Welcome back to Term 2.
The purpose of this newsletter is to provide you with an update on the progress we are making with the new classrooms and provide some context to the alleged overcrowding of Havelock North schools and the need for a new school in the Havelock North area.
In October 2016, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced that 8 temporary classrooms were being made available to alleviate the overcrowding within the Havelock North schools: HNPS would receive 4 classrooms. In our Term 1 newsletter this year we reported an expectation that these classrooms would be available at the beginning of Term 3. This is when the arrival of additional new entrants will place pressure on classroom space, even with the school hall being temporarily used for two Year 6 classes. The MOE’s response was that this could be achieved.
Just prior to the end of Term 1 it was disappointing to be notified by MOE that the arrival date was revised to the beginning of Term 4. There appears to be much red tape to cut through before receiving these classrooms. This was partly due to MOE deciding they wanted to leave scope to provide two extra classrooms for HNPS in the future (e.g. six classrooms in total) and the subsequent need to address fire risks with the closer proximity of these classrooms to each other and to the existing hall. The school has reiterated its preference for four classrooms and MOE has confirmed only four are being delivered.
The BOT has been working with our local Member of Parliament, Craig Foss, and the MOE in a bid to improve this timeline. This has now been brought forward by a month, but is still conditional upon no hold ups with Council building consents, etc. In a recent visit to Hawke’s Bay the Minister of Education, Nikki Kaye, indicated that Havelock North schools could expect the classrooms to be in place by the end of the year. We have been working with the contractors and now expect the classrooms to be available by Term 4, although ultimately the delivery of the classrooms is out of the school’s control.
While the hall has been converted to a great learning space for our Year 6 students we know they were looking forward to the new classrooms sooner rather than later. The Year 6 teachers, students and parents ongoing understanding with this situation is much appreciated. Unfortunately this delay will mean at least another term of disrupted assemblies and the unavailability of the hall for extracurricular activities.
Around the middle of June you will start to see the ground being prepared for the new classrooms. The teachers’ carpark will be relocated to the area by the existing cricket nets creating a safer school environment. As part of this work the school will lose one of the top netball/basketball courts, New cricket nets will be relocated by the long jump pit.
HNPS zoning and the wider Havelock North area
About 4 years ago the school had a large intake of Out Of Zone students. This happened at a time when the school was looking to increase student numbers to utilise the full capacity of the school and has in turn led to the pressure on classrooms we experience today. In a bid to keep families together the Board’s current policy is to permit the siblings of current Out Of Zone students to attend HNPS.
The table below highlights the number of students in each year. It splits current students and projected students through to the end of this year between In Zone and Out Of Zone students. At the bottom it projects next year’s registered new entrants,however this number will potentially grow.
|Current||Projection 2017/18||Total to Dec 17|
|In Zone||Out of Zone||In Zone||Out of Zone||In Zone||Out of Zone||Total|
|NE – 2017||5||0||37||15||42||15||57|
|NE – 2018||31||14||45|
Given HNPS had already taken steps to control its out of zone numbers – and remains keen to retain its unique ‘village school’ character – consideration was given to whether to accept the new classrooms offered by the MOE or not. With pressure on school resources as a result of the additional Out Of Zone students (and a desire to recover our Board/school community funded library currently being used as new entrant classrooms) a decision was made by the Board to accept the temporary classrooms. This was done with acknowledgement by MOE that the school roll would only increase by about 40 students (i.e. the new classroom capacity minus the recovered library space). In time we may also be able to remove the Permanent Modular Construction (PMC) classroom (Room 20).
In the context of the wider Havelock North schools overcrowding being reported it’s necessary to analyse the 187 Out Of Zone students at HNPS in more detail. These students need to be analysed in two categories: (1) students who live outside of all 3 Havelock North Primary school zones; and (2) students outside of HNPS zone but within the zone for one of the other 2 Havelock North primary school zones. It’s important to note that if a student starts within the HNPS zone and subsequently moves out they are always classified as an In Zone student.
Within HNPS, students who are outside all 3 Havelock North Primary school zones number 80 in total. The balance of Out Of Zone students, 107, are zoned for either Te Mata or Lucknow, with the vast majority zoned for Lucknow.
In the middle of 2016 we initiated a meeting with the two other Havelock North Primary schools. At this meeting it became apparent that Lucknow School has only a small proportion of Out Of Zone students while Te Mata School seems to have similar numbers to those of HNPS. This means there may be up to 160 students attending these primary schools from outside the Havelock North area. If all children in the Havelock North area were going to the school they are zoned for this would create significant pressure on Lucknow’s roll and would force a realignment of zones.
The BOT’s job is to be proactive in managing this zoning and potential future growth with the MOE. We welcome the initiative announced by the Minister to look closely at the issue of how best to deliver primary level education in Hawke’s Bay and look forward to a successful outcome for all schools in the wider region. As developments come to hand we will keep you notified. In the meantime if you have any questions for the Board, we can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org