Tēnā koutou, e te whānau o Long Bay College.
I would like to start by congratulating staff, students, and whanau for successfully completing what for many of us has been perhaps one of the most difficult challenges for us to ever face. In the last Wavelength, I spoke of the term ‘invisible lockdown’ and how, although not physically ‘locked down’, the alternative has been equally, if not more challenging.
Despite this, we have managed to continue to open our school gates on a daily basis, thanks mainly to the tenacity, generosity, and commitment to our rangatahi (young people) of our staff and of our group of relieving teachers, without who none of this would have been achieved.
As well as Covid absences, there have been numerous bugs and viruses to contend with too, all of which have contributed to us having 20% of our student body absent, on average, each day. Whilst many of these absences are quite genuine, there is also the possibility that not attending school has become a little easier of late and I would ask our parent/guardian community to support us in getting your children to school as often as is possible. The act of being present, to engage in the teaching and learning process, is the greatest determinant of future success and I cannot understate its importance. To that end, I would also like to remind our community that we now have the following support provisions for the hauora (wellbeing) of our akonga (learners): 3 full-time guidance counsellors, 4 youth workers, a registered nurse, a health centre attendant, Atawhai leaders, and student centre support. If you believe your child needs any additional support, please do not hesitate to contact our Head of Hauora, Hiltrud Egle firstname.lastname@example.org
The last two years have been full of disruption, uncertainty and perhaps gaining a sense of belonging in a school has been difficult for many, particularly our junior students, many of whom will have attended three schools in four years, and that is perhaps reflected in some of the minor behaviours we have currently been witnessing at school. Issues such as uniform, punctuality, and generally not living our school values of Care, Respect, Creativity, and Community to the full have been evident, when pre-Covid, they were not. The focus in Term 3 will very much be geared toward teaching, learning, and respectful behaviours and we ask again, as whanau, for your support in setting your children up to succeed in school and beyond by promoting our values, in relation to school. To that end, please find a link to our Student Guide LBC-Student-Guide-2022.pdf which includes our expectations around behaviours, uniform, phones, and headphones.
Please also be aware that all uniform items are available from The Uniform Shoppe in the Long Bay development. To help families with the transition to the new uniform, students are now allowed to wear the new jacket, jumper, skirt, trousers, shorts, and socks with the old uniform. The new blazer is also now available and able to be worn by any of our students, not just our sports teams and prefects.
Term 3 is going to be an incredibly exciting time, with events such as Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, National Sports Tournament Week, School Production (All Shook Up), Open Evening, and Alumni Day as well as the last big academic push for our seniors with internal work and assessments and preparation for the external exams in Term 4. With no Learning Recognition Credits and Unexpected Event Grades signalled for 2022, this will be the first time our seniors have ever had to complete a full course of study in NCEA and that can be quite daunting, but like the generations of students before them, not insurmountable. It is a great time to be young, a great time to be at Long Bay College. We are privileged to live where we do, lucky to enjoy the safety and security of people who care about us, and we should all take heart from this.
I wish you all a safe and happy term break and look forward to a positive Term 3, with a focus on continuing and promoting high levels of student success in all facets of our school.