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Principal’s Panui- 17 June 2022

Kia ora te whanau o te Kotuku

School Times back to normal from June 20

Next week the school moves back to normal times i.e. First period is 8.50am and last period 3.10pm. We hope to maintain this for the rest of term 2 providing we can find enough relievers to cover classes when staff are ill. I would like to thank you for your continued support as we juggle the need for consistency in the classroom with the demands of ensuring health and safety of staff and students. The word on the street is that the Flu virus this year is particularly nasty so this is a good time to think about staying home if you are unwell and maintaining all the usual steps to minimise risk for you and your loved ones.

School Ball

The school ball is in jeopardy of not proceeding unless we receive ticket sales of 250 which is the minimum requirement for Eden Park. This is the last chance to purchase tickets as the cut off is 23 June. Tickets cost $100 per person and can be paid by Internet banking or through the parent portal. Visit the Accounts page to find out your payment options.


Vaping has become one of the most popular forms of substance use among young people, despite growing evidence of its health risks and harms. The health affects of vaping are not fully understood and while vaping might be healthier than cigarette smoking, it is much less healthy than not vaping at all. Vaping companies are targeting teenagers and their message that vaping is safe is disingenuous and very concerning.

The most common immediate  health affects of vaping include coughing, dry mouth and throat, shortness of breath, mouth and throat irritation and headaches. More long term health effects could include addiction to nicotine, lose of ability to focus and lung damage or cancer caused by inhaling the carcinogenic flavouring compounds.

Two pieces of particularly concerning news have come out of America in recent months. The first was a higher percentage of young people who were significantly affected by Covid-19 than was seen in many other countries, likely because of the harm vaping had done to their lungs prior to infection.  The second was the first increase in youth cigarette smoking rates in decades, this reversal in decades of youth behaviour was linked to rapidly increasing rates of vaping. Both of these occurrences should sound a warning for all of us who are parents or work with young people.

Rutherford College’s health and safety policy state that students are not permitted to bring, consume or distribute cigarettes or vapes to school or to any school function. In November 2020 changes took effect under the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act that saw the existing prohibition on smoking at schools extended to include vaping.  Consequently, any students who are vaping at school are breaking both school rules and New Zealand law.

While we would prefer to take a harm reduction approach to those students caught vaping, informing and educating them of the potential risk, we also need to consider the student body as a whole. For most students vaping is not a consequence of addiction but a choice and as such there will be punitive consequences through our school discipline processes. Unlike many schools we are not instigating mandatory stand downs for vaping however, this is an option particularly for repeated offences.

Finally, given the increasing prevalence of vaping in society in general and the very confusing and often disingenuous messaging that is accompanying it, we encourage all parents to be having conversations with their children about vaping and the risks associated with it. The websites and ‘Don’t Get Sucked In’ provide factual information and provide a good starting point for discussions with your children about the impact of vaping.

Think Different

The giant computer company IBM has as its motto the word Think.  When Apple computers started out as a very small company its motto was Think different.  We all need to learn to “think different”. In today’s COVID interrupted world there is no straight-line path to the destination we initially set out on. We must adapt and change our plans at regular intervals.

A key to becoming smarter is to change how we think and create new muscle memory in our brain.

There is a story of two bullies who picked on a younger boy at school.  Each day they would offer him the choice of a nickel (5 cents) or a dime (10 cents).  Even though the dime is worth more, it is a smaller coin.  The younger boys always chose the nickel.  They would then ask him why.  His reply was, “Because it’s bigger”.  This answer never failed to make the big boys howl with laughter at the younger boy’s stupidity.  They played the game over and over again and each time the boy chose the nickel. A teacher observed what was going on and took pity on the boy.  She took him aside and said, “Do you know that a dime is worth more than a nickel?”
“Of course,” replied the boy.
“Then why do you keep on choosing the nickel?” asked the teacher.
“Because if I took the dime they’d stop offering me the money,” was the answer.
The teacher and the older boys knew the dime was worth more than a nickel and stopped thinking at that point.  The boy, however, could see past the obvious.  He fooled the bullies by always choosing the less valuable coin but, in the long run, making more money.

Every brain can become fitter.  Take every opportunity to exercise your mental muscles, banish old ways of thinking, and open your mind to new ideas.

It’s a busy time and I understand that the pressure is on with assessments and the best thing you can do is plan your time well, so think differently.
How do we learn to deal with pressure and challenges more effectively? I encourage that you make a priority list of 3 things on paper each day that you will get done. Effectively you have made a contract with yourself, a promise and only a 1-1-1 call, a real emergency should stop you honouring that promise. Don’t multi-task but give that agreed on priority your fullest attention and focus. Either you run your day or the day ends up running you. For those who work with a plan like this already, please think each week to build in as a priority, some time out. Meet some friends for the movies. Looking after yourself takes some planning. So drink water, eat healthy most of the time, make regular sleep patterns a part of your plan and lift one of the three things off your list and get it done.

2022 McIntosh Dental Orthodontic Scholarships

During the month of July nominations will be open for the 2022 McIntosh and Fraser Dental Orthodontic Scholarship. Two deserving students from selected West Auckland and West Harbour schools will be selected to receive a full scholarship to the value of up to $10,000 for orthodontic treatment which can be provided at either McIntosh or Fraser Dental. Since its creation in 2012 the scholarship has helped 24 students and their families by awarding $155,000 in orthodontic treatment. The nomination process is simple. We are looking for students who have a clear need for orthodontic treatment and who excel in one of these key areas: academic, sporting, the arts, or community involvement. Students can be nominated by teachers, other school staff, members of the community, whanau, and their peers, so spread the word to support your nominee. All nominations must be made via the online nomination form on the McIntosh Dental website, which will be live during the month of July. Go to to complete and submit the online form. Nominations are open from 1st July 2022 and close on 31st July 2022. The finalists will be chosen by the Scholarship Committee and invited to attend a complimentary orthodontic consultation, and the winners will be announced once consultations have been completed.

Vacancies at Rutherford

Are you a builder or have experience in the trades and want to move to part-time work with all holidays off? Come join our friendly Technology team as their Workshop Technician (10 hours per week). Head on over to our vacancies page to find out all the details.

Upcoming Assessments

20 Jun – 12 HED, 12CLS, 13CLS
21 Jun – 12 HED
22 Jun – 12 HED
23 Jun – 12 HED, 12 APH, 12 ECO

Rutherford News – Keep up to date with all the news here.

Kia Kaha
Gary Moore

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