New Board of Trustees
Most schools around the country held Board of Trustee elections in June this year. At Appleby School the number of nominations matched the number of positions available so the new Board could be confirmed immediately.
The Board is made up of the principal, a staff representative and five parent representatives. This year six of the trustees were returning members. These are Graham Avery, Nic Walker, Gary Reilly, Rachel Knowles, Meg Matthews and Antony Cliffe. Our new member is parent representative Chris Jack, and we welcome him to his role.
At its inaugural meeting trustees nominated Gary Reilly as chair. Areas of responsibility for each trustee will be determined in due course.
The Board will like to thank and acknowledge the input and successes of outgoing trustee Lou Busby. Without her, many capital works projects we’ve completed may not have progressed as quickly, or at all!
New family survey
All families new to the school in term 4 of last year and term 1 of this year were surveyed by the Board about their transition to school.
On this occasion 16 families were surveyed. Questions covered the ease of transition, how welcome and safe children feel at Appleby School, how interesting the learning is and how well the children are advancing in their eduction. Reporting processes and parent-teacher relationships were covered, too. The Board was pleased to see that 100% of respondents AGREED or STRONGLY AGREED to every statement provided to them.
Respondents commented favourably about the teaching staff, principal and the welcoming school community.
The Public Health Service has recently confirmed a third case of measles in the Nelson region.
Therefore as required by the Ministry, the school must advise all parents of potential outcomes should the disease spread. This involves the school keeping accurate immunisation records for all children.
Please be sure to keep up to date with this via the principal’s weekly newsletters. If you have any questions on this matter, please make contact with the school to discuss further.
The new trustees looked at a five month overview of the schools finances.
It saw the year start with a higher net working capital than expected, and the usual fluctuations in income and expenditure
Once the annual FOAS donation is received this month, financials will be on track with forecasted budgets, while still allowing for expenditure on some items required by the new Health & Safety legislation.
Health & Safety Update
The Government has introduced new Health & Safety legalisation for all businesses and institutions. While the structure around H&S in schools was already robust, there are further initiatives to work through.
While Appleby School has no areas of concern, and in fact has documentation for all its historical safeguarding measures, trustees continue to work through Ministry policy to ensure the utmost care of the school children.
Some improvements being made are:
• safe climbing height marked in trees
• emergency procedures to be explained to parents as well as children
• testing of all electrics
• furniture upgrades
• the crossing being patrolled by an adult
• alarm system upgrade
• a look at carpark layout
• trustees to accompany the principal on his monthly site checks to identify any potential hazards.
• hazard identification sheets being provided to all onsite visitors.
Vulnerable Children’s Act
Another Act the Ministry has reminded schools to be vigilant about is the Vulnerable Children’s Act. This refers to the process of police vetting to ensure the suitability of adults to have unsupervised access to children at school.
Currently core staff at Appleby School are police vetted. This includes teachers, teacher aides, itinerant teachers and support staff.
The Ministry advises that as of 1st July 2016, schools should consider vetting non- core staff and volunteers, including parent volunteers, who may have unsupervised access to children at school or on school trips.
The Board has decided it is in the best interests of the students to extend the vetting process to these people. Those to be vetted will be notified in advance.
Healthy Kids at Appleby
In April the school was asked to be a part of a nationwide study about health and how to lower obesity rates in children. As you’d expect the healthy living results that came out of our school were something to be proud of.
Senior Camp Approval
Deputy principal Nic Walker outlined plans for November’s senior camp to Hanmer Springs.
The Board was satisfied all health and safety aspects had been considered and that a programme of exciting, educational activities had been planned.
The Board agrees initial arrangements should be made, with final sign off to be given once the volunteers list has been viewed & approved.
Other topics discussed included a progress report on the region-wide establishment of a school cluster to track student learning; the upcoming ceremony to commemorate the return of the school land to Ngati Kuia; and the student’s council’s latest great ideas.
The next Board of Trustees meeting will be held Wednesday 5th July at school.