South Otago High School News

2023 Newsletter

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28 April, 2023 Newsletter

Kia Ora Tatou
It was a pleasure to welcome back students for the start of the second term. I have spoken to a few and they all seem to have had a good break and enjoyed the time away from school. Now is the time to settle and re-focus on learning and I am looking forward to a productive term.
ANZAC Assembly
On the first day of the term we held our annual ANZAC assembly and it was good to see our students treat the event with the respect that this event deserves. This year as a change of routine we were so fortunate to have Daniel Dunlop accompany the singing of the National Anthem on the piano and also Alex Anderson perform the Last Post. Both are talented students who did very well performing for this occasion.
Welcome to Thai students
Also on the first day we welcomed a large group of 29 Thai students who are studying and practicing their English with us for a few weeks during their long school holiday. I have spoken to a number of them and they are really enjoying the experience. I have been particularly impressed by one who not only spoke very well in English but greeted the Mayor with ‘Kia Ora!’ when he was introduced.
NCEA Changes
In the media during the last two weeks there has been information regarding some changes to NCEA for 2023-24. Next week a letter will be sent home to students who are impacted by these changes and how South Otago High School will be supporting students to be successful.
Teacher only day
Under the direction of the Ministry of Education, the school will be closed for instruction on Friday 5 May. This is to allow teachers to engage in professional development to support the development of NCEA and the refreshed New Zealand Curriculum. A letter will also be sent home about this event.
Industrial action in Term 2
Earlier this week I sent a letter home to whanau to advise that there will be some changes to industrial action for this term by teachers in support of their pay  and conditions claim. The industrial action will include strategies such as:

  • Continued relief ban
  • No meetings outside the hours of 08:30 and 4:30pm
  • Strike action
  • Rostering of year groups home.

The first group to be rostered home will Year 11 on Thursday 4 May
Some noted that there was a double up of Year 12 being rostered home and a strike day on Tuesday 9 May. To be clear the school will be closed for instruction on 9 May as part of the rolling strike action throughout the country. There is no other day set for Year 12 to be rostered home.
For strike days and roster home days a letter will be sent home up to three days prior to the planned action. We hope that a resolution to the claim can be reached soon and that some of the industrial action can be avoided.
Rapid Antigen Test kits
Last term I shared that the school has been given a number of cartons of RAT’s which are due to expire in May 2023. These are available to families of students who may wish to pick a box of test kits from the school office. We still have a number of boxes which we can provide to members of our community. NB please do not come to the school office for a test kit if you are feeling unwell.
If your child does become a confirmed case of Covid please do inform the absence line so that we can record their seven day isolation absence from school.
Ka kite ano
Mike Wright

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