St Joseph's Newsletter T1 Wk 4

23 February 2022

Principal’s Piece

Principal’s Piece:

Kia Ora Koutou

He moana pukepuke e ekengia e te waka

A choppy sea can be navigated

At the moment it certainly feels like we are navigating a choppy sea with Covid cases in our school community. Both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education are providing guidance and a framework that our school response is to follow. Daily case numbers are now in the thousands and there are close to 600 cases in Hamilton. This guidance is changing as the spread of Omicron continues. Schools across the motu were informed today that:

  • The key change is to the classification of those in a room for longer than 2 hours with a masked positive case as Close Contacts. People in this scenario will now be classified as Casual Contacts.

  • The new classifications will be applied retrospectively to contacts identified from 18 February onwards.

  • For schools with current cases, any contacts that were previously identified as Close under that specific criterion may now be re-classified as Casual Contacts.

  • Casual Contacts are able to attend school unless they become symptomatic.

  • You can inform any contacts that will be reclassified under this change that they can return to school.

This means that children and staff from Room 5 who are not symptomatic can return to school. I would like to thank the students and parents of Room 5 for your understanding and quick response on Monday. This ensured that we were able to work through our processes in a seamless manner.

As the case numbers continue to rise across New Zealand we anticipate a move to phase 3 of the Red setting of the COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF). No doubt this will again bring a change in the guidance and protocols.

Yesterday afternoon we made the decision to postpone the Year 4-8 Swimming Sports. We know that we have a number of students who are really looking forward to the annual swimming sports taking place but as a school we must prioritise health and safety first. We have families isolating and awaiting test results and it wouldn’t be fair to hold it without them as they are doing the right thing. With there being no inter-school competitions we have the ability to reschedule this event later in the year.

It’s been great to have the parents back onsite for the Meet the Teacher Appointments. As a school we are aware of how crucial it is to have parents playing an active role in your child’s education. We have been looking at ways to re-engage with our parent community and that’s why it has been important that we went ahead with these meetings.

Coming up on Monday 7 March is a Teacher Only day. This day is part of the collective agreement in the contract for teachers as the government's response to teacher workload. We are hopeful in the next collective agreement the government will allow for more release time for teachers rather than giving the sector 8 Teacher Only Days. Our Before/After School Care programmes along with supervision will be available on this day to allow parents to continue to work. For details and pricings please follow the Enrolmy link.

Thank you again for your ongoing support as we continue to navigate the choppy sea together.

Kia manaaki te Atua koutou katoa

Grant Stuart

Tumuaki / Principal

Gospel Reflection

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Gospel Reading

Luke 6:27-38

Jesus teaches his disciples to be merciful as God is merciful.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Today's gospel reading is a continuation of the teaching that began in last Sunday's gospel. We continue to hear Jesus' Sermon on the Plain. Recall that in Luke's Gospel, this teaching is addressed to Jesus' disciples. This is in contrast to the parallel found in Matthew's Gospel, the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus' words are addressed to both the disciples and to the crowds.

These words from Jesus' teaching are familiar to us. They constitute the crux and the challenge of what it means to be a disciple: Love your enemies, turn the other cheek, give to those who ask, do unto others, lend without expecting repayment, judge not lest you be judged.

There are several similarities between Luke's and Matthew's report of Jesus' great teaching. Both begin with the Beatitudes. Matthew includes nearly all the content that Luke does; the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew's Gospel is longer than Luke's Sermon on the Plain. There are, however, differences in language and nuance. For example, Matthew presents this portion of the teaching as a contrast between Jesus' teaching and the teachings of the law and the prophets. This is in keeping with Matthew's concern to address his predominantly Jewish audience. It is likely that Luke omits this contrast because it was unnecessary for the Gentile believers for whom Luke is writing.

Another point of contrast between Matthew and Luke's presentation is the terminology. In Luke, Jesus contrasts the behavior of his followers with the behavior of “sinners.” In Matthew, Jesus contrasts the behavior desired with the behavior of tax collectors and Gentiles. Matthew concludes the teaching about love of enemies with the admonition to be perfect as God is perfect; Luke concludes by emphasizing God's mercy.

In both Gospels, Jesus' words challenge those who would follow him to be more like God. God loves us beyond our expectations, beyond anything we can possibly imagine. In response to God's love, we are to love as God loves, beyond expectations and with a depth beyond imagining.

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Parish Mass Time

Parish Mass Time changes effective from 8 February

St Peter Chanel

Tuesday 9am - No Vaccine Pass Required

Thursday 9am - No Vaccine Pass Required Liturgy with Communion

Saturday Vigil 5pm - Vaccine Pass Required Booking in for the Vigil Mass is required

St Joseph

Wednesday 9am - Vaccine Pass Required Liturgy with Communion

Friday 9am - Vaccine Pass Required

Sunday 9am - Vaccine Pass Required Booking in for the Sunday Mass is required

Bookings required for Mass please fill in the form below or click here.

Ash Wednesday - 2 March

Ash Wednesday is the first day in the season of Lent. Lent can be observed by all Christians, and it is a beautiful way to remember Jesus’ sacrifice for us and prepare us for the Easter season. During Lent, we remember the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert being tempted by the devil. We do extra prayers, fasting, and almsgiving during this season. Ash Wednesday has many traditions for Catholic families and ways to observe this day, and also, anything you are doing for the length of Lent will start on this day. As a school we will have activities to acknowledge the season of Lent. Some of the traditions you might like to follow as a family include: attending mass and receiving ashes, encouraging simple eating and skipping unnecessary snacks, choosing what to give up. Also, talk to your kids about the meaning of Ash Wednesday. Did you know the ashes we use on Ash Wednesday are the burned up palms from last Palm Sunday? Why do we get ashes on our foreheads? As a reminder of our own mortality. What is Lent? Definitely be ready to talk to your kids and answer questions.

Teacher Only Day - Monday 7 March

Our Before/After School Care programmes along with supervision will be available on this day to allow parents to continue to work. For details and pricings please follow this Enrolmy link.

Student Success

International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS)

Congratulations to the following students for their results in the ICAS in 2021:


High Distinction: Bella McLauchlan-Hillary

Distinction: Emilia Shyra

Credit: Theo Barton, Gavin Guo, Zach McLauchlan-Hillary, Aodhan O’Toole

Merit: Chace Acacio


Distinction: Gavin Guo, Bella McLauchlan-Hillary

Merit: Zach McLauchlan-Hillary


Distinction: Bella McLauchlan-Hillary, Oscar Ott, Jai Sargeant

Credit: Laura Barton, Elizabeth Jovanovic, Zach McLauchlan-Hillary, Toby Monsma,

Emilia Shyra

Merit: Veronica Jovanovic


Distinction: Laura Barton, Bella McLauchlan-Hillary

Credit: Toby Monsma, Jai Sargeant, Emilia Shyra

Merit: Raphael Brdanovic, Aodhan O’Toole


COVID 19 - Update

When we have a confirmed infectious case of COVID within our school, the children and adults connected to that case will all isolate for the first 24 hours to allow contact tracing to take place.

When COVID finds its way into our school what happens next?

The most important message is that if/when your child receives a positive test result, please make contact with the school as soon as you are able. We can then determine if the child was infectious while at school.

Please email the Principal directly: or Ring (07) 855 5434 and press 0.

The Ministry of Education will work with us through a dedicated unit that is working directly with the Ministry of Health. When we have a confirmed infectious case of COVID within our school we will follow their lead to determine who is needing to stay home for a longer period of time.

We have made the decision that we are best to err on the side of safety by sending people home rather than hope things will be ok. Hope is not a strategy and we would hate to see an escalation within our school because we were not acting in a proactive manner.

Due to this, when we find that a case was at school while infectious, all children and adults from the class will remain away from school for at least the next day while contact tracing takes place. (Note - if the child was not infectious at school the children in the class will be unaffected.)

If children are at school when we find out this information we will be ringing families directly to ask that children be collected as soon as possible. Our goal during this immediate phase is to err on the side of caution to avoid any escalation and possible longer-term disruption. This will give us 24 hours to determine which children/adults are close contacts, and who are casual contacts, without risking other children becoming infected. Casual contacts will be able to return to school the subsequent day. Further support will then be given to those close contact children who will be required to isolate for longer.

We are preparing a new set of online learning activities for when children need to be at home. We are working on the assumption that all children will need to be at home for multiple days at some point in the coming weeks/months. This will not be as comprehensive as Distance Learning during the lockdowns, because teachers will still be onsite teaching whenever possible. If your child is a close contact and needs to isolate, their class teacher will be in touch with you.

We have a huge amount of protocols that we will be able to follow, and letters that we will send to close and casual contacts to provide clarity and instruction on what to do next when there are cases within our school. However, at this stage, our aim is to provide clarity on the immediate steps we will take when there is a case, so our parents, teachers and children can know what to expect from us.

We will also be informing our entire community when we start getting cases of COVID, and in particular, the parents of any child who might be connected to a case in the class. Any stories of COVID within our school unless notified directly by us are just stories. We will keep you informed!

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Before and After School Care 2022

Here is the link to find out more details:

Breakfast Club

After School Care


A reminder that students waiting to be picked up after school need to wait either by the office at Strowan Avenue, or in front of the church with the duty teacher. If they are not collected from the front of the church by 3.00pm, they will then be taken to wait at the office. Please do not tell your children to play on the playground while they wait for you, as this is not supervised; they need to wait at one of the designated spots. We remind all families to be considerate with parking around our school, and please do not drive or walk down the driveway to drop off or to collect students.

SJF ‘No Nuts’ Policy

At St Joseph’s we have a ‘No Nuts’ policy. This means that no student is allowed to bring nuts of any description to school for lunch. Children’s lunch boxes are checked regularly. For more information, ask at the school office or speak to a teacher.


Make sure you keep up to date by checking out our school app and website, in particular, the calendar, as this will have all the latest information. School App If you have not already downloaded it, download free from Google Play Store: St Joseph’s Catholic School Fairfield. The app allows you to send absentee notifications to school, receive alerts from school, gives staff email contacts, read the school newsletter and any other notices that may have gone home with the children. Simple and easy to use - download it today at

Mobile Phones

At St Joseph’s Fairfield cellphones are not permitted at school unless the parents have written a letter to the Principal outlining the purpose. If this is agreed, the cellphone will be powered off and left in the Principal’s office until the end of the day when it will be handed back as the child leaves the school grounds.

Sports News

Swimming Sports - Postponed

The school swimming sports, which were due to be held tomorrow, have been postponed as we have a number of children who are awaiting Covid test results.

Water Polo

Waterpolo is only for year 7&8 students who are strong swimmers.

Venue: Played in the Waterworld dive pool on Sundays.

Trainings: Practices are one morning during the week usually 7.30 - 8.30am.

Fees: approximately $90 (includes a $5 non-refundable administration charge)

Here is the link


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Community Notices

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2022 Term Dates

Term Dates

Term 1: Wed 2nd February – Thu 15th April

Term 2: Mon 2nd May – Fri 8th July

Term 3: Mon 25th July – Fri 30th September

Term 4: Mon 17th October – Fri 16th December

Teacher Only Days

Term 1 – Monday, 7 March

Term 2 – Friday, 3 June

Term 3 – Monday, 29 August

Term 4 – Friday, 11 November