Wednesday 2 February 2022

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Tēnā tātou katoa,

Welcome back to all our new families and existing families, we do hope you have had a fantastic break. I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support around our RED Traffic light framework as we begin 2022. We would appreciate it if you could follow our guidelines to help protect our community as COVID is in our region.

All communication is sent via HERO, facebook, and the school app. It is also on our school website so please make sure you check in with all of these platforms. For HERO to work your notifications must be on.


Ra Whānau day UPDATE, Thursday 3rd February

School is officially starting for our children face to face on Friday 4th February. Ra Whānau Mai day now consists of your allocated time being a phone call from your child's teacher. Thank you for your co-operation with this. If you do not get a chance tomorrow to speak with your child's teacher by phone, they will get in touch within the first few weeks of school.

Could families please fill out the questionnaire below and book a phone time with their Whānau teacher. For those families that have already booked their timeslot, this will remain the same. Once you have booked your time the Whānau teacher will make contact with you by phone at that allocated time. All contact on this day will be by phone except for the New Entrant children. This is so we can minimize the numbers onsite. We look forward to welcoming our New Entrant children and new children onsite, at their allocated time.

If you have any questions please email your child's Whānau teacher. We want to thank you for your understanding as we begin the school year.

Please complete this questionnaire by Tuesday the 1st of February.

Each time slot (one per child) will be 10 minutes long and can be booked here or by going to; www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and using the following code: y8r6b


Limiting numbers on site is a priority at the Red Traffic Light setting. We request that only new families and families of new entrant students enter the school grounds and drop off their children at the classroom door on their first day. All other parents and families please do not come on-site unless it is absolutely necessary. In this instance, you will need to go to the office. We also ask that early pick-ups be avoided. If you do come on-site you must wear a mask and scan in, please. This is exactly the same as last year so we can minimize the number of people on site.

Events and activities

Large huis and gatherings especially when indoors continue to be one of the riskier activities we can undertake. We have therefore reviewed all our events and activities for the upcoming term to ensure we meet the health guidance for Red. Our Liturgies, Masses, and celebration Huis will be done online and shared with Whānau classes and our community. We will communicate any other alterations as required.


Providing good old-fashioned fresh air remains the most important thing we can do in our learning spaces to minimise risk for students.

Face coverings

The Government has mandated the wearing of masks at schools indoors for all students in years 4 and up. This means that masks are compulsory when we are inside. We are asking that parents provide masks for their children and that they wear them correctly. This is an extreme challenge for children and especially our Teachers. St Mary's Teachers will be wearing masks indoors for all Yr levels. This as we know creates many challenges for children and their learning. It will be hard for children to hear, follow instructions and teachers will be making sure there are visuals to support children and we need to make sure children ask questions. Our Teachers will only take their masks off as required for health and safety reasons. If they are standing a distance away they may also be removed. What we require from you as parents is to support us by following these instructions and making sure our children ask questions.

The school will have a supply of disposable masks if they have forgotten or have lost their own. We urge you as families to support us and provide your child with a mask that fits them and is comfortable.

If your child has a mask exemption we ask that you provide a copy to us. This has been a Government decision and whether we like it or not we are making sure we are being compliant and protecting all of our children as we begin school.

Children in other year levels will be supported if they choose to wear face coverings also. All students catching buses (both the school bus and public transport) will be required to wear a mask.

Please note that whether you agree with mask-wearing or not, the Ministry has mandated this for all schools. Please support us by explaining to your child that they must comply with this request and provide them with a comfortable mask to wear indoors at school.

All staff will be wearing face coverings. We are aware that staff wearing face coverings may have an impact on some students particularly those with hearing impairments. For those students, their teachers will have a process in place.

Here is a link to face mask exemptions, exemption card

A reminder that the Unite Against COVID-19 website has several resources to support mask use:

Managing cases in our school

We have a good contact tracing system in place so that if there is a confirmed case who has been at school while infectious, we can quickly identify who was a close contact of that person. We will then advise those contacts of what they need to do as soon as possible.

In the event of your child being unwell or presenting with cold/flu symptoms, we ask that you please keep that home and contact the school to advise. If your child presents with these symptoms while at school, you will be contacted to come and collect them immediately. Thank you for your support with this.

Vaccination for 5-11 yr olds

As you will be aware from the media, vaccinations have been approved and encouraged by the Ministry of Health for 5-11yr olds. This means parents can access vaccinations for their children 5 and up. Access to these vaccinations is through centers and businesses in our area. COVID vaccinations are not available on our site.

We understand and respect each families right to vaccinate their children so staff are been asked to simply explain to children if asked that it is the personal choice of the family and the decision is to be respected.


Good hygiene remains a key element in the spread of COVID. We will continue to make sure our children have excellent coughing and sneezing etiquette and we would appreciate your support with this as well. We will be regularly cleaning and hand sanitizer and tissues will be available to support good practices.

Food and Water

Everyone needs to bring their own lunch. No shared lunches will be happening at this time. Every child is required to bring a drink bottle and we can fill them up during the day.

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing is a good precaution to help prevent the spread of this disease. Where possible within the school environment we will endeavour to adhere and we ask that parents who need to come onsite physical distance. Thank you in advance.

Getting ready to return to school

The Ministry of Education has some helpful information on their Parents and whanau website to help our Tamariki in getting back to school.

Thank you for your continued support as we navigate through these challenging times. He waka eke noa, we are all in this together.

We are also here to help. Please get in touch if you have any concerns.

Parent conferences in 2022

This Year we want to be able to make face-to-face time and we are hoping we can manage this depending on what happens with the Pandemic.

Term 1- Wednesday 6th April, 3 pm-6 pm, Thursday 7th April 12.30 pm-6 pm. SCHOOL CLOSES AT 12PM Thursday 7th April. There will also be NO AFTER SCHOOL CARE THIS DAY.

Term 3- Wednesday 27th July, 3 pm-6 pm, Thursday 28th July 12.30 pm-6 pm. SCHOOL CLOSES AT 12PM Thursday 28th July. There will also be NO AFTER SCHOOL CARE THIS DAY.

Term 4- Wednesday 7th December, 3 pm-6 pm, Thursday 8th December 12.30 pm-6 pm. SCHOOL CLOSES AT 12PM Thursday 8th December. There will also be NO AFTER SCHOOL CARE THIS DAY.

TEACHER only days 2022

Tuesday 7th June

Friday 18th November

If you can please make sure all your contact details are up to date so we can get in touch if needed. Please email Theresa in the office to update your details. office@stmarystga.school.nz

Nga Mihi

St Marys Team

If you can please make sure all your contact details are up to date so we can get in touch if needed. Please email Theresa in the office to update your details. office@stmarystga.school.nz