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This Newsletter provides me with the opportunity to thank you, our Springs/Waiōrea community of parents and caregivers for the truly outstanding messages of support you have sent us, both during the lockdown and after, as we have moved into Level 3 and now down to Level 2.  It’s difficult for me to adequately express how much these mean to us all as we navigate these previously ‘uncharted waters’.  Thank you for taking the time, and thank you for the support.  I include just some of those messages below.

 We will continue with the compacted timetable for next week.  Period 1 will begin at 9.00 am (no 15 min. form period from now on).  Tuesday and Thursday form periods will be reduced to a half hour duration. All year levels will be in attendance all week, with the addition of workshops/tutorials for senior students (see schedule here) requiring additional teacher contact and catch-up time from 2.00 pm to 3.15 pm each day.  The homework centre for Year 9 and 10 students will continue as well in this time slot.

Finally, from me, look out for the stroke of brilliance from a librarian in relation to Covid-19 lockdown at the end of these notes.  Who knew that arranging books could be so much fun!

 Nga mihi,
Ivan Davis

 Messages of support from the Springs/Waiōrea community:

 “I just wanted to join in with a message of support for both return to school and online learning. (Daughter) was very keen to get back to school and (father) and l had no hesitation about sending the girls back to school. Both of us work in health, (father) is essential, l’m not so have been working at home. Your messages and updates have been really clear throughout this whole process and the best thing for us is (daughter) feels safe at school, she is learning and loving being back in the physical space”.

 “Thank you to you all! Her form teacher, house leaders, subject teachers – the support and check-ins during lockdown and to lvan for the leadership and engaging comms. Admin for getting the comms out! You are a great team and we are loving being a part of the WSC whanau”.

 “Thank you for your updates and for making the return to school after such a strange time so smooth, welcoming and caring. It is so nice to see that you take such a holistic view of the education of each student”. 

“(Daughter) is Year 9 and was indeed very excited to get back to her learning and to her friends, new and old”.

“As parents new to the school we can’t say enough about how impressed we are with everything and thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It was a bit anxiety making sending (daughter) off on Monday but we had full faith in you and when she got home looking very happy and we read your email all our fears were allayed”. 

“In addition to her general excitement at being back at school, I asked her what had stood out to her.  She said that the teachers had been very kind, especially Ms Patel, her Social Studies teacher, who had given her chocolate. So thank you Ms Patel. It is the little things that count”.

“Also, thank you for everyone’s efforts during period of home learning. Our (daughter) was doing really well with her tasks set and I said to a few friends that I would have liked a few similar projects like her Science Astronomy project to keep me stimulated and entertained during that period”.

“Ivan and Team, You’re doing an amazing job, thanks,

Thanks Ivan for the update, respect and appreciate the insights”.  

“As a Dad with one Y10 student attending WSC, I wish to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for your great care during these challenging times, and for that matter during ‘normal’ times as well”.

 “Mr Davis sets a sterling example of clear effective communication with compassionate leadership. Our son has been attending since Tuesday and I know he is happy to be back in the vibrant environment that is Western Springs College”.

 “Thankfully our amazing leaders seem to have squashed this terrible thing, which I’m incredibly grateful for, and this seems to show that (for now) there is no community transmission, so I feel more confident about sending her back (she is very keen to get back into it)”.

“You guys have been incredible, what a crazy time, I can’t imagine what you and your staff are juggling”.

 “As you know (son) is new to Springs, and the difference in all things, the online classes, the communication, the support and flexibility between Springs and his older school is truly outstanding. Springs is really ahead of the game”.

 “You should be really proud – You guys are awesome”. 

 “Thankyou for all your efforts Ivan. 

Such great leadership in these testing times. You are all a credit to our community. Peace and blessings be with you all. 

A huge thank you to all the teachers for their superb support for my two WSC kids over the Level 4 and 3 lock downs. As a teacher myself (Y2) I know how hard it is to keep lessons and motivation going at a distance.

Kia kaha, kia maia kia, manawanui!”

“Good first day back. Shorter days are appreciated”.

“My daughter looked after herself, rather than being particularly home-schooled, and from what I saw the teachers were fantastic.  Jess Sinclair, in particular, got in touch with (daughter), when I let her know that she’d become a bit stressed by schoolwork, and other teachers seemed to really endeavour to engage the students”.

 “Many thanks to all for all the extra work that this must have created and the care that you have shown to students, and I hope also to staff”.

“I just wanted to thank you for your frequent and effective communication”.

“Good morning Principal Ivan Davis & your Team.

Just a quick message from to say you guys are doing a great job.

Our daughter is in Year 9 and is really embracing the positive learning environment, & sense of community as she becomes a young adult”.

 “We just want to say that we think you guys are handling this situation fantastically and managing the students’ wellbeing very well. We’re year 9 first-time parents, and your organisation around all of this has been incredible!”

 “Thank you all so much for your huge efforts, care and organization”.

 “Congrats on surviving day 1 post-pandemic, and actually the amazing efforts over the lockdown period.  Not an easy nor small task! Ka mau te wēhi!”

 “I would like to thank you for your considered approach to dealing with what has been and is a real challenge for schools. 

Your school has approached and acknowledged how distance learning has been fine for some and difficult for others and the expectations of students has been fair and again considered. This became even more apparent in your message to our community in your last school newsletter”. 

 “It is great you acknowledge that strict physical distancing is not practical for schools and PPE not required for students and staff. Really will help create a familiar environment for the students to return to”.

 “Thank you and all the best to you and your staff for the start of term”.

 “Go well”.

 I am grateful for the fantastic job that you and the teaching staff do in educating our kids at WSC”.

“I would like to extend my thanks to you and the whole school team for everything you’ve done to support the students and their families over the lockdown period.  The communication and the online workload given to our son during this time has been fantastic.  It has kept him calm, engaged and fairly diligent!” 

 “I know it would have been a huge challenge to do maintain this level of teaching online while trying to live with the uncertainty from your own bubbles during this time.  We have really appreciated you and your team’s dedication to your work.  Thank you”.

 “Good luck with next week (and beyond), I know the transition won’t be easy, but I hope you feel as though you have everyone’s support”.

 “Thank you for the very uplifting email. My son has really struggled and I’m most appreciative of your sensitive approach. It shows great understanding of the situation and as we all know this has been the most unusual of circumstances. The one good thing is that we’re all in it together”.

“You’re doing an amazing job Ivan (with support I know, but the buck does kind of stop with you in the end)”.

“Thank you for this panui.
We really appreciate your korero.
He mihi nui ki a koe, me te kura whanau hoki”.

 “Thank you Ivan, as always you and the school are doing a brilliant job!”

“Love this! So much care and thought. Thank you”.

“Impressive plan!! So proud of WSC!”

“We just want to express our appreciation of the exemplary way in which you run this College, and the support and educational leadership shown”.

“I just want to add my thanks and support to you all for the way in which you are managing things at school amidst this crisis”.

“Thank you for your email. Great comms”.

 “As a parent I have been receiving your emails Ivan, and have been so incredibly impressed by the focus and values around wellbeing. The email you sent on May 12th in response to the government’s decision to move to alert level 2 expressed to me your deep understanding of what wellbeing means. It was affirming of the experiences of whānau, students and teachers. You spoke about the diversity of peoples experiences during the noho rāhui as well as affirmed the diversity of feelings for all returning back to school. You spoke about non-judgement and compassion and that this a transition that will take different people different time, and that however you are feeling as a student, parent or whānau member you will be supported by the school”.

 “I have actually shared the email as I see the way WSC and Waiōrea are responding to this unusual situation so exemplary when it comes to the most important thing of all, student and whānau wellbeing”.

 “You have set such a wonderful example of compassion and support”.

 “I am just so impressed by the way in which our students are nurtured and supported. As a parent I feel so blessed to have my son attend this school and feel exceptionally proud to be a part of the wider school community”.

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