The Connection Week 4 Term 4

Huapai District School 11th November 2021


Hi! Yesterday, we received clarity on getting children back at school. The best part of the advice was “schools know their needs and their communities”. We believe we can manage a full time return to school. We understand there will be a number who are not yet confident with this approach and will build options to support this. We respect this decision.

We are also aware that some schools have surveyed parents in order to find a ‘best fit’ structure for their return to school on Wednesday 17th. We know that there is no one size fits all solution. We feel we can better serve our school families by being able to support all students and families through offering all of the options outlined below:

  1. Your child returns full time to school.

  2. Your child returns to school part time at your discretion.

  3. Your child remains at home full time.

You know your child best and your circumstances. The decision is yours and we support you. In each of the scenarios above, we are able to continue to support your child’s learning.

We will be communicating tomorrow, the finer details for our Year 0-8 students and the structures we will be putting in place to mitigate risk and continue support in learning. A good part of this call is our confidence in our community to work with us and make this work for children. We know children are more likely to pick up COVID from within the community than from within the school. We also know the risk to children is well below that of adults. Managing the adults on site is the biggest part of our planning. It has been a long and arduous journey. If you’re anything like me, I just want things back to the way they were. Coming to grips with “same but different”, a new paradigm and a different way right now is challenging.

My mind does jump back to the generations before us who endured wars and even pandemics in years gone by. I also think of those of us who have experienced great loss, hardship and dramatic change and still rise, get back up and keep moving forward.

To our children (your children) well done for staying the course and finishing well.

A great statement of character and potential.

Thank you,

John Petrie

Upcoming Events

  • Friday 12th November (tomorrow) - Virtual Assembly

Virtual Assembly

We would love to welcome you to join our online assembly this Friday 12th November at 2pm.

Maree Lloyd Appointed As Deputy Principal

We have made a slight change in the labelling of our senior leadership team. Previously this was John Petrie (Principal) Keryn Annan (Deputy Principal) and Maree Lloyd (Assistant Principal). We believe having two (2) Deputy Principals is a better description of the role Maree Lloyd carries within the school and community. Keryn Annan remains unchanged.

Student Of The Week

Shrestha (Year 0) says: "I have just started at Huapai. I like playing in the playground. At Huapai I have learned to be kind and help people. There are lots of kind and helpful people to play with here. Mrs Neil and Mrs Elliott are my teachers and they are nice."

Getting To Know...

Diane Thomas

Hi, I am Diane Thomas and I teach year 5&6 at HDS. I love being a teacher, I think it’s the best job around. I enjoy the buzz and energy of a class; I love exploring things together and finding out information. I enjoy puzzles and quizzes and learning with students. I started teaching in London and moved back to NZ in 2012 with my husband and two children. I love travelling and have been very lucky to have travelled to many places. I love being out in nature and one of my favourite walks is the Milford Track. I am looking forward to January as I have booked to do the Queen Charlotte Track. I love socialising and catching up with friends and I can’t wait to be able to do this again.

Bubbles Next Week

Bookings for Monday are available on KINDO. These bookings will close at 12noon Friday (tomorrow).

Unfortunately we are unable to provide bubble options on Tuesday as we undergo a deep clean and prepare for students to return Wednesday. If this presents significant issues for you, please contact before noon on Friday.


The reality is that Coivid is part of our world now. As much as we seek to avoid it, the likelihood that we will be touched by it in some way is high. There should be no stigma attached to Covid. It does not discriminate by race, gender or status in society . We all share the same intention; to protect our families and to stay healthy.

If you or your family is affected by Covid, as a school we will seek to support you as we can. We ask that you please let us know if you contract Covid, keep your children at home if you are isolating due to contact with Covid, and that children who have been isolating have a clear Covid result before returning to school.

Vaccination Status

November 15th is a significant date. Government policy is that all staff and people working in schools with children present are required to be vaccinated (fully vaccinated by 1st January 2022). As a school we are doing everything we can to support staff and also respect their privacy in making the decision to accept or decline vaccination. Parents can be assured all staff working on site are at least partially vaccinated and will be fully vaccinated by 1st January 2022. Where there is a change of personnel impacting on classrooms, parents of that class will be advised.

Vaccination Status For Students 12+ Years

As we continue to navigate this ever changing COVID landscape, government agencies have continued to refine public health measures for school and early learning services. Part of these recent updates is that schools are required to carry a vaccination register for staff and students aged 12 years and older. We appreciate that vaccinations are a personal family choice and we are not seeking to advise you. As we are required to have this register fully in place by the start of 2022, we would like to start gathering the information now. We would like to ask you to please complete the form linked below if you can. You can also choose the "decline to share information" option. All information is accessible to only a very small number of staff and will be treated confidentially and in line with our School Privacy Policy.

2022 Term Dates

Our 2022 Term dates are:

Term 1 - Thursday 3rd February - Friday 14th April

Term 2 - Monday 2nd May - Friday 8th July

Term 3 - Monday 25th July - Friday 30th September

Term 4 - Monday 17th October - Friday 16th December

Additional to this there are two planned Teacher only days:

  • Friday 4th March

  • Friday 3rd June (making Queens Birthday a 4 day option)

Assessment And Reporting

Like most schools we have had to acknowledge we cannot objectively assess and report in all areas of the curriculum this second half of the year. Our end of year reports will proceed but will not include what we report as overall teacher judgement against the curriculum in maths, reading and writing. This means the graphs we use to show achievement levels in reading, writing and maths will not be done at the end of the year. We also believe a judgement without moderated samples would not be helpful. We will plan to do this early in Term 1 and connect early with parents with the results. Our reporting will continue to report against individual learning goals and general comments.

In supporting the transition of our Yr 8 students, staff have met online with the colleges giving input to assist in placement and achievement information.

Parent Input For 2022 Class Placements

As we move towards the end of year, our thoughts must also turn to 2022. As a school, our primary focus is the wellbeing of your child. We spend weeks discussing the best placement for your child in 2022, taking into consideration the academic, social and emotional needs of your child. We would like to offer the opportunity for you to supply any additional information that we should take into consideration when placing your child in a class for 2022.

If you wish to submit additional information, please submit the form linked below before noon on Friday 12th November.

If you have difficulty opening this form please contact the School Office:


In September we announced that we will be working on improving our cyber safety approaches and technologies in partnership with Linewize by Family Zone.

Linewize is New Zealand’s leading provider of cyber safety technology. The Linewize technology will allow our school to better maintain our duty of care during school hours by ensuring the students are safe online no matter what network they are connected to. Our school already partners with the Ministry of Educations network filtering and management programme (Network for Learning - N4L).

One of the key reasons we selected Linewize by Family Zone is so our parent community has the option of using the same online safety technology at home as we will use in school. We see this option opening to parents once we have established the processes within the school.

One of the key benefits of Linewize is an early alert system to assist us with managing the cyber safety and wellbeing of our students. When a student is logged into the school system, as they are at school, Linewize will capture any “red flag” searches such as suicide or adult web site content that a student may try to access online. While many of these searches are innocuous, they can provide an early warning to a child’s state of mind and a platform to discuss and support children in cyber citizenship and safety.

We look forward to bringing more information and also providing the option to parents to participate in this option next year.

School Wide Challenge - Secret Agent Or A Superhero

This week our students took on the role of a secret agent or a superhero. Here are a selection of photos. Please tune in to our school assembly on Friday (linked at the start of this newsletter) to watch the video of these agents and heroes in action!

Lockdown Learning


Properties and changes in Matter…

HERO Notifications

We use HERO to send classroom updates and to share regular learning posts. HERO sends push notifications or emails. You can now choose how you receive HERO notifications as well as manage devices that receive them.

To set your own notification preferences:

  1. Click on your profile image

  2. Select EDIT PROFILE

  3. Scroll down to My Devices and select your preferences.

Or please see the full instructions linked below.