As we come to the end of 2020, and start to look back at what has been an exceptional year for the School and Board of Trustees, I believe that we can take a lot of pride in the way that we have collectively managed a very unusual period.
The Board had to adapt, along with the rest of the world, to the changes imposed by Covid-19, holding our meetings via Zoom, keeping up to date with the changing advice from the Ministry of Education, and supporting Bruce and the school team through the challenges of moving to a remote learning practice, and then the phased return to our new normal.
The entire school team adapted to the challenges throughout the year, and the Board is extremely pleased by the proactive approach that our teachers adopted as we moved through the various Covid alert levels, working hard to ensure that the remote education they provided to our students was as unaffected as possible. I am sure that all parents and whanau will have an increased level of respect for teachers, having experienced six weeks of encouraging and supporting our own children to focus on their schoolwork throughout lockdown.
The year has been very challenging in many other aspects as well, especially with the passing of Otone, one of our overseas students from Japan, which was a complete shock to the whole school community. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Otone’s family and friends.
Despite the interruptions to the year caused by the pandemic, the School itself has continued to change, with the refurbishment of the auditorium being completed, and the central courtyard and counsellors' offices now receiving a makeover to ensure that the School will continue to be a facility that the community can be proud of, and be an environment that contributes to the delivery of an outstanding education to our students.
The Board continues to evolve with us saying goodbye to Sarah-Jayne Paki, who is leaving the Board after three years' service, and being joined by Belinda Smith and Kaylene Sieganthaler as new parent representatives. I would like to thank Sarah-Jayne for her service and contributions to the School during her time on the Board.
To close, the Board would like to wish the whole school community a very Happy Christmas and a safe and healthy 2021, and to those students who leave school this year, you should know that you go with the very best wishes of the School Board for whatever challenges you face, and wherever your journey takes you.
Phil Kerrigan, Board Chair