Kia ora Koutou Katoa
Greetings to you all, happy new year and welcome to the start of the 2017 academic year at St Mary’s Catholic School. Special greetings and welcome to all those new to our school community. I look forward to sharing in the success of your children as they progress through the coming year. I also look forward to interacting with you as members of our community.
We started our school year with 423 students which is a record starting roll for St Mary’s. Among those are 46 new enrolments who I am sure will make the most of the many opportunities within our school community.
There are many events within, and involving our community coming up, including a full school parent meeting at 5.15pm on Thursday 9 February, our new children and new families liturgy in week 3 and our Ash Wednesday liturgy on 1 March. Please check our website and / or other sources of communication for these and many more events, which we welcome you all to.
New Teachers to St Mary’s
We welcome two new teachers to our St Mary’s community. Mrs Lisa Walter will be teaching in Room 4 and Miss Amber Simonsen will be teaching in Room 13. Both Lisa and Amber are new to their respective careers in teaching and we are extremely excited to be in a position to witness their growth and development. I am sure you will join me in welcoming them to our school.
Parent Meeting 5.15pm Thursday
New Zealand and global education is a rapidly changing landscape. However, in negotiating this landscape at a local level it is important that schools continue to explain and evaluate the merits of proposed change. This year we hope to provide a number of opportunities to involve parents in this process. The first being a focus on collaborative practices across our school and within our Aroha team.
As you may well have noticed, work has started on the construction of our new classroom block. This project is being managed by Aspect Construction. To date initial excavation work has occurred with more progress to follow. There are of course many health and safety considerations that accompany construction work on a school site. As the build progresses and these become more relevant I will ensure both students and parents are informed of all pertinent and related safety information
We have now completed our transition to our new school uniform, meaning all students should be in the correct uniform as outlined on our website. Seeing the full school last week in uniforms that were sparkling was extremely impressive so my thanks and compliments to all parents who ensured their children were well prepared for school.
As it is summer all students must also have a school hat that needs to be worn when outdoors. Please ensure this is named and stays at school. It is also recommended that you apply sunscreen to your child each morning if required as further protection. We do have sunscreen available in classes should students require it.
If your child is absent from school please notify the school office by phone or text before 9.00am on the morning of the absence. The school absentee mobile number is: 021 2969437.
When a child returns to school after an absence please give a written explanation to his/her classroom teacher.
Arriving late to school
If your child has an appointment and is going to be late to school then a call or text to the office is much appreciated. When you arrive to school you must come through the school office and sign your child in.
Signing in and out - Heath and Safety
If, for whatever reason you are going to be on the school grounds, then please come through the school office to sign in and out. If you are taking your child out of school early then please, also come through the school office to sign out.
Monday to Friday: 8.50am – 2.55pm
Morning tea: 10.35am – 11.00am
Lunch: 12.30pm – 1.20pm
As a general rule, pupils should not be at school before 8.15am or after 3.30pm. Please ensure that your child is at school on time for the start of the school day. This gives the opportunity for a well prepared and settled beginning to classes.
The safety or our students is paramount. We therefore request that all parents take due care and diligence in respect to driving and parking around our school. The best place during summer months to drop off and collect children is our Harvey Street boundary. If this is not possible please remember that no child should be left to cross roads by themselves after being dropped at school.
Nga Mihi Nui Kia Koutou
Greetings to our amazing St Mary’s community. It is great to see that we are well into spring with summer not too far away. This of course signals a change in sporting codes and it is great to see so many children taking advantage of the amazing opportunities St Mary’s has to offer. Please join me in thanking our new Sports Coordinator Steve Finlayson for the remarkable job he is doing.
New season also signals a change of uniform. From the beginning of next week all children need to be in the summer variation of our uniform. The main change being foot wear (black roman sandals). It is of course, essential that all children have a sun hat from Tuesday.
Sun block will be available in classes but I would suggest applying sunblock to your child in the morning before school as an additional precaution. As I am sure you do as parents we encourage children to manage themselves when it comes to sunscreen. Our teachers will always give reminders but are unable to apply sun block to their entire class.
We will be reviewing our sun smart policy this term. Look out for details so that you can contribute.
Year 5 and 6 Camp
I thouroughly enjoyed my opportunity to visit our Year 5 and 6 campers in week one of this term. Totora Springs is an amazing facility filled with many challenges and opportunities for kids to make the most of. Thank you to Aroha teachers for their organisation and leadership of such a successful EOTC activity and to the many parents who gave up time from work and family to support the team.
You may have noticed an increased presence from both Tauranga City Council and our local Police before and after school. I have been working with both Angela Joyce of TCC and Emma Buxton of the New Zealand Police to refine traffic management proceedures around our school. However, the onus sits with parents to ensure they are taking the utmost care when driving around our school. It has been extremely disturbing to see parents dropping children on the oppostie side of 13th Avenue and expecting them to cross the street unsupervised. This is an extremely dangerous practise and one that should be avoided at all times.
Please ensure you have plenty of time to park your vehicle appropriately and accompany your child to our school gate.
St Mary’s Pasifika Group
On behalf of our school community I would like to wish the students and parents of our Pasifika group all the best for their upcoming performance at the Bay of Plenty Schools Pasifika Festival being held at Te Aku Ki Papamoa next Wednesday. Congratulations to all involved for the work you have done leading up to this festival.
No Fireworks Gala in 2016
As previously communicated we are not holding our Fireworks Gala this year. The reasons, as explained at an earlier date, relate to a variety of factors including work required around meeting new health and safety requirements. It is my understanding that our PTA hope to do more work in regard to this and stage our Fireworks Gala once again in 2017.
Tauranga Moana Ra Whakangahau Kapa Haka Festival 2016
A reminder to all who have children turning 5 next year or know of families whose intention it is to attend St Mary’s at any time during 2017 please ensure enrollment procedures are started as soon as possible.
End of Year change of date
Our last day of school will now be Thursday 15 December, with our End of Year School Prizegiving being held on Wednesday 14 December.
New Families to St Mary’s
In closing I would like to personally welcome the following students to St Mary’s since my last newsletter;
Alexis Cardey, Leah Cunningham, Evie Dumbleton, Coco Jacobs, Aaniya Jithu, Connor Kenny, Rex Lu, Elliot Olsen, Johann Shijo, Bethany Stowers, Palmy Townsend, Lola Verran, Zara Willers.
I look forward to welcoming you officially at our New Families liturgy next week.
Nga Mihi Nui Kia Koutou