From the Principal

Kia ora Parents and Caregivers,

It’s certainly been a unique start to the school year, as we all learn to live and operate under new Alert Level Red public health regulations and mandates.

This has unfortunately affected our usual back-to-school activities. Staff are working hard to ensure students have as many fun opportunities as possible – especially our Year 9s and other new students – to get to know one another.  Our Year 9 Tabloid Sports Day on 4 March is something we are looking forward to.  You can find out more details in this newsletter.

A huge congratulations must go to our staff and students on the outstanding success in both NCEA and NZQA Scholarship exams. Despite such an interrupted year, our provisional results are excellent:

Level 1
89.2% provisional pass rate, with 45.7% Merit endorsement and 33.1% Excellence endorsement.

Level 2
96.4% provisional pass rate, with 40.2% Merit endorsement and 37.4% Excellence endorsement.

Level 3
92.6% provisional pass rate, with 33% Merit endorsement and 41.4% Excellence endorsement.

University Entrance
85% provisional pass rate

We also had 66 scholarships awarded to 43 students across Years 12 and 13, including four at “Outstanding” level. 13 of the scholarships were in Biology and 10 in English. Congratulations to Lily Qi and Maggie Zhou who were awarded four scholarships each, and to Year 12 (2021) student Emily Zhu who received three scholarships.

We are very pleased with these provisional results following a very disruptive year. While these figures have trended down slightly from 2020, they are in line with what other schools have experienced around the country and remain well above the national average.

Covid update

In a large school community such as ours, it was unlikely we would ride the Omicron wave without getting our feet wet. While our Covid-positive cases this week were certainly not desired, they were anticipated, and I want to explain the process we went through – and will continue to go through – when notified of a case.

Covid notification process

  • Senior staff work to identify any students who may be at risk through having been in close proximity to the positive case.
  • If your daughter is identified as being at risk, you will be contacted immediately with information regarding next steps. She will be asked to stay at home until she has received a negative test while we wait for further information from the Ministry of Health.
  • Risk is determined on an individual basis using criteria set by the Ministry of Education. This includes mask wearing, time in proximity to the infected person and the type of interaction.
  • The Ministry of Health will confirm the extent of the infectious period and which of the following applies
  • Close Contact requiring 10 days of isolation.
  • Casual Contact requiring isolation until a negative test is returned.

Disparity between definitions

One issue we have discovered during the process this week, is the current disparity between the definition of a Close Contact between:

  • Students who had been identified through the Bluetooth Tracer App.
  • Students who were identified by the school.

The Bluetooth Tracer App is a very helpful tool, however it does not recognise the highly regulated and controlled environment in schools – where mask wearing is a requirement, students are encouraged outside for interval and lunchtimes, there’s good handwashing/sanitising practices, and non-essential visitors are not allowed onsite.

Using our robust set of criteria, the school deemed those students to only be Casual Contacts, and we appreciate this information was conflicting.

The Ministry of Education is currently working on a solution to eliminate the disparity between these definitions, and we will let you know as soon as we have details.

Once again, if your daughter or anyone in your family is unwell, please keep them home and get tested. If you, or anyone in your household receives a positive result, please email [email protected] and we will be in touch.

Despite the disruptions of this week, I trust your daughter has enjoyed her time in the classroom.

Have a lovely weekend.

Jane Stanley