Q:  How do I get in touch with Zion

A:   Email is the most efficient way to get in touch and we aim to respond to all emails within 48 hours.  It may be possible to contact Matilda or Barb by phone (03) 375-0850 during the times that classes are running, but this will depend on what they are involved in at that particular time (they may be in meetings, teaching, or  engaged elsewhere).

We do our best to keep everyone informed via the website and facebook pages, so many queries will be answered by checking those out first.

IMPORTANT – Please respect the fact that staff do not work 24-7 and and you should not expect to converse via text or social media etc, or get reponses to emails outside working hours.  It is not appropriate to private message staff using their personal facebook or email unless specifically invited to.

Q:  What is NOIZ Academy?

A:  NOIZ Academy is a compulsory component for all of our advanced students.  If a student accepts a position in an advanced crew, they are also enrolling in NOIZ Academy.  Please click here to find out more about NOIZ Academy.

Q:  What is the deal with competitions?

A:  At Zion we have a good record of producing competition crews that have performed and placed at numerous competitions locally, nationally and even internationally.  However, we also have learned some lessons during these experiences and we feel it’s important that our stance towards competitions is communicated well.  Please ensure that you understand the following:

We do encourage crews to participate in competitions, but as a studio we cannot take sole responsibility to plan, organise and manage all logistics required – specifically with regard to travel, accommodation and fundraising.  Our staff are all part-time and need input and support from students and their families to make events happen.  However, guidelines and communication will be in place so that we are all on the same page and working as one whanau toward goals.

In general, all competition crews will be built from students who attend NOIZ Academy, as this means that they are able to take part in the additional holistic development that we have found is required to succeed.

Competitions fall outside of our employment agreements with the teachers, meaning that a teacher’s attendance of a competition with any crew is completely voluntary and a personal, rather than an employment, commitment.  Often the teachers will be part of competition crews themselves.  It should also be noted that if a teacher is at a competition to perform themselves, they may choose to focus primarily on that purpose and not necessarily be available to work with their students.  However, whenever possible, we will ensure that all competing students have assigned support from interns or other appropriate staff.

Zion Studios will assign a suitable person to liaise with parents and caregivers during events and competitions, but this will be just one of their tasks and their primary focus will be making sure that event and external commitments are met and that students are properly cared for.  Crew members and accompanying support people are expected to help and support each other as well as those in other crews.

Students, families and others attending a competition or event as part of Zion will be expected to act in alignment with Zion’s values and guidelines.  Competitions are by nature high stress environments.  Disruptive or negative behaviour or actions that are contrary to instruction or the rules that have been stipulated either before or during the event will not be tolerated.  Any such action by a student (or, in some cases their parent, caregiver or family member) may result in the student being withdrawn from the event.  This is not an action that will be undertaken lightly, but will be determined by the event or trip management team in consideration of the impact of the offending behaviour on the wider group.  Please click here to see our full Travel & Event policy and associated expectations.

Q:  What if there is a concern or issue?

A:   There are a number of things that can cause concerns that need to be addressed, but generally resolution for all of them comes down to being able to positively engage in conversations to resolve the issue.  On the rare occasions that a serious incident occurs, it will be treated as prescribed within the relevant Child & Vulnerable Person policy or Health & Safety policy.

In general situations though:

If a teacher or staff member has concern about a behaviour, attitude or incident involving a student, they will initially try to deal with it directly with the student in a relational manner.  Should that not be successful in resolving the issue, they will consult with the Management Team to determine the next steps – which will be dependent on the nature of the issue and the to-date level of response from the student to the concerns.

On occasion, the issue may be significant or recurring regularly, regardless of attempts made to address it.  A member of the Management Team will likely contact the student’s parent/s or caregiver/s to discuss the matter with them.  The aim of any such meeting is to constructively engage in finding a solution to the issue and allow the student to continue to be a part of Zion Studios.  These meetings will be – wherever possible – in person, rather than by telephone, text or email to ensure that communication can be clear and appropriate.

If a student has a concern or conflict with another student or teacher, wherever possible they should talk TO that person rather than ABOUT that person, having an appropriate mediator present if necessary.  Gossip, gathering ‘sides’ and complaints made inappropriately are unacceptable.  Where the issue is of a serious nature, they should approach the Studio Administrator to help them to determine the next steps.  If the concern is regarding the Studio Administrator or another member of the Management Team, they should talk to a different member of the Management Team, their parent/caregiver or a teacher.

If a parent or caregiver has any concern, they should address it to the Studio Administrator in the first instance.  If they are uncomfortable doing this or unsatisfied with the response, they should contact Barb Watson – 03 375 0850 or barbara@northcity.co.nz

On no occasion is it appropriate for a conflict, complaint or concern to be aired in a public forum such as social media rather than in discussion with the relevant person.  The credibility of the complaint is difficult to justify if it is not one which is worth dealing with in an appropriate manner.