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Newsletter - Friday 8 June 2018
Dates to remember:
  • Term 2 Swimming at Moana Pool, Mondays Rms 13, 14 & 16;  Wednesdays Rms 1, 3, 4, 8, 10 and 11
  • Wednesday 13 June - ICAS Science
  • Thursday 14 June - ICAS Writing
  • Thursday 28 June - Paid Union Meeting 
  • Friday 6 July - School Swimming Sports AND last day of Term 2
  • Monday 23 July - First day of Term 3
Tena koutou

We're well into Winter now and have had a number of skinned knees while walking to school to prove it! Information on late starts/closures can be found later in this newsletter. 

I have a couple of really exciting projects on the go that I'd like to share with you. 

Foundational Learning Steering Group:
At the International Summit of the Teaching Profession last month, Government expressed its clear intention to work in collaboration with the profession on all educational issues. 

To demonstrate its commitment to this the Ministry met with peak body Presidents and discussed the opportunity of collaboration with a foundational learning steering group.  This group will contribute to the design of local curriculum to include learning opportunities which integrate foundational knowledge, skills, and capabilities, including literacy and numeracy, for all students, focusing on those students who may need additional support.  

I am really excited to have been nominated, and subsequently, selected to sit on this Steering Group. 

We will be asked to consider the types of resources and supports needed in schools by teachers and communities.  Over the next eighteen months we will be looking at the resources and supports that are currently available and how they may be shaped differently, improved and strengthened.This work feeds into multiple work programmes across the Ministry and I hope signals some much anticipated change in education in NZ. 

Alternative Education Study Award:
In 2017 I applied for and won the Otago Primary Principals Association/Ricoh Prestigious Study Award. I have been granted leave from school to travel to England to look at alternative models of education. It has long been a concern of mine that traditional methods of education continue to fail the most vulnerable children in society. This study award allows me to investigate successful schools, offering an alternative model of education, in the UK with a view to introducing feasible aspects into our school in the short term, and advocating for system wide change in the long term. 
I will be away for the last three weeks of Term 2 but Matt Broad and Scott Klenner will step up, in their super capable fashion, in my absence.

DNI Disco
As you will know we had a school disco last night. We feel, as the school council, that this went really well. As you have probably guessed a disco is a big event to organize. We would like to say thank you to everyone who helped out, and in particular:

Scott Gardner- For donating all the buns for the hotdogs
Dawn Barnes - For purchasing the glow sticks
Heidi- For organizing the core of the disco
Mrs L - For organizing prizes at the last minute for this event 
DJ - For making this disco danceable!!!
Disco committee - Sasha, Mya, and Hanzhe
Hanzhe - Designing the posters
Lina, Jasmine, Haylee and Caitlin and Erin - Shopping for food/ drinks
Lina (rosters etc) sorting some things last minute 

Thanks also to all the teachers who attended and all parents/caregivers who transported their child or another to the disco. As you can see from reading this lots of people helped out with this event.
We hope that your child enjoyed their evening at the 2018 school disco.

Lina and Jasmine, on behalf of DNI School Council

Photo: Our DNI Disco Queens and Kings! (Maddie, Georgie, Rocky and Eli)

Late Starts/Closures
We will never post messages on facebook, radio or email unless there is a CHANGE to our normal start time. I'm sure you can appreciate that on a questionable morning there is a power of work that takes place behind the scenes to determine if it's safe for students to get to school, and secondly whether we can staff the school. If by 7.20am we determine that it's business as usual then you won't hear from us so you can assume everything is normal. 

If however school is starting late or closed please find further information below:

Citywide late starts/closures: If the conditions are widespread then the Otago Primary Principals Association will make a city wide call, we have no control over this and will update you as we know. This will be advertised on facebook, radio, our website and we'll email you. 

Individual late starts/closures: If the conditions are variable across the city then individual schools must make a decision. This takes time, and it is dark when we start the process. We do understand that this process can be frustrating, however, we can not control the weather and we do our best to balance the safety of the staff and students with not interrupting your work day unnecessarily. If we are pressured to make the call too early then we are prone to making errors. Sometimes we begin with a late start so that we can assess the conditions once it gets light. In this instance there will be communication about this by 7.20am and we'll aim to have staff at school and the doors open 30 minutes before the advertised opening time (so 9.30am for a 10am start).

If we are going to update a late start to a closure we'll make this decision by 8.30am so we ask that you do not send children to school before 8.30am on a day we've advertised a late start.  

In both instances this will be advertised on facebook, radio, our website and we'll email you. 

Ultimately individual safety of students is at the discretion of parents and caregivers who need to consider their own circumstances and whether it is safe to travel to school. If you decide not to send your child then just phone or email the office and let us know.

Reminder - Paid Union Meeting - 28 June
The New Zealand Educational Institute has called a paid union meeting for all teachers on Thursday 28 June, starting at 1:00 pm.  It is expected that all teachers from our school attend in order to discuss NZEI claims and negotiations. 

Following on from the previous union meeting in March, there are significant challenges for us in terms of recruitment and retention of teachers and it is therefore vital that teachers contribute to the planning around how to better resource education in New Zealand in the coming years.   

Therefore, it is again necessary for us to call on the support of our community and request that children be picked up from school at 12:30pm. If you are unable to pick your child up 12.30pm please email by Monday June 25 and supervision can be provided until 3:00 pm.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Science Fair Boards, still available
The Science Fair boards are in a choice of colours and available for purchase from the school office for $10 - cash / eftpos / cheque accepted.  Please note these can't be charged to student accounts.  

Hotdog Fundraiser - Tuesday 12 June
The school council will be selling American Hotdogs on Tuesday, $2 each. Councillors will come around the classroooms to take the orders.

Vision Screening - Thursday 5 July
The Vision Hearing Technicians from Public Health South will be visiting your school to screen all Year 7 students for distance vision (and a few Year 8's that missed it last year).

•    Distance Vision (Amblyopia & Hyperopia)
This determines how well your child is able to see at a distance.  It involves reading an eye chart. (Not required if child wears glasses)

If you do not wish your child to be screened please fill out an opt-out slip, which are available at the school office before our visit.

Winter Sports
Check out all the winter sports information via our website, and if you have any questions contact Chris Marslin or the TIC of each sport. 


Community Notices:

Opoho Church Garage Sale - Saturday 16 June

Garage Sale at Opoho Church hall, from 9am - 1pm on Saturday June 16 . We will have books, furniture and white elephant bric and brac, plus children games.

For information (and any items you would like to donate),
contact Mark or Tui Bevin, 473 8677
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