Kia Ora Whānau,

The last day of 2019 is nearly here…

Graduation:
What a fantastic day this was for our departing 49 Year 6 leavers that we have. All we can say is that Ross, PNINS, Feilding and St Peter’s are very lucky to be receiving an amazing bunch of learners. Thank you for the leadership you have provided our school in your time here. Rosie, Nic, John, Bianca and Mel, as well as the rest of the staff are so very proud of you and your achievements. You will all be missed.

End of Year Prizegiving:
On Wednesday afternoon we had our end of year prizegiving recognising our many award winners and what an afternoon it was. We held it onsite in our hall for the first time in a number of years and it was a full house! Check out the nominees and recipients here: End of Year Prizegiving 2019. Congratulations to all our winners!

Mural:
The annual mural was unveiled yesterday morning and I’m sure I say this every year, but this is my new favourite! It is simply breathtaking. Thanks to Carolyn for her leadership in this space, I know you are so proud of Peyton, Jack, Keira, Meleena, Eva, Daniela, JC, Rebecca and Emily. What a talented bunch of artists they are.

Farewells:
Tomorrow we farewell a number of staff who are finishing up with us:
Suzanne Smith has been a valued member of our staff for 11 years and has lifted the profile of GATE within our school. She has positively impacted many children’s lives through her One Day Schools, Create Groups, Teaching in Poutama and being our Reading Recovery teacher. She moves on to join the Feilding Kāhui Ako as the Learning Support Coordinator.
Stephanie Bookless was only really with us for 2018, but was a loved teacher by the kids in 6 with a Mix. She has decided that the ‘Mum Life’ is for her with her daughter Olivia. We wish her and Marc all the best.
Demelza Darby has been a great addition to the team keeping us covered while our Mums were on leave; taking over from Ebony last year when she had Evie and then this year for Samantha when she had Jaida. Hopefully she will be back doing some relieving for us one day.
-Bridget Higson has been an excellent part time teacher in a range of classes over her time here. She has shared her love for sport and art with a wide range of learners from Poutokomanawa, Te Whanake, Atawhai and Waka Huia. Thank you for your contributions to our school.
Kate Cliff has been a Teaching Assistant for the last few years supporting our priority learners. This year she became our Quick60 teacher, which is an intervention designed to help lift students achievement in reading and has gathered pleasing results. We wish her all the best for her next journey.
Jeremy Phillips has been our resident tech fixer upperer over the last 17 years and has decided to move on to the next stage of his life. His wicked sense of humour will be missed.
-Also a massive farewell to our parents who are ending their tenure with us by default, as they have a year 6 leaving tomorrow and they are the last in their family to attend our school. Like I always tell kids “Russell Street is more than a school, it’s in your DNA!” so don’t be a stranger. Farewell to any of our families who are leaving our school tomorrow and moving on to new schools in 2020.

School Reports:
These went home with your child today. Our staff have worked tirelessly to get these finished and they are all a beautiful read. I personally love the student voice element, which puts your child at the centre. Please take the time to read these alongside your child as opposed to on your own, as they really are a special document.

Start Dates for 2020:
Information about this is included in the report in the class placement. Korero Mai (Meet the Learner) is all set to go for the 28th/29th January 2020. You will need to book a 20 minute slot for your child/ren on either day. These are taken as school days and attendance is compulsory. The timeslots are at 11.30am-7.30pm on Tuesday 28th January and 9-5pm on the Wednesday 29th January 2020. Go to www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and the code is 228us to book. Full school back for instruction on the Thursday 30th January.

Class Placements:
You may notice too that next year we have three Year 4-6 classes. Although this may come as a surprise, our decision to do this is based on sound evidence and research that supports our School Vision and Values. In the past we have had great success with the Year 4-6 being together in the same space as it lifts and grows the Tuakana-Teina bond within that space. Here is the map for 2020 so you can see where everybody is next year.

GATE:
With Suzanne leaving us, from Term 2 John Smith has agreed to be our new GATE teacher for 2020 and beyond. He is extremely passionate about working with children who need further extension, so he is the perfect person for this job…Mwahahaha! (Did John just Mwahahaha?)

Nic’s Sabbatical:
For those of you who don’t already know, Nic Mason won a sabbatical for Term 1 of 2020. John will be the full time classroom teacher for those learners in Room 7 next year during Nic’s absence. When Nic comes back in Term 2, he will be resume co-teaching with John. (Nic: Monday, Tuesday, Friday. John: Wednesday, Thursday)

Sports Uniforms:
All our Summer Sports concluded yesterday and we desperately need to restock our shelves with our uniforms ready for next years sporting codes. If you forgot to give them back to your coach, could you please hand them in to the office, especially if you are a Year 6 student who doesn’t have any younger siblings.

Library Books:
Have you seen these books? Rebecca would love them back please.

Have a safe and happy holiday and we look forward to seeing you back in 2020.

Ngā Manaakitanga,
Troy