WHS Newsletter | Issue 4.6 | 20 November 2020
Kia ora, welcome to the Wakatipu High School newsletter at the end of Week 6. It is a much smaller newsletter this week - as is the way at this time of year, but there are still some important items below. NCEA exams got underway on Monday and continue now until well into December - please keep supporting our seniors to work hard on their preparation and study.
Phase 2 - work continues, with more temporary classroom modules arriving and work on the foundations continuing (see below for a photo). This has caused some noise into the eastern end of the building however with the school relatively empty at this time of year we have mainly been able to move classes to avoid the worst of this. We anticipate this work finishing next week.
Branches Camp - preparations are also continuing, with only a week to go until everyone heads in to camp next Friday. Today was Pre-Branches tramps and gear checks as well as a big day packing food for the camp. This weekend is definitely time for sorting last items from the gearlist and packing.
Vaping - as some of you will know, is a real issue for young people and for schools. Below is a piece on vaping which has information on what we do about vaping, as well as general information on vaping from the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation’s ‘Don't Get Sucked In’ website.
VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) - following my words last week, this week we have begun to ‘quarantine’ off our network devices that have VPNs installed on them. As a reminder we have included last week’s article below again.
Junior Prizegivings - a heads up that dates for this year are:
- Year 9 - Wednesday 9th December, 1145am.
- Year 10 - Thursday 10th December, 1215pm.
Prizewinners’ parents will be notified beforehand as usual.
A couple of folks keen on space pointed out to me this week that the US colonel and NASA astronaut who spoke at WHS two years ago, Michael Hopkins, is the commander of the SpaceX mission which has just docked at the International Space Station - very exciting!
Tomorrow is the New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty Queenstown Marathon, and as I noted last week the chairman of the Wakatipu High School Foundation, Wayne Foley, is running and raising funds for the Foundation - please click here to support him. All the very best to all staff, students and parents running tomorrow!
Tomorrow actually looks like pretty reasonable weather for running - although maybe a shower or two. Sunday is looking good for outdoor activities too. No piece from me next week as I’ll be heading into Branches for a few days.
Vaping - Don't Get Sucked In
On 11 November legislative changes came into force prohibiting vaping in all schools (including the grounds and the buildings) at all times. The legislation also prohibits the sale of and distribution of vaping products to young people aged under 18.
How does WHS deal with vaping?
WHS has policies on vaping (and smoking). For a first offence, a student will receive five lunchtime detentions and be offered some education around vaping, and parents notified. WHS has an escalation system for all behaviour management elements and for additional offences the escalation process will apply. The vaping device will be confiscated and destroyed. Students are aware that only one student is allowed in a toilet cubicle at any time.
The following information is from the 'Dont Get Sucked In' website. This is part of the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation's efforts to inform people and reduce the appeal of vaping (and smoking) to children and young people and promote healthy lungs. The material on this website is evidence based and reviewed by the Vaping Educational Advisory Group made up of a wide array of experts including registered health practitioners.
Is vaping safe?
There is a commonly held misconception that vaping is "safe", and whilst it is still acknowledged in NZ as an acceptable smoking cessation approach - it is not harmless. Did you know that NZ is well behind other countries in regulating vaping (in some countries, including Australia, vaping with nicotine is illegal and even has fines of up to $45,000 and two years in prison).
Do you know what you're breathing?
The e-liquids used in vaping devices generally consist of solvents, flavours sweetners and many also contain some amount of nicotine. When you inhale the aerosol vapour produced by these devices you are also inhaling particles of all these ingredients. Although most of the ingredients present in vape devices are "generally recognised as safe for consumption" - this statement is only relevant when you are eating the products, not breathing them into your lungs.
Research shows that when heated the e-juice can release cancer-causing formaldehyde (the same chemical used to preserve dead bodies).
What are the risks?
- Nicotine is addictive. You can buy e-juice that delivers much higher doses of nicotine than a conventional cigarette. There is a new wave of nicotine addiction impacting our youth. Nicotine harms cognitive development in young people as well as causing anxiety and other mental health issues.
- Vape use has been linked to severe disease that has led to thousands of hospitalisations and over 60 reported deaths.
- The liquid in vapes is predominantly solvents, and can burn skin just through contact. Did you know if you were to drink the liquid in vapes it could literally kill you?
- When heated too much, some vape ingredients transform into toxic compounds.
- Vape devices can explode.
- Vaping can raise your blood pressure, heart rate and change your heart function.
If you would like more information, please visit www.dontgetsuckedin.co.nz
School Network Security (and VPNs)
The school has an obligation to provide a safe digital environment for all students. The safety of our students is of paramount importance and we take cybersafety seriously, this includes protecting our network, protecting the students and preventing cyberbullying.
WHS needs to ensure that the school's ICT network, hardware and software is effectively maintained and secure, including content filtering. For this reason, the use of VPN (Virtual Private Network) software, which is designed to circumvent the school’s network security and content filtering, is prohibited on our network.
To ensure the safety of the students and the network, we are activating a quarantine facility for devices that have VPN software installed and/or active. The school's filtering system will detect VPN software and quarantine the device. The quarantine will stop ALL internet traffic to/from the device for a period of five minutes. The device will continue to be quarantined until the software is removed.
VPN filtering and quarantining commenced for Years 9 & 10 on Monday 16 November.
VPN filtering and quarantining for seniors will be implemented after exams in preparation for 2021.
Branches Camp Update - Week 6
It was a busy day today for Year 10s with the essential clothing check completed before the students headed off for a Pre-Branches day tramp. There were seven different tramping groups, comprised of several Branches Activity groups. The aim of these tramps was to provide some preparation for Branches in terms of walking fitness, group cooperation, safety and tramping skills. Well done to the students and staff for a great day out.
The final Branches student meeting will be on Monday morning. This is to cover some of the important health and safety aspects for camp, as well as a few reminders before groups start heading into camp next week. The students will name their activity groups. Once the group names are chosen, then the Branches activity timetable will be posted on the Branches Student Google Classroom.
Next week, the first two activity groups head in on Thursday 26th, with the "all-in" day on Friday 27th November. Specific details around the transport arrangements for will be communicated by email next week.
Branches Camp Coordinator
LONG DROPS AND HARD KNOCKS
Our fabulous book is our main fundraiser for the Branches Trust for this year. We are so proud of this book, it is an excellent read and I can’t stress enough the words of Craig Smith, author of The Wonky Donkey and past Branches Camper when he said ‘Every Queenstown family and business should have one’ .... so have you got yours yet?
You can buy a book from these locations and remember, ALL proceeds go to fund future Branches Camps:
WHS front desk, Summerfields Pharmacy, Arrowtown Museum, Halo, The Exchange, Provisions, Dorothy Browns, Brandlands, Paper Plus, Bound and the Event Centre or online at www.branchestrust.co.nz.
Now priced at $49.95 or 2 for $90.
Have you got yours yet?!
FERG FOR BREAKFAST ON THE HITS 6-9am each weekday morning
As mentioned last week, make sure you listen in on the dates below to hear excerpts of our wonderful book. Ferg tells me he will be running a few teasers before the week they are on. It’s gonna be great, make sure you listen in! The readings will play at 6.50 and again at 8.05am each week day.
Mon 30 Nov – Greta Balfour
Tues 1 Dec – Sophie Thompson
Wed 2 Dec – James Scoles
Thur 3 Dec – Ryan Connaghan
Fri 4 Dec – Helena Hornbacher
BRANCHES CAMP 2020
To all the Year 10 students about to embark on this year's Branches Camp we wish you well. Enjoy every moment, even the tricky ones! To the teachers and instructors making this year's camp happen, we thank you. To the parents of Year 10s, enjoy the peace and quiet knowing your child is having an amazing time!
Enjoy your weekend everyone,
Sports News and Results
Southland Volleyball Tournament
Last Saturday WHS had five teams compete in the Southland Junior Volleyball Champs in Invercargill. The girls competition had 13 teams entered. The 10A team finished 6th; 9A finished 8th and the 9B and 10B teams finished 12th and 13th respectively. The boys competition had five teams involved and WHS finished in 5th place. All teams developed significantly across the course of the tournament from playing a range of other schools. A huge thank you to Mrs Panapa and Natune Suzuki for all of their coaching and organisational efforts with the 9A and 10A teams; Ms Lawniczak for coaching the 10B, Luca Van Cauteren and Asha Schaefer for coaching the boys, Ruby Kirk, Olivia Boland and Phoebe Wallace for coaching the 9B’s as well as Matua Brad and all of the awesome parent help that went down to support our teams.
South Island Junior Volleyball Champs
All the very best to our Junior A Boys and Girls teams who are competing at the South Island Junior Volleyball Champs this coming week in Invercargill. This is an awesome opportunity for our students to play against other schools and be exposed to a high level of competition. We wish you all the best across the four days!
Mackenzi Jackson has been in action recently at both the New Zealand Secondary School and New Zealand National Karate Champs. At the NZ Champs Mackenzi won a bronze in the Kata 14/15 years premier grade, a silver in the Kumite 14/15 Years open grade and another bronze in the Kumite 14/15 years 55kg premier grade. Congratulations on your achievements Mackenzi!
All the very best to the large number of staff and students competing in tomorrow’s annual Queenstown marathon! It is great to see so many people involved in this epic personal challenge. Give it heaps!
Startup Queenstown Lakes 27 Nov
Startup Weekend is a high-energy, 54-hour event for established entrepreneurs and budding founders, for designers, developers, business-focused, and non-technical people alike. It's like outward bound for entrepreneurs!
You can expect to:
- Meet potential new co-founders and make some great friends.
- Have a FUN time - make some great memories with passionate, energetic people.
- Learn from the best - engage with mentors who will keep you going and foster your entrepreneurial spirit.