St Gerard's is a Decile 9 school state integrated Roman Catholic School with a maximum roll of 180 pupils. As at April 30th 2018 we have 138 fantastic pupils in 6 classes - Year 0 (new entrants)/ Year 1, Year 2, Year 3/4, Year 4/5, Year 6, Year 7/8.
Our students come from Alexandra as well as the greater Alexandra area, including Clyde, Omakau and Earnscleugh. We foster a close relationship with the parish of Saint John the Baptist and the wider community through our outreach programmes. Pupils take part in and celebrate Feast Days, liturgies, class and school masses. The teachings of Jesus permeate our curriculum and everything we say and do.
Being a small school allows us to foster a family atmosphere and we are blessed to have a strongly committed PTA and Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees is committed to small class sizes and engages the services of qualified and experienced teachers, a reading recovery teacher, music specialist, teacher of Maori, and very experienced teacher aides to meet the individual learning needs of our students. All children actively participate in faith, academic, cultural, social and sporting activities to the best of their abilities, aiming always for excellence. Being a reconciliation faith we believe and practice restorative justice. If your family has a connection with the Catholic Church, you may have preference of enrolment; our role is open for 5% non-preference.
School Hours: 8.55am - 2.55pm
8.30 am is the earliest children are to arrive at school
Children are not allowed to leave the school grounds between 8.55 am and 2.55 pm, without parent/guardian written permission.
Parents are welcome at school at any time. However, it is not always convenient for a teacher to leave his/her class. It is more helpful if you ring the Secretary or email the staff member concerned and make a suitable appointment.
The Secretary’s hours are 8.30am – 2.30pm
School Begins: 8.55am
Brain Break: 10.00-10.10am
Morning Interval: 11.15-11.40am
School: Ends: 2.55pm
Brain Break Students are given the opportunity to eat a piece of fruit or vegetable plus a drink of water and get fresh air in an area close to their classroom.
Milk in Schools We are a member of Fonterra Milk in Schools program and parents sign a form to agree that their child receive a carton of long-life milk at brain break time each day.
Morning Interval Students are asked to collect all packets and refuse to their own lunch box. Lunch We encourage families to send a healthy lunch to school. Students are expected to remain seated in the lunch area for 15 minutes as they eat their lunch. Wrappers are expected to be taken home and any food scraps are placed in the pig bucket. We encourage re-cycling at school and support families to find ways of sending lunches without throw away wrappings.
If children become ill at school, parents are notified by telephone, or if we are unable to contact you, the emergency number you have provided is used. For this reason, it is important for us to keep our records up to date – please inform us if you have a change of circumstances/phone number.
If your child is sick, please phone or email the school Office between 8.30-9.15am and his/her name will be entered in our “Day Book”.
The best place for a sick child is at home in bed; please remember this if your child is unwell before school. However, if your child is becomes unwell at school parents/caregivers will be contacted to arrange suitable care for them.
In the event of an accident requiring immediate attention appropriate emergency action will be taken and you will be informed as soon as possible.
We are a NUT-FREE school. Please do NOT include any items in lunch/ snack food that contain whole nuts or peanut butter. Items that say "may contain traces of nuts" are safe to bring to school.
Mondays: Pizza (Hawaiian or Meat Lovers)
Wednesdays: Sausages & Bread
Thursday: Pie Warmer operates Terms 1 & 4 and daily Terms 2 & 3. If you child is bringing food to be heated please ensure the following:
Item wrapped in tinfoil
Clearly mark child’s name and Room Number (use spirit based felt pen on tinfoil)
Please do NOT attach names with pins, etc.
NO Frozen items thank you
NO gravy or sauce
Friday: Lunch Orders: Tarbert Street Foodcentre
A price list is available online and in the school office. These are available only on a Friday. Order and correct money to be put in an envelope with the child’s name and Room No. on the outside and placed in the box in the foyer BEFORE school.
Please Note: For safety reasons no child may leave the school grounds without a note of consent from either parent or guardian. If your child is to leave for lunch on a regular basis please contact the Secretary so a record can be kept and the need for a note averted.
All students are expected to have a drink bottle in their own rooms. A drinking fountain, kindly supplied by the PTA is available in the corridor outside Room 5 with a filtered water spout for filling bottles.
Attendance Dues are a charge made by the Proprietor as a condition of enrolment at an integrated school. The Proprietor is the Bishop of the Diocese of Dunedin (Bishop Michael Dooley). This is a legal charge and not a donation, nor is it tax deductible.
The Ministry of Education financially supports staff wages and curriculum expenses as in any school in New Zealand, but the buildings and grounds are owned and maintained by the Diocese.
The button below links to a document produced by the Diocese of Dunedin which comprehensively outlines why parents pay fees at Catholic schools and what the money is used for.
The Attendance Dues for 2019 are: $450 per child annually
Bishop Michael is committed to Catholic students being able to attend a Catholic school and is determined that no one should miss out due to financial hardship.
The fees are collected by the Diocese of Dunedin. You can arrange to pay this in the way that best meets your family needs e.g instalments or annually. You can arrange with the Diocesan Office your own way of paying this and support is available if you find hardship in paying this invoice. Please contact the Principal of the Parish Priest.
You can set up instalment payments:
The school newsletter is published each Tuesday and is emailed to parents. It and can also be accessed through the school website. Should you not have access to this please let us know and your child can bring home a hard copy.
Each class has a Blog where teachers will place homework and any notices for parents and students. Student’s work is also placed on this from time to time. Photos of excursions and activities are available for viewing. Access to Blogs is through the website.
Anyone who does not have access to a computer can receive the information in hard copy.
If you are able to support your child through volunteering to attend camps/ transport etc you will be asked to complete a police vetting form at the beginning of the year to comply with the Vulnerable Children's Act. This will be current for 3 years and the Principal will maintain a register of parents vetted by police.The Principal is the only staff member who sights the personal information on the police vetting form.
Physical Education & Sport
Children have regular class physical education lessons and specialised programmes. All children are expected to participate.
Physical Education uniform must be worn by all children during regular sports time or while representing the school (please refer to the uniform page).
If your child is unable to participate in sport or physical education a note must be forwarded to your child’s teacher. Swimming, ice skating, cross country, athletics and triathlon are all part of the curriculum and students will not be excused non participation unless parental request is made.
We receive tremendous support from parents in these programmes and we encourage you to take an active part in this aspect of your child’s education.
We are a restorative school; therefore, all behaviour management within the school is dealt with in a restorative manner (please refer to the restorative practice page).
Once a term children are able to order books through the Ashton Scholastic Book Club. Books are of a general nature and are listed in three graded catalogues – Lucky/Arrow/Star.
Order forms are distributed by the school
Any orders you wish to place should be done so through the school
When ordering please ensure your child’s choice is marked clearly on the form and ensure the correct money is enclosed
School of Technology
Children in Year 7 and 8 children attend the Terrace School of Technology, Marslin Street, every second Friday to work on practical activities from the technology programme including workshop technology, food and textile technology.
A list of requirements is given to each child at the beginning of the school year.
There is a cost for this curriculum area and that is invoiced to parents at the beginning of the year.
Ways You Can Help Our School
Talk positively about what happens at school
Encourage good manners at home and at school and reinforce the school rules
Provide and encourage your child to wear the correct school uniform with pride
Encourage your child to take responsibility for their books and belongings and for their learning
Take an interest in your child's homework and encourage and help if necessary
If their are any concerns please refer them to the class teacher
Read the newsletters and classroom blogs
Respond to notices (by the due date) as these are there for a reason