Term 1 2021 Newsletter to Kura

Term 1 Newsletter

Kia ora koutou,
RTLB Cluster Vision: To ensure success for all ākonga through collaboration and inclusive education. He waka eke noa
This whakataukī translates to meaning a waka that we are all in, with no exception. More broadly, there is the sense of embarking on a journey together, and that the success of the journey is reliant on collective and collaborative effort.

RTLB Cluster Mission: We strengthen and empower kaiako to enhance educational outcomes. 
Values: Whanaungatanga, Manaakitanga, Rangatiratanga & Kotahitanga

Welcome back to a fresh new year! We are looking forward to less disruptions and a continuation of supporting you and your staff. Through periods of fear and uncertainty, there is never a better time to remain grateful. We are grateful to be living in NZ and the trusting, positive relationships we build with you and your staff. 

Overview of newsletter content:
  • Staffing
  • Strategic Plan
  • RTLB Professional Learning
  • Allocation Dates
  • Waitlist
  • Request for Support Guidelines
  • Teacher Aide PLD Term 1
  • SENCo PLD 2021
  • Sharing Information
  • School visits
  • Compliments & Complaints

New Appointments
We would like to welcome our newest appointments for 2021, Fiona Barnes, liaison for St Martins, Jane Morrison, liaison for St. Francis of Assisi & Anne Batchelor, liaison for Cashmere Primary Te Pae Kererū. They are a real asset to our team, especially with their recent classroom experience and leadership skills.

Te Paeroa Strategic Plan
Our Priority Areas are:
  • Bi-cultural Sustainability 
  • Inclusion
  • Systemic Support

This plan can be viewed on our Te Paeroa website.

Te Paeroa RTLB Professional Learning & Development
At the beginning of this year, we held three staff hui days. Our first two days were focused on developing our bi-cultural competencies. We are learning how we identify & belong to our area, and learning more about our cultural narrative. The third day was focused on the MoE & RTLB collaborative practice framework, He Pikorua (He Pikorua: Home). 

Dates for Allocation
Due to schools/kura all beginning the year on different dates we have decided on the following for allocation of cases. The next allocation is the 12th March (Friday) and 1st April (Thursday). Your Liaison RTLB will be in touch the week prior to each allocation week to meet with you and discuss the potential requests and provide support. 

We have 30 RTLB, 14 of them are studying this year. They will be completing the required training for all RTLB; Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching. When our RTLB are completing the diploma they have a lower caseload to ensure they have time to complete their papers. Due to this reason, we may have a waitlist throughout the year. Our Liaison RTLB will work closely with you to help prioritise requests for support if this happens. 

Requests for Support Guidelines
We have reviewed our Request for Support Guidelines, which have been shared with SENCos/LSCs, I have attached it for your reference. Your liaison will discuss these changes with you. 

Professional Learning & Development for Teacher Aides/Learning Assistants
Between Wednesday 3rd February & Friday 5th February we facilitated Teacher Aide Professional Learning & Development. We had 147 Teacher Aides from 33 schools attend over the 3 days. They were very keen to learn. Thank you for valuing these staff members, we are sure they returned with more in their kete. Feedback was overly positive and we have some clear next steps. We have included a brief summary of the feedback:

How did the content of the workshops meet your professional needs?
5 (High) - 31.4%

4   - 45%

3   - 23%

2   - 0.6.%

1 (Low)  - 0%

Workshop of most value within, the current role, in order of most valuable
Understanding sensory needs

  • Numicon
  • Developing relationships
  • Understanding the function of behaviour
  • Suggestions for further workshops
  • Less topics/longer sessions - more in depth 
  • More discussions/group work and scenarios 
  • More time to connect with others 
  • More secondary content
  • Review venue and technology supports
Future PLD
  • Trauma
  • Neurodiversity
  • Speech & language
  • Behaviour management
  • More sensory processing 
  • Play-based learning
  • Math, reading & writing
  • Te reo Māori & Te Tiriti o Waitangi

We are aware that some teacher aides are highly skilled and we may not be meeting their needs in this way. Another suggestion could be that our team can come to you and deliver a more personalised workshop. This has been particularly useful on Staff Only Days. Please discuss a possible individual school request for support with your liaison. 

We are currently developing an annual PLD plan for SENCos & LSCs. We will email this out soon. We are currently looking into:
  • Oral Language
  • Mana Potential: Strengths-Based Bi-Cultural tool (Angeline McDonald) x 2 full days
  • Educating Boys

Sharing Information & Pastoral Care Hui
We are currently reviewing, alongside other agencies, how we gain informed consent from teachers and whānau and how we share information. Sharing information between agencies and schools/kura has become topical and there are some key documents that are providing some useful guidelines. Learning Support-Information Guide and Leading Lights, Consent to Request Support and Share Information

At this stage, if RTLB are attending Pastoral Care hui, they can only discuss students on their caseload or if school has gained consent first. When sharing personal information our RTLB is required to have whānau consent. The exception is if there's an immediate risk of harm. 

We will be developing Informed Consent Guidelines for our team so that whānau are fully informed about:
  • the request for support
  • why RTLB want to share relevant information (the purpose)
  • what information RTLB plan to share
  • who RTLB plan to share it with
  • how RTLB will keep the information safe.

School Visits
I am keen to continue visiting schools/kura to meet you and discuss how our service can improve to meet your learning support needs. If you would like me to visit your school to meet with you and your leadership team, please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

Compliments & Complaints
A reminder, if you have any concerns or complaints about our RTLB working in your school, please do not discuss this with other RTLB in your school. This places them in a very uncomfortable position. Addressing any issues with the RTLB concerned would be the first step, and then, contacting me if you feel it is not resolved. 

We are always looking at areas we can improve upon and your feedback is incredibly valuable. In the meantime, our Liaison RTLB is the person you can speak to about any of your schools/kura needs. You are always welcome to phone or email me at any time. 

Ngā mihi nui
Michelle Maule
Cluster Manager, RTLB34
Te Paeroa
Cellphone: 0272766713