Message from the Headmaster, Tuesday September 7 2021
As a school, we are grateful for the fact that we are able to return to school on Thursday 9th September, as the Waikato moves to Alert Level 2. This level allows us to return to face to face teaching of our classes, and to hold the senior examinations at the calendared time, beginning next week, on Wednesday 15th September.
We return, with little more than three weeks remaining of the term, and our primary focus must be on ensuring that students settle quickly to a focused, dedicated approach to learning.
Thursday this week: We resume our normal teaching programme on Thursday. We begin the day for students at 9.00am, as is usual on Thursday. However, we will begin at 9.00am with Tutor Group meetings. At these meetings, students will be reminded of the important protocols linked to our return, and our expectations of full compliance with all health and safety requirements.
At 9.15am, students will begin their first class, and a normal programme for the day.
In our original term calendar, this Thursday is programmed to be a mufti day. However, we have postponed this service opportunity until Thursday 30th September, which is in the final week of term.
There are several other important points I wish to clarify in this message.
Students unable to return to school: At Alert Level 2, the public health advice is that it is safe for all students to return to school. However, through no fault of their own, a small number of students may, for different reasons, find returning to school challenging. These include students who are at a higher risk of serious illness and those students currently in Auckland who are unable to travel due to Level 4 restrictions. If your son is in either of these categories, please send an e-mail to your son’s year-level dean as soon as possible. The relevant dean will then provide information on supporting your son’s continued learning from home.
Dean of Year 9: Aaron Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dean of Year 10: Luke Katene (email@example.com)
Dean of Year 11: Hayden Marrow (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dean of Year 12: Andrew Hay (email@example.com)
Dean of Year 13: Joanne Wallace (firstname.lastname@example.org)
School sport: School Sport New Zealand has mandated that there will be NO sport at secondary level until midnight on Sunday. This allows students to focus on a smooth, seamless return to their studies.
Senior examinations: The examinations remain as originally calendared, and will follow the programme already established. They will be held under Alert Level 2 conditions. Arrangements will be made for those students who remain in Auckland, unable to cross Alert Level boundaries, if the situation has not changed at this time.
As we return to school, we recognise the importance of these examinations. In these uncertain times, a serious approach to this practice opportunity is essential. For those who have sons in the senior school, we appreciate your support and encouragement through the important fortnight ahead.
Masks: The Ministry of Education has made it clear that while the wearing of masks is encouraged for both staff and students, it is not mandatory. If students wish to wear masks, they should provide their own. Staff may wear masks if they wish to do so, and I am sure that there will be many who do, over the time we remain at Alert Level 2. As a school, we recognise the importance of taking the Delta variant seriously, and we support any strategy which minimises the spread.
Our protocols reinforce this approach.
Year 9 semester dates: Year 9 students are timetabled to complete their third option rotation this Friday. However, the lockdown has prevented many subjects from finishing projects which are underway. We have made the decision to extend the semester until Wednesday next week, and to begin Semester 4 on Thursday 16th September.
Finally, I take this opportunity to thank our staff on behalf of our community. The staff is a very special group, who have worked very hard through the past three weeks to make this time as successful as possible for our young men.
And I thank you all, parents and students. The truth remains, that we grow strong together as a whānau, through these difficult times, as well as through our times of joy and celebration.
I wish all in our community continued good health and my very best wishes as we return to Alert Level 2. Our staff looks forward to welcoming all students back on Thursday.