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DNI Newsletter - Monday 27 March

Important Dates:
  • Girls Self Defense Classes, over the remainder of Term 1
  • BOT Meeting - Tuesday 4 April, 6pm in the Staffroom
  • Thursday 13 April - Last day Term 1
  • Monday 1 May - First Day Term 2
  • Swimming - Starts Term 2, more information to come shortly
Tena koutou,
What a fascinating week we've had! I started at DNI in mid 2015. When I was interviewing the 2016 intake a couple of students asked me if they had to wear skirts. I found that this was hard to answer given that I would be rather aggrieved if I was told I had to wear a skirt to work every day based on my gender. 
I had a think about this and decided the simplest thing to do would be to remove the labels "boys" and "girls", and so we started 2016 with two uniforms that students could choose from. We added long pants and culottes for practical reasons in late 2016. 

So, you can imagine that we are all a bit bemused by the attention this (rather old now) decision has prompted.  Aside from the NZ media, I've done interviews for British, American, Russian and Australian media - who knew something so simple (and overdue) could create such a fuss!  However, I guess 'the fuss' is illustrative of how firmly entrenched so many of our societal messages are, both implicitly and explicitly. The real message we want to send is this. Diversity is to be valued and the importance of being able to feel comfortable in one's own skin can not be underestimated. 

In other news, the weather held out and we had an awesome triathlon event last week. It was fantastic to see people working together in teams, or pushing themselves as individuals. A huge thank you to Sheree and Addie for the many hours they spent organising the event, and to their team of super parents who gave up their time to support us.


We've had a number of students representing DNI across a range of sports recently, including the Otago Primary Schools Triathlon, Boys and Girls Cricket Tournaments and Rugby League tournament where the boys then had the amazing opportunity to play at the Forsyth Barr Stadium as part of the half time game during the recent Warriors match!
We're particularly proud of Taya Kain, who was 1st in the Year 7 Girls race at the Otago Primary Schools Triathlon (shown right) Zara Geddes, 6th in the same race and Jake Owen who place 4th in the Year 7 Boys race.  All three will be competing in the Otago Triathlon in Cromwell.

HPV Parent Consent Forms - A Plea from the Public Health Nurse!
HPV Parent Consent Forms were due back at the school by Friday 10 March, but to date, only half have come back. So please fill in the form and return it ASAP, regardless of whether you consent to the vaccinations or not, as there is a section in the form to complete for those who decline.  There are spares at the office if you've misplaced it.
If you have any questions regarding the HPV Form or Vaccination Programme, please contact Marion O’Kane (Public Health Nurse)  on Ph: 476 9894 or 027-550 8885

Calling on registrations of interest for the End of Year Tramp:
As part of electives in December we usually run a tramp somewhere in the lower South Island. Beds in the tramping huts fill up fast and so we need to take registrations for the tramp now. There will not be an opportunity to join the tramping elective later in the year, this is your one and only chance. 

Until we know how many students are keen we can't tell you exactly where we'll be going as this will depend on numbers, so here is the process for signing up. 
Please email or phone the office by Friday April 7 if your child would be interested in the tramp.

At 6pm on Tuesday April 11 there will be a meeting of all interested parents and students and Julie and Mike will make some suggestions and draft pricing based on numbers. This will be an opportunity for you to ask questions and make suggestions. A finalised plan will then be available at the start of Term 2. 

Otago-Southland Chess Competition:
The Otago Chess Club and Dunedin Junior Chess have organised the Otago Southland chess competition to be held Saturday 17 June, from 12:30pm - 6pm  at Kavanagh Gym. If you have a DNI student who is interested in competing please email Mr. K (

ICAS Assessments 2017:
A reminder that DNI is offering ICAS assessments again this year. ICAS Forms are available at the school office and feel free to contact Mike Neill if you have any questions.

All forms and payment must be received by Friday 31 March (no late registrations can be accepted sorry)

Message from the Red Cross:
Warm greetings to all who assisted in a variety of ways with the Red Cross street appeal on 10 March. The total raised was just over $4,000, which is about on a par with last year.

We are very grateful for the wide ranging support from schools, university students, regular Red Cross volunteers and members of the general public. Whether you organised others, or came along yourself and held a bucket, or put in a couple of hours at Centre City mall during the week, your support is very much appreciated. Thank you all very much for your time and effort.

Steve King

Humanitarian Services Co-ordinator Otago - New Zealand Red Cross

Police Vetting:
The New Zealand Police have informed us that they are looking to implement a cost recovery with their police vetting service later this year.  This is likely to come into effect around July.  We would encourage you to come in and complete your vetting documentation prior to this if you think you might be a parent helper on a camp in the next few years, or a volunteer to help with swimming, electives etc. 

At the moment there is no charge, just bring in two forms of ID (passport or birth certificate, and driver licence, etc - one ID must have a photo) and the office team can send it away.  Police vets last for three (3) years.

Port Chalmers School Bus Route:
Go Bus have advised us that Fairview Terrace is now open again, so they will be resuming the normal bus route/pick up spots from tomorrow. Any stragglers will be picked up regardless, and the driver will inform them in the morning.  

Wanted - Any RESENE paint/test pots:
The Year 8 Art modules are entering the Resene Mural competition and have to use Resene Paint.  Any contributions welcome.  Please leave outside the art room door in the design lobby.

Canteen Review - Reminder:
The Board of Trustees is in the process of reviewing the canteen.  We'll be looking at the menu over Term 1 and you can expect a new menu for the start of Term 2.

Meanwhile please find an adjusted menu and pricing that takes effect from today, for the rest of Term 1 (as previously advised).

Wedges and Sour Cream $4
Spaghetti Buns $2.50
Nachos $4
Burgers $4
Toasted Sandwiches $2.50
Noodles $2.5 (available until current stock sold out)
Cookies $1.50
Flavoured Milk $2
Flavoured Water $2
Juicies $1.50
Smoothies $2.50

Community Notices:
Community Oral Health Service
Children (from birth to the end of year 8)
Children* are entitled to FREE basic dental care, from birth until they begin high school. 
Free basic dental care is available at Community Oral Health fixed clinics and mobile dental units throughout the Southern District.
The Service is run by appointment only.  We would like parents/guardians to attend all appointments with their child as Dental Therapists provide parents with valuable advice to support their children’s good oral health. 
If your child is already enrolled with the Service we will contact you to make an appointment.  If your child is not enrolled, you are unsure or new to the area, please call: 
Otago 0800 672 543 or Southland 0800 570 300 – both numbers are free to call from cell phones
For more information visit:
Find us on Facebook     Talkteeth – Southern

*who meet the eligibility criteria for publicly funded health and disability services

SCOUTS New Zealand - Open Night
All Scout Groups throughout Dunedin and Mosgiel are holding an Open Night
- Wednesday 29 March, 6-8pm

Scouts is open to youth from Year 1 to Year 15.

The programmes that we offer cater to the boys and girls development in the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental aspects of their lives in an appropriately safe environment where they are encouraged to be themselves, work together and thrive.
To find out more about the Open Night visit  or visit  to learn more about what we do.

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