Kia ora Whanau
I want to start this newsletter by telling you all how impressed I am with the students and staff at Raglan Area School. No, it is not just idle spin. I truly feel like the luckiest person to have a job working alongside so many wonderful youth who are making the most of all the learning opportunities that come their way.
In my role as Acting Principal, alongside Quenten, I am fortunate to have had more time to spend in our classrooms interacting with our students. My impression, walking around the school, is how focused our classes are. It is a climate of well-organized hard work. I have seen very few students who are swimming the other way (i.e. less positive people who are in need of gentle reminders of what’s good manners and respect). Even then the students have been responsive and are really just in need of a little guidance.
There is a real buzz of excitement seeping through our staffroom. There are so many teachers sharing ideas, supporting each other and showing a real eagerness to build solutions for our students.
Last year an anti-bullying song was launched by some of our students, alongside Cornerstone Roots front man Brian Ruawai. This and recent news reports of bullying, have raised questions in the minds of parents and the public, regarding safety in our NZ schools.
Bullying, in whatever form it takes, is clearly damaging for children and young people. It impacts on their wellbeing and consequently their learning. I am also aware that these issues often have their origin outside the school gates but need to be responded to within the school environment.
I am confident that at Raglan Area School we are proactive in our approach to this issue. I do acknowledge at times we don’t get it right, but can honestly say that we always try our best to ensure that we are providing a safe physical and emotional environment for students. If you have any concerns please approach your child’s class teacher to discuss these issues, in the first instance.
Thank you so much to the parents and caregivers, as well as our students who have put in a big effort into attending school and raising our school wide attendance. The Ministry of Education target for an overall school attendance is 92%. Last week we were sitting on 81% and this week that has been raised to 88.5%. I wonder if we can raise this to the Ministry target by next week?
Student attendance, along with effective teaching, has the greatest influence on student engagement and achievement. All students must be present at school so they can participate and engage in learning. Parents and Boards of Trustees are legally responsible to ensure students’ regular attendance at school.
Car Parking Courtesy
The car park is very busy, especially at 3.00pm. Please don’t park on the yellow lines or in the bus stop because we need to ensure our buses can get in and out from school easily and safely.
Finally a few things I’m thankful for this fortnight.
I’m thankful to all the parents/caregivers who:
- volunteered and gave us help when needed;
- regularly looked through students’ backpacks for notes and messages sent home;
- waited patiently at the end of the day to pick their child/ren up safely;
- called in when their child was ill and would be absent from school;
- made sure their child/ren went to bed at a reasonable time so they were ready for learning the next day.
Have a great fortnight,