Principal's Message

By Tracy O'Brien | Posted: Sunday March 11, 2018

Talofa lava . Malo e lei lei. Greetings

From time to time parents question whether the absence texting system is accurate and reliable.  Any system that relies on inputting accurate data about attendance for 800 odd students every hour is very likely to have some points of inaccuracy.

The system is most likely to have issues when relief teachers are taking classes and are not aware that students have already cleared an absence with their teacher, or when a large number of students are absent for events like the production, interchanges, field trips etc.  Sometimes the lists of those involved can change from day to day and the updated information can be delayed in reaching the office.

We have taken the view that even if the data is occasionally incorrect, the failure to send a message might have more dire consequences than sending an inaccurate one.  If we are working in partnership then we have presumed you would want to know and have the chance to check absences, rather than not know and then find that an even bigger problem has arisen.  Taking this view can mean that about 2% of texts sent can have an error.  That is an error rate that cannot be fixed but acceptable if it provides a safer school environment.

If parents do not wish to receive texts they can advise the office and we will remove them from the system.  Our experience has been that the system has provided much-improved data and has drawn attention to the engagement of students struggling with school.  The data and contact does assist most student.  If, from time to time, you get a text that you disbelieve do not stress.  Contact us and we can double check.  In the meantime students understand that we are both serious about attendance.

Tracy O'Brien