From Trudi

Dear Families / Whanau and students,
What an exceptional term we have had! I have been deeply proud of our CASS team, including staff, students and families, as we have navigated the impact of COVID 19.  There has been a lot of reporting in the media about the impact that Lockdown has had on all of us.  Many in our community have been effected by job losses, many have struggled with the uncertainty and strain of recent months which can have wide reaching impacts on the mental wellbeing of people .  Everyone reacts differently to difficult events and it is OK to not feel right all the time. has some great advice to manage wellbeing and our challenge to all staff, students and families these holidays is to give some of these tips a go ! At my place a daily walk and some time with our elderly family members ( who we couldn't see during lockdown) is our plan - whats on yours? 



Finishing time this Friday, 3rd July 
This coming Friday 3rd July is the last day of school for Term 2. We will be finishing a little earlier at 1.30pm to allow staff to come together. Taxis will pick up at 1.30pm however parents are welcome to pick up from 12.30pm. 

Parent Panel at Auckland University
Every year, CASS supports Nursing Students from Auckland University by providing them with placements in our classrooms.
Many of the students at CASS either are, or will be, frequent users of the health system and we feel strongly about helping upcoming nurses to develop their empathy and to understand the impact they may have on our students’ (and whanau) experiences.
As part of the programme for the Nursing Students, we would like to invite several parents of students at CASS to join us on a Parent Panel where you can share any aspects of your family’s journey through the health and/or education system that you would like to.  Some families choose to share their experiences of discovering their child has a disability, others share stories of where nurses/doctors responses have had either a negative or positive effect on their child’s experience.
If you are interested in being involved in the Parent Panel (there are two – one in August and one in October) then we would love to hear from you.
Please contact the office or email Melinda ( for further information.

Balmoral Satellite Development  
Work on our new classes at Balmoral continues and there is visible progress underway. ​The timeline is very likely that we will be able to move in to our new classrooms during the October school holidays! 

Donation Scheme
The Board of Trustees has opted in to the Donation Scheme again for 2021.  This means that the costs of learning materials, trips and programmes are covered by the Donations Scheme Grant.  Parents still meet the costs of uniforms, lunches and some programmes where students make and bring home what they have made.
  Te Ropu Harakeke 
The therapy team is pleased to be back at school, and it is great to see all our students so settled and back into their learning after lockdown.

We are excited to have two new staff members on the therapy team this year. Laura Westerdaal was appointed as our therapy assistant as of the start of the year. She has worked in several different classes throughout CASS as a teacher aide. Laura plays a significant part in supporting the therapists to implement therapy programs in class as well as assisting in create resources to support your child’s communication. James Ray, Speech Language Therapist, joined the team at the start of this term during the lockdown and has settled in very quickly. He brings along a vast amount of experience working with diverse range of learners. We look forward to the depth of knowledge that he will bring to our team.

Therapy Model – We want your feedback!
At the end of last year, we worked on developing the CASS Therapy Model. The Therapy Model (“How Therapy supports Student Learning at CASS”) reflects our role and the layers of support provided. We would like to share with you a brief summary of the Model as it is currently.

  • Your child (Akonga/learner) is the pivotal layer of our model; therapists work alongside the class team setting up the Learner Profile, Hauora and Learning Plans and discussed with you at the Mahi Tahi meetings
  • Whanau describes the therapists working “face to face” with your child and the class team implementing therapy plans which promotes engagement and learning.
  • Whakakotahitanga reflects the importance of strong partnership and communication between families, staff, and other services in supporting your child achieve their learning goals.
  • Whanau Whanui is the importance placed on Parent engagement in ensuring the success of your child’s learning at home and out in the community.
This model is a work in progress, and we value your feedback.
Best wishes from Therapy Team
Jay Bhana and Melinda Allen (Therapy Team Co Leaders)
  Te Ropu Manuka 
Since we have returned from Lockdown, it has been a busy term! We have made the most of exploring through our Senses, through our shared stories and through experiences that involved the relevant senses. Alongside that, we have also been learning about Matariki and enjoyed the creative input of our Arts Team. We have welcomed a number of new students into the Manuka Syndicate and we are enjoying getting to know them and seeing how we can support their learning. We wish the families of our students a wonderful term break. Manuka teachers will be meeting with other teachers across the country, to share our ongoing journey regarding Play-Based learning.
Warm regards from the Manuka Team: Carol, Jessica, Therese, Chelsea, Belinda and our wonderful Teacher Aides


   Te Ropu Kowhai 

Kia Ora Tatou, 

Wow, here we are at the end of what seems to be a very long, short Term.  I am happy to report that we have all loved being back at school.  Seeing our wonderful little people back in classes on track with their learning is very special, especially seeing what other parts of the world are coping with.
Our Term nears an end, with you all being invited into your child’s class to share and celebrate student’s work around Matariki, on Thursday. Please check out SeeSaw for individual times and invites. Coming together to celebrate and share events likes this is rewarding for all. It gives students an opportunity to develop their Mana, showing and sharing their efforts with family and Whanau members. It gives us as teachers, time to catch up with you and maintain partnerships, and it gives you opportunities to network with other families, as well as chat to us. If you can make the celebrations, please do come along.
Our topic next term is “Senses”. Teachers have already been planning lots of irresistible and engaging activity ideas to support your child’s learning. New Student Learning plans will be shared at the start of next term via Seesaw. Keep a look out.
Talking of SeeSaw, please use this platform during the school holidays to share photos, videos and news of what students have been up to at home. We love to have something to talk about and share when we get back t the start of term.
I wish you all a happy and restful break…with not too much rain!


   Te Ropu Nikau 


Kia ora koutou! 

Wow, well here we are at the end of a very long or very short term 2 depending on how we look at it! Nothing made us more happy than having our students back at school, where they quickly got back into the swing of things like they had never been away. 

Thank you to all of you for sharing the online learning journey with us during lockdown, we did not have a lot of time to prepare and sometime we made it up as we went along. It was fabulous for us to see the photos that you all posted showing your children engaging with the learning at home we loved seeing the creative and fun things you were doing and how the whole family often joined in. 

This week we are celebrating Matariki in school and students are making music and creating art for the parent events in class – I hope you managed to attend. 

Have a fabulous holiday and see you in term 3 – Kind Regards Helen  

   Te Ropu Kauri 
COVID-19 has presented us with some challenges and we have to the end of a strange term. The staff have adapted programmes of learning from earlier, offering online learning opportunities during lockdown to Level 2 return to school of some students. Everyone has coped remarkably well and it has been great to see students re-engage with learning opportunities back in the classrooms amongst their peers. Trips out and community visits such as gyms, pools, library, work experience have been all been put on hold due to COVID-19 which is limiting, but has also enabled our teaching teams to creatively re-think how they are offering learning and provide students with meaningful contexts.  
A recap in photos of some of the Term 2 activities in the photos below. 
Support Staff Appreciation Day, An adapted game of Hungry Hippo in StAR 4; Base 2 creating Matariki Stars; Base 4 have been practicing social distancing earlier in term; Pitau having their team meeting each morning.
We wish everyone a restful term break and look forward to Term 3.

Helpful Information

Key Dates for Term 1&2, 2020:

29 June - 3 July                 Celebrating Matariki
2 July                                  Whole school event celebrating Matariki
3 July                                  Term 2 finishes - finishing at 1.30pm
20 July                                Term 3 starts
30 July                                BOT Meeting
17 & 18 August                  Teacher Only Days (school closed for students)


Admin Bits

Contact Details
If your contact details change e.g. address, phone number or email address, etc please ensure you inform the school office so we can keep our records up to date.

Student Absences
If you child is going to be absent from school please make sure you let the school and the taxi company know.
If you drop your child to school when your child normally travels by taxi please ensure you let the taxi company know that an afternoon school pick up is still required.

Phone numbers:
CASS school office: 620 7680 or 027 625 9344
Cross Country Rentals: 0800 467 3782
South Auckland Taxis: 0800 33 33 00


Health and Ageing Research  
The School of Health Sciences at Massey University is undertaking research on how people manage work and care in later life. To understand these relationships better, they would like to interview people about how they manage caring responsibilities and paid work. They are looking to interview people aged 55 years and over (50 years and over if they are Maori/Pasifika), who have been providing care for a family member, friend or neighbour while in paid employment of at least 20 hours per week.  Providing care involves helping regularly with activities of daily living such as self-care, household tasks, or mobility outside the home.

If you are interested in finding out more about this study or participating in an interview, please contact Mahrukh Stazyk.  email:

Nga Mihi,
Trudi Brocas 

Tumuaki | Principal
48 Smallfield Ave | Mt Roskill

Ph: 09 6207680 


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Central Auckland Specialist School · 48 Smallfield ave · Auckland, 1042 · New Zealand

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