AIS News

TERM 1 - WEEK 1 31 Jan 2020




 Friday 31st January 2020   




To all of our new students and families, welcome to Avalon Intermediate. We look forward to working with you and getting to know you better over the next few weeks.  To our returning students and families, welcome back - it is great to see your smiling faces in our classrooms again. We know that you will all be great leaders this year and be an important support for our staff as we help our new students learn how we work at Avalon Intermediate. 




School Newsletters: Our weekly newsletters will be sent home on Tuesday afternoons. These can be sent home through email, but for the first three weeks we will send paper copies home for all students. Please ask your child for the newsletter because it helps you know what is going on at school and what is coming up. 


Facebook: Our school facebook page Avalon Intermediate is used to share photos and videos of what is happening at school. This is updated weekly. 


Website: Our school website includes background information about our school, our weekly newsletters and the school calendar, and a range of photos and videos that have been made by past students. 


Phone: If you would like to talk to your child’s classroom teacher, please leave a message with the school office. 


Email: All teachers can be contacted by email. Email addresses are the staff member’s first name, the first initial of their 

e.g. Alissa Murdoch - 





Principal and Deputy Principal 

Ariana Te Whetu 


Alissa Murdoch 

Deputy Principal 

Avalon Intermediate Board of Trustees

Kevin Thickett (BOT Chairperson) 

Helen van der Raaij 

Alicia Wharewera 

Teresa Garner

Ariana Te Whetu (Principal) 

Joan Makisi (Staff Rep) 

Classroom Teachers

Victoria Harrison

Rm 1 Teacher

Liz Moka 

Rm 2 Teacher and Leader of Team Tui

Kimberley Sinclair

Rm 3 Teacher

Luke Thompson 

Rm 4 Teacher and

Leader of Team Ruru

Stuart Crafts

Rm 5 Teacher

Sarah Hutchison

Rm 6 Teacher 

Liz Goldsworthy

Rm 7 Teacher 

Julia Poasa

Rm 8 Teacher and Leader of Team Kahu

Stefan Poad 

Rm 9 Teacher 

Technology/Visual Art/Science Teachers

Andrew Connochie

Wood Technology Teacher

Steph Robinson

Multicraft Technology Teacher

Rosemary Wards 

Fabric Technology Teacher and Technology Team Leader

Joan Makisi

Food Technology Teacher

Kirsten Herd

Visual Art Teacher

Rose Campbell

Science Teacher

Support Staff 

Leanne Thompson 

Executive Officer

Michele Crank 

Reception, Teacher Aide

Shelley Howsan 

Teacher Aide

Sue Kingi 

Teacher Aide 

Jackie Unstead-Joss 

Teacher Aide

Georgina Dewsnap 

Teacher Aide and Student Teacher in Rm 2

Patrice Reremoana

Teacher Aide

Additional Staff

Jenny Hudson 

ORS specialist teacher

Judith Miller

 ORS specialist teacher

Karen Elliot 

Social Worker in School

Travisitine Cook 

Release teacher and Music teacher 



Michelle, Danni-Lee, Lee


Sheelah Stevens 

Lynette Hough 

Emma Saul 

Learning Support Coordinators in the Taita-Stokes Valley Kahui Ako  

Taita-Stokes Valley Kahui Ako 

Avalon Intermediate is part of the Taita-Stokes Valley Kahui Ako which includes Koraunui School, Pomare School, St Michael’s, Taita Central, Taita College and Tui Glen. Our Kahui Ako was established in 2015 and we also work closely alongside the Naenae Kahui Ako. 

School Closed - Friday 6th March 2020

All schools in our Kahui Ako are closed on Friday 6th March (Week 6) because we have a staff only day. Please add this date to your calendar now so that you can make alternative arrangements for your child, thank you for your support and understanding. 



Our uniform supplier is currently working on the uniforms that have been ordered (but we ran out of stock for) and we are expecting this next delivery within the next two weeks. In the meantime, these students are welcome to wear different shorts (or a plain coloured t-shirt) until this arrives. 


It is important that all school uniform is clearly named. We have a lot of new uniform that is left in the playground and/or in the classroom and if they are not named then we cannot return them to the students. A black marker inside the hem lines is often the most successful way to name this clothing. 






All parents, whanau and visitors coming into school need to come through the front office and speak to Leanne or Michele. 



8:45am   First bell 12:15pm   Lunch eating time (in classrooms)

8:50am   Block 1 begins12:25pm   Lunch break

10:25am   Morning tea1:05pm    End of Lunch 

10:45am   End of morning tea2:50pm   School finishes



For any direct payments you wish to make to the school bank account is: ASB Ltd, Queensgate Branch. 

The account number is: 12 3142 0298643 00. Please state your child’s full name  as the reference. We also have a system whereby you can make regular payments for fees e.g. uniform, take home component of Technology into our school account via an automatic payment (AP). Forms are available from the school office. Thank you to all of the families who already do this and to the new ones who set this up last year! Please call Leanne Thompson (office manager) if you need to check how much is in your child’s account. 



We have opted into the government scheme and will NOT be charging for a school donation. I have attached a Ministry of Education information sheet for families, to help you understand what this means for costs associated with schooling this year. 

There is no charge for a school donation. Throughout the year there will be take home components of our technology programme, this cost of this is $80. This has been subsidised by the Board of Trustees and it is very helpful for the school if this is paid by the end of Term 1.  Please note that there is no camp this year, we will have EOTC activities in 2020 and our school camp in 2021.  



Please ring the school office before 8:40am on 5677453 or text the school cell phone 021 02715243. The classroom roll is taken at 8:50am and teachers send a list of absent students to the office at 9:00am. If a student is not here, the office will send a text or phone the first contact person on our enrolment. If we don’t hear back we will call the other contacts, but it saves us a lot of time if you can contact the school first, and let us know. We appreciate your support in this. 


If a student is late to school, they come to the office first and sign in. This is very important so that we know who is at school and do not starting contacting home. 



As you will have seen in the media the situation is rapidly evolving internationally concerning the coronavirus. This is a new virus and its specific nature is currently unclear, however it appears that you can have the virus at an early stage and not be showing any symptoms.  This incubation period is currently considered to be up to 14 days. 


The Ministry of Education is working closely with the Ministry of Health, to ensure schools have the relevant information to inform planning in regards to the potential risks associated with Coronavirus. 


Key points:

·     the risk of an outbreak in New Zealand is currently low and Health’s current advice is that there is no specific action to be taken at this time (for schools)

·      there are no cases of the virus in New Zealand currently

·    should the situation change, as we do with other infectious diseases such as measles, mumps and influenza, we will follow our pandemic plan for managing the illness

·    for those of you concerned about possible infection, the Ministry of Health has provided practical information on

their website which we encourage you to read - Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) guidance – Ministry of Health website

·        included in there is some advice (for travellers) to help reduce the general risk of infection. 

The Ministry of Health will continue to update that content, as further information becomes available


WAITANGI DAY - Thursday 6th February 

A reminder that next Thursday is Waitangi Day so school is closed. 


Nga mihi,



Ariana Te Whetu,






Kaitiaki Whenua
Kaitiaki Whenua
Kaitiaki Whenua