News

Board of Trustees update

Kia ora koutou katoa, I hope you have all settled well back into the school routine. Following our first BOT meeting of the year last Tuesday 23rd, I’d like to update you with some of the projects happening in and around the school this year (alert level changes notwithstanding). Firstly, the hall extension and safety upgrade project has started off with a hiss and a roar, mainly thanks to one of our parents, architect Tom Norman from Three Sixty Architecture, who has been instrumental in driving the process. We issued a Registration of Interest for builders, have had ten companies respond and will shortly invite our preferred shortlist of 4 to tender for the work. With the consenting process and MOE sign off still to go through, we anticipate work starting on the hall by May at the earliest and lasting around two months. It is likely that the hall will be out of action for the whole of term 2 and possibly into early term 3. The Lachie Sutherland friendship garden project is also underway. This is the area behind the Whare Kūkūwai, which is being developed to include a pathway, steps and “nests” surrounded by native plantings, where children can explore, chill and congregate. We have engaged a landscaper, Dave McLaren from Spaceman Gardens (another willing parent), to complete the hard landscaping. We will be putting a call out for volunteers at various stages to help with some of this work and with the planting. We anticipate that the project will be completed by July. Both of these projects have been made possible with funding from the MOE’s one -off “School Investment Package” fund, as well as the targeted fundraising over many years for the hall upgrade from the Smart Community (PTA). Talking of which, a date for the diary.  The Smart Community AGM is being held on April 13th. We would love to see you there – especially families from the junior school. This group does fabulous work supporting our community and welcomes new members and new ideas. Our last big project update is for the two new classrooms which will be replacing the old blocks 9 and 10. The Ministry of Education (MOE) plans are similar to the refurbished downstairs classrooms in Te Maunga – two classroom spaces (with separating doors and bag hooks) a breakout space and toilets in between. The current rooms 11 and 12 are also due to have work done on repairing the draughty windows, however the MOE will not start this until the new block is signed off and ready to go. They will also widen the narrow access steps leading up to the new courts. The MOE anticipate that the work won’t start until June – the first step being the demolition of blocks 9 and 10 and the neighbouring resource room. We will update you as we find out more. On behalf of the board, thanks to all families who have already paid their school donation. This money is vital for providing those “essential extras” such as the wonderful garden to table program, digital technology, sports equipment, reading resources and many other things that make our school vibrant and interesting. Without it we simply would not be able to fund these activities. Whilst the school carefully considers value for money in all activities, many costs are rising steadily, especially health and safety. The donations are completely voluntary, however if more parents choose not to donate, we will unfortunately have to rethink which activities the school can support. Please consider this when you are deciding whether to make the donation – and remember it is also tax deductible. Lastly, a reminder that any of you are welcome to attend a BOT meeting- ideally contact either myself or Michele Stephens in the office beforehand. If you would like to address the board, please contact me directly (bot@stmartins.school.nz) and I can arrange a time for you to come in and speak to us. I’ve recently had some emails end up in the spam folder of the BOT mailbox, so if you haven’t had a response within a week please let Michele know and she will get in touch with me directly. Our next board meeting is Tuesday March 23rd, 6.30pm. Ngā mihi nui, Kate Hodgins Chair, Board of Trustees