Questions & Answers

Submit questions relating to our Building Developments to the following email address:

As we progress through this process, it is becoming very evident that one decision has been made and needs to be shared.
Syndicate 4 will not be moving to the Ecan site.  We are still discussing the merits of Syndicates Two and Three as being options for this move.

Question 1
I have children in Years 1 and 3.  How do I get both children dropped off and picked up at the same time?
We have begun discussing the times when each site could be open for instruction. We understand that we will also have to consider pre-school times.  A walking bus has also been suggested that operates from the Ecan site to the current site in the morning, and from the current site to the Ecan site in the afternoons.
Your input will be valuable as we identify the challenges we need to manage. 

Question 2
Why have the Year 1 and 2 students been identified as the group most likely to move to the second site?
Originally we thought the Year 7 and 8 students would be the most likely group to move.  However once we visited the site, it became evident that this may not be the best option.  The site has three large spaces and numerous smaller spaces.  As we run a reception model, then transition children through to the Year One group, and the following year on to the Year Two spaces, the number of large areas fitted.   We currently have 4 Year 7-8 classes and while they could
be physically accommodated, there would be a significant amount of space under utilised. 
Our Year 1 and 2 group last year began the year with seven teachers and grew to ten.  We housed these ten teachers with their classes in six classroom spaces.  This year we have commenced the year with seven teachers.  Current enrolments already on hand have numbers of pupils requiring up to 11 teachers by the end of the year.   To house the eight Year One teachers in four spaces would place extreme pressure on everyone involved.
We also explored the other two syndicates as possible candidates for the move, however with this significant growth of Syndicate One, alongside the very experienced team of teachers within this Syndicate we felt that this was the right decision at this stage.

Question 3
How will the junior students access resources such as the library and swimming pool?
We will establish a library at the Ecan building.  There are lots of spaces to choose from.  It will be great to get sets of our books out of the container and back in circulation.   
At the end of 2015, Syndicate 1 did not swim due to the colder weather and low pool temperatures.  We will consider the swimming challenge in Term 4 as the weather and pool temperatures allow.  We have been discussing a weekly swimming roster, with our Year 1 and 2 groups swimming on either even or odd weeks.  The logistics of moving these children will be discussed closer to the time.

Question 4
How will I be able to drop off and collect my children if they are on both sites?
We have discussed one site starting instruction ten minutes before the other one.  This will allow travel time for parents.  For those who are unable to accommodate this, we could provide a teacher aide/s to walk the older children from the Ecan site to this one.  As they are older, the walk will not be as big a challenge for them.  A wet weather option will need to be considered.

Question 5
How will children at Busy Bumbles get from the current site over to the Ecan site?
I have talked with the team from Busy Bumbles today. They will get a van to transport children from this site to the Ecan site in the mornings and return in the afternoons. they already do this in areas where there is one Busy bumbles team supporting a number of schools.

Question 6
How will the sense of community be retained with such events as assemblies?
We feel that gatherings of the whole school are important and will be taking all possible steps to ensure that they continue. At this stage conversations are continuing, however some examples of our current thinking are:
Full school assemblies will continue to happen. If we re-schedule them for 9.30am, the little children could travel to the main site.  We do understand the logistics of walking such a large group over.  Some suggestions are that they begin the day here and stay on-site for the whole day every second Friday.   We will have our hall back as a space by then.   As Friday is enrichment day too, the children on site could then participate in the enrichment activities they have enrolled for. Some of the Syndicate 1 teachers are involved in enrichment activities for Years 3-8, so we do need to look at this organisation and ensure everyone is catered for as best we can.  It is easier to move teachers between sites than children, so this may be an option, however the whole school gatherings will continue.
We have also discussed possibilities such as Syndicate 2, 3 and 4 spending one day per month on the Ecan site to ensure our younger children are engaging with the older students.  We will share other ideas as they are discussed.

Question 7
Is this a done deal, or will there be room to consider doing things differently?
This is not a done deal.  At this stage the Ministry of Education have not signed the lease for the Ecan site.  We do envisage this being completed in the very near future.  This is the only option the Ministry offered us as far as a site/building solution was concerned.  Cade Englefield and I visited with Ministry personnel last Thursday (11 February).  We discussed the possibilities of the site.  The Board of Trustees along with Deb Wesley and Joel Thompson (Syndicate 1 leader) visited the site on Monday morning.  As they viewed the buildings and outdoor areas, they felt this was a very positive solution to our challenges.  The Syndicate 1 teachers will visit the site as soon as the lease is signed, until then we are doing a great deal of planning without any guarantees, however we do not want to leave everything to the very last minute.  Time is very precious.

Question 8
When will the move take place?
To minimise disruption during term time, we are planning to move to the new site during the April holiday break.  This of course can only happen if the fencing and safety concerns are addressed along with any "Fit for purpose" alterations completed.

Question 9
How long with the children be there?
At this stage it is planned that we will have our Year 1 and 2 children on this site until the end of the 2017 academic year.  During this time the  Ministry of Education will engage with our community in relation to the provision of a second school in Lincoln.  This will have implications for us regardless of the outcome.  It will impact on building decisions on this site and any other sites into the future.  Therefore we need to think long term rather than a short term solution to a much bigger problem.

Question 10
What about the junior playground?
I have asked the Ministry about erecting a junior playground.  We are not able to alter the site to this degree.  However there are other options which could add value to these children's play times. If we had a storage shed or container, we could keep a range of outdoor equipment which has flexible uses, for example large hollow wooden cubes, childrens ladders, etc, which can be configured a number of ways.  Each day the playground could look different.  Once again a work in progress.  The sandpit could be similar to the old paddling pool but filled with sand.  Once we finish with the site, it can be easily removed.

Question 11
Why don't we just close the roll and not accept any more children?

We already don't fit into the classroom spaces we have available.  Closing our roll would not comply with the law.  It would also be a significant barrier to our families with pre-schoolers who want their children to start school on their fifth birthday, or soon after.

Question 12
What about children needing the sick bay and families needing to phone the Ecan site about their children?
We understand that we will need a receptionist on the Ecan site.  We are not sure how many hours we will be able to employ this person for at this stage.  It will certainly be a point of conversation with the Ministry staff.  We will need to ensure this person has first aid qualifications to assist when any accidents occur and to care for our children when they are unwell.

Question 13
Will we be sharing the site with anyone else?
No. Ecan are moving into their new buildings.  Selwyn District council own the site.  The Ministry of Education will lease it from them for our sole use.

Question 15
Will my child be able to do his music lessons?

Yes, there are lots of rooms available on the Ecan site to have music lessons. It might even be a possibility to hold senior music lessons there too as the spaces are suitable for this.

Question 14
Why don't we get prefabs on our current site?
There are several factors which make the prefabs not a desirable option for us.Firstly all of our teachers work collaboratively.  We feel this is adding value to the children's learning.  No teachers want to work in single cell classrooms, they have made this abundantly clear to us on a number of occasions. 
Secondly the cost of moving buildings onto this site, then off again is that of the Board of Trustees. You need power, water, data, etc all wired and plumbed into the buildings.  The only place to put them is on our fields.  It is already a very congested space and when the modulars go onto the old soccer field, we will have compromised our outdoor space significantly. 
Thirdly Lincoln High School have been trying to source relocatables for a very long time without success so, in fact, there aren't any to be had at this time.

Content added
I have asked the Ministry of Education to give me details of how many relocatable are available which could be moved onto our site and be operational by May.  I have asked for details of the confirmation of these units, e.g. are they single, double or triple units.  I will be contacting the Facebook parents who are in favour of this option to get them to come to school and peg out the sites of these buildings and have a look at how much space they take and what playing area we will have left for our 650 children.  Lets take a look and see if this is an option.

Question 16
What are the parking options like, thinking about safety of pedestrians and cyclist/scooters?
There is a huge parking area currently.  We envisage that some of this will be used as a hard court playing area.  There is a long driveway entrance as well as a walkway entrance.  Probably motorised vehicles could use the long driveway while pedestrians would use the walkway.  We will have to look at the logistics of scooters and cyclists and what the safest entry and exit procedures will be.

Question 17
Will there be a secure area for scooters and bikes?
Yes, but inside the fenced off area, so we will be keeping our children off them, not members of the public.

Question 18
Will a the pedestrian crossing be patrolled to ensure children can cross safely?
I will forward this question to the Ministry of Education.

Additional Primary Education Provision in Lincoln
The Ministry of Education constantly monitors growth and population change to ensure there is sufficient capacity for students in the area.  Recently a Ministry of Education brochure was circulated outlining progress in the education rebuild to date, and future start dates.  Under the ‘Start of design 2020’ category is included the Lincoln second primary site.  These dates arise from the original business case signed off by Cabinet for the $1.137 billion allocated to the greater Christchurch rebuild.Since this business case was created, the rate of growth in Lincoln indicated that additional primary provision would be required earlier than the 2020 placeholder date.  The Ministry started work towards the new site 18 months ago with site investigation and selection process and establishment of an internal project team.   Community engagement on options for the second site will take place from March 2016 through an external facilitator, contracted by the Ministry.  The engagement will seek views from the whole community on the possible structure and design of the new education provision. The consultation will also include discussions around provision for special education, technology, Māori and Pasifika.Outcomes of this engagement will be reported to the Minister in early 2017, with a request to the Minister for formal establishment of new primary provision in Lincoln.  The new provision would be dependent on need and any decision would require approval by the Minister of Education after the consultation process. If the Minister does establish this new provision, an opening date of January 2019 is proposed.Further information will be circulated as the community engagement phase begins from late March.

Question 19
Have the local residents been informed of this proposal?
Not as far as I am aware. I will forward this question on to the Ministry of Education.

Question 20
Will dogs continue to be exercised on the area proposed as the playground?
I expect not, however will forward this question on to the Ministry of Education.
The Ministry of Education says dogs will not be allowed on a site designated as a school, which this site will be if the lease goes ahead.

Question 21
How will secondary students get to the Ecan site to collect children as well as being on time at the current site to collect siblings.
We will have to look really carefully at the times scheduled for instruction.  If needed, we certainly would look at allowing families who face this challenge, to drop children off before the current time of 8:30 or pickup after 3:00pm.

Question 22
How will the school address the current mentoring of senior students for our younger children?
There have been some conversations about this between staff. There will be a range of solutions, including ensuring that both groups of children are together as often as possible whilst not compromising optimum learning times.  This is a challenge but we are thinking positively about ways we can do this.

Question 23
How can the Ecan buildings be bought up to "school classroom" standard in just 8 weeks?
This is a challenge for the Ministry of Education.  Term 2 commences on 2 May so, yes, time is absolutely a factor.  I have been informed by the Ministry of Education that as soon as the lease is signed, work will commence on the fences and outdoor areas.  There are three distinct spaces within the building which will not require a great deal of modification to allow the Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 groups to work within.  Toilets etc are all well situated, access for families with push chairs, etc is already there, so it could work if they get moving in the very near future, and of course if a fencing contractor happens to have a significant supply of the regulation fencing needed around water.  This is the Ministry's problem to solve.

Question 24
Is there any guarantee that these children will be back on the current site by the end of 2017?
No.   I'm not prepared to guarantee anything any more.  The reality is that without any of our planned stages of development, and a whole new lot of site planning now needed for the current site, I have absolutely no idea when this will return to how it currently is.  Another factor to consider is the engagement of the community with the Ministry of Education about the second school.  The outcome of this dialogue will also impact on how the current site is developed.

Question 25
Where is a child who turns 5 in January 2018 going to be attending school?
I cannot answer that question at this stage.

Question 26
How many new jobs will this create for the community - admin, construction, teachers, and how will these be advertised?
We will need to have a receptionist at both sites, I'm not sure at this stage whether these will be full time positions.  The only significant construction will be the fencing for the Ecan site, however the next stages will have significant construction elements.  We do not manage tendering etc of such large projects.  All permanent teaching positions need to be advertised in the Education Gazette, however we do use local teachers for the fixed term positions whilst we advertise.  Often these teachers secure the permanent positions, however I cannot make any guarantees as we have to use a very strict process for employment to ensure equity for everyone who applies.

Question 27
When is it likely that another primary school will be finished and open for enrolment and how will the split be managed?
The Ministry of Education commence community engagement to discuss this in March.  The time frames for opening depend on the decisions the Community and Ministry make.  Either 2018 or 2019 are the dates shared with me.

Question 28
Is this Ecan building and site safe?
I have asked the Ministry this question. They assure me the building is safe. It has a 74% National building Standard rating.  The Detailed Engineering Evaluation is available for anyone who would like it.  Please phone Simon Cruikshank if you would like a copy sent to you. (03 378 7782).

Question 29
Why don't we take the Boundary Block back and use that?

As with most buildings on school sites,  the classrooms which we used to call the Boundary Block belong to the Ministry of Education.  They can allocate them to which ever school they wish.  The Boundary Block was removed from our property portfolio a few years ago and reassigned to the Lincoln High School property portfolio.  They use it for classes all day every day. 

Question 30
Why don't we move the technology classes to the Ecan site?
If you are familiar with the technology rooms, you will understand that some quite complex equipment is installed in the workshop and foods rooms. It would be a major re-fit to move these rooms to the Ecan site.  The large open spaces within the Ecan building are not suitable for either of these spaces.  The kitchen facilities are also not suitable for teaching the foods programme.  The Technology Programme is not something which we can choose to do, or opt out. It is a very long term commitment from Lincoln Primary School to their cluster of contributing schools.  We must provide this service.  Technology has five teachers, they occupy four teaching spaces.  We need 11.

Question 31
Why don't we move the G & T programme out of Room 7.
Yes we could do this, but it only frees up one learning space which none of our teachers wanted to work in.
Teacher satisfaction is very important.  I do need to listen to their voice as well as everyone else's. To isolate one teacher from their team would be very  difficult.  We could move our reception children down there, but then we have one single cell space empty up stairs which none of our team want to work in.  Quite a challenging situation.

Question 32
Will the two sites be totally separate?
We will take all steps possible to have children from each site spending time together. They are all still one school.  However the logistics of moving children needs to be taken into account, so there will be lots of times when the group of children on the Ecan site are not accompanied by other groups from the current site.

Question 33
Are you taking all steps possible to minimise disruption to children and their families?
It is our goal to solve this significant challenge in the best way possible.  We see the big picture and understand the complexities of each year group.  We ask that you trust our overall judgement in this case.  The group of children who move, will be the group who the site is most suitable for, are the least disrupted by the move (we understand that this will be difficult), and have the team of teachers who are able to continue to deliver quality educational programmes within this site.
There is repeated reference to the children and families.  I also must include the teachers in this decision.  Our teachers are amazing, we need to be supporting them with sound decision making as well.

Question 34
Is there going to be a public meeting?
I have just spoken to our Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Education.  I have informed her that a public meeting has been requested.  She will inform those who need to lead this forum.  You will be informed of a date and venue in the very near future.

Question 35
Can we revisit the relocatable option?
Yes.  We have requested information from the Ministry of Education about how many relocatables are available and how they are configured . A group of interested parents have been invited to school on Wednesday to measure our current buildings and see where the relocatables could be sited.  They cannot go on any car park area as this would breach the council regulations.  We also must leave sufficient playground spaces.
Syndicate 1 will be the group relocating into these learning spaces.

Question 36
Why aren't the Year 5 and 6 children in the same classrooms as last year?
The teachers within the Year 5 and 6 Syndicate decided that the hall was a more suitable learning space, leading them into the delivery model which aligned to the modular learning spaces designed for them.  Unfortunately due to roll growth they already have 6 teachers, with only 5 spaces designed in this building.  As the technology team have also grown from 4 to 5 teachers and needed additional space, it was decided that two of the technology teachers should move into Rooms 8 and 9.

Question 37
Will this site still have the waste dumping facility there if we occupy it as a school?
I do not know the answer to this question. I will forward it to the Ministry of Education.
Ministry of Education are discussing the Dump site with the Council.  I will up date when I have any new information.

Question 38
Has the Lincoln Union Church been approached as a site for relocatables?
No, but I will contact them after the relocatable investigation group look at the site to see if it can accommodate these buildings.

Question 39
The pedestrian walkway gets very icy during winter months.  How will this be managed?
We will investigate the safest way to manage this situation once the lease is signed and the decision made that we are actually moving children there.

Question 40
The gum trees are notorious for dropping branches during strong winds.  Will the Selwyn District Council increase their schedule of tree inspection once the site is designated as a school?
We will investigate the responsibility for tree inspection once the lease is formalised.  We will ask about the frequency of tree inspections and seek professional advice in regards to inspection and maintenance of these trees.

Question 41
Will the school receive additional funding to cover costs associated with operating the second site?
Yes, we will get the funding associated with the additional square metreage of buildings we are managing.

Question 42
News reports have stated that the school had several options for additional space. What were the several options, and why were they not taken up? 
We were never given any options other than the Ecan site.

Question 43
Why did the Ministry reject previous plans for buildings?
The Ministry of Education participated in every meeting over a three year period where a series of plans were drawn up by architects, then discarded.  The reason for this was due to these plans not meeting the Ministry's budget constraints, and an alteration to the Ministry of Education's stance on whether a building project could run over budget.  We were not responsible for costings of these projects, we relied on the architects and project managers to do this work.  We never asked for anything unrealistic when giving briefing detail about our needs with regards to teaching spaces.
It was a very long,  demoralising and extremely time consuming exercise with no outcomes for us as a school.  We would have happily accepted any of the three designs put forward.  The fourth one we rejected as it was a single storey learning space for 10 teachers and up to 300 children with no internal walls.  We felt this was not a safe or healthy learning environment for our pupils or staff.

Question 44
How did the school get to this point?
This is a very complex question . The answer relates to over three years of working with the Ministry of Education to address our roll growth.  The current situation relating to the late modular buildings is absolutely due to Ministry of Education "technical difficulties."  We have asked them to give details about these technical difficulties, but have not had an answer to date.  The next phase of our buildings were four additional two storey modular units, then six more two storey modular units.  I had requested that these be completed by the end of this year.  
At our meeting on 10 February, it was disclosed that the designers do not have the two storey option ready, nor do they have the corner option ready for construction.  We therefore discovered that neither phase 2 or 3 are going to happen.

Question 45
How are we going to ensure the Ecan site is warm, safe and an appealing environment for children and their teachers to work in?
It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education to ensure the site is up to their standards in regards to ventilation, warmth and safety.  We will insist that the building and site be inspected as soon as it is vacated.   This inspection will identify areas which need to be bought up to standard before we occupy the site.

Question 46
Would senior staff work between sites?
Yes.  We are discussing how this will be implemented, but we know both sites will require a level of on-site management.

Question 47
How will the transition to school programme be managed?
We will begin communicating this information once the final decision has been made in relation to the actual solution.    At this stage we are still investigating the Ecan site.  We are also investigating a number of other solutions to this challenge.   Transition arrangements will be made which best meets the needs of the child, their family and reception class.   We will communicate this to our contributing preschools once final decisions have been made.

Question 48
Has the school looked at other schools which run split sites?
At this stage no, but if the final decision is the Ecan site, then we will definitely be making contact with schools who understand the complexities of running split sites.

Question 49
Who is responsible for provision of buildings for schools?
The Ministry of Education.
The Board of Trustees and school community are stakeholders not clients during the building process.

Question 50
Are you going to communicate with the preschool parents?
Yes, as soon as we have some confirmed information to communicate about.  At this stage we have the Ecan site as our only option, however alternative options are being investigated which will be shared if they become a possibility.  The Ecan site is not confirmed, as resource consents are still being investigated along with the cost factors of fencing, etc. 

Question 51
Why hasn't there been a parent meeting?
We have chosen to communicate via the Q & A site rather than have a parent meeting at this stage.  We absolutely understand that emotions are running high around this situation.  We need to continue to work constructively and positively, putting all our energy into finding the best possible solution to this situation.  A parent (not public) meeting will be scheduled if the Board of Trustees and management team decide this is the best way to communicate information once we are further down the investigation process.  At this stage it is too soon to meet as we do not have anything definite to share. 

Question 52
Why are the surrounding schools getting new buildings/learning spaces and not Lincoln Primary School?
I am not able to answer this question. I will forward it to the Ministry of Education.

Question 53
Why have I read information printed and circulated by the Ministry of education that the second school provision will not commence until 2020 yet the Board of Trustees discussed engagement between the Ministry and Lincoln community commencing in March 2016?
This is the Ministry of Education reply to this query.

Question 54
Why is it better to put some students in the Ecan site rather than having more modular buildings?
It has taken over a year of planning to get the modular buildings ready for Term 3 of this year. We simply do not have time to follow this process. I have been informed that the available stock of relocatable buildings is very limited and would not meet our needs. I did investigate this option as did the relocatable investigation group of parents who were invited to investigate their avenues and contact. They also found there were not any relocatable to be found which could be moved on to our site and used by us within the timeframes necessary to meet our rapidly growing roll.

Question 55
Can a meeting be scheduled with the Principal and teachers on the Ecan site to discuss learning provision and organisational matters?
We will schedule an evening where parents of the children moving will be able to visit the site and discuss learning provision with the team of teachers who are going to that site and organisational matters with me. I have asked for a date to be set when this move can take place however at this stage I do not have this information. As soon as I have a date, we will schedule a time for this meeting to take place.

Question 56
Do you still see the Ecan option as a temporary fix? 
Yes. We were invited to choose from two options, the first one being a decant to the Ecan site whilst the new building of 8 learning spaces along with a library is designed and built, then moving back to this site as soon as it is completed.  Option 2 was that  we decant to the Ecan site until the second school is complete and move some of our students there. The Board of Trustees took the first option, so as soon as the new building is complete, we will be moving our children back here. The building is being designed  to accommodate 90 students with the reception class/year 1 model which we use. There are two additional learning spaces with within this design. We have not had a design team appointed as yet. It is expected that the design and build process will take approximately one year to complete.  If this information is correct we could be moving all of our students back onto this site about July 2017.