November update - events and important dates

Tena koutou katoa

Christmas decorations are up in the community, and the pohutukawas are nearly in flower. This is always a signal that our end of year events and functions are close. So much is different this year that I thought a quick message confirming dates and procedures would be helpful.

Today, 98% of our teaching and support staff are vaccinated, and 98.55% of students who have responded to the vaccination survey are either already vaccinated or planning to be soon. This is a seriously impressive uptake. The evidence required for students under 16 is a little tricky to come by, so please don’t stress too much about getting vaccination certificates to me immediately. At this stage, I only need to be able to look at percentages. I am not quite sure why we were asked to collect student evidence, and I have no plans to share the status of individual students with anybody. To be clear, I am the only person who can access the student vaccination register. 

Here is the link to the register if you have not yet completed it.

As of November 16th, every adult worker or volunteer that comes onto the school site must be vaccinated. We have already gathered evidence from all the companies working on our building projects, groups supporting our students, coaches and managers, reader-writers, and numerous others. Our campus can have over 2000 people on it some days. People have been incredibly cooperative and understanding with this request. Thank you.

If a visitor comes to the school office - they will see the following sign:

Our board has decided to protect staff and students by asking that adults be vaccinated to come to the school. At this stage, Covid is not in the Lower Hutt community, but the situation changes daily, and we decided to take a low-risk approach when thinking about the health and safety of staff and students. 

We are, however, taking a high-trust approach when asking for evidence that an adult visitor is vaccinated. We know that our community will do all it can to keep everyone safe and healthy. All visitors who agree to follow our health and safety regulations include being vaccinated and wearing a mask while onsite.

Year 8 enrolment interviews begin on November 22nd. The interviews allow students and their families to meet with a staff member and start getting to know each other. Some families where adults are not vaccinated are invited to meet with us via a Zoom or Google Meet or a face to face meeting held outside in the school grounds if the weather is nice. Please let us know if this is an option that you would prefer.


Sadly our prizegivings that are attended by whānau and families will take a different approach this year. They will be for student prizewinners only. 

The Hotuwaipara Awards will be held on November 17th, in the school hall at 10.20 am.

Year 11 & 12 prizegiving is on November 19th at Market Grove Hub.

Year 11 at 10 am and Year 12 at 11.30 am.  Prizewinners will receive an email invite. 

This means that for most YEAR 11 AND 12 STUDENTS’ THE LAST DAY WILL BE NOVEMBER 18th.

Year 9 &10 prizegivings will occur on the morning of December 15th.

Year 9 at 9.30 am and Year 10 at 11.00 am. These will also be prizewinners only events. 

This means that for most YEAR 9 AND 10 STUDENTS’ THE LAST DAY WILL BE DECEMBER 14TH.

The last school day before exams for Year 13 is Tuesday 16th November. Spells 1 and 2 will be normal classes and spell 3 will be a farewell BBQ. Students will be able to go home after that. Tutorials for Year 13 students will continue from Wednesday 17th to Friday 19th. The tutorials on offer align with a student’s timetable. Students may come in non-uniform to these tutorials. 


We are holding out for an alert level change which will enable this special evening to proceed.

However, it is looking more and more unlikely. If we are still in Alert Level 2 in December the graduation prizegiving will be held at the Market Grove Hub Monday, December 13th at 10 am. Prizewinners will receive an email invite. We will take many photos to share with family and whānau.

NCEA continues as per usual. Examinations run from Monday 22nd November to Tuesday 14th December. All students have been issued with their admission slips. If these are misplaced, they can be replaced by the Student Office. Students can wear comfortable clothes to their exams if they would prefer that to uniform.

Ngā mihi nui

Denise Johnson