From Trudi

Dear Families and Whanau and students,
A huge thank you to all families who attended our Meet the Teacher BBQ a couple of weeks ago. The water slide was a big hit and a special thank you to the Shearmon-Engel family who loaned their bouncy castles for the evening.  We had a bigger turn out this year and it was fantastic to see parents, students and staff enjoying the evening together. We are keen for this annual event to continue to grow next year.

We are now halfway through the term and classes are settling in to their learning programmes.  The weather has been quite warm and created perfect conditions for our 'Big Splash day' last week.  This great event was organised so that all students can take part, have fun , practice their communication skills and create some exciting prompts for learning activities back in class. 

We were incredibly lucky last year to be granted $25,000  from The Lion Foundation which has enabled us to bring Raukatauri Music Therapy to work in our school again this year.  Alex is the Music Therapist working with us and he will work in all classes across the year (half the school in the first half of the year and the remaining classes in the second half).  A huge thank you to The Lion Foundation, ​the support of community organisations like this allows us to make sure our students continue to have rich learning opportunities such as Raukatauri.

School News

Mahi Tahi - Parent Partnership Meetings

These parent partnership meetings are an essential to us getting the teaching and learning programmes right for your child. The purpose of these meetings is for us to learn about your young person from you, the experts in your child. By working together on how your child learns best, what engages them and what they need to support their learning, we can achieve success. You also get an opportunity to meet all team members supporting the learning of your child, including the teacher, therapists and the Syndicate leader 

Mahi Tahi meetings are taking place over the next two weeks. If you have not yet booked a meeting with your child’s team, then please do. Bookings are open on school interviews (instructions and support available on Seesaw or below) or if you prefer please contact your class teacher or Salma in the office to make a booking for you. 

Just in case you have misplaced them they are below: 

 Home School Communication
 We understand that communication with classroom staff is vital so here are the ways that you can get a message to school. 
1) Every class has a phone line and phone numbers for each class will have been shared with you. 
2) Seesaw - unfortunately you are not able to start a message with a Teacher on Seesaw, however you can reply to a message that has been started by the Teacher.  
3) Email - every teacher has an email address that has been shared with you.
4) School office - urgent messages can be given to the school office and we will make sure the message gets passed on the the base school landline is 09 620 7680 
5) Office mobile phone - if you can only use text message , you can text the school mobile and your message will be passed on to the class staff. the school mobile numbers is 027 625 9344
Teachers are usually the first port of call if you have any questions, one of our aims is to make sure our teachers prioritise family time in the evenings, which means that emails received in the evening may not be replied to until the morning. Please do not ask teachers for their mobile phone numbers. 

Coronaviros (Covid-19)
Below is an update received today from Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS)

Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) has confirmed a parent of two students - one at Westlake Boys High and one at Westlake Girls High - has been confirmed with coronavirus (COVID-19). While this is concerning for everyone, there is no risk to students, staff or others at the schools.
The whole household is in isolation at home, but the two students have not been infectious while they have been at school, and are not considered infectious now.
The children are completely well and have no symptoms.They are now staying home as a precaution, in case they develop the disease in the future. The parents have not visited the schools.
This disease is managed the same way as other infectious diseases, like mumps, where people who are close contacts – but do not have the disease – are kept away from others, in case they become contagious.
There will be high levels of anxiety amongst parents and students, and there will be commentary in social and other media. 
Please understand that people are not considered at risk if they have been close to a contact – as the contact does not have the disease. Contacts of contacts do not have to take any action such as isolating themselves.
If you would like more information, please visit the ARPHS’ or the Ministry of Health’s websites, or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

Please be assured there is no risk to the school communities from this case.
Auckland Regional Public Health Service

NB: Good hygiene practices remain the best defence.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow 
  • Put used tissues in the bin

SeeSaw is an online portfolio that we use report and document your child’s learning and progress. Teachers upload learning stories, which include photos or videos every week, so that you can see what your child is learning at school and how well they are progressing, when it happens. Learning can be shared and celebrated by family members commenting on posts. 

You can also communicate with your child’s teacher through SeeSaw.  

Seesaw is a really great way to talk about what your child is learning at home with them, which also helps to further develop their communication skills. 

If you are not already linked up to Seesaw, we can help you do this. Please bring along a device (phone/ipad) to the Mahi Tahi meeting and someone can help get you started. 


Social BBQ
Earlier this term we organised a social get together for staff and families to meet. This built upon last years attendance and was a chance for teachers and therapists to talk about programmes of learning and class expectations. What a great way to spend an evening over a bite to eat, while students and siblings enjoyed the slippery slide, bouncy castles and playground apparatus. This is an initiative we want to grow and develop at the start of each year. Please spread the word of its success and lets get an even larger attendance in 2021.

Our Annual 'CASS Big Splash' proved to be a hit for our whole school. Lots of water related activities for the students to engage in and experience. Something for everyone. Its a day that is organised with our values statement at heart. 'Inspiring engagement and Realising potential.' Everyone got splashed and had fun!


A message from our taxi services for parents and caregivers 

A reminder that it is the responsibility of parents and caregivers to assist students into and out of school transport vehicles at the beginning and end of each day. 

It is also the responsibility of parents and caregivers to secure seatbelts – NOT the drivers.  

Parents must be present and be seen by the driver at pick up and drop off time. This is the case for all students, including those that are independent getting into and off the taxi. If no parent is sighted, the driver will return students to Base school at the end of the day. 

Taxis have busy runs with other students to pick up and drop of so it is essential that you are punctual in both the mornings and afternoons. Taxi drivers will wait no more than 5 minutes in the mornings and will again return students to Base school if no adult is present to receive a student on time in the afternoons. 

If you have any queries regarding pick up and drop off times, then please ask your driver. 

Moving / change of address 
Please let Salma in the office at school know if you are moving to a new house or there is a change of address for any reason. Paperwork relating to a change of address can take up to 3 weeks to be processed by the Ministry and taxi company. The sooner we get this process started the better.  

To talk about transport issues at school, please call myself or Salma in the office. 



  Te Ropu Manuka 
We have been making the most of the great summer weather, while we have been working on our Great Outdoors topic. The highlight this term was the recent visit to Mission Bay, which allowed us to provide a rich experience for students, support their communication within this topic, as well a range of concepts related to the beach/sand/water/weather. Within classes students are continuing to learn through structured sessions, (such as shared reading) as well as via informal student-directed play.
We are looking forward to meeting our families again this year at Mahi Tahi meetings.
We welcome Chelsea Brook into our syndicate. She will be the class teacher for the third  class at our May Rd satellite  from Term 2.

Please remember that if your young person is unwell, to keep them home for a few days until they are well, and also to notify the school and the taxi company.
   Te Ropu Kowhai 

Kia Ora Tatou, 

What a great start to the year.  

We had several new students join our syndicate this year. Some moved up from our new entrant classes at May Road some are new to CASS. I have really enjoyed seeing how quickly these students have settled into their new classes and routines. 

As well as new students we also have teachers in our team this year, 2 of which are new to CASS. Adele and Cate who have had a great start to the year. They have been getting to know the students and as with all the team have been working to establish clear routines and learning programmes in their classes. 

Our theme “Get Moving”, has inspired staff and students alike. I have been lucky enough to see lots of creative and engaging ideas used in class to support the learning programmes. Students are out and about counting their steps, creating works of Art with rolling balls, climbing walls at Chipmunks and dancing like cats! Quite a lot to write up about.  

I look forward to seeing you all at the Mahi Tahi meetings in the next couple of weeks. 

Sonya Dyton (AP / Syndicate Leader) 

   Te Ropu Nikau 

Kia Ora Whanau
And welcome back to school! As usual it has been wonderful to see all the students back at work and settling into the new routines and classes. Everyone looks that bit taller and older!
We have Lezelle and Mark who are new teachers in our syndicate this year, Lezelle is teaching in Balmoral 2 and joins us from South Africa. Mark taught Base 3 class last year and has moved over to OHS 2.
As part of our Round the World topic, students have been “visiting” different countries and sampling their music, food art and culture. This topic has engaged our learners as you can see above.
Next week we have the Mahi Tahi meetings starting. I am looking forward to seeing you all during the next 2 weeks. Please make sure you have made a booking online. If you have problems with this please contact Salma in the office.

   Te Ropu Kauri 

Base 2 have been busy establishing routines in the class and getting to know each other as there have been some new staff and students into the classroom. The class have an overarching theme of ‘Senses’ for this term and have been engaging in and enjoying a range of activities that promote this. The class also visit the pools and our ‘CASS Big Splash’ which support and engage students senses as well as having a load of fun.

Base 4 are maintaining routines from last year and establishing relevant learning programmes individual to each other student. Community visits include the pools, shopping, and Cross fit. Where students show and develop skills taught in the classroom such as waiting in queues, managing themselves, money skills, and communication. Also hugely popular is the drumming sessions with the arts teacher.

StAR 4 are getting used to new members of the class including students and staff. They have been out and about in the community on shopping excursions and library visits to support their learning programme. Students are also working on their physio walking programmes and sensory activities.

Pitau are establishing a range of learning initiatives that promote student choice and interest. This is Team Teach approach with two teachers facilitating the learning along with input from the therapy team. A big focus on relevant learning that can be used in a range of school and community settings. We have a range of work experience opportunities, such as, gardening, odd jobs, Altus, Sudima Hotel and Dig It Gardens. Cross Fit, Zumba, grooming, cooking, craft, dance and drama, whole group social communication sessions and celebrating birthday parties continue to be popular programmes with these students.

Helpful Information

Key Dates for Term 1, 2020:

9 March-20 March                Mahi Tahi (Parent Partnership) Meetings
17 March                              Trudi's Birthday 
8 April                                   Teacher Only Day (school closed for students)
9 April                                   Term 1 finishes
10 April-13 April                   Easter

28 April                                 Term 2 starts

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.

Phone numbers:
CASS school office: 620 7680 or 027 625 9344
Cross Country Rentals: 0800 467 3782
South Auckland Taxis: 0800 33 33 00
If you have interest in the advertisement below, please register your interest with Steve via email
This is for students aged 5-12 year old only.

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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