Thursday, 20 November 2014

1. Principal News - Week 6, Term 4

Engagement in Learning, Surveys and Strategic Planning wall
So far we have received 40/150 possible responses to our online and hard copy surveys. Thank you to those of you who have responded. We encourage the rest of you to take this opportunity to have your say about our learning, uniform, technology, communication and anything else you are passionate about. We will be making decisions based on your feedback so please take this opportunity to contribute.
Please pick up a hard copy of the survey from the office or go to the link emailed to you. I can also send the link directly to you if you can't access it through your own email system.

I have also set up a new display outside the office. This will keep you up to date with future progress and decisions that we make. I have put up a map showing where classrooms will be based for 2015. We are making a few changes to accommodate our roll growth and our teaching and learning plans. 
There is also a chance to look at how we action our goal: To engage every student in deep learning for success. We will be looking at Why? How? and What? as part of our vision for learning and why we are doing what we are doing at St Joseph's.

Multicultural day
We are looking forward to celebrating our many school cultures during a special day of activities on Monday. Children are to dress in their own cultural costume or can choose another culture and reflect this in their clothing. Thanks to Mrs Plieger for coordinating this special day for us.

Classes for 2015
Next week we will share classes and plans for 2015. We are pleased to say that all of our existing full time teaching staff apart from Miss Jackson (moving to teach at Holy Family school in Melbourne) will be staying with us for next year. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated, passionate and enthusiastic team of teachers and leaders here at St Joseph's.

It is important to return your raffles cards even if they are unsold. We still have 55 cards that need to be returned by tomorrow. Thanks again for your support with the cake stall and to all of the helpers who made this such a success.

Year 7 Camp

Special thanks to Mrs Frances-Rees and the team of dedicated parents and helpers who organised and supported the Year 7 camp this week. I visited on Monday and Tuesday nights and especially enjoyed listening to the talented performances by our Year 7's and Mrs Frances- Rees during the family entertainment evening. You can view more photos of the camp activities on our blog and school Facebook page.

Junior Sports Celebrations
Thanks to Mrs Souness and the junior team for organising a fun sporting session for our juniors on Tuesday morning. You can see some photos of the juniors and Fr Wayne in action on our blog and Facebook page.

Decile rating and WiFi networks
Some of you will have read about the decile rating changes across the country. We are decile 6 and this has remain unchanged. The Ministry have provided some information about this and about WiFi safety in schools and at home.

Background information about decile-linked operational funding

Three components of schools’ operational grants depend on decile ratings: targeted funding for educational disadvantage, the special education grant, and the careers information grant.
The goal of decile-linked operational grant funding is to provide additional resources to enable schools to overcome the barriers to learning facing students from socio-economically disadvantaged communities. The money is provided in cash and Boards determine how it is spent.
A school’s decile rating is based on the socio-economic status of the communities where the school’s students live. There are five indicators of socio-economic status for a community:
  • Percentage of households with income in the lowest 20 per cent nationally
  • Percentage of parents in lowest occupational groups
  • Household crowding
  • Percentage of parents with no educational qualifications
  • Percentage of parents receiving income support benefits

These are equally weighted in the calculations.


WiFi networks

WiFi (or wireless networking) is a way to connect a computer or other device to a network. It uses low-power radio signals instead of cables.
WiFi can be used for networking in the home, school or office. It can also be used for mobile internet access. You can connect through ‘wireless hot spots’ in cities, at airports and in other places.

Safety of WiFi signals

WiFi signals won’t harm your health.
Measurements in New Zealand and overseas show that exposures are tiny fractions of the public exposure limit. This limit is set out in the radiofrequency field exposure standard. The highest exposures found in two New Zealand schools were 4000 times below the limit, and generally exposures were more than 10,000 times below the limit. 
Exposures are low for three main reasons.
  1. The transmitter (or router) is low power.
  2. The signal strength quickly gets weaker as you move away from the router.
  3. A signal is only transmitted when data is being transferred (except for brief ‘beacon signals’).

If you want to reduce your exposure

You can take these simple steps to reduce your WiFi exposure.
  • Place your wireless router up on a high shelf or away from where people might sit and work.
  • When working with a WiFi-enabled laptop or tablet computer, place it on a table rather than directly on your lap.
But there’s no evidence that you need to take any precautions.

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