Thursday, 16 May 2019

1. Principal's News Week 3 Term 2 2019

Board Elections
All parents will have received nomination forms.  You can nominate yourself.  Board meetings are twice a term and take about two hours.  You have about an hour's reading to do beforehand so you can come informed and ready for discussion.  Most Board members are also in a subcommittee which could meet for 30 minutes twice a year.

It is a vital role in our school's leadership and we welcome nominations from people who want to work for the greater good of all the children in St Joseph's school.

Dominican Choir
The Dominican Choir will have the first airing in assembly tomorrow of the songs they have been preparing for the North Otago Music Festival.  Can they please wear their ties.

Intermediate Leadership
Hats off to our intermediate students who are providing leadership throughout our school through initiatives like chess club, planning and leading our assemblies, organising school council, Young Vinnies' community service, teaching and learning music, running library sessions, organising mufti days, leading the Enviroschool group, promoting positive behaviours and code club.    

Our intermediate students learn how to make a difference in the world in real contexts.  The various leadership, community and service initiatives they participate in throughout our school and in our community give them real opportunities to grow into the collaborative team players, critical and creative thinkers which we need for our world's future.  Some photos from code club yesterday:

Alexi, Benjamin and Tama are running Code Club
Fun Learning in the Juniors
Learning Kung Fu in Mandarin Class 

Doing the Exodus walk across Glen Warren Reserve
Great Parents
Thank you to the Home and School for supervision of pies and milo on a Wednesday.

Filipino Class
We are grateful to Marisol Rollan for her continuing leadership of our Filipino class.  We have been running an after school Filipino class for 5-6 years at St Joseph's.  This gives our Filipino students the chance to learn about their culture and practice their language.

We greatly appreciate the community support that we have already received following the decision by teachers and principals to strike on Wednesday 29 May.
The decision to take further strike action was not taken lightly by any of us. For the first time, both primary and secondary teachers are striking together because the crisis in education hits us all very hard and we need the Government to understand how serious it is.
Schools are grappling with the fallout of a 40% nosedive in the number of people training to be teachers between 2010 and 2016, even while the population grew by 400,000.  While the situation improved a little last year and the Government has announced an urgent $95m package to recruit teachers, this is not sufficient to address the crisis.  Schools struggle daily to find enough teachers to meet their relief teacher needs and this will worsen as winter approaches. There is also a desperate need for more support for children with additional learning needs.  
The fact is that teaching is no longer considered an attractive profession due to long-term under-funding of the education sector. A significant pay jolt is part of the solution, alongside significant improvements to our heavy workloads. Otherwise our schools will end up with larger class sizes and more teachers leaving.
On Wednesday 29 May we hope you will join us at our local public event, likely to be from midday. We would love to see you and your children standing with us – together we are a community and we can make a difference. We will advise you of further details when they are confirmed.

Our teachers and students have undertaken an environmental audit of the school.  That includes what is good in our grounds and what can be improved.  We are also asking parents to participate and we really value your opinions.  Please see the note in the news section from Mrs McRae.

God bless and Aroha,

Lorraine Frances-Rees

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