Tena Koutou Katoa - Haere mai Nau mai haere mai

Greetings and welcome to our new school year.

To all returning families it is great to see you and your children back at St Mary’s in 2019.  To those new to our community you and your children are now on a journey with us and I therefore give my absolute best wishes and commitment to ensuring your time at St Mary’s is beneficial and prosperous for you and your children.  To ensure this happens I encourage you to be active within our community, support where able and get involved in as many of our community and school based activities as possible or able.  

I have been impressed with the start our teachers and students have made to our new school year.  It is great to see the enthusiasm of teachers transpire into engagement of learning within the classroom environment.  Please keep in touch with your child’s teacher with any questions and please connect with your children regularly in regard to the learning experiences they are benefitting from.

Ra Whanau Mai
Starting the year coming together, meeting your child’s teacher, being able to talk about strengths and ambitions of and for your child has helped make for the positive start we have all experienced.  The objectives of the day were to give your child the best possible start as a learner and to provide opportunity to come together as a community.  The weather definitely played its part meaning the pool was well utilised; Mr Veitch, Mrs Harris and I dished up about 300 sausages and the coffee cart had plenty of customers.  It definitely made for a calm start to our formal instruction on Tuesday, especially for new students who had already met their teacher and knew where their classroom was.  

As always we are interested to see know if we met the above objectives in our communities eyes so invite you to provide comments through this link https://goo.gl/forms/pV0IILt0p1b5DPJ22.  

Also check out pictures from the day on our FB page.

Summer Weather
As I communicated early heat is a factor in Tauranga this time of year and will therefore implement the following during February.

Children who have one can wear their physical education uniform. This is black shorts and the green St Mary’s PE T Shirt. Both items are available from NZ Uniforms.  

Year 1 students (rooms 1-5) unfortunately occupy older classrooms that are not well equipped when it comes to ventilation. Those year 1 parents who may be concerned that the afternoons will get to hot for their children are welcome to collect them at lunch time on extremely hot days. This will be an individual parent decision with those children remaining cared for within their classrooms.

Sunblock, all classrooms are equipped with sun block and children are encouraged to self manage the application of this. If your child is more susceptible to the effects of the sun please ensure you apply sunscreen before you drop them to school.

Hydration, most important and can be easily achieved with access to a water bottle during the day.

School Buses
I am as aware as many are of some of the teething problems currently being experienced as a result of our recent change of bus routes and city provider.  I take child safety seriously and so have offered to work with Bay of Plenty Regional Council Transport Operations Officer to ensure current issues are resolved and the efficient service we all hope for is gained in the near future.  Please if you have any issues with the bus service, especially if student safety is compromised, get in contact with either myself or Theresa in our office.

Communication
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 below.

St Mary’s Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/stmarystga/

St Mary’s Website

www.stmarystga.school.nz

School App
Download our app for free on iPhone or Android.  Search ‘St Mary’s Catholic School’ in the app store or use this link http://is.gd/8stOcd.  The app is used to send reminder alerts, it has the complete school calendar, notices, the school newsletter and all staff email addresses. You can also use it to text in school absentee messages.

Nga mihi nui

Ben Fuller

Principal