WHS Newsletter | Issue 3.04 | 27 August 2021
Kia ora - welcome back to a lockdown edition of the Wakatipu High School newsletter, at the end of Week 5 (the halfway point of the term), and it's a bumper piece from me today. All things being equal we intend to produce the newsletter weekly on a Friday as per normal from now on. That means that this is the place I will communicate to parents re updates due to changes in Alert Levels etc, however if urgent updates come through that do not fit with Fridays we’ll email it out as we have been, but otherwise the newsletter is back to the place you’ll hear it first.
In terms of that, following is info re today’s announcement on moving to Alert Level 3 on Wednesday next week. The main headline is that at Level 3 students continue to learn from home via remote teaching and learning. There is however an exception, which is that Year 9 or 10 students who are unable to stay at home by themselves and have no alternative care options may come to school. There are a number of rules and regulations re this, and while they are still being finalised we have been told that they are likely to be very similar to Level 3 last time, i.e:
- Only Year 9 and 10 students;
- Only students who ‘need’ to come to school, including that if there is a parent or caregiver available they should stay at home;
- Only students who are well. Any student who is unwell or has a health risk may not come to school;
- Only students who have registered with us. For us to ensure we have sufficient staffing and are able to meet the requirements, we need to know how many students are going to be at school and so parents must register their student with us. Mr Nathan will email out a registration Form by Monday morning and if you wish your child to come to school in Level 3 you will need to complete it.
Please note that the day will comprise supervised remote teaching and learning in the morning and supervised study in the afternoon. If you are considering sending your child to school please look for Mr Nathan’s email and registration Form, but do note that the MoE have said that Level 3 is still important for our fight against Covid and that if you can keep your student at home please do.
With the move to Level 3 we will look to run another opportunity for students to pickup resources and materials. Students should look for Mrs Wilton-Connell’s email, which will probably be sent on Monday, with a view to the pickups being on Wednesday or Thursday when we are in Level 3.
More generally, remote teaching and learning is going well and my thanks to staff, students and parents for their parts in this. It is certainly interesting to hear stories of places where remote teaching and learning is not happening (for a range of reasons) or students are not engaging in it. We believe that we need to continue to deliver education to our students - for their learning and for their futures, as well as providing a sense of normality and routine for their wellbeing. Please click here for a reminder of our remote teaching and learning guidelines for students.
At the same time though we acknowledge that this may be a difficult time for some students and families, and we encourage them to seek support from subject teachers, Kaiarahi, Deans or our Guidance Counsellor as appropriate for their specific situation. Do remember that attendance and engagement with learning is very important for all students - please see below re attendance.
Related, we have resurrected our Covid Support page below. This has a wide range of school, community and other supports available for families and individuals (to click on the links, download the PDF sheet). A reminder that our Awhi (financial hardship) Fund, generously supported by the WHS Foundation, is available to support students to access our all-round education - a link is also on the Covid Support page below. Finally, if you have or develop IT issues please contact Mr Rasmussen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Even though Covid’s impacts are far-reaching there are things that have continued, including: Junior Next Steps earlier in the week - and a big thanks to everyone for their flexibility and for engaging to support your student’s education; and our Branches Parent Information Evening on Wednesday - and thanks also to everyone who attended (and if you were unable, please see Ms Janse’s email with a link to the recording of the session). Unfortunately there are many events that can not continue, and the Sports section below contains some words re Winter Tournament which has been cancelled for the second year in a row - a real shame for those athletes, coaches and everyone involved.
Exams have been in the news this week with the end of year NCEA exams being moved back two weeks (click here for the new exam timetable). Our senior school exams will now most likely be held in the latter part of Week 8, ie three weeks from now, but we will update students when this is confirmed.
Finally, a reminder that our remote teaching and learning timetable continues next week with Monday being Day 2 (Lines 4-6), classes at 0900, 1000 and 1100, and Ako Time at 1200.
We do hope that everyone is doing ok in lockdown. We know that some people love it while others loathe it, and for others it depends on the day. We also know that our students can be the same, and that even though we’ve done this before there are many reasons why this can be challenging for students, and families. We’ll do our best to keep education and routine going while looking after people - so do reach out for support. Kia kaha.
A mixed weekend of weather - grey tomorrow and some showers on Sunday, but still ok for local strolls. Take care :)
The Covid-19 Support and Wellbeing information sheet below contains active links to contacts and additional resources from various local and national organisations who can help. Please download the PDF document to access the links.
Te Hau Toka Southern Lakes Wellbeing Group was set up in response to the uncertainty that Covid 19 brings and the subsequent community-wide mental health impacts. Te Hau Toka hopes to build awareness of services that are available, connect people with the support they may need and help them to stay well.
Te Hau Toka has put together this ‘traffic light’ guide (designed to be folded into a brochure) for looking after your wellbeing. It covers tips for what to do in an immediate mental health crisis (red), extra support (orange), and keeping well (green).
Head Student's Message
Kia Ora Everyone,
Hope this finds you well, wherever you may be.
We know this isn’t the ideal scenario to be in, one where the whole community is affected by this lockdown. We know and understand some of you, us included, will be rueing the cancellations that covid has caused, whether that be tournaments, exams or holidays.
We understand that staying motivated and productive in lockdown is difficult. It sometimes feels like this will last forever and it's therefore easy to turn a blind eye to the consequences of not staying on top of our work or our commitments. However we all know, this lockdown will come to an end, life will return to normal and before you know it all of our commitments will start to pile up again. So it really is our choice. We can choose to view this time as a very significant setback, or we can view it as an opportunity. An opportunity to catch up, refresh, and remind ourselves of the things we so often take for granted.
Echoing Franklin D Roosevelt’s infamous fireside chats, our prime minister reminds us to stay vigilant. That if we do this properly, we will experience the taste of the ‘normal’ life again. So strive to do the things you enjoy doing, take care of yourself and those around you and stay attentive. We have to stand together, as this is the only way we will be able to succeed and get through these difficult times.
Ka Mauka Whakatipu
See you on the other side
Carmen Woodhouse & Todd Vermeir
If a student is ill or unable to attend their online classes normal attendance processes apply. Please ring the school or email attendance@wakatipu.
It is good for the teachers to know that a student is ill or an explained absence. There is a lot happening in many family ‘bubbles’ in this highly uncertain time. Please communicate with us so we can support your student in the best way possible.We have many different ways we can approach supporting students learning.
Parents and Guardians can still view student attendance via the Portal (same link and password school sends for reports).
We will follow up on patterns of absence in the interest of supporting students’ learning. We would strongly encourage parents and guardians to look at your student’s attendance and discuss any absence with them.
If you have any questions regarding attendance, please email the Kaiarāhi, subject teacher or Dean.
Stay Safe Online
When children learn from home, it’s important to make sure they stay safe online. A free web content filtering application created by Network for Learning (N4L) in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Netsafe is available for parents and students to use. More information regarding this opt-in solution can be found at the link below.
COVID Tracer App
Record keeping when entering large businesses and events will soon be mandatory across all alert levels for everyone over the age of 12 to enable the Government to contact trace easily. Downloading the Covid Tracer app and scanning using QR codes is an easy way to record keep. If you have a smart phone, please download the app at the link below and scan in.
Here’s how you can help support contact tracing:
- Download the Covid Tracer app
- Enable Bluetooth Tracing
- Keep scanning QR codes
- Add your up-to-date contact information so contact tracers can get in touch if they need to
- Add your NHI number for quick reference if you need a test
- Keep the app up to date to get all the latest features
Blues Awards - Call for Nominations
Nominations for the 2021 Cultural and Sports Blues Awards are now open! If you are or know a student who has excelled in sports, arts or culture, you could be eligible for an award. Learn more below
2021 Cultural Blues Nominations
It is that time of year when we (the Arts Department) need students and family members to nominate students for the Cultural Blues Awards.
The purpose of the Cultural Blues is to celebrate the Arts and recognise Contribution, Leadership and Achievement Awards in Visual Arts (Painting, Design and Photography), Performing Arts (Drama, Speech, Dance and Kapa Haka) and Music. i.e. all-round education. Please read the criteria before filling out the form. The criteria is attached below.
You may nominate yourself or someone else to receive a Cultural Commendation, Cultural Service and/or Cultural Achievement Blue by filling out this form. Please ensure all sections of the form are completed as required. All nominations must be completed by 4 pm on Friday, 10 September. Nominations will not be accepted after this date.
Nominees will be notified if their application has been successful.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Please contact Monica Parker at email@example.com
Sports Blues Nomination Form
The annual Sports Blues evening will be held on Thursday 28th October. The Blues awards is our opportunity to celebrate sporting excellence and service as a school annually. To begin this process a nomination form needs to be completed. To find out more information please click on the two links below. The nominations are open until 4pm Friday 10 September. Anyone can complete a form, student, parent, coach etc. Results have been collected across the year from various sports and forms will also be sent to coaches.
If you are not sure, please complete a form or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sports News and Information
Winter Tournament Week
It was with great disappointment that we learned of the cancellation of Winter Tournament Week last Friday evening. This year WHS had nine teams and over 125 students ready and eager to compete across the South Island and in Auckland, the greatest number of teams we had ever entered. This is a real shame, particularly for sports that missed out last year too, namely the Boys 1st XI Football team. I want to acknowledge the Year 13’s that have missed out on the opportunity to experience a South Island tournament and to also say a massive thank you to all of our volunteer coaches, managers, staff and parent helps who had committed to time off work and away from families to ensure our students get to experience these awesome opportunities. At least the majority of our winter codes managed a full season of sport before lockdown took effect and for that we can be grateful. Below are some words from Mike Summerville, the CEO of School Sport New Zealand on the cancellation of WTW:
With the cancellation of 85 events during the Winter Tournament Week window, we appreciate and share the disappointment that all schools, families, and students will be feeling. We would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all those who make these such special occasions in the lives of Rangatahi. To have it taken away, for a second successive year, is a cruel blow.
Sport provides us with many lessons, to learn how nothing comes without hard work, to lead and be a part of a team, to be resilient, to win with humility and move on from losses. It is vitally important that we look out for each other at this time, acknowledge our shared loss, and reset our goals.
The Winter Tournament Week window was scheduled to deliver 85 events across every major region in New Zealand with potentially 30,000 students, staff, coaches, and parents involved in the events. Events typically involve multi-night accommodation in communal facilities, inter regional travel, some of which is through airports. 47 of the 85 events stated that they could only operate if at Alert Level 1. At least 80% of the events scheduled for Winter Tournament Week involve gathering sizes of over 100 people, which is the maximum permitted in a confined area at alert level 2. The current uncertainty surrounding moves down and through alert levels, regional variations to alert level protocols and partnered with the threat that the current Delta variant poses, make it is almost impossible to plan with any certainty for the rescheduling of events on the School Sport NZ calendar. Supporting schools reintegrate students back to school, when it is safe to do so, is the primary objective at this time.
In providing certainty for schools and sports, School Sport NZ have determined that the Winter Tournament Week window will not be rescheduled within term 3, and that the events that have been cancelled are extremely unlikely to be rescheduled on the School Sport NZ calendar at a later date. Our priority is supporting local and regional sport restart as safely and as early as possible. Regional Sport Directors and School Sport offices will be working directly with schools, regional sport organisations and local authorities to determine what, when, and where sport opportunities are possible to resume.
We appreciate that schools will now look to event providers for refunds of entry fees. Sports and event providers are working on providing refunds where possible. We ask that schools and families show patience as our partners work through this process, and remember, be kind!
Many sports and events that have had events cancelled are working to reconfirm events on the School Sport NZ event calendar in 2022 in the same locations to help with accommodation bookings for schools to rollover. Again, they are working through this process as quickly as possible and we will share updates from individual sports as quickly as possible.
School Sport NZ will continue to assess events currently scheduled on the calendar of events as appropriate and as Government provide updates to alert level protocols. The health and safety of all New Zealander’s must be the primary consideration as we move through this period of uncertainty.
It is likely that the guidance within alert level protocols will be updated as we move back down and through alert levels, as we have already seen with compulsory mask use and contact tracing. We will endeavour to provide updates as and when these changes happen in respect to sport. The Sport NZ website is the definitive source for this information and we encourage all to regularly check in with this. You can find their information here
Similarly, understanding the education context as it pertains to alert level protocols and the guidance that the Ministry of Education is providing schools is important. The Ministry of Education provide regular updates to the sector, these can be found here
Keep safe and fingers crossed that we will get an opportunity to conclude our winter sport seasons across the country.
CEO School Sport NZ
Alpine Skiing - National Points Race
The Snow Sports NZ Alpine Skiing National Points Series got underway two weekends ago with the first round of races held at Coronet Peak. WHS had a number of students competing and achieving great results. Below are some of the highlights from the overall race results.
Finn McCaw - 1st U14 Boys
Bayley McDonald - 1st U16 Boys
Hyugo Saunders - 3rd U16 Boys
Violet Smillie - 6th U14 Girls
Finn McCaw - 1st U14 Boys
April Bentley - 4th U14 Girls
Hyugo Saunders - 6th U16 Boys
Congratulations to April Bentley, Finn McCaw, Bayley McDonald, Hyugo Saunders and Violet Smillie who have all been selected to attend the New Zealand Alpine Youth Development Camp.
Ice Figure Skating
Georgia Chinn competed in the South Island Figure Skating Championships two weekends ago. She skated well and placed second in the Intermediate Novice grade.
Sky City Stampede
A shout out to the WHS students who have been selected to represent the Southern Stampede this season. Cj Kemp and former student Axel Ruski-Jones have been getting some ice time along with Jake Pankhurst who got the call up to be the second goalie against Auckland Mako a couple of weekends ago. Great stuff lads!
Director of Sport