Thursday 15 November

Dear Parents/Whanau

2018 has been a year of opportunities and challenges for kaiako (teachers), kaiawhina (support staff) and tamariki. 2019 looks to be similar but with the school redevelopment starting in Term 3 it will be a busy time with many opportunities.


School redevelopment: opportunities and challenges

While there will be challenges in getting the school redeveloped, the new school environment will bring distinct opportunities. We are looking forward to a much improved school environment after waiting over eight years without property development money! The Board and I have been working hard, spending much time, to make sure we get the best result we can for our tamariki and staff.

Currently the school redevelopment cost is being assessed, detailed plans will be undertaken early next year, tender will be let Term 1, 2019 and contractor confirmed Term 2, 2019. Work is scheduled to start Term 3, 2019. The work is predicted to take eighteen months at least.

School zoning and New Entrant Enrolments 2019

There has been much discussion in the media about zones lately. The Principal and Redwood School Board of Trustees, as part of the lead-up to school redevelopment, held lengthy discussions with the Ministry of Educaton through 2016, 2017 and 2018 regarding zones. The Principal and BoT pushed for the school zone to include all children for whom Redwood School was their closest (local) primary school. However, due to neighbouring school roll issues and redevelopments the MoE has stated that the school zone, as it stands now, will remain as it is. The MoE has limited our maximum roll to 350 (this includes an extra learning space owned by the Board of Trustees). As a result next year out-of-zone places have been limited to siblings of current out-of-zone Redwood students.

If you live in zone and have a new entrant beginning at Redwood School in 2019, please ensure that you have contacted the school office and have your child’s name on the enrolment list.

School Parent Donations

The school donation is voluntary. We appreciate the fact that we are donated about $17000 from parents in a usual year. So far this year we have received $13500. If you are able to give a donation to the school, and haven’t yet done this, your support of our tamariki would be much appreciated.

What do donations go towards? This money is directed towards ICT equipment, sports gear and some is being set aside for playground redevelopment (replacement and upgrade of play equipment in the school redevelopment). Your donation certainly makes a positive difference!

Redwood School Partnership with Van Asch Deaf Education Centre

Another aspect I am thrilled with is our school’s association with Van Asch. This term we have been trialling, with Van Asch, a group of deaf tamariki being based in the school one day in a week. The aim is to have this continue through 2019. It has been lovely to see our tamariki interacting freely with the Van Asch group at break and lunchtime. This relationship benefits both Van Asch and Redwood. Our Board of Trustees has been very proactive in supporting this.

Class Placements for 2019:

Teachers have been reviewing the placement of children for 2019. We undertake a careful process including the consideration of feedback from parents/whanau. We cannot deliver on every request as we always have to consider overall balance of learning groups, but we do our best to bring about the best possible combinations in our learning groups.

Children will have a chance to visit their learning space and 2019 teachers later this term once class lists have been finalised.

A thank you to the many parents who added positive notes and thank yous regarding the school and teachers in 2018 in your class placement contacts with the school. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Working together:

Our motto/vision, We are climbing high, ready for life, was developed by our community. The most important word is we. It shows we are a team, we work together, we are a community. To get the best for each of our tamariki we need to keep up good communication, school to home and home to school. If you have a concern or something to celebrate regarding school, please let us know. Especially if there is a concern, let us know early so that we can work together to address it.

Schools are certainly busy places with no chance to ‘get bored’. Next year looks to be another busy and exciting year.

John Stackhouse