News

Principal's Message...

By Rebecca Meek | Posted: Thursday March 17, 2022

Our Purpose: To prepare students to be active participants who will contribute to their community.

Tēnā koutou katoa, Malo e lelei, Talofa lava, Bula vinaka

As the week comes to an end, I am incredibly proud of how well our students have settled into life at OIS and stepping up to our routines and expectations. While we are having to navigate uncertain times with COVID, I am continued to be impressed by the resilience and empathy our students are showing.

Thank you for your support with keeping children at home if they are unwell. It is important that students are coming back to school once they have completed their isolation period or are well enough to be at school. If you need support with helping your child transition back to school it is important that you get in touch with your classroom teacher. A reminder that if a student or teacher in your class tests positive for COVID 19 you will be notified by email.

So far we have had 14 positive student cases with 3 who have returned to school and 3 staff with positive test results, one of these has returned.

Staff are working hard to ensure that students timetables and programmes are not being disrupted because of staff being away, unfortunately I can’t promise that this will always be the case. There may come a time when I can’t staff a class and we may have to look at alternative options. One of these options may be a class learning from home, and I know that this will cause a disruption and put pressure on families. Trust that these decisions will be made in a timely manner and with your child’s best interest in mind.  I have really appreciated your support in messages and emails that we have been receiving.

Over the last few weeks we have been having a number of conversations with groups of children around social media and gaming platforms. While online connections can be very positive, unfortunately at the moment we have a few of our students who are not upholding the IDEAL values while interacting online after school and on the weekends. 

At OIS we discourage students from forming group chats as more often than not, these chat groups end up in conflicts which then spills over into the classroom or playground. As these conversations are taking place outside of school, we are limited to what we can do to support students. The best approach is to educate students and for us as parents, to ensure that we have measures in place to keep our children safe. It is really important as adults that we do our part in ensuring our children are safe online, safe from cyber bullying, and safe from inappropriate visual content. We must also ensure that we take our duty of care and responsibility for what our child is doing online by ensuring that we put rules and expectations in place.

For information around online safety check go to https://www.netsafe.org.nz/advice/parenting/

At OIS we are very proud of our school environment and take a lot of pride in how it looks. Bill McKay our Property Manager, spends a great deal of time ensuring that our school environment is safe, tidy and well cared for. Unfortunately, not everyone takes as much pride in the school as we do and from time to time we can be the target for vandals. We are super lucky that our BOT had a new security system put in around the school last year so these cameras discourage vandals and keep our staff and students safe.

We look forward to welcoming our rural schools here next week for Technology. Due to COVID restrictions this programme will be running on a different timetable to OIS students.

With the weather cooling down, especially in the morning, it is important that students do not arrive at school before 8.30 am. Thank you for your support with ensuring your child is wearing the correct school uniform. Your child is allowed to wear a jacket outside at break times as long as they have an OIS blue jersey or polar fleece underneath. We do have a school jacket at the school office however, this is not compulsory. Students are also able to wear the long grey dress pants on cold days.

You would have read in the Oamaru Mail that we are getting two new classroom’s. We are super excited and working with the Ministry to have these on site by the end of term 2 all going well.

At OIS we love to celebrate success with both our students and staff. We are extremely proud of Belinda Hirst who won both the North Otago Open in January and the North Otago Closed a couple of weeks ago.

Thank you for your ongoing support and enjoy your long weekend as Monday is Otago Anniversary.

Kind regards

Rebecca Meek

Principal