Tēnā koutou katoa, Mālō e lelei,
What an interesting time it has been for us over the last few weeks, as we have gone from celebrating significant student achievements to being portrayed as a violent, unsafe school that tolerates bullying.
For me the highlights have included:
Working with our Student Leadership team to review our school expectations and uniform rules and further develop our school values - ‘Make your MARK’.
Launching our 2019 Katikati College prospectus, which reflects the vibrant character and student focus our College offers our community youth and rangatahi. Thank you to the Year 10 Art Design Class for their ideas and inspiration and to our incredibly talented Visual Art teachers Ms Robin Sweeney and Mrs Anja Angell-Donaldson for creating a prospectus that captures the heart and soul of our College and its people.
Attending the 2018 Pin’d designer showcase on Saturday August 11, where students shared their inspired pieces with the public by modelling them. Our students Olivia Brooks and Gabby Ross did particularly well. I would like to acknowledge and thanks our Fabric Design teacher Mrs Robyn Cameron and her team of helpers for providing this opportunity to our students
Maths week: This was held over August, 13 - 17 and was an opportunity for all our future problem solvers to challenge themselves and each other. Thank you to our dedicated and passionate Maths team for inspiring a love of Maths in our students.
Sports teams’ successes: Our Year 7 and 8 Netball teams participated in the Whangamata Netball Tournament and both teams won their division. The First XI Boys Soccer Team won Midlands Division 1 and the First XI Hockey Boys continued their outstanding season. The First XV Rugby team left it all on the field in the Division 2 Finals again Tauhora College in Rotorua on August 18 and although they did not win this time (29-24), I came away from the game feeling incredibly proud of the wonderful young men in the team and grateful to their coaches and manager. My pride swelled even more when I received an email from the Tauhora Coach congratulating our boys; ‘they played with incredible never say die spirit and not one of them left anything in the tank in this game , it really was a battle that aside from the score was remarkably even’.
Thank you to all the staff, coaches, managers and parents/whānau who allow our students to achieve such fabulous results. It is through their dedication, support and encouragement that our students are able to experience such success and develop as individuals. Best of luck to our teams competing at Winter Tournament in Week 7 (September 3 - 7) and our Year 7 and 8 students at AIMS Tournament in Week 8 (September 17 - 21).
We have been out and about visiting Year 6 and 8 students from our contributing schools and followed this up with our Open Evening on Wednesday August 22. The College opened its doors to share the extensive range of learning opportunities that Year 6 students have to look forward to when they join us in 2019. There was an excellent turn out and it was a great opportunity to make connections and develop existing and new relationships further. Special thanks to our Year 7 and 8 team and Mr Simon Finnimore for such a great night.
Unfortunately some of the events over the last week have shifted the focus away from acknowledging and celebrating all the amazing and positive aspects of being part of our learning community and this makes me sad for several reasons:
A large portion of the information circulating in our community is incorrect or significantly exaggerated.
The College will always ensure a fair and just process is followed when investigating any incident, in accordance with our policies and the law, which respects the privacy of all parties.
The way the information has been circulated in the community undermines our College and is not fair or just.
Teenagers occasionally make bad choices, it’s part of the learning process and part of growing up. We are here to support them, encourage them and help them to do better, not to judge and condemn.
When students do make bad choices a school has to act within a framework of government legislation and in accordance with the law, which includes fulfilling obligations set out in the Privacy Act, Human Rights Act, Health and Safety at Work Act and the Education Act, just to name a few. All school policies and procedures fall within this legislative framework and following the incident on Wednesday August 15, the school has acted in accordance with policy and ensured application of procedures is fair and just. We are unable to comment any further on the incident, however we can assure our learning community that we are following due process.
I can assure all students and parents that we take all incidents very seriously and as a result of recent events the school has increased the teacher supervision at interval and lunchtimes and before and after school, including monitoring of the bus area.
In addition we are:
Working towards having all Katikati College policies available on our website.
Working with staff and student leaders to identify and implement a robust anti-bullying programme.
Working with the Police to confirm more regular visits by the Community Constable.
Completing a thorough analysis and review of student safety which will include completing the wellbeing@school survey and implementing any actions required.
Exploring ways to better manage Year 7 and 8 student access to the Canteen and additional toilet facilities.
Pursuing a decile rating review to ensure more appropriate funding is allocated to our College.
We encourage anyone who is unhappy or dissatisfied with any aspect of the service provided by the College to either make an appointment with one of our Senior Leadership Team or to use the formal complaints process. You are able access this information on our website.
We are always looking for suggestions from our community on how we can do things better. We encourage you to add any ideas, suggestions or feedback to the Community Suggestion Box, which is on the front page of our website.
We continue to have high expectations of our students and work hard to ensure that they are in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. Our Learning Environment Goal is to provide a culturally responsive environment which is positive, predictable, consistent and safe.
We now come to the business end of the year, when our senior students really knuckle down to prepare for School Exams in Week 9 (September 17-21) and NCEA Exams which start on November 7. I wish to thank all those students, staff, parents, whānau and community members who continue to support the College and encourage our students to believe in themselves and each other, and work together to achieve personal success.
Best wishes to our sports teams attending sports tournaments. We believe in you and know you will do your best to ‘Make your MARK!'
Nāku noa na
Principal, Katikati College