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Parent Handbook


Parents/caregivers are asked to notify the School Office 357 9719 before 9:00am to notify us if a student will be absent from school, or late to school, that day. You will need to do this each day that your child cannot attend school. A medical certificate is required after three consecutive days away sick.

Absenses can be reported via the School App.
To download App:  Go to the App Store on your Apple or Android Device and Search St James’ Catholic School to download the App to your phone or tablet. This is your one stop communication shop.

Select Absentee button and follow Instructions to call, text or email the Office.


or Text an Absence: 027 343 6518
* Then it must have the parents / caregiver name.
* Then it must have the student's name and class, eg Harry Smith, Room 1
* Then it must have a brief reason for the absence.

For example:  Harry Smith, Room 1 will be absent today because he has the flu, cold, family funeral...

Please note:  This number is only used to receive Absence Data.


Family holidays during term time
Family holidays during term time are discouraged by the Principal and Board of St James' Catholic School, due to the disruption to learning and teaching to the student, their teacher, and other learners when long absences occur. However, if the family wishes to remove a child during term time, they are asked to write a letter (or email) to the Principal communicating their intentions at least 5 days before the intended absence. Please note MOE Guidelines state that this is an Unjustified absence and leave will be coded accordingly.

Administering Medication
Parents/caregivers are required to complete a Medical Consent Form, which is obtained from the School Office, if they require medicine to be administered to their child at school. No medication is to be kept in the child's school bag.

Appointments with the Principal
Keeping communication open and honest is something we really value at St James'. You are welcome to make an appointment to see Teresa Edwards, the Principal through Tracey Royds our Office Manager. Can you please let Tracey know in general terms what you would like to chat about. Please don't be offended by this, as nobody likes surprises and Teresa would like to be prepared. Teresa is always contactable via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
If it is a classroom matter your child's teacher is the first person to make an appointment with.

Concerns or Complaints
If you have a complaint that is related to classroom teaching or behaviour management within a specific classroom, wherever possible this issue should be raised with the classroom teacher prior to raising it with the Principal. Alternatively, the complaint could be directed to the appropriate Team Leader or the Deputy Principal. If this process proves to be unsatisfactory, the complaint should then be discussed with the Principal. If the complaint is directed at the Principal, the complainant should direct the complaint to the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees. Any other complaints will be directed in writing to the Principal.

Bell Times
Commencement of School 8:50am
Interval Playtime  10:50am
Morning Tea Bell 11:10 
Interval Ends 11:20am (No Bell)
Lunchtime Play Bell 12:40pm
Lunch Eating Bell 1:15pm
Return to Class 1:20 pm
End of Day 2:50pm

Arriving at or after bell time (8.50am) can be upsetting for your child and other learners. School is open from 8.30am.  All children must be collected from the School by 3.15pm.  The Office Closes at 3.30pm and staff often have meetings after school.

St James' Catholic School is NUT FREE School
We have children with severe and life threatening allergies to nuts attending St James’ Catholic School. In addition, these learners do not understand the seriousness of their condition. In fact, they are not aware of their allergy. If these children come into contact with nuts or nut products, even touch some nut residue left on surfaces, they can have a life threatening allergic reaction. The school needs to take every practical precaution to avoid a severe reaction and keep these children safe.

We ask that children do not bring peanuts, peanut butter, muesli bars with peanuts in them, cashew nuts and Nutella sandwiches, and other foods containing nuts to school. We request that if your child has consumed these food items before coming to school, that they wash their hands thoroughly before they leave home. We realise that many food products state on their packaging “may contain traces of peanuts or nuts”. Provided that nuts are not the actual ingredient, then there is no problem with your child bringing these food items to school.  

Some useful links to important information:

Nut Free Letter to School Community
Alternative Nut Free Food Ideas
Nut Free Poster

Brain Fuel
The Ministry of Health in New Zealand states that: “Three meals and two to three small snacks, at regular times during the day, are recommended for children and young people.”

At St James' across the school we have “brain fuel” which is a very quick snack time in the morning between 9am and 10am to re-charge our children’s energy levels and feed their brains.

This year we are going to support our children to only bring:

  • cut fresh or dried fruit
  • cut vegetables
  • plain popcorn
  • eggs
  • cheese
  • meat (protein)

No packeted items please!

Water is the only drink children should bring to school.  Other snacks are to be left for morning tea. We appreciate your support in helping our children to make healthy choices so learning time is optimised.​

Before and After School Care
We are very pleased to offer before and after school care to your family in our School Hall. Nippers Limited provides this service. A Holiday Programme is also available. For more details contact: 06-3567926 (Nippers' Office) 021 645806 (on site) email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Car Parking
Drop Off and Pick Up Zone: The four car parks between the signs at the front of the school are strictly a drop off and pick up area, and are not intended for parking in. NO PARKING please. Do not be offended if you are asked to move and park somewhere else.

Car Park
The carpark is closed between 8.30 to 9.00am and 2.30 and 3.00pm.  There will be a barrier over the Hall driveway entrance at these times.  Please respect this and ensure you do not park in the Tui Daycare Centre carparks or block the driveway.
Exit from the carpark can only be made via the main carpark exit, not via the Tui Daycare Centre driveway.

Dental Clinic
St James’ School does not have an onsite Dental Clinic.   If you have any concerns regarding your child’s teeth contact the dental service, directly on 358 6674.

Lost Property
Can you please ensure that all items of your child’s uniform are named, this enables quick and easy identification.
The Lost Property is located outside the Staffroom.  Watches, jewellery and valuable items are held in the School Office until collected. Any unclaimed uniform items will be donated to St Vincent de Paul.

School Donation
Please refer to Account Payments.

School Banking Details
Name of Bank ANZ
Branch Broadway Palmerston North
Name of Account St James' School BOT
Account Number 01 0745 0279771 00

Sun Protection
It is compulsory for our children to wear the approved green school sun hat in Terms 1 and 4 as per our BoT Health and Safety Policy.  We are an Accredited Sun Safe School.  Children are also encouraged to wear sun block.

The PTFA supply each class with Cancer Society Sunscreen. If your child has sensitive skin please take responsibility to read the ingredients on the reverse of the bottle located in the Sick Bay.  Sunblock has been bought in bulk so the bottles in each class are only labelled with the expiry date.

Visitors to School
For health and safety reasons, it is vital that we know who is in the school at all times. It is important that we have a record of visitors in the school for two main reasons.

To ensure the safety at all times of students and staff.
In an emergency we need to be able to account for all personnel in the school including visitors.

So that we can monitor this, we request that all visitors to the school check in at the School Office (except parents doing pick-ups and drop-offs at the beginning and end of the day).  Please do not go directly into your child's classroom at any time before checking in at the School Office. The safety of our children and staff is paramount.


"I will show you my faith by my actions"

James 2:18

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