Principal's Comment

Posted Thursday February 8, 2024

Kia ora e te whānau

Eternal creator, during this sacred week of Waitangi, we come together with open hearts, grateful for the land we call home. May your spirit guide us in understanding, as we reflect on the Treaty's promises, granting unity and respect for all. Bless our diverse nation, with harmony and aroha, may justice and fairness prevail. In the spirit of partnership, help us strive for true reconciliation, honouring the principles of Waitangi. Amen.

International research indicates some key challenges with cellphones at school such as being a major distraction for our students. These rules are designed to ensure that the learning of all students is maximised, while minimising any potential for distraction and cyber-bullying. Our approach is “away for the day”, meaning cellphones either do not come with the student to school, or are kept out of sight in bags and pockets. We have had this policy in place since July 2020, so this is just a reminder of our expectations which are in line with the governments new rules.

It is important to note that if students do make the decision to bring a cellphone to the school grounds, they do so at their own risk. The school is not responsible for any loss or damage caused to any cellphone. If students need to contact home in an emergency, they should do so at the school office. Parents and caregivers can also call the office if they need to contact their child during the school day.

We encourage all students to self-manage their devices in a way that upholds our school values. In circumstances where usage has breached the school cellphone rules the result will be confiscation for the rest of the school day. The device will then be retrieved by the student after school and the inappropriate use recorded in KAMAR. If a breach has taken place more than once in a week then the cellphone is confiscated until the end of Friday that week.

Breaches of the cellphone rules include (but not limited to):
- using the device when not permitted
- any sort of bullying, including online bullying
- taking photos or videos of other people without their permission
- forwarding inappropriate messages or content
- continuous inappropriate usage

If a student makes the decision to inappropriately use a cellphone multiple times in a week the cellphone will be confiscated and can only be retrieved by a parent or caregiver.

If cellphones are used for a learning activity, this will be at the teacher's discretion and the phone's use will be supervised by a staff member. Guidelines on appropriate usage still apply.

Students with additional learning needs who use cellphones in class to increase or improve their ability to participate and learn will be granted an exemption. In matters related to a student's immediate health and safety concerns, a parent or caregiver can apply at any time to the principal for a period of exemption (e.g., medical conditions or protection issues).

Students may take certain digital devices on EOTC activities but should check whether their device is allowed before the activity commences. Usage will be at the discretion of teachers and other adult supervisors.

Please note with all exemptions, appropriate usage guidelines and other relevant school rules still apply.

The use of personal technology for learning at school is a privilege. Students will need to follow the BYOD guidelines set by the school to ensure that the devices are used for educational purposes. Students will need to adhere to St Peter’s College responsible use agreement as well as the BYOD student agreement form while using their device.

A new year, for some a new school, and this brings new challenges and opportunities.

At St Peter’s College we want education to open opportunities and pathways for your child, we want to see them leave empowered to challenge and shape their future, whilst being a young person who lives by our Mercy and Rosmini values, whereby they are compassionate and respectful, where they seek justice for others and themselves, and where they have the courage to pursue their ambitions.

For your child to be the best they can be, and to get the most from their time here at school, we ask that you continue to encourage and support them to participate and contribute as much as they can each day. There will be challenges, there will be some ups and downs along the way. Please never hesitate to reach out to your child’s Dean as the first point of contact if you have any queries or concerns.

Charity Fulfils the Law
Tara Quinney