Dear Parents and Caregivers,
While this term is one firmly focused on learning and external exams for the seniors, I know it also has a lot of uncertainty about it and I absolutely understand how frustrating and hard it is to not be able to plan too far ahead.
We have sadly had to accept that many of the special events that make this term such a joy will not be able to be held, or will have to be run in a different way.
As far as school events and activities are concerned, the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education make the decisions, especially around the size of gatherings/events, those in our bubble and health and safety requirements and as a school we have a legal obligation to follow their direction.
We understand the unpredictability of the weeks ahead and are reviewing and developing as we go – and I thank you for your patience as we work through the logistics and potential ramifications of our decisions as the COVID environment changes. Consequently, we wanted to inform you of the following decisions which I shared with the students in assembly yesterday.
Learning conversations: As you are aware, these will now be held through Google classroom or by phone.
NCEA exams : Will continue as planned and directed by NZQA. We continue to assist our students to focus on their preparation for this academic milestone.
Socials: Unfortunately, we have had to cancel the Year 7&8 and Year 9&10 socials.
St Hilda’s Day: This special event will now be held in our school chapel, keeping in our bubble with staff and students only.
Blues evening: This event will be for invited recipients only within our school bubble and we are unable to host families. The event will be live streamed and recorded and you will be sent a link. There will be more information coming about the live streaming of events in the next day or so. The time of this event is still to be confirmed.
Year 10 camp : Thankfully we can go ahead as planned with this fabulous week of outdoor activities.
New students orientation day : This will most likely have to be cancelled and we are still exploring other possible ways to connect with our new students and families
Sports tournaments: Our junior volleyball and water polo teams will not be attending these competitions – should they go ahead. Students may attend the National Aerobics competitions if accompanied by their parents. There will be no school staff member attending.
Senior and Junior Prizegivings: We have had to split the prizegiving’s after the NZQA examination timetable was changed.
These events will be pared back and slightly shorter as we will not be able to have performances, guest speakers or representation from outside our bubble, such as church representatives or Board members. The prizegivings will be held at school with only students and staff attending. They will be live streamed and recorded for families.
Leavers Service and Dinner We are considering all possible options to have these very special events go ahead and will be guided by the Year 13 cohort and how they would like the evening to be shaped, given the restrictions by the Ministry.
I acknowledged to the students yesterday that this is a pretty depressing list of what is not happening. But I also asked them to focus on what they can control, not what they can’t, as we must all do.
I assured them that it is my job, and that of the staff, to plan for all contingencies and try to predict what the next few weeks might look like. We are committed to doing as much as we can, safely and within the guidelines set.
We know we will have to find different ways of hosting events, sharing, celebrating and connecting that will not be ideal, but still worth embracing. I have urged the students to focus on what they can control: maintaining a positive and solution focused attitude, their preparation, their connections with family and friends, what they make of every day, the joy and fun they can have in the small moments, and being optimistic about the future.
This is new territory for all of us, weird and scary and uncertain, and very annoying at times – but it is what it is – so we all need to try not to focus on what we don’t have, but what we do have, not what is cancelled, but what events we can still enjoy, not what we have lost, but what we might gain.
Thank you all for your support and understanding as we move forward into uncertainty.
Nga mihi nui