland High School should be as we start the rebuild.

Nga mihi nui,

Trevor Jones

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