Kia ora koutou katoa

The warmest of welcomes to you all for the start of the 2023 school year. It has been great having our students back this week and see our new students settle in so well.

We welcomed our new students, parents, and staff into the JPII whānau with a mihi whakatau on Wednesday morning. I would like to acknowledge Year 10 student Kade Howe for the powerful way he led the haka. All students will be learning our haka and waiata on Wednesdays, and we will be bringing back the haka competition this year.

This year, our students are challenged to participate fully in all aspects of school life. To sit passively expecting education to be done to you doesn’t work. Those who give everything a red-hot go, in and out of the classroom get so much more out of it than those who take a passive approach. It is the same in life beyond the school gates. Our school wide Bluelight Bootcamp starting Wednesday 15 February is one such opportunity for everyone to challenge themselves – myself and staff included! Police Officer Terri Middleton and Personal Trainers Marty and Lisa will be in on Wednesday to speak to students about the activities they will be doing and the massive benefits they will get from it – physical, mental, social, and spiritual.

I am delighted to introduce our new staff: Corinne Coulthard (Learning Area Leader Social Science, Year 12 Dean); Alan Porter (Teacher of Science, Mathematics and Geography); Alain Davies (Guidance Counsellor); Jude Smith (Learning Support Coordinator, starting 20 February). We have also employed a new drama and literacy teacher, and I look forward to making this introduction in next week’s newsletter. JPII goes from strength to strength with our staff, and I thank all staff for choosing to work with our amazing students at JPII.

Next Wednesday we have our opening Mass at St Patrick’s church at 11am. We invite parents and families to join us to celebrate the start of our Catholic school year.

All families are also encouraged to join us for Mass at St Patrick’s Church on Saturday evening at 6pm or Sunday morning at the very civilized time of 9:30am. Our Westland families can celebrate Mass on Saturday 6:00pm (St Mary's Chapel, Hokitika) ; Sunday 9:00am (Chapel of the Holy Spirit)10.45am (St Paul's Church, Kokatahi) 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 5th Sunday10.45am (St Patrick's Church, Ross) 4th Sunday. It is a special opportunity to connect, reflect and listen.

You will find a lot of information in this newsletter today about arrangements for next week, and

  • JPII internet Network upgrade Tuesday/Wednesday

  • School Mass

  • Parent information about wellbeing Wednesdays and the new timetable

Ngā mihi nui

Renée Hutchinson