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Issue 4
8 December 2016
Rural schools and their communities are special. We hear amazing stories all the time of how communities pitch in to help around the school creating gardens and native planting areas, re-grassing sports fields, doing maintenance work around the school to help reduce costs and in some cases these things couldn't be achieved any other way.  We also get some fantastic support from our farming communities with fundraising efforts such as donations of meat and support to run sports events and pet days. We also get some great turn-outs for other events we hold at school whether its art exhibitions that our kids have produced or project displays, because our rural parents working on farms can be more flexible with their time.  In all of these ways we are truly fortunate and well supported. 

It is important that we take time to reflect on all of these great advantages and close relationships we have with our rural communities and appreciate them because for every up side... there can be a down side! Our job as NZPF executive members is to try and minimise the 'downside' for you by using this publication to share ways you can reduce the stress of having to do all the school administration on your own whilst you (often) also have teaching duties in the school. It is to try and share ways of keeping you connected when travel can prohibit face to face meetings with other principals. And most of all it is to do our best to find ways to support you when PLD can be elusive and attending seminars or conferences prohibitive.

As you know NZPF provides the rural award to help you attend local seminars or conferences. Applications closed 11 November for those. We are also doubling the number of Don Le Prou awards so that more of you can attend NZPF conferences.   Don Le Prou awards are worth $1,000 each and are for principals of U1-3 schools only. The award would in most cases cover the full cost of registration for an NZPF conference delegate.  

A major focus for NZPF this year has been Hauora and in line with that, we have pushed hard for the Ministry to release funds to extend our Principal Leadership Advisory (PLA) Service. We know how successful this service has been in Northland where David Hain has been supporting rural principals for the past two years.  The feedback has led us to advocate for at least twenty more PLAs and we have achieved that this year.  The Ministry has announced that Evaluation Associates have won the contract for this service and a national coordinator will be appointed to administer it. In turn the contractor will be calling for applications for the PLA positions.

We believe that having PLAs, who are principals or former principals,  walking alongside of you to coach and mentor  and provide the knowledge and support that you need to cover your multiple roles is the best support we can give you.  The advantage of the PLAs is that they will come from your areas, understand your contextual issues and what is required of you as a principal. Your own regional principals' association will be involved in their appointment so that you can be assured that the PLA will be a good match for your context. 

As we wind up for the year, we leave you with a few titbits to help you through and a few notices of up-coming events.

Make sure you give yourself some breathing space during the long break so that when planning time comes for 2017 you are sharp, refreshed and ready!

Nga mihi nui

Karen Brisco
Registrations are now open for next year's conference to be held in Queenstown from 19-22 September 2017. Don't forget a Don Le Prou award can help you pay for that registration fee and as we have done at the past two conferences, we will be holding a luncheon just for rural principals to connect and network. So make sure you register for that too! 
Honouring the late Don Le Prou, a founder of the NZPF and former principal of Frankton School in Hamilton, this is an award to assist NZPF members from U1-3 schools to undertake professional development.
Please click here for the application form. If applying, please print off or download a copy of the form, as we cannot provide editing access to the linked document.
Applications close 1 March 2017.
NZPF has been offering a helpline for many years and this service will continue across the holiday season. If you have some pressing issue you need help to untangle, then do not hesitate to ring 0800 798 798.  Our executive member on duty will advise and help you to sort it out. 
You and/or your team members can easily access the NZ Principal Magazines online, as an e-magazine or as a PDF. Additionally you can search for a previous issue, an article by title or by the author of the article. All magazines back to Term 1 2012 are available in this format. To view or search click here.
Next year the Rural Matters editor plans to talk with a different rural school for each issue and ask directly for feedback on practices that you have found useful that we can share with everyone. She also promises to make at least one of the profile schools in the NZ Principal magazine in 2017, a rural school!  So look out for these changes next year and if you are asked to participate, please be generous in your response!  
Please contact Karen Brisco if you have any questions about any items in this flyer or if you have some great tips to share for the next issue.
NZPF assures its business partners that, as members, you will contact them to have a conversation if you are purchasing products, services or solutions for your schools that a business partner supplies. Please support our partners as their assistance to NZPF means better membership services to you.

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