Archives

29 April 2019

Dear Parents/Caregivers

Welcome back everyone, to another exciting term of teaching and learning.

I hope everyone has had a restful break and you were able to find some quality time to spend together as a family. I enjoyed chatting to a few of you this morning about your adventures over the holidays.

My wife and I spent some time over the Easter break exploring the Catlins area (lower South Island East Coast). It is a part of the country that we hadn’t been to and many people we had spoken said it was a “must visit” and they weren’t wrong! From the historic Nugget Point Lighthouse to the beautiful Curio Bay it certainly was a beautiful part of the country to explore.

A special welcome to the 10 new students and their families who are joining the Elmwood community this week. We hope you enjoy your time with us.

This term we welcome Anna Farrelly as the new teacher in Room 14 and we welcome back Megan Stedman to our staff as the teacher starting our next New Entrant class in Room 5.

For those of you that enter the school from Leinster Road hopefully you will have noticed the new landscaping and sign on the entrance. This is part of a landscape plan that the Board is working at implementing over subsequent years.

NZEI Paid Union Meetings:
We have been advised by the NZEI that they will be holding paid union meetings during May this year as part of their ongoing collective agreement negotiations.

Elmwood staff will be attending their meeting in the afternoon of Wednesday May 8th.

As we have in the past, we ask for your support in collecting your child on this day at 1:00pm (from their classroom) so that our staff can attend these important meetings.

We intend restructuring this day, with the morning tea and lunchtime breaks shortened hence the children will be in their classrooms at 1:00pm.

Should you be unable to collect or make care arrangements for your child/ren for this afternoon please email Vicki on office@elmwood.school.nz.

Please note: as the majority of staff will be off-site we have a very limited capacity to provide supervision. We appreciate your support with this.

“Walk Your Wheels”
You will have noticed some new “Walk your wheels” signs around the school. We would ask that you support us in ensuring children, preschoolers and adults observe these by not riding scooters, skateboards and bikes in the school grounds between 8:30am and 3:30pm.

Board of Trustees Elections:
Board elections are happening this year.  Nomination forms, together with the Election notice giving full instructions on the nomination process will be mailed to you by Friday 10th May.  Advertisements will also be in the local newspaper with nomination details at this time. The nominations for election close on the 24th of May at noon.   If you have not received voting papers by the 17th of May, please contact the school office by emailing Vicki on office@elmwood.school.nz or alternatively giving her a call on 355 7192 extn 706.

Reminders:
As we head into the cooler months I would like to draw your attention to a few matters that make life easier for you and us:

Please:

  • Ensure your child is clothed correctly in our winter uniform.

Please check the school website if you are unsure of the correct uniform:  http://www.elmwood.school.nz/school-uniform/.  If your child intends wearing a polyprop under the uniform please ensure it is not visible.

Unfortunately the winter months is when our uniform can begin to look untidy.

We would ask for support in ensuring your child wears the uniform correctly and with pride. Our heating system in the school is very effective hence the only need for a jacket is getting to and from school.

  • The sunhat can be packed away until Term 4.
  • Don’t send your child to school too early. We have some children being dropped off at 8:00am which is too early to be standing in the cold for 30 minutes.  After school, parents are required to collect their children by 3:15pm. If you are unable to collect them by this time, please make arrangements with one of our afterschool providers.  
  • If your child is unwell please don’t send them to school.   Sickness spreads quickly in the classroom environment.  Please remember there is a 48 hour period after vomiting and diarrhea before children can return to school.
  • When using the pedestrian crossings, please ensure that preschoolers are supervised and that you follow the instructions of the road patrollers i.e. waiting for their instruction “cross now”.  

Paul

8 April 2019

Dear Parents

Looking out the window today it certainly looks as though the weather is cooling and autumn is rapidly heading our way. Let’s hope the upcoming holidays allow for plenty of outdoor pursuits before winter really arrives.

Well done and congratulations to those students who represented Elmwood in the Primary Sport Canterbury Duathlon and Championship Swimming events recently. It was a great effort by you all.  Thank you to the parents who provided support to our competitors.

Board of Trustees Elections
Thanks to those of you who have been in contact with us regarding becoming a member of the board of trustees next term. It is always great to see the interest in this role.  The timeline for the elections is as follows:

  • 10th May Nomination forms posted out and advertisement in newspaper
  • 24th May Nominations close at noon
  • 24th May Candidates statements required by this date
  • 29th May If going to election voting papers and statements are sent out
  • 7th June Voting closes at noon
  • 13th June Results available for new Board

Personnel
At the end of this week we farewell Nicola Russell who has been teaching this term in Room 14. While Nicola has only been with us for a short time she has brought many new ideas to our school. We wish her well for her future endeavours.

Anna Farrelly has been appointed to take over Room 14 for the remainder of the school year.

Assemblies
Celebration assemblies are held three times a term and are a wonderful occasion where we share and celebrate our learning and successes. We love having parents join us on these occasions to share in the celebrations.

We look forward to seeing you at our Term 2 celebration assemblies.

Reminders

  • We have a huge amount of lost property sitting on the deck next to the Cafe. If your child has lost a polar fleece this term there would be a good chance you will find in this large pile! Please have a look this week.
  • Please be mindful not to park on yellow lines, across driveways (particularly ours!), and double park outside school.
  • Next term we commence wearing the winter uniform.  Please ensure you have the correct uniform for the winter months.
  • If you are going on holiday at the end of this term please email Jo on reception@elmwood.school.nz to let her know of the absence.  Alternatively, on Friday please come into the office to advise you have taken your child/children early, so we can account for their whereabouts.    

Have a safe and restful holiday break.

Nga mihi
Paul

25 March 2019

Dear Parents

Thank you for your support last week in what was an emotionally challenging week for us all.  

While many of us continue to grapple with what has happened over the last ten days, to me it is imperative that we unite as a community, openly welcoming and embracing diversity.

Waiho i te toipoto, Kaua i te tairoa.
Let us keep close together, not far apart

The $1000 received from our mufti day will be forwarded by the Canterbury Primary Principals Association and then distributed to the agencies directly involved in supporting those in need.

The floral tributes placed around the flagpole on Friday were a poignant reminder for us all of the outpouring of grief and sadness we were all feeling. These have now been taken to the garden of flowers  beside the museum.

As I stated last week, if you or someone you know is in need of support, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES – ELECTIONS 2019
Prospective Candidates
Our Board of Trustees Election is coming up in May/June of this year.  The Elmwood Normal School Board consists of 6 community elected members, a staff representative, Principal and board secretary.  Some of our Board intend to stand for re-election, which we welcome to give us continuity.

If you believe you have the skill set required to support the governance of our school and to work in collaboration with the Principal and stakeholders, then we would like to hear from you.

Malcolm Hollis (current Board Chairperson) and I would like to shout a coffee from The Elmwood Grind café and hold information sessions at 8.30am for prospective interested candidates who are considering standing.   The dates of these sessions are Thursday 28th March 8.30am and Thursday 4th April at 8.30am. Meet at reception.

Nomination forms will be distributed to the Parent Community in Term 2 – dates will be confirmed in the near future.

Please contact Paul on principal@elmwood.school.nz or Vicki on office@elmwood.school.nz if you would like more information.  

Assessment and Reporting
We continue to adapt and refine our assessment and reporting systems across the school. The attached document outlines what you can expect from us this year with regard to reporting to you on your child’s progress and achievement.  Assessment and reporting

We will again be offering workshops for parents next term to familiarise parents with these processes.

Swimming Pool closing
As another great summer comes to an end, we will be closing the school swimming pool for the season this coming Sunday 31st March.

For those of you that have purchased access via your swipe card, these will deactivated at the end of this weekend. We will be in touch later in the year with regard to reactivating these (if you wish).

Thanks are extended to our Pool managers and supervisors who have done a fantastic job keeping the pool operational outside of school time.

Immunisation
Our office staff have contacted a lot of you over the past couple of weeks regarding updating the immunisation records we have for your children.  If you have been contacted about us requiring verification, please bring into the office the appropriate documentation for verification. Thank you for your support with this.

Paul

18 March 2019

Dear Parents,

A new normal began at school this morning. Our beloved city has yet again had to deal with another tragedy of a proportion that is difficult to comprehend. Through the many emotions we have, and will continue to experience, we will remain strong in our resolve to keep the children’s wellbeing at the forefront of our decisions and actions.  

I would again like to commend our staff for the thoroughly professional way they managed the events of Friday afternoon. Their calm, caring manner certainly helped us in maintaining the “ordinary” in what was “extraordinary”.

Our students are also to be commended for the way they followed our procedures and remained calm throughout the four hour lockdown. As a thanks they were all given an ice block today which as you can imagine went down very well! (Thank you to Marcel and Charlotte Gray for donating these).

Once again my thanks goes out to our parent community for your support, patience and understanding. We trust that our procedures, which are now under review, worked effectively for you all.   We met as a team this morning where I passed on the many thanks from parents, and I know the staff have really appreciated the numerous heart-felt emails and conversations they have received today expressing your thanks/support for their efforts on Friday.

Our thoughts are with the many families throughout Christchurch who have been affected by this catastrophic event, but especially our Muslim families at ENS. If you have concerns or need support over the coming days, please do not hesitate to let us know.

I am sharing some helpful information for families, in relation to communication received from the Ministry of Education. This information is on our website on the Information page – under ‘helpful information’ at the top.  The link is herewith:

NZEI Paid Union Meeting
The NZEI Paid Union Meeting that was to be held on 20th March has now been postponed.  We will advise the Community once we hear about a new date for this meeting.

Sport Check – Text Notification System
Sports Check is the text notification system that  we use here at Elmwood in case of emergency. There is information further on in this newsletter about how to register for Sports check or how to opt out of it when your children are no longer at the school.

Mufti Day:
On Friday 22nd March we will be having a mufti day, along with other schools in Canterbury to show our support to our Muslim community in Christchurch.    This is a ‘We Care’ day and children are able to wear casual clothes (no theme). This will be a gold coin donation and the funds collected will be distributed via the Canterbury Primary Principals Association.

I know this week is not an easy one, but please if you want to talk with anyone, feel free to reach out to our team.

Warm regards

Paul

11 March 2019

Dear Parents

Thank you to those of you who attended three way learning conferences last week. We hope you found these useful in setting the learning direction for the year for your child/ren. We, as a staff, have spent some time developing these conferences to ensure they are meaningful for your child, their teacher and yourself. Feedback on this last round has been very positive.

As is always the case, if ever there is a matter that you are concerned about, please get in touch with your child’s teacher (or the staff member concerned) and make a time to discuss and resolve it.

2019 Charter
At February’s Board of Trustees meeting the 2019 Charter was approved.

This document contains the following:

  • The Board’s Strategic Plan (the school’s direction for the next three years)
  • The Annual Plan (what we are doing this year to work towards our Strategic goals)
  • The 2019 Student Achievement Targets which have been based on the New Zealand Curriculum.
  • The 2018 “Analysis of Variance Report” (how we got on with last years Student Achievement Targets)
  • The “strengths, areas for improvement and how we will go about it” statement.   (using the Ministry of Education’s template)
  • Elmwood Normal Schools New Zealand Curriculum student achievement data.

This comprehensive document provides the pathway for the year ahead making clear links to our priorities in enhancing teaching and learning and ultimately outcomes for our students.

To view this document in its entirety please visit the Board of Trustees section on the website.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES – ELECTIONS 2019

Prospective Candidates
Our Board of Trustees Election is coming up in May/June of this year.  The Elmwood Normal School Board consists of 6 community elected members, a staff representative, Principal and board secretary.  Some of our Board intend to stand for re-election, which we welcome to give us continuity.

If you believe you have the skill set required to support the governance of our school and to work in collaboration with the Principal and stakeholders, then we would like to hear from you.

Malcolm Hollis (current Board Chairperson) and I would like to shout a coffee from The Elmwood Grind café and hold information sessions at 8.30am for prospective interested candidates who are considering standing.   The dates of these sessions are Thursday 28th March 8.30am and Thursday 4th April at 8.30am. Meet at reception.

Nomination forms will be distributed to the Parent Community in Term 2 – dates will be confirmed in the near future.

Please contact Paul on principal@elmwood.school.nz or Vicki on office@elmwood.school.nz if you would like more information.  

Cybersafety
You may well have seen in the media recently information regarding the “Momo Challenge”. Netsafe New Zealand has released an advisory that I would encourage all parents to read regarding this current issue and Cybersafety in general.  Netsafe New Zealand Advisory

A couple of housekeeping reminders:

  • Please use the crossings on Leinster and Aikmans Roads to access the school. When using these please follow the Road Patroller’s instructions ensuring you wait for the “Cross now” command.
  • We have designated areas for Bus parking on Leinster Rd between 9:00am and 3:30pm.  Please do not park in these areas at these times.
  • Please also adhere to the 3 minute parking when dropping off your children.


Paul

4 March 2019

Dear Parents,

New Zealand Educational Institute (Teachers Union)

We have been advised by the NZEI that they will be holding paid union meetings during March this year as part of their ongoing collective agreement negotiations. Elmwood staff will be attending their meeting in the afternoon of Wednesday March 20th.

As we have in the past, we ask for your support in collecting your child on this day at 1:00pm (from their classroom) so that our staff can attend these important meetings.

We intend restructuring this day, with the morning tea and lunchtime breaks shortened hence the children will be in their classrooms at 1:00pm.

Should you be unable to collect or make care arrangements for your child/ren for this afternoon please email Vicki office@elmwood.school.nz

Please note: as the majority of staff will be off-site we have a very limited capacity to provide supervision.

We appreciate your support with this.

Paul