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17 February, 2023 Newsletter

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Dear Whanau
Kia Ora Tatou

Sorry for the delay in receiving this newsletter. This week, please expect it on Friday. 

During last week I visited some classes and I am pleased to report that students are engaged with their learning and there is a very positive atmosphere about the school. Our new Year Nine students are settling well to the school and the change of learning environment. Next week I look forward to seeing so many of our students taking to the athletics field, competing, striving for personal excellence and earning points towards the inter-house competition.

Miss Ann Wheater
Many students will be very familiar with ‘Miss Ann’, as she was known to many and will be saddened to hear that she passed away after a short battle with cancer last Sunday evening. Miss Ann was a long serving relief teacher who always had a ready smile and cared for students. Students will remember her as a kind and gentle teacher who endeavoured to support them with their learning.

Miss Ann will be greatly missed by the school and her family. We offer our condolences to her husband, Mel and her family.

Teachers industrial action
As you may be aware the teachers union, the PPTA, have been working to negotiate the pay claim for teachers. Since the start of the year this has involved industrial action with a ban on the use of none contact, preparation time, to cover for absent colleagues. The school has been notified that on Thursday 16 March there will be strike action.  Currently we are anticipating that the school will be closed for instruction. I anticipate that in the next couple of weeks I will be able to confirm the arrangements for strike day. A letter will be sent home to all parents as soon as arrangements are finalised.

With students signing up for sports teams in the last couple of weeks and many more about to start it is timely to remind whanau and students of our expectations for students to represent South Otago High School in sport or cultural events. Attendance at school and engagement in learning is important. Time away from learning does need to be carefully managed and students must accept that they will need to use their own time to catch up on missed work. As a school we expect all students who wish to represent the school in sport or cultural activities or to attend social events, like the SNOB, to have a minimum attendance of 80%. This is still 10% below the standard expected for regular attendance. 

80% attendance is still an average of attending 4 days of school each week. 

School Athletics Sports
Next Wednesday the school will be hosting the annual athletics sports, weather permitting. If we do have to postpone this will communicated as soon as possible to whanau. We welcome whanau to attend the event as spectators and hope that you will be able to join us for some of the day. 

Please do ensure that your child does attend for the day. We ask all students to participate in the event. For those that are not able to compete we do need students to assist with marshalling, measuring, time keeping and recording results. Participation, in what ever form, does contribute towards the award of the graduate certificate at the end of the year.

Touch Nationals Tournament
Late last week a number of students from South Otago High School attended the Nationals competition in Dunedin representing the Otago region. Many of the games were recorded and are available online. 

The students who participated are:

Under 16 girls Otago team: 1st place - Sydney Marshall
Under 16 boys Otago team: 5th place - Blake Hyslop, Harlin Puna
Under 18 girls Otago team: 5th place - Aimee Johnson
Under 18 boys Otago team: 4th place - Reece Apiti

Congratulations to all of the students in being selected to play and in particular to Sydney Marshall and her team in the great success in the competition.

Wanaka Challenge Schools Triathlon
A group of students travelled to Wanaka for the school event on Thursday and had a great day. The weather was very hot and the students did extremely well and a full report appears in this newsletter. Congratulations to all who took part and thanks to Mr Palmer and Mrs Hannah who supported the students for this event.

This last week we have noticed some items of incorrect uniform starting to appear. Please do refer to the uniform expectations which have been shared previously. Last year the Board consulted on the uniform and several changes were made in response to student and community wishes. Therefore we expect that all students will follow the expectations and whanau will support. Of particular note is the appearance of soft, sneaker style shoes. Whanau are reminded the shoes should be ‘black polishable’ shoes. 

Ka kite ano

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