From Trudi

Dear Families / Whanau and students,
It has been great to see staff and students settle back into school routines after Auckland's level 3 lockdown. The positive tone and atmosphere around the school has been fantastic!  Our health and safety plan is in place and you can be assured that we will continue doing everything we can to keep our students safe . Moving in and out of alert levels may be our new 'normal', at least for a while.  As a community we will have to respond and be flexible and remain optimistic and realistic.  I believe that the health response is the correct response, you don't have to read too many newspaper articles to see that countries like New Zealand are feeling the health and financial impact of COVID to a much lesser extent.  Again, I want to thank families that are getting health checks when needed, staying home if they are feeling unwell, and reinforcing good preventative health measure like washing hands and coughing or sneezing into your elbow or tissue.  
 
Teacher Only Days - You may remember that during the negotiations for teachers collective agreements, schools were given 8 teacher only days to use over 3 years. Both our attempts to book these days have been interrupted by COVID Lockdowns.  We have rescheduled these and attempted to reduce the impact on families . 
The first date is the 25th September (last day of term, which would have normally been an early finish).  This means the last day of term will now be Thursday 24 September - normal finish time of 2.30. 
The second date is the 12th October (the first day of term 4) so first day for students will be October 13th. 
We have let the Taxi companies know about these changes and appreciate your support.
 
Balmoral - Work on our new classes is continuing and as you can see from the photos below there has been good progress. Currently the builders are working on the internal walls, cladding the outside and finishing the roof.  Due to some inevitable delays we expect that the building will now be finished in November.

   

Dominion Road - Building works are about to begin to renovate our 2 classrooms at Dominion Road. While these are being worked on our classes are moving to 2 temporary classrooms across at the school.  We will be moving during the September school holidays. We are hoping works will be finished by February next year. 

School News
 
EARTH WEEK

Earth week is coming up 14th-18th September and we are so excited! We have planned some fantastic competitions focused on taking care of our environment, craft ideas, seed planting kits for classes, and so much more. It will be a chance for all our staff and students to learn about the things we can do to take care of our planet and the joy of being a part of it. Hopefully you’ll see some of the fruits of our efforts on our whole school event day, the 17th and on Seesaw. 

A huge thanks to our sponsors who have sent us some incredible prizes and resources to help make this a success. 
       
   

 

Mental wellbeing supports for young people
There are a large range of self-help tools and other supports available for young people who may feel they aren’t coping.
 
Helplines:
  • Youthline – Call 0800 376 633, text 234, email or webchat (7-11pm daily) for young people and their parents, whānau and friends.
  • Rainbow Youth – Call (09) 376 4155 (11am-5pm weekdays) or webchat (3-5 weekdays) for peer support for youth in the rainbow community, their friends and whānau.
  • What's Up – Call 0800 942 8787 (0800 WHATSUP) or webchat to talk about anything with trained counsellors. Call: Monday to Friday 12-11pm, Sat and Sun 3-11pm. Webchat: Mon-Fri 1-10pm, Sat-Sun 3-10pm.
  • Kidsline – Call 0800 543 754 (0800 KIDSLINE) for young people up to 18 years old - 4-9pm weekdays.
  • The Lowdown – Call 0800 111 757, text 5626, email or webchat to get for support for young people experiencing depression or anxiety.
Self-help tools and information:
  • Aroha is a chatbot that provides practical, evidence-based tools to manage stress, maintain social connection and stay active. portal.habits.auckland.ac.nz/Portal/#/landing-covid19bot-trial
  • Aunty Dee is a free online tool for anyone who needs some help working through a problem. www.auntydee.co.nz 
  • Melon Health has a kete of resources to support teenagers’ emotional wellbeing. There are videos, downloadable worksheets and a ‘First steps to managing anxiety’ mini-course. www.melonhealth.com/manual 
  • Mental Wealth has resources where you can learn more about mental health. www.mentalwealth.nz 
  • SPARX is an online self-help tool that teaches young people the key skills needed to help combat depression and anxiety in an interactive game-world. www.sparx.org.nz/home  
  • The Lowdown has some great resources about recognising and understanding depression and anxiety. thelowdown.co.nz
SYNDICATE NEWS
 
  Te Ropu Manuka 

We are delighted to be back at school at COVID-19 Level 2.5! We trust you are all keeping safe and well.
It is great to see so many students back at school and we encourage everyone to let your young people return to school now. We are taking all the required precautionary measures and every effort is in place to ensure that we are reducing the risk of contagion to students.
Our play-based/ structured teaching programme is providing us with really interesting insights into our students, and some of them are displaying quite complex play skills. Take a look at the table below (disregard the age indicators) and see at which level you think your child is currently operating, in terms of play. Look out too, for changes and progress. Play is the ‘work’ of childhood! We may think our children are ’just playing,’ but this is the context within which deep learning occurs. To assist their journey, we can sit alongside them, join in with the play, pose little challenges/problems to solve, within the play and most importantly, provide rich language experiences alongside the playing.

       
 Along with play, staff are also providing more structured times of teaching and learning to provide a good balance. If your child is still learning how to play,  showing your child how to play- by doing it yourself, is a great way to help them.
Please remember to help us to keep everyone safe by:

If a students becomes unwell at school, we are required to send them home. Please make sure that you are always contactable - this is very important.
Warm regards, Carol, Therese, Jessica, Chelsea, Belinda and our wonderful team of Teacher Aides
  
   Te Ropu Kowhai 

Kia Ora Tatou, 

Wow, Time flies! We find ourselves at the end of yet another very different term, where once again we have all had to step up to the challenge of change and work out how best to keep teaching and learning happening between us.
I know that many of you supported your children to access and participate in ‘online’ learning opportunities during lockdown, which is wonderful. I hope that what was offered and shared worked for you and your families. I know that our teachers would value your feedback regarding ‘at home’ learning, so that if we once again find ourselves in lockdown, we can support learning the very best way we can.  Working together in partnerships is so important during this time.
Our teachers have been focusing on the use of “visible structures and routines” within their classes to best support students engage in their learning.
Using visuals, supports students to better understand what is happening throughout their day and what is expected of them. Classroom structure and routines in the classroom also support students to understand their environment better and anticipate what is happening and where it’s happening.
Research tells us that when these basics are communicated effectively, students are less anxious and more likely to be in their best space for learning. All our students have access to timetables that they can understand and use throughout the day, ensuring they know what is happening and when. Teachers are now looking at other aspects of teaching and learning where visible structures and routines will promote learning, such as coping with change and learning to play.
Visual supports and structures can also be used at home, easily with success. Please talk to you child’s class teacher to find out how.
There are also lots of support and ideas available online.
https://parent2parent.org.nz/visual-supports/
https://www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/topics/communication/communication-tools/visual-supports
https://theeducationhub.org.nz/learning-at-home-a-visual-scheduling-tool-for-children-with-autism-spectrum-disorder/
 
 And as always please remember that we work best together. If you are experiencing difficulties at home or want to talk to us about any aspect of your child’s learning, please let us know.
                                                                                                 

 

   Te Ropu Nikau 

Kia Ora Whanau

Welcome back to term 3 – another disjointed term! We are so happy to see almost all our students back into school so quickly.
The teaching team were desperate to get back into class and reconnect with our students, while we enjoy the online learning we much prefer to connect with our students in person.
We are working on the theme of The Great Outdoors in Term 3 and there were lots of trips, tramps and BBQ’s planned, which we have had to put a halt to temporarily. Instead, we are unleashing our creative side, and taking part in dance, drama, music art and leisure activities that brings the great outdoors indoors!
During this time our students get the opportunity to reconnect with their friends and staff in a fun, relaxed environment. You can follow your child’s learning journey through the family Seesaw app if you are not already connected. The app is available on the app store and google play website, or at www.seesaw.me  please contact your teacher who will give you an access code to log in.
Nga mihi aroha, Helen
 

   Te Ropu Kauri 

Another term disrupted by Covid 19 Level 3 and 2 restrictions, it has been great to see students back after our most recent lockdown. Lockdown has seen the continuation of classroom teachers providing online learning opportunities such as zoom meetings, interactive classroom settings, wet day competitions, movement and physical education prompts and learning themes which are linked to the classroom topic for the term.
 
Upon return we have been able to celebrate a few students birthdays, including Rosemary  (20 years), Leo (20 years), Akhil (21 years). Its always great to celebrate with friends and staff. Happy Birthday to all.
 
In level 2.5 restrictions this limits the trips out we can do with our students to support learning, therefore Pitau have been getting creative with Art, Craft and  Science and Technology projects where students have been creating, building, testing and revising designs including balloon powered vehicles, face masks, mixing of substances to create expanding masses, silhouette portraits. Lots of fun, hands on activities.
 
Star 4 students have been joining with other classes to challenge them in Boccia and art activities, highlights have been making kites as this follows the topic of ‘Things that Move’
 
Base 4 students have come back and slotted straight back into visible structures and routines and got down to working, including maths skills of reading time, and working with money, as well as the ever popular art projects where students have been able to express themselves creatively.
 
Base 2 are back to work and have had lots of fun in music therapy sessions with Raukautauri and our own Art teachers. Lots of getting hands dirty amongst shaving foam art. Students have been focusing on the process and joy of creating art and expressing themselves creatively.
 
Transitions visits and trials for 2020 graduates have been adversely affected during Level 2/3 restrictions, but we are still working hard to make sure that these students have the best possible opportunities to get used to their new or chosen environments, this will continue to be a big push and focus for the remainder of term 3 and 4. Fingers crossed that levels continue to trend down.
 
Thank you all for your continued support and understanding in the current situation.

                        
     
                       
                                            
Helpful Information

Key Dates for 2020:

10 September                    BOT Meeting
17 September                    Whole School Event
18 September                    Parent & Carer Workshop - Dance & Arts Therapy NZ 

24 September                    Last day of Term 3 for students
25 September                   Teacher Only Days (school closed for students) 
12 October                        Teacher Only Days 
(school closed for students)     
13 October                        First day of Term 4 for students  
28 October                        Transition Expo with Disability Connect   
16 December                     Last day of Term 4 

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.

Respite
Please communicate respite schedule information with school and please advise any changes e.g. day swaps. This way we can ensure transport is sorted.

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

COMMUNITY NEWS 
 
Are You Able To Help?
 
Starship Registrars (trainee Paediatricians) are seeking assistance studying for an upcoming clinical examination in October.
 
To practice for this important exam, the Doctors usually meet families coming to Starship, Waitakere and Kidz First  for Outpatients clinics, but this has been difficult with Covid restrictions.
 
We would be grateful for any families willing to spend an hour with our trainee Paediatricians, over Zoom or similar,  to share the story of their child’s medical needs and disability needs.
 
This would be very helpful for the training of Paediatric Doctors in the Auckland Region.
 
If you would have 1 hour to assist, please contact Nirubhana Arunthavasothy on NiruArun@adhb.govt.nz>. We will then be in contact with more information and to make a time which suits you.
 
Kind regards,
 
Colette Muir, Developmental Paediatrician, Starship
Holiday program: Social skills
 
Daily social skills program during up coming school holidays
 
Do you know of any child that struggles with social skills? Then this program could be something for them.
View this email in your browser (https://mailchi.mp/e4ff6778fdc0/social-skills-program-4143401?e=af6158c17a)
 
 
** SOCIAL SKILLS PROGRAM
------------------------------------------------------------
 
Child's Play OT are offering social skills program during the up coming September school holidays.
This program will run Monday to Friday for 2 weeks.
We use a few different programs, designed to teach social skills to children with various needs.
The program is intended to help children in every aspect of their social development.
 
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AGE RANGE: 6- 12 year old
DATE and TIME:  11am to 11.45am. Commencing 28th September 2020
COST: $60.00 per child per session
VENUE: Child's Play OT Clinic
ADDRESS: 127/131 Newton Road, Eden Terrace, Auckland, 1010. Room 115 TO BOOK/SHOW INTEREST email:  accounts@childsplayot.co.nz
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Further Information
* Qualified and experienced staff.
* minimum of 4 to maximum 6 children in a group
* This program is aimed at children who have difficulties with social skills and who do not require 1:1 sessions.
 
 
SPACES LIMITED!
 
All programs are run by an Occupational Therapist.
Don't miss out - be sure to contact us for more information and to book!
 

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