South Otago High School News

2024 Newsletter

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 9 February 2024 Newsletter

Kia Ora Tatou
As you may be aware, in the early hours of last Friday morning thee was a traffic accident on SH1 between Balclutha and Milton. Sadly, this was a fatal accident involving a former student Aushiarn Challis who finished at South Otago High School at the end of 2021. On behalf of the school we extend our sympathies to Aushiarn’s family.
Last Friday morning a group of students and staff attended the powhiri to welcome Mr Bertanees to Bayfield High School. Our students were a significant part of the event and it was a pleasure to be invited to participate in the event.
Bunnings Junior Touch Nationals
Last weekend JP Human and Ollie Shore travelled to Auckland to referee at the Bunnings Junior Touch Nationals. Both students were highly commended for their work as referees and were named in the Youth High performance squad for 2024. Furthermore, Ollie was ranked as number 1 referee for the tournament. These are great achievements for both students and particularly impressive for Ollie. Well done to both students!
BoT Meeting schedule
The Board of Trustees would like to inform the community of their meeting schedule. The Board meet in person once a month. The dates for Board meetings for this term are:

  • Wednesday 6 March
  • Wednesday 3 April

Correspondence to the Board needs to be received by the school by 12:00 noon the previous Friday.
The Board will publish details for the public to be able to attend their meetings in the near future. To be clear Board meetings are held in public but are not public meetings which means that the opportunity to speak to the Board is limited.
Students unwell at school
As the world moves on from the Covid-19 pandemic we are still subject to cases of Covid in our community. Whilst there are recommendations around isolating and testing there are  concerns that without following these recommendations we could have a significant outbreak. Recently a school was forced to close due to 40 staff having tested positive for the virus. This is a significant disruption not just to student learning but also school and home life. Therefore, we ask whanau to be vigilant and assist the school by keeping your child at home if they are unwell or pick them up if they become unwell whilst at school.
Cell phones, ‘Away for the day’ consultation
Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the government requirement for schools to develop a policy around cell phones being ‘away of the day’. The Board have reviewed the feedback and a draft policy is being developed and will be tabled at the next Board meeting on 6 March. A procedure is also being developed and these will be shared with the community once confirmed.
Once the policy is in place it will be important that whanau provide support from home to guide students to abide by the revised rules. The school will, in it’s procedure, provide clear guidance as to expectations and potential consequences for breaches. There will also be very clear guidance for whanau to be able to gain an exemption for their child if they have a medical condition or specific learning difficulty. It is expected that exemptions will have specific expectations with which the student will still be expected to abide.
School attendance
With a new school year it is good to start with good, regular attendance. Below are some tips for parents: 

  • Talk to your tamariki about why school is important, be positive about it, and help them build good habits. 
  • School can help too! We create a welcoming environment, have clear rules about attendance, and support local activities that promote going to school. 
  • We know that families sometimes have problems, and that can make it hard to focus on school. But there’s help available and school can provide links to that support.  
  • School and parents and caregivers should work in partnership to support tamariki regularly attend school. If your children is reluctant to go to school and you’re having trouble, talk to us to see how we can work together. 


The weather has not been settled this week so only part of year 9 managed to get to Greenpark for their day of activities. I made a brief visit and can report that students were having a great time. Weather permitting the rest of Year 9 will be at Greenpark on Monday. It is important for students to go along for the trip as this is where new friendships can begin and the activities are great fun. Parents, please encourage and support your child to go, even if they are apprehensive. They will have a good time and be disappointed if they miss out!
Ka kite ano

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