Tena koutou katoa, greetings.
I write this from the Trans-Tasman Principal's Conference in Auckland. We had a very moving opening ceremony yesterday where despite being present in the country's biggest city - the message that came from both the NZ hosts and the visiting Australians was just how important our rural communities are to our schools. The message came that despite the majority of our children living in urban areas- the culture of our country as a whole is often determined by what is happening in our rural schools. I could not help but feel a little proud of this. When I look around at our wider 'Waitaki Valley' community, I cannot help but think that there are a lot of places in NZ that would love to have what we have as a community - both what happens within our school and outside of our school.
This message really resonated with me. From my own experience of growing up in a small rural area in Southland, I can't help but think that even though time has created a lot of change (with technology, pressures on families, activities our children are involved in and the access that we have to information to name a few), the ethos of a rural community is still very much the same. We all want our children, our school, our community to be effective and successful. The success can be measured in many ways. We are so fortunate in the Waitaki Valley to have such a supportive community- but this doesn't just happen. Year after year we require your continued support - whether it be directly for your own children, or for the school as a whole. Now, at this time of BOT elections - it is an opportunity for you to support the school and to have your say in the people who guide us into the next three years in the governance of our school. As I did in our newsletter last week, again - I encourage you to ensure that you vote in this process. A reminder that all voting closes at 12pm on Friday (June 3).
Teachers are currently busy preparing reports. This isn't just a matter of writing them - there is a lot that goes into these and they will come out closer to the end of the term. In the next couple of weeks you will be asked to book your Student Led Conference to make a time to come to school to discuss with your child and their teacher, just what is worth celebrating and where they now need to focus their energy and drive. This is a partnership - an opportunity for you to see where you can support both your child and their teacher. While these form part of our reporting process, we do emphasise that these aren't a one on one discussion with your child's teacher about your child. I again want to emphasise with you - if at ANY time you have a concern or wish to discuss your child's learning (or social/emotional behaviour) with a teacher, you do not have to wait for these formal opportunities. Teachers are available as the needs arise. Please just phone the office to make an appointment - or email the teacher directly. All teacher email addresses are on our school website (www.waitakivalley.school.nz
All the best for a great rest of your week - I know that I will be challenged in many ideas over my week ahead!
Enjoy your long weekend.