Thursday, January 22, 2009

Welcome back for 2009

The holidays are nearly over and the excitement levels for new students, new staff and others are rising I'm sure. This is that time in the school year where all appears calm at school but in reality there are many people working to make the start of the academic year as smooth as possible. I'm sure parents are also anxious on their students' behalf.

Our results for 2008 are very positive and show steady improvements in endorsements which was one of our 2008 goals. Here are the highlights - when compared to similar schools (co-ed Decile 4 schools) we exceeded the average in both Level 1 (61.9 to 54.6) and Level 3 (51.9 to 46.8) and we were close to the average in Level 2 (58.3 to 61.4). Most exciting were the improved endorsements in merit and excellence (Level 1)and in merits in both Level 2 and 3. My congratulations to both staff and students!

It's easy to forget the anxieties students have at this time of the year - who are my new teachers? Can I do the subjects I want to? Are there any changes to procedures?

This post is an attempt to alleviate the anxiety for you.

We do have some new staff - Mrs McKerchar is new to the English department. She's come from north of Auckland to live and work in the 'naki. She'll be effectively replacing Mrs Harris. Also new to the English department, replacing Mrs O'Neill, is our new Head of English - Mrs Visser. She's come from Waitara High School.

Sadly we had to farewell Mr Grant Robinson at the end of the year when students had already left. I am busy looking for his replacement in these last few days before school starts. I'm also looking to employ two new teacher aides.

During the break we had work done to Te Amorangi's roof and A5 has been refitted as a new graphics room. Mrs Probyn will be in this room from now on and Mrs Bent will now be found in T5. The T block refit will be our second project of 2009, followed by A block and the Teen Parent Unit/ Early Childcare Centre on our site - by the stadium.

It shapes up to be an exciting year buildings wise - although this does place stress on staff, students and classrooms as we accommodate the refits.

We have no new changes to routines and procedures to start the year.

School starts with a course confirmation day on the 28th Jan for senior students and we get underway properly on the 2nd of Feb.

If you have any concerns or questions please contact me at the school or send a comment to the blog. Chances are if you're wondering something, others will be as well.