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Photo by Principal

Ben Hancock —

Kia ora whanau,

We have made it to the end of another disrupted term. COVID and winter illness have had a significant impact on staff and student attendance this term. A number of our Tauhara whanau have been affected by these illnesses throughout the term and we have had to adapt our learning models and strategies to help ensure there are still quality learning opportunities for our students.

At times this term we have had up to a third of our staff off with illness or COVID and this is a similar number for students. As you can appreciate this does have an impact on everyone as well as our learning programmes.

The modelling from the Lakes DHB suggests that the second wave of COVID is not due to hit our region until mid July or August. If this modelling is accurate we are likely to see increased cases in the first few weeks of Term 3. It is a timely reminder that wearing masks is highly recommended while inside classrooms with others (as uncomfortable as they are).

Image by: T C

We have a concern about student attendance and the impact this may have on student development and achievement. It is logical to assume that the less a student is in school, the more this will impact the student’s learning and development.

This issue of student absenteeism is not an isolated Tauhara College issue and it was reported a few weeks ago that the national average is 60% for attendance. The marker of 75% attendance in year 10 is the rough estimate/target for students to achieve L1 the following year.

We want all students to attend school as often as possible, this does require whanau support. We are trying a number of initiatives to re-engage students back into their schooling and to help get them to school. If you need help motivating your child to attend school, we are here to help. Please let us know if you are needing support.

It has been great to see our students out participating in their various winter sports codes. The last couple of years have seen participation in sports impacted by COVID, so to once again see competitions returning to normal and students out representing their various codes has been great.

Last week we met with the Ministry about our building projects. We are expecting the master planning for the new buildings to be completed by the end of this August. This is not the final detailed designs or elevations of buildings, rather it is the layout of where the buildings will be situated on our site, what buildings will be built, court placement etc. The final detailed drawings and designs will be later in 2023, with a slight possibility that building may start at the end of 2023 (we were told to expect anything from a 3-5 year programme when we started this process in 2021).

It is likely that the Technology block, student services, and admin will be the first buildings to be developed along with a turf.

The Hall project is slowly coming along and is due to start at the end of this year. This project should not limit the use of this facility while it undergoes a reclad.

The gym project is following a similar time frame to the Hall and work is due to start later this year.

It has been incredibly frustrating at times hearing the timelines and delays to a number of our projects, we have expressed our concerns about the delays to the Ministry due to the impact on students and staff. Unfortunately, they have set processes that have to be followed along with the council and engineers etc and these all add additional time to the project.

All whanau should have received their child's reports earlier this week. These are a more comprehensive report at the halfway point of the year. There will be another report late in Term 3. If there are any questions or concerns in your child's report we encourage you to contact the teacher concerned or alternatively I am happy to help.

The end of the term signals a time to rest and relax for many, it also signals the halfway point of our academic year. This is an opportunity for students (with their whanau) to reflect upon their learning, review their goals, and plan out the remainder of the year. For our senior students it is important that they are tracking their NCEA progress throughout the year. Our Junior students are finishing their first semester courses and have just completed their subject selection for semester 2.

A reminder that we continue to have ‘Kai Time’ providing free breakfast to any students who want it from 8.15-8.45am every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Thanks to KidsCan, we are also offering free cups of hot soup on some Interval and Lunchtimes throughout these colder months. Students are welcome to turn up to the cooking room on these days if they need some kai.

We also have our Kura Kai freezer with frozen meals cooked by our Hospitality students. These are given out to people in the school community in need. If you would like one of these meals or would like to nominate someone else to receive a meal, please email Kirsty Trevor at tk@tauhara.school.nz

Thank you for your continued support of our School.

Nga mihi nui