We are fortunate to live in the unique and stunning environment of the Central Plateau. We are blessed with a remarkable landscape with access to two of New Zealand’s busiest ski fields. However, one of the down sides of this area is that during the winter terms (mostly term three) we may need to close for snow days. Snow Days occur when the snow is so heavy it settles, or threatens to settle, on our roads making it too dangerous to drive. A most of our teachers, staff, relief teachers and many of our students live out of town and there may be times when it is too dangerous to drive. School Leadership bases their decisions around school closures with the advise given to us by the local police and NZTA, in particular in regards to State Highway 1 South of Waiouru (towards Taihape) and State Highway 49 (towards Ohakune). If these roads are closed, it is highly likely that we will be closed
If weather conditions prove to be too dangerous and we must follow advice to close, Waiouru School will send out a txt, send an email, advertise on our Facebook page and school website. Please do check these sources of information when there is a heavy snowfall.
If snow worsens during the day, we may have to close, enabling teachers, staff, and students to return home safely. If this happens, staff who live in Waiouru will monitor children until collected by you or your designated caregiver.
We will do our utmost to remain open. However, you will need to remain flexible and prepared for the unexpected.
NOTE: Snow days can also be one of the highlights of living in Waiouru. Our advice is to stock up on black plastic bags, invest in a good pair of gumboots, gloves and snowman accessories and make the most of the day.
Some ideas for fun in the snow:
- Fill some bottles with water and a few drops of food colouring and let the kids get creative doing some snow painting on the outdoor canvas!
- As well as building a snowman, how about snow animals, birds or insects? With a few sticks added to a snowball, you can make a spider or how about a hedgehog with lots of small sticks on its back as spikes and a few small pebbles as eyes? To see our guide to building a perfect snowman, click here.
- Have a snowball-throwing contest. Make a target by creating several circles in the snow and then give points to who can throw it the furthest. You could have a snowball fight, with your family in teams, but you might want to do this last so you can go in, dry off and warm up.
- Instead of a sand castle, dig out your buckets and spades and build a really cool snow fort.
- Are all snowflakes different? Place a black sheet of paper into a freezer until cold then take outside and use a magnifying glass to look at the snowflakes that land on the paper.
- Catch snowflakes on your tongue!!
- Be a winter wildlife detective – look for animal tracks and try to figure out which animal made them. You could even follow them and see where they go.
- Make a snow angel. Make sure you are well wrapped up so the snow can’t creep into your clothes, then lie down on your back in some pristine snow. Move your legs from side to side to make a skirt and your arms up and down to make wings. Stand up carefully so you don’t ruin the shape and then find some pebbles to make eyes, a nose and a mouth.
- Decorate some snowballs. Roll and decorate with leaves, moss, stones or other bits and bobs you can find in the garden. Or you could try colouring them using water and food colouring in a spray bottle.
- Don’t forget the birds, string some cranberries, popcorn or cereal up and hang in your trees. And fill a shallow dish or your dustbin lid with water so they can have a drink.
Stepping Stones are open on all snow days. If the school closes and you need care for your children give them a ring.
For more information ring 06 3875116 or 021 154 7627