Tena Koutou Katoa - Haere mai Nau mai haere mai
We are continuing through a busy and dynamic term at St Mary’s, with some exciting learning and events continuing to bring reward to students, teachers and parents alike.  Last week was again filled with examples such as these, which made our school such a contrast to the terror, devastation and loss experienced by some of our fellow New Zealanders last Friday afternoon.  I am sure like all, we are shocked, angry and deeply saddened to think such an event could happen in our country.  As a school we gathered on Monday morning in prayer to remember those affected by this tragic event.  The key message was one of love and peace, remembering that this is the message from within our Gospels.
Outdoor Adventure Day
My thanks goes to the PTA and the leadership of Mel Gash for another great day of fun in the form of our Outdoor Adventure Day.  This day is not just about kids, even some of the adults had a fun lap of a creatively designed course.  It is a day of community.  This starts with our connection to our houses through the colourful and creative demonstration of house pride, and continues with the many activities that bring us together on this day.  It is a great part of our Term One calendar and one that I again thank the PTA for.
Early drop offs and Late Pick ups
Lately we have been having to assist a number of children whose parents are often late to pick them up from school.  This is both distressing for children and for staff who are placed in the position of having to ascertain after school arrangements.  The first point I would like to make is that school concludes at 2.55pm and if you intend picking your child up after school, this is the time that parents should be here to do so.  Secondly, it is not safe to suggest that children play in the playground until parents arrive.  Our playgrounds are busy with parents and children immediately after school, meaning those children in need of supervision are hard to identify. 
Should you be running late or have misjudged traffic on the odd occasion, please contact the school so that we can instruct children to wait in the office for you to arrive.  However, if your circumstances mean you are unable to pick up your child at 3pm on a regular basis, we have an after school care service that provides a safe environment for children after school.  Enquire at the school office should you need to access this service.
Board of Trustee Elections 2019
This is a further notification that 2019 is an election year for Board of Trustee parent representatives.  In the coming weeks, information will start to be circulated in regard to becoming a parent trustee and the election process.  I have been lucky as Principal to work with some great parent trustees who have had the genuine best interests of our school community at heart.  I therefore encourage anyone who would like to know more, or is currently interested in standing as a parent representative on our Board of Trustees to look out for upcoming information.
Traffic Safety
The safety of 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.
On another note, our bus bay is a no parking zone from 8am - 9am and 3pm - 3.30pm.  We have been advised by our bus drivers that this is a current concern.
St Mary’s Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/stmarystga/)
We still do the majority of our communication through email and will continue to do so, but will also ensure the same communication is given through our FB Page.  I am aware that the majority of our community is among our 500 followers but for new parents or those still new to the social media game the link is above.
Nga mihi nui
Ben Fuller
Principal