Category Archives: Principal’s Blog

Dangers of vaping

I feel it is important for our community to be as well informed as possible about a dangerous new trend which is potentially very harmful to the health of our students. I believe we all need to send the same message to our children to keep them safe as there may be some mixed messages coming from a number of sources which confuse the situation. 

 

In essence while vaping may be a useful, short-term method to stop smoking it is dangerous for young people to try and some students may think that if it is advertised or if it is used for that purpose it is OK or safe for them to use. The short answer is, it is not and a growing number of young people, ironically, are becoming addicted to nicotine after using e-cigarettes.

 

Vaping (and smoking) is not permitted in schools in New Zealand. The school views vaping in a negative light and deals with students who bring a vaping device to school severely as it may cause a risk to other students’ health and safety. 

 

Please ensure if you, or members of your household use e-cigarettes that your children get a clear message of the risks of using them and cannot have access to them.

Here is a simple message from the Ministry of Health website:

Children, young people and non-smokers should not vape (use e-cigarettes)

  • people who do not smoke should not vape
  • vaping products are not risk-free 
  • the long-term health effects of vaping are unknown 
  • vaping products contain nicotine which is highly addictive.

More detailed information can be found from an article published online from the John Hopkins Medicine website entitled “5 Vaping Facts You Need to Know” by Michael Blaha.

 

1: Vaping Is Less Harmful Than Smoking, but It’s Still Not Safe

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes, vape pens, and other vaping devices) are being used by adults who are trying to give up smoking. However e-cigarettes contain nicotine, flavourings and other chemicals, many of which are toxic. Vaping products may also be modified to contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the harmful ingredient in marijuana.

2: Research Suggests Vaping Is Bad for Your Heart and Lungs

Nicotine is the primary agent in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and it is highly addictive. It causes you to crave a smoke and suffer withdrawal symptoms if you ignore the craving. Nicotine is also a toxic substance. It raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack.

In addition many of the chemicals used in e-cigarettes have not been tested properly yet to understand their long term effect or damage.

3: Electronic Cigarettes Are Just As Addictive As Traditional Ones

Both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes contain nicotine, which research suggests may be as addictive as heroin and cocaine. What’s worse, says Blaha, many e-cigarette users get even more nicotine than they would from a tobacco product — you can buy extra-strength cartridges, which have a higher concentration of nicotine, or you can increase the e-cigarette’s voltage to get a greater “hit” of the substance.

4: Electronic Cigarettes Aren’t the Best Smoking Cessation Tool

Although they’ve been marketed as an aid to help you quit smoking, e-cigarettes have not received Food and Drug Administration approval as smoking cessation devices. A recent study found that most people who intended to use e-cigarettes to kick the nicotine habit ended up continuing to smoke both traditional and e-cigarettes.

5: A New Generation Is Getting Hooked on Nicotine

“What I find most concerning about the rise of vaping is that people who would’ve never smoked otherwise, especially youth, are taking up the habit,” says Blaha. “It’s one thing if you convert from cigarette smoking to vaping. It’s quite another thing to start up nicotine use with vaping. And, it often leads to using traditional tobacco products down the road.”

 

I trust this information will help you to address this potentially dangerous and harmful issue. A similar message will be provided to our students by Whānau Leaders and the topic will be addressed in our Health and PE classes as it can affect students’ hauora.

Kia kaha

 

Ian Morrison

Principal

 

COVID update 28 Feb 2021

Following the PM announcement that Auckland is at alert level 3 for the week starting Monday 1 March, please note that, as before, the school is closed until further notice except for students of parents of “essential” services. If your child/ren need/s supervision at school please notify the relevant Whānau Leader before 5 pm today so arrangements can be made.
These students are to report directly to the library and have lunch, charged device and other learning equipment with them. Masks are recommended but not compulsory.
The rest of the school will kick into distance learning and further information will be sent to students via the Whānau Leaders.
While this is frustrating it is necessary and we thank you once again for your patience and support.
Kia kaha
Ian Morrison

 

COVID update Tuesday 23 February, 8.30 pm

Latest COVID update contains the following information following a positive test of a worker at Kmart Botany who is related to the Papatoetoe cluster.
Please contact your child’s Whānau Leader if he/she will be away from school tomorrow following the advice received below:
 
“If you were at Kmart Botany between 4pm and 10pm on Friday February 19 and Saturday February 20 you are considered a casual plus contact.
 
If you are a casual plus contact, you are advised to immediately isolate at home and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on isolation timeframes and testing requirements.”
 
Regards
Ian Morrison
Principal

10th anniversary of the Christchurch Earthquake

I am sure our community will join me in pausing a moment at 12.51 to remember and reflect on this traumatic event.
We reach out to the survivors, emergency response workers and families of those who died or were injured and who still carry the physical and mental scars. And we also acknowledge the amazing resilience and determination of a community which has rebuilt a shattered city.
Kia kaha
 
 

Update Saturday 20 February

 
I am aware that rumours started to circulate in the community that one of our students may have contracted COVID 19. These rumours are false, however a student did go home yesterday (Friday) after lunch as he was feeling sick and as a precaution went for a test which returned negative today.
 
School resumes as normal on Monday and I reinforce the well known safety tips which will keep us all safe:
– stay home if you are unwell
– sneeze or cough into your elbow (should you be at school……?)
– wash your hands
– minimise contact with other people and do not share personal items
 
The Ministry of Health has reminded us that face masks may be worn at school but are not required.
 
Nga mihi
Ian Morrison
Principal

Transition

SPECIAL REPORT: Starting Year 7

Starting Year 7 poses many new challenges, but also offers exciting opportunities. It comes with a number of mixed feelings. Unfortunately for many Year 6 students, 2020 was marred with school closures and remote learning due to the pandemic and the overall impact of this is still unknown.

For many students regular orientation activities at the end of 2020 were less than ideal. Therefore, many students may be feeling a little bit more anxious than usual about their expectations of starting Year 7. Grasping new skills and establishing new study practices can quickly become daunting and overwhelming.

During this time of transition, parents and carers need to be supportive, but also realistic in their expectations. This is an important milestone in your child’s life. There will be feelings of exhilaration, but also the fear of the unknown. Therefore it will be important for parents and carers to be vigilant in monitoring their child’s mood and mental health during this time. They could easily become overly anxious or even depressed.

In this Special Report, there are a number of strategies offered that can make this transition period smoother and start things off on the right foot! We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.

If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.

Here is the link to your special report https://mhjc.nz.schooltv.me/wellbeing_news/special-report-transition-high-school

Welcome back!

Kia ora

Just a brief welcome message from me to our new and returning staff and students. I trust this year will be a fulfilling one for you all as you continue your journey of growing your greatness.

Hopefully we will be able to follow a normal start up to the year with Admin Day on Tuesday 2nd February. Should the lockdown levels change, owing to COVID, I will inform you as soon as possible by email, web site and facebook.

This message from the Ministry of Education is particularly relevant as we must remain vigilant and follow the regular reminders we received last year:

We continue to have a large amount of control over how we can prevent the spread of COVID.

For our school we will:

display QR code posters for the NZ COVID Tracer App

keep our visitor register, attendance register and timetables up to date

be monitoring for illness and asking anyone who is unwell to remain at home, or to go home

encourage people with relevant symptoms to seek medical advice through Health Line or their GP and get tested for COVID if recommended to do so

reinforce the importance of good hand washing and drying

reinforce good cough and sneeze etiquette

we will continue to regularly clean all parts of our school.

Best wishes to you all.

Nga mihi

Ian Morrison

Principal