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Winter Update

Kia Ora St Thomas’ Community

As we enter the first public holiday to celebrate Matariki, which marks the start of the Māori New Year, it is a time to reflect on the past year, celebrate the present, and plan for the year ahead. Hopefully, with clear skies over the long weekend, you get the chance to view the Matariki cluster of stars reappearing in our night sky.

This is also a good opportunity to update you on how things are going at the College in relation to Covid-19 and the winter flu season.

We have again held up well, to date, this term. In Week 4 we had a noticeably lower attendance rate than usual, due to the onset of winter illness. Our Covid related sickness has lowered and levelled off considerably. 

As we enter the last fortnight of this term, we are met by some challenges. Relief teachers are in high demand around the city and therefore not always available. We have also had a rising level of staff illness over the last two weeks.

While managing the current situation, at times, we may need to combine some Year 13 and Year 12 classes. This means the merging of classes when the student class numbers are low or, one teacher working between two classes. This enables our students to remain onsite and school maintains a form of normality.

The alternative of rostering students home, at this stage, is something we are trying our best to avoid. Many schools around the city have been rostering students home since the beginning of the year. I would like to acknowledge our staff during these times, as often they are called on to take internal relief (teach a class not assigned to them). I would also like to publicly thank Yvonne Shields for the daily work she does to make sure our classes are staffed; no mean feat during these times. 

Please continue to keep your sons at home if they are sick or have Covid-like symptoms.

Thank you, as always, for your support.

Enjoy the long weekend, stay warm.

Paul Burton
Assistant Principal
Operations & Sport