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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

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