From the Principal

Kia ora Parents and Caregivers,

We are officially half through Term 1 now, and it’s been great to see our students start to settle into school life, despite the very fluid situation we find ourselves in.

I want to thank our parent community for the part you’ve played in ensuring our school has operated smoothly over the past few weeks. It’s something of a revolving door with students and staff testing positive, isolating, recovering and returning to school.  The change to regulations this week meaning students and staff can return after 7 days of isolation as long as they are symptom free will be helpful. You can find more details under ‘Important Things to Note” in this newsletter.

While managing staff absences has its challenges, we’ve managed to operate successfully without the need to alter the timetable for our students. We’ve even managed to hold class trips, including this week’s Level 1 Visual Art and Photography trip. Our onsite student attendance rate has remained in the mid 70% during the last two difficult weeks and I want to thank all the staff for their flexibility and willingness to help during this time to ensure we are able to remain open to all students.

We’ve had a few questions from parents around eligibility for extra-curricular activities, such as sports, music and dance. Minister Hipkins has indicated that children and young people will soon be able to participate in all school-organised teams and groups regardless of their vaccination status. This will require an amendment to the Health Order and it is expected to happen before next Tuesday, 15 March. In the meantime activities are required to continue under the current regulations and we will update you as soon as we have further information.

I hope Year 9 parents enjoy meeting your daughter’s Form Teacher via Google Meet next Tuesday. It’s unfortunate we can’t hold our Year 9 Parent Information Evening at this stage, but hopefully connecting with your daughter’s Form Teacher will be a good start. We’ll look forward to welcoming you to Westlake when Traffic Light Levels allow.

Finally, congratulations to our students who competed in the Auckland Secondary Schools Athletics Championships this week. And I want to wish our rowers all the best for the North Island Rowing Champs this weekend. All of our sports teams and athletes have had a disrupted couple of years, and we’re pleased to see them out there competing.

Kindest regards

Jane Stanley