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1 April 2018

Our March and April meetings were held a short time apart,  so this is a joint report from our last two trustee meetings.  In 2018 as in 2017, we have invited different members of the school into the first part of our board meetings.  This gives us a chance to learn what is working well and where we might make improvements through the school.  Our March meeting visitors were the 2018 prefect team. It was great to meet these fantastic young men and women and to gain some insights into the prefects’ roles and responsibilities, and to learn about their future intentions.  Most recently, we met with the Heads of Faculties and the Senior Leadership team to review student achievement in each of our seven faculties for 2017 at all levels across the school, and to look at the positive and the limiting factors in terms of lifting student achievement.  This is always a lengthy but productive meeting as we take the time to talk about plans and strategies going forward.  We will meet with the Heads of Faculties later in the year to see how things have progressed, and to talk about what further the board can do to support their actions.

I am very grateful to our property committee comprising trustee Garry Good, campus manager Denis Hutchins, Mr Congdon, and our Executive Officer Leanne Phillips. They do an amazing job of overseeing the building and renovation programmes in the school. Over the past couple of years there has been much to manage with the construction of the new science labs, the renovation and repair of the drama and music rooms, and new ramps being installed around the school.  It is with mixed feelings that we will see the demolition of the old gym which begins in April. However there are numerous improvements that are happening in the school buildings over the next year so we will keep you posted as to developments!

In the last two meetings we have signed off the Analysis of Variance and the Annual Financial Report which goes to the auditors.  These are important documents as they outline our performance – the former in relation to our academic goals and the latter according to our financial management. These are both available on the school website, and show pleasing results.

The two Kahui Ako (Communities of Learning) which cover 18 schools in the Foxton (Kerekere) and Levin (Taitoko) areas have now appointed their lead principals.  These are Moira Howard-Campbell from Levin North, and Murray Powell (Shannon School).  As Horowhenua College is one of the schools involved in these Kahui Ako we look forward to seeing some momentum in terms of the sharing of professional development and knowledge across all our schools in the Horowhenua, and ultimately to seeing benefits in terms of support for our own teachers and learners. A governance group which will oversee the work across both Kahu Ako, has also just been established and a panel of representatives from Muaupoko, Raukawa, the Early Childhood Sector, Board Trustees plus the lead principals have recently appointed five teachers who will work across schools. These five teachers (one of whom is our own Chris Wilton!) will share their expertise across all 18 schools and will work collectively on meeting the agreed achievement challenges for the region.   While local schools have often worked together, the Government has provided additional funding to the education sector in the region through the Kahui Ako which should help facilitate more strategic and co-ordinated programmes to lift achievement, facilitate pathways through the education system (from pre-school to tertiary/workplace employment) and to support the wellbeing of our tamariki.

That’s it from me.  I will be in touch again after the school holidays and our next board meeting.  Wishing all our staff and our students a relaxing holidays and a great start to Term 2.

Nga mihi
Juliana Mansvelt
Board of Trustees Chair

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