Parent Essentials

We’ve gathered together all the useful information you need as a student or parent.  Our Parent Handbook is a great source of information.  

Absentees

To report a student’s absence from school please do so via the Aquinas App or by phoning the 24-hour Absentee Line on 543-2400 Extension 1. It is essential that the school is notified when a student is away, late or leaving early due to illness or appointments. Students arriving late must sign in at the Office.

If a student is to leave with another parent please provide written or verbal consent. Email the office at admin@aquinas.school.nz.

Download the Aquinas App here:

Contacting Students
Due to Aquinas’ mobile-free policy, parents wishing to contact students during the school day should do so only through the School Office. It is not acceptable to phone or text students during class time. Please note that we are unable to deliver messages to students during first and second break or after 3.00 p.m.

Sick Bay
Students feeling unwell may only go home with school and parental permission. Students are not permitted to text or phone parents themselves but must go to the Office which will then contact caregivers. All visitors must report to the School Office on arrival.

Extended Absence
If your child will be absent for more than three days please email the Principal at principal@aquinas.school.nz. This is a Ministry of Education requirement.

Bell Times & Timetable

Bus Timetable

Aquinas bus routes are are listed below and are also available on the BOP Regional Council website

Contact School.Transport@boprc.govt.nz if you have any queries regarding the school bus network. Alternatively, contact Joh Van Kol at jvankol@aquinas.school.nz

Bus Routes List

Mt Maunganui, Maungatapu, Bayfair Route 701

Otumoetai, Matua, Bethlehem Route 702

Welcome Bay Route 704a

Ohauiti, Windermere Route 704b

Cambridge Rd/Cameron Rd Bus Route 808a (shared with TGC & TBC)

The Avenues Route 808b

Ministry Buses

Ministry-funded buses are only for students living these bus routes:

● Oropi, Pyes Pa Route 40510 (BC Bus)
● Kaimai, Matamata Route 40511
● Te Puna Route 40509 (BC Bus. Transfer for Katikati, Omokoroa, the Minden, Katikati, Waihi, Whakamarama, Wainui South)
● Dickson Rd Papamoa Route 40508 (Uzabus)
● Papamoa, Gravatt/Grenada Route 40507 (BC Bus)
● Golden Sands Route 40530 (Uzabus)
● Te Puke Route 2623 (BC Bus)
● Matamata Seagull (via route 40509)
● Whakamaramara (via route 40509)
● Pahoia (Wainui/Esdaile Rd) (via route 40509)
● Minden (Crawford Rd) (via route 40509)
● Katikati (Kiwi) (via route 40509)

*All buses shared with Bethlehem College have a connecting bus from Bethlehem College to Aquinas College.

BYOD

Aquinas College runs a blended learning programme that gives the opportunity to use devices where appropriate but maintains the skill of writing. We view the use of these devices as a way to support student-centred learning, but not as a replacement for student-teacher and student-student interaction.

All students are expected to have a device that connects to the internet through wifi. (Smartphones are not an option as we have strict rules around cellphone use.) We do not dictate the specific device students purchase, however, we suggest these minimum specifications:

  • Wireless network capability
  • Screen size of 12 inches or larger
  • Good battery life (at least eight hours for tablets and four hours for laptops)
  • Ideally an external keyboard
  • Productivity Software (word processing, presentation and spreadsheet tools)

Please note, students do not need to purchase the Office suite of products from Microsoft 365. It is provided by the school for installation on any device students use.

Expectations

  • Students are expected to bring devices to school fully charged. If a student does not have a device we have a number available for in-class use. These are issued by the Library.
  • Students agree to use the internet responsibly while at school. All internet content is filtered to ensure only suitable content can be viewed. Students must have completed the Cyber Agreement.
  • Aquinas accepts no liability for the loss of or damage to a student’s personal digital device. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure their devices are kept safe when not in use.

Phone-Free Policy
BYOD FAQ

Catholic Parish & Youth Groups

Parish of St Thomas Aquinas
Website: https://taurangamoanacatholic.nz/
Email: office@taurangamoanacatholic.nz
Phone: 07 578 6209

Parish of All Saints by the Sea
Website: https://www.allsaintsbythesea.nz/
Email: admin@allsaintsbythesea.nz
Phone: (07) 575 4807

Youth Group
The All Saints by the Sea Youth Group is held at St Thomas More Church on Friday nights during term time from 6.30 p.m. until 8 p.m. Come along for games, faith, dinner, and fun. Students from Years 7 to 13 are welcome to attend. For more information email youthgroup@allsaintsbythesea.nz

Cellphones

As of 2023, students are not permitted to use their mobile phones during school time, except for Year 11 to 13 students who may use them during breaks. Otherwise, phones must be turned off and in the student’s bag.

Phone-Free Policy

Lunch Truck

The Lunch Truck is available each Monday, Wednesday and Friday lunchtime. Meals are Asian-inspired and can only be purchased with cash.

Māori Whānau Group

Aquinas is committed to strengthening engagement with its college community, including our Māori whānau. Through these connections, we seek to develop a community-supported learning environment and plan where all students can achieve personal excellence.

Hui for the Māori whānau group are held each term. Contact Mikaere Smith (Māori-Pasifika Kaiarahi) at msmith@aquinas.school.nz

Payment Information

Payments may be made in person at the School Office or via online banking. The Aquinas bank account number is 02-1210-0011888-00. Please use the student’s name and reason for payment in the reference section. You are welcome to set up an automatic payment or make one-off payments.

Contact Celeste Foreman, Finance Administrator, at accounts@aquinas.school.nz or phone 543-9035 with any queries.

2023 Fees
Attendance Dues (paid directly to the Hamilton Diocese Office)
Years 7 or 8 $444 per student
Years 9 to 13 $888 per student

Contact the Hamilton Diocese Office on 07-856-6989 or dues@cdh.org.nz.

Aquinas College Voluntary Contribution (paid to Aquinas College)
$1,200 per student
(Maximum fee of $3,000 for three or more students from one family)

Why Pay the Voluntary Contribution?
Your school donation provides crucial funding for many of the vital services we offer students. As a high decile school (now renamed the Equity Index), our government funding per student is lower than schools with a higher index, leaving Aquinas with a funding shortfall. We need your support.

Your school donation helps pay for additional staffing above Ministry-approved levels and boosts our teacher aide funding. It bankrolls targeted programmes for literacy and numeracy support, student well-being services, and additional school counsellors. Unlike most schools, we have two counsellors — a staffing commitment that significantly exceeds our government funding.

Funding from your donation helps support students in need, ensuring they can attend school trips, take part in sports teams and receive a school uniform. It also assists Aquinas families experiencing hardship.

Financial Hardship
If you are experiencing financial difficulties, please contact our Finance Office. We are here to help.

Parents & Friends Association

Aquinas is in the process of forming a Parents and Friends Association (PFA). The aim is to create more opportunities for our community to connect with each other and foster a strong sense of belonging. This is a great opportunity for parents to get involved and have a positive impact on our college whānau. Together, we can build a stronger, more connected college community.

If you are interested in joining please email admin@aquinas.school.nz.

Pastoral Care

Students’ pastoral care needs are overseen by the Middle School and Senior School Assistant Principals for Pastoral Care. They are aided by year-level deans and mentor teachers. This core group is further supported by classroom teachers, peer mentors, student leaders, learning support staff, and the school’s two guidance counsellors.

When dealing with issues, we use a restorative practice approach to uphold the mana and dignity of every individual while working to build, maintain, restore and sustain relationships in a safe environment.

Pasifika Whānau Group

Aquinas is committed to strengthening engagement with its college community, including our Pasifika whānau. Through these connections, we seek to develop a community-supported learning environment and plan where all students can achieve personal excellence.

Talanoa for the Pasifika whānau group are held each term. Contact Mikaere Smith (Māori-Pasifika Kaiarahi) at msmith@aquinas.school.nz.

We also have a very proactive student Cultural Committee led by our Student Executive and Year 13 members. All students are encouraged to join up and take part in planning fun learning activities.

School Map

Term Dates

Stationery

Uniform

The Aquinas College uniform is part of the school’s proud tradition. It gives students a sense of belonging and creates a college identity in the community. Students are expected to wear the full school uniform correctly, neatly and proudly at all times and maintain a high standard of grooming.

Students with the incorrect uniform must bring a signed note from a parent/caregiver and obtain a uniform pass from their Dean. This must be done before school starts.