Poked. Or, Staffed then Stuffed.

You’re a reputable principle with proven practices as denoted by results over the school population that are higher than the National median in the “STAR” testing regime.
(STAR is the National standardized testing regime that compares the performance of children in one school to other schools).
You receive strong ERO reports. You cater for special needs students and while your school is officially decile 10 and backed by a very strong and supportive community, there are numbers of students coming to school who go to the office for lunch and are inadequately clothed. You can’t really tap the community further for donations or fundraising contributions.

After the budget announcements, you stand to lose a .61 Full Time Teacher Equivalent next year.  (Three full days teaching a week). You have a dilemma. Which of the following programs do you cut?
– Reading Recovery? (One on one teaching for young readers who need a boost to achieve well),
РSmall group teaching support for lower achieving learners,  
– Specialist music group teaching,
– te reo Maori classroom teaching on Mondays, and Kapa haka,
– Writing and art enrichment programs.

Classroom numbers are at maximum in a growing suburb so there is currently no room to move on increasing classroom numbers and also retaining all the above programmes. Everyone has a full workload that is growing due to the administrative requirements of National Standards policy. 
There are no donkeys to whip to make up the 3 days FTE. 
So. Which are you going to slash?
 РSupport for underachievers for whom the introduction of National Standards was meant to provide assistance?
РArts and music programmes? In this day and age of the Blue Rinse Brigade endorsed, National Standards, these are most likely going to be superfluous. So, no school choir, no arts evenings, no support for gifted students. Are these nice to haves or essential for encouraging creativity and passion which nurtures an entrepreneurial spirit? 
РTe Reo and cultural programmes; no more hangis, no more emphasis on Matariki. Kapa Haka competitions may have to go to biannually. You have a very proficient (white) te reo teacher that will be in great demand by  a nearby Te Kura Kaupapa Maori School (Maori immersion school). But why should your cohesive school community suffer? This is a dilemma faced by one New Zealand principal. 

Matariki Constellation. Superflous to children’s learning from June 2012 onwards.

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