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Information Handbook


Base School
Patricia Avenue School
20 Patricia Avenue
Private Bag 506
Waikato Mail Centre
Hamilton 3240

Telephone: 07 856 9350
Emergency telephone: 027 408 2211
Office hours: 8:30am – 4.30pm Monday – Friday

Telephone: 07 856 9350

Please call the office number and ask to be directed to the appropriate staff member.
Teachers do not have telephones in the classrooms; calls may be directed to teachers if urgent, otherwise messages are taken.

For satellite/transition teachers Call the satellites directly.

For therapy staff: 07 856 9350


Woodstock Primary School
Fairfield Road
Hamilton 3214
Telephone: 07 855 6686 ext. 626

Silverdale Normal School
62 Silverdale Road, Silverdale
Hamilton 3216
Telephone: 07 855 7604 ext. 818

Melville Primary School
101 Ohaupo Road
Melville 3206
Mobile: 027 541 2105

Marian Catholic School
Beale Street, Hamilton East
Hamilton 3240
Telephone: 07 856 7515 ext. 223

Cambridge Middle School
Clare Street
Telephone: 07 827 5135 ext. 242

Melville High School
6 Collins Road, Deanwell
Telephone: 07 843 1403

Fairfield Intermediate School
Clarkin Road
Telephone 07 855 9718 ext 808

Transition Unit
17B Clifton Street
Hamilton Central
Telephone: 07 839 4438

Te Awamutu College
938 Alexander Street
Te Awamutu
Telephone: 07 871 4199 ext. 240

The school day is divided into three blocks:

First block: 9am – 10.30am
Morning tea: 10.30am – 10.50am
Middle block: 10.50am – 12.30pm
Lunch break: 12.30 – 1.30pm
Afternoon block: 1.30pm – 3pm

Satellite units follow the times of host schools.

The following table may be helpful in finding out who to contact

Absences Call the office and leave a message or message via Loop app
Appointment with Principal Directly with principal or secretary
Behaviour Initial contact is the teacher then Deputy / Associate Principal
Classroom fees Teacher
EOTC Teacher
Enrolments Deputy / Associate Principals
Therapy Programmes Therapist concerned or the Therapy Professional Learning Leader
Transport Matters  Deputy / Associate Principals

​When in doubt, consult the teacher or call the office and the secretary or administrator can direct you to leadership staff who will be able to advise or assist you.

If you have any concerns, please contact us. All concerns will be listened to, acted upon and treated confidentially.

Families are encouraged to communicate regularly with teachers and therapists. You will receive regular communication from your child’s teacher and sometimes therapy and support staff, in the home/school communication book. We encourage you to also write as often as possible. This communication is informal and may include information on such things as activities, wellness and progress in learning or behaviour.

Teachers and therapists are also happy to receive phone calls from you outside of classroom time. If you have a specific issue you wish to discuss in person please arrange a time before hand which is mutually convenient, so we can ensure this discussion can be given the time and focus it requires. For successful student learning, we are keen to ensure classroom programmes can occur without interruptions.

Class and therapy programmes are encouraged to regularly access community facilities which provide opportunities for learning, enrichment, generalisation of skills and inclusion. Examples of these may include Special Olympics events, horse riding, community swimming, the gym, shopping centres, libraries and work experience placements for seniors where appropriate. Classes also have community visits which support curriculum learning e.g. a farm visit, attendance at drama and music performances. Some of these activities have associated costs. As well as using public transport where appropriate, the school has a fleet of vehicles to ensure all students have access to these opportunities. There is a strict documentation process followed by teachers and therapists which includes obtaining your permission and that of school management before students are allowed to take part in these activities.

The school has information and links to services that provide respite, transition from school and information on how to access funding and disability support services. Contact Deputy / Associate Principals Christina Bartlett, Vivienne Buchanan or Lyrese Picard.

All parents/caregivers are asked to provide an emergency number in the event the school cannot contact them. Your assistance is asked to keep the school informed and our records updated. Many of the staff members have First Aid training and will treat minor illnesses should the need arise.

In the event of injuries or conditions of a more serious and urgent nature we will take the student to a Medical Centre or call emergency services as informed by parents on the medical forms provided. The school carries out regular drills to practice evacuation, earthquake or lock down procedures.

School transport is provided by bus companies selected by SESTA. Students travelling on the buses and vans attend a range of schools in Hamilton. We can and do assist families to access this transport by facilitating the filling in of the application for the service and sending it to Ministry of Education Special Education for approval.

If you are moving to a new address you will need to complete a new application before moving. Applications can take up to a term to action. The Ministry of Education has implemented a change regarding the transport approval process. There is a high probability that an application may be declined if the distance to Patricia Avenue school is greater than another special school’s address.

It is advisable and important that you contact the Deputy / Associate Principals to discuss the change of address as this can impact on your child’s enrolment at Patricia Avenue School.

If your child for any reason is not travelling on the bus on a particular day it is important that you contact the bus driver or bus company and the school.

Contact details for bus companies are as follows:

Cross Country Rentals: 0800 467 3782 or 027 556 0994
GO BUS: Telephone 07 846 1975 ext. 883

Check with your bus driver for their contact details.

If your child is ill please do not send him/her to school. Infections can spread very quickly and many of our students have fragile health. Please inform the school and bus transport companies if your child will not be attending school on any day.

An IEP is developed in partnership with school and family. It details the prioritised plan for your child’s learning. Meetings are during Term One with a review in Term Three. Your child’s teacher coordinates the process and is responsible for producing the documentation. These are an essential component of your child’s learning and your attendance to share your aspirations and priorities is really important to us.

On enrolment parents are asked to sign a form allowing their child to access the internet under supervision of school staff. A new form may be sent home during the year to keep our records updated.

Patricia Avenue School provides a range of specialised learning environments to best meet the needs of all its students. Selection of the best placement for your child is a collaborative process between home and school.

The Base school provides a secure environment and offers a range of facilities such as the Sensory Room, playgrounds, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy pool, students’ kitchen, the school library, music room and full care bathrooms.

The Satellite classes provide opportunities for students to learn alongside and with their peers in a range of mainstream settings. Students attend the satellite which is their nearest age appropriate option. All students, no matter where they are placed within the school, have access to community inclusion and therapy support.

Many students enrolled at the school have on-going medical requirements. Families are asked to complete the Medical and Health form. The Administration of Medication form and Epilepsy and Asthma Plan are completed if needed. A student’s medical history is invaluable when prompt and appropriate treatment is necessary. New forms are sent out each year to ensure our records are updated. However, it is important that if any changes are made at any time during the year, the school is notified and a new form completed.

Medication is administered to students by classroom staff. A procedure is followed which requires two adults to ensure the correct dosage of the appropriate medication is given. Medication can be brought to school by a parent and signed in or may be sent to school with your child placed in a locked box, for which both home and school have a key. Please do not send medication to school loose in a student’s school bag.

Patricia Avenue School is a designated fund-holder school. This means your child’s ORS money is administered by the school following strict Ministry guidelines. The money is used to employ therapists, specialists and learning support assistants. These people work exclusively with students enrolled at the school in both base and satellite classes.

The class teacher sends home a list of stationery your child requires. Included in this list is a contribution for consumables including photocopying and may also include personal care products required by a particular student.

Each class in our school uses Seesaw (, a secure online journal where teachers and students document and celebrate learning with families.

You will be able to see your child’s learning and achievement in the form of photos, videos, drawings and voice recordings. These are shared with you to view and comment on throughout the school year.

Students’ journals are only visible to approved family members, chosen by you, and selected teaching and therapy staff. There is no public access and other families cannot access information about your child. You are able to access posts from computer, tablet or mobile phone.

Student Portfolio (for those who do not use SeeSaw):
The student portfolio contains your child’s IEP, termly updates on progress of goals, records of learning, work samples, photographs and an end of year report.

It is sent home at the end of each term and needs to be returned at the beginning of the next. It is retained by families at the end of the year.

We offer you the opportunity to also contribute to the portfolio. A feedback form is enclosed and we welcome your comments.

Traditionally we have some regular school events: meet and greet morning teas, Matariki celebrations, a whole school arts focus, and a senior dance for students in Year 9 and over. As well as these, there are class and a range of other school events including parent information evenings which are organised regularly.

Three newsletters will be issued a term and notices will be sent home in between the newsletters informing parents of coming events.

The SSG is a document prepared in consultation with families and school staff and is updated each year to provide information to best support student learning and overall experience at school. It is used by all staff (teachers, LSAs, therapists, specialists and professional learning leaders) working with a Patricia Avenue student.
The Behaviour Support Plans are designed for the team around a student to ensure a shared understanding of

  • how to support a student to be ‘ready for learning’ with consistent, positive and proactive strategies for engagement.
  • what escalating behaviour looks like at each level and the most effective, appropriate intervention strategies and responses to de-escalate.

All students at Patricia Avenue School will have a personalised plan developed to help us to understand how a student might respond to situations where they become distressed or anxious. The plan identifies the sorts of behaviours that the student is likely to display when this happens, and the sorts of triggers or situations that is likely to be associated with the student’s distress. It makes suggestions for how to respond so that the student is supported to settle down and return to a ‘Ready to Learn’ level. This process is done with respect for the student’s rights and safety and for the safety of all people present.

A draft of the plan is first developed at school and then discussed with parents’ and caregivers to ensure they have an opportunity to make comments and changes to establish a mutually agreed plan.

The plan is reviewed at least yearly. At times the plan may need modification to reflect changes in the life of the student or changes in behaviour. Parents/caregivers will again be given opportunity for feedback and input. Modified plans need to be agreed to between school and parents/caregivers and signed off.

The school follows a Sunsafe policy. During the high-risk months in Term One and Term Four parents are encouraged to ensure their child is adequately protected by sending in sunscreen and a hat.

The school has a strong focus on providing quality up to date resources, examples of which are interactive whiteboards, musical instruments and current curriculum resources. Our therapy team works closely with Enable to ensure students have appropriate physical support and communication devices.

The Transition Satellite is in commercial premises on Clifton Road in the CBD. The unit is an option for students 18 years of age and over where they focus on community-based learning, developing social networks and links with adult services from a community based setting. As well as learning to be as independent as possible the students are supported to develop social responsibility by volunteering and to enjoy a wide range of vocational, recreational and leisure opportunities in preparation for leaving school.

Video and photographs are used in a range of ways throughout the school. These include recording individual learning and communication programmes and to record progress. They are an integral part of the SeeSaw online journal that is shared with you. Video is used to record teachers and therapists in order to develop and improve their professional practice. With your permission your child’s photograph may be used in our newsletters, website, on our display boards around the school, promotional brochures. Your permission to record or use photographs is requested in the enrolment process.

The school has a website
Class teachers will update the website regularly. Your child’s photo, first name and initial of surname only will be displayed with your permission.

Parent Information Handbook 2021
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