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Dear Parents/Whanau:

What a rewarding Term!

Yes, at the end of the week it is the holidays! This term has been a very rewarding one with two of the major events being the school show and the cultural festival kapahaka performance. We are constantly reminded of the abilities and talents our tamariki have. Congratulations tamariki and staff for all you hard work and great results through the year so far.

A great team

I am very proud to lead an amazing team of tamariki, kaiawhina (support staff) and kaiako (teachers). Our staff is a very strong one, with a great sense of team, direction and purpose. We are supported by a hard working PTA and a dedicated Board of Trustees. The focus of all these groups is very much on children and their learning, not mere ‘window dressing’. This is very much appreciated by all staff, as we think the way we complement each other is crucial for the future health of Redwood School. Redwood School is in a very healthy position as it moves into the school redevelopment next year.

Did you know some local children don’t have ready access to enrol at Redwood School?

We have spent years as a school and Board talking to the Ministry of Education about the very limited zone we have. Due to a drop in school age children in our zone post-earthquakes, our roll has dropped and is now stable between 330 and 350 children by the end of each year.

The Ministry of Education wants us to limit our intake to this figure because of the ‘pressure’ extra enrolments at Redwood School would put on Papanui Primary, Northcote and Bishopdale Schools. This means local children, less than two minutes from our gate by car, are not able as local children to enrol at Redwood School because they are ‘out of zone’. These children live in the Wingate/Norrie Street area of our catchment. The MoE has always mentioned the ‘Highgate’ subdivision as being a big area of growth, but this subdivision has folded and only small parcels of development land will now be developed over the next 10-20 years.

As a school we continue to approach the Ministry of Education about this issue as it is contrary to the intent of the Education Act 1989 as this legislation has as one of its key elements for tamariki to be able to attend their local school. We will keep you up to date but we believe that the current zone situation is not appropriate. We have another meeting with the MoE early in Term 4.

Staff Updates Term 4 2019 and through 2020:

  • ·We welcome Nick Gunn as our second DP from next term. As mentioned in a previous newsletter, Nick joins us from his current role as DP at Lemonwood Grove, Rolleston.
  • ·Next year our staff will almost be the same team with recent appointments:  Shireen Myers returning at New Entrant (currently Room 5), Kirsty Fletcher returning to Hoiho Hub Year 3/4, Jessica Barnes returning to Redwood at Year 5/6.

 

 

Government Payment Instead of School Donations:

Does Redwood School qualify for this? No.

Dear Parents/Whanau,

In the most recent budget the Government announced the provision for decile 1-7 schools to opt into a scheme whereby they have $150 per student given to them if they (school Boards) do not ask directly for parent/whanau donations to the school for general school-related funding. Unfortunately in this instance, we are still designated as a decile 8 school and therefore do not qualify for this assistance. The ‘decile 8’ tag is seen by the Government as an indicator that Redwood School is in a reasonably affluent community.

We are therefore quite dramatically financially ‘disadvantaged’ for being designated as a decile 8 school. Parent donations to Redwood School are purely voluntary and we set our donation guide figure low for a decile 8 school. We have always realised that our community should not be ‘put upon’ to provide extra funds. Our family donation take is around $16000 per year. If we qualified for the Government offer of $150 per student we would have funding of $48000. This is a difference of $32000 per year. If it was available to us it would therefore significantly benefit Redwood School to be part of the Government payment scheme.

As we do not qualify for the Government’s scheme, Redwood School will continue to ask for a voluntary donation from parents each year. We have always stressed that this donation is voluntary and we have deliberately kept our donation request low understanding the financial strain on whanau.

The PTA will also continue to work hard as a group to raise money to support our tamariki. The PTA supports the school but is not controlled by the Board or Principal. The PTA has, among other things, has:

·        Raised $38000 towards our new playground so far

·        Subsidised our swimming programme each year by $5000, thus reducing costs to all parents

·        Funded classroom resources every year including books, games, maths and ICT resources etc to benefit all children

·        Assisted financially with camps to support our tamariki and ensure all get a chance to go

·        Continually reached out and supported our community since the school first started.

Redwood School works to a very tight budget. We work hard to make sure that the money we spend has the best impact on our tamariki’s learning. Your extra support for the school through financial donations or donations of your time are very much appreciated and help make a significant difference for our tamariki and their whanau.

John Stackhouse

Tumuaki/Principal

For the Redwood School Board of Trustees.