School Fair
Once again Appleby School upheld its reputation with the organisation of the best fair in the region, run by a close knit community. The crowd was similar to years previous and the enjoyment and the monies made is also in line with recent fairs. The Board of Trustees would like to sincerely thank everyone in the school community for their part in ensuring such a fantastic day. The FOAS has a large part to play in the success, and the Board passes on its gratitude. But an event like this can’t come together without the entire community backing it, so thank you to everyone who put in time and effort for the betterment of the school. Details of how the 2017 fair income will be spent will be detailed before year-end. Funds from the 2016 school fair, ($35,000) were allocated to:
-    6th Teacher costs $10k
-    Teacher Aide hours $8k
-    Reading Recovery $6k
-    Subsidise Activities $6k
-    Property Works $5k
The Board sees learning programmes that support students as a priority. 

Staffing 2018
This year, as with previous years, the Board opted for a sixth teacher scenario.   Within this structure, the Ministry of Education funds five of the teaching staff and the Board covers the cost of the sixth teacher in order to establish lower teacher:student class ratios.   When a roll of 126 students is reached, the MOE effectively pays for the sixth teacher. The Board ensures it has reserves to cover a worst case scenario, as in the roll did not reach 126 for the entire year. The board has approved the sixth teacher structure in 2018 and has re-appointed Alison Hart to this contract position of the sixth teacher. Jodie Brown, has resigned from her permanent full-time position effective at the end of her maternity leave, December 2017.  Gemma Bublitz, currently teaching in Whakatu was the successful applicant for the position, which saw 35 applicants. The Board congratulates Gemma and Alison on their appointments and is pleased to be able to continue the provision of high calibre teaching at Appleby for the coming year. 

Attendance Analysis
Each year the school is required to submit analysis of attendance records for Term 2 to the Ministry of Education. Usually Appleby School has very favourable attendance records (92-94% as opposed to the national average around 88%).   But this year illness and families on extended overseas holidays made a dent resulting in an overall attendance of 88% for Term 2.   During this term chicken pox was rife in the school with 25 children from one class absent with the illness. Due to the school’s excellent records in years past, and across other terms this year, this Term 2 anomaly does not produce a red flag with the Ministry. As always though it is worth considering your child(rens) attendance and any factors that may bring it below 90%. 

Policy Review    
Each term several school policies are reviewed and some procedures audited. They are  amended where necessary and ratified accordingly.   Thank you to those community members who took part in our review of Students with Special Needs policy last term. In general people were very happy with the content and the implementation of SN policy.   The following procedures have been audited: Provisionally Registered Teachers, Teacher Registration/Police Vetting, Appointments, Length of School Year. We also looked at the recently released MOE guidelines on restraint. The guidelines seek to ensure all schools are aware of how to manage a situation where a child poses imminent danger to themselves or others. A School-Docs policy exists around restraint, and staff at Appleby School have been clarifying the implications. Next month policy in these areas will be reviewed: Privacy, Salary Units Class Release Time. The staff and Board are the stakeholders in these reviews.   We will also look at the MOEs new Cohort Entry facility with a view to consulting our community next term.

Student Achievement
Recently, principal Graham Avery reported on the students’ mid-year progress results. The students progress was considered in relation to these targets which have been set for student achievement in 2017:

1. Less than 10% of students below National Standards in Reading, Writing and Mathematics
2. More than 50% above National Standards in Reading, Writing and Mathematics
3. Boys achieving as well as girls across National Standards
4. Maori/Pasifika students achieving as well as others across National Standards

The Board acknowledges these achievement targets are challenging, even for a high performing school with our track record.  They represent high levels of both equity and excellence and will require a significant value-added measure to meet them.

It was reported that mid-year results suggest are on track to achieve targets  1, 2 and 4, (with some minor variations across individual subject areas). The final breakdown of student achievement results will be reported to the Board and the community in December 2017. It is important to note that our Annual Plan and programmes include targets which relate to broader areas of student well-being and learning that are more wholistic than the National Standards. 
It will be interesting to see what guidance we are given in 2018 from the Ministry of Education regarding reporting to parents after the demise of National Standards. 

Financial Update
The Board examined the school’s income and expenditure for the past months at recent meetings.   These figures are in line with the Board’s expected figures and the school continues to track towards its end of year targets.  The Board hopes to have a some excesses due to cost savings that can be allocated to further resources/or property works before year’s end. 

Emergency Kits
The board has decided to upgrade our survival kits which are held in case of emergencies. The kits contain medical supplies, rescue blankets, food items, water and waterproof containers. They come in large wheeled bins so they are easy to move about. Checking and replacing perishable items will be part of the Board’s regular health and safety checks. The School has also applied for an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to be held on site for use by the wider community. If successful we will receive 50% of funding. In the meantime, we have looked into nearby locations nearly with machines. The closest are at the Appleby Fire Station and at Seifrieds Estate. If you want to find out where your closest is, get the app “AED locations NZ” as it is well worth having.

Waimea CoL update
The establishment of the Waimea Community of Learning continues.   Across school positions have been appointed, and now it is time for schools to appoint their own within school roles.  This position is filled by a current member of staff and carries a one day a week release component. The purpose of the ‘Within school’ lead teachers is to promote best teaching practice and strengthen the use of an inquiry approach to teaching and learning, in order to achieve the shared achievement challenges of the Waimea Community of Learning.        

Capital works
During the school holidays capital works were undertaken on the senior classroom block.   This work involved the extension and carpeting of the verandah outside Maungatapu. This provides not only remedial works but provides an improved outdoor classroom for seniors.   The Board is pleased to hear the tamariki have been enjoying the space everyday.   This project was funded from the Board’s property plan provisions. It came in under budget by $5,700.

Water only guidelines
A recent push by the District Health Board has been for a water or milk only guideline at schools.This would prevent the consumption of sugary drinks at school whether by provision or availability. The School acknowledges the healthy attitude towards sugary drinks amongst the children and that only a small change to Monday lunch orders would need to be made to adhere to this guideline. This does not adversely affect school fairs, as long healthy options are also sold.

Information Board
Nic Walker reported that the Information Board project was nearing completion.   The Board will be installed in the garden at the front of the school and tell a brief history of Appleby School. The students have played a part in researching information and considering design options.   Our iwi, Ngati Kuia, and the Tasman District Council have also contributed to the content, design and build of this  project. It is hoped that we will be able to celebrate the installation of the board at our Cultural Celebration on Tuesday 12th December.

iPad replacements
Last term four iPads were stolen from one of our junior classrooms. As it looked like recovery of these devices was unlikely, the school has claimed insurance on them and replaced them for the children’s use.  

 

Comment