COVID-19 Return to Kura

22 July 2022

Wāhanga 3

Kei aku nui, kei aku rahi, tēnā koutou katoa i roto i ngā āhuatanga o te wā,

Masking up for the start of Term 3

In previous years, we have found there to be an increase in winter illnesses in kura at the start of Term 3 due to travel, and socialising more during the holidays. This year, cases of COVID-19 are also increasing in most parts of the country again, including infections in our own kura hāpori. We are also seeing high numbers of other winter illnesses.

For the start of Term 3, 2022, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health strongly recommend that all schools and kura amend their mask policy for the first four weeks of term to require mask wearing in all indoor settings for ākonga in Tau 4 and above. Our Poari are following this recommendation and all ākonga, kamahi and whānau are required to wear masks indoors from Monday 25 July. This will be reviewed at the end of Week 4.

All activities and haerenga will still occur as planned, and there will be some situations where mask wearing isn't practicable like eating and drinking, kapa haka, or where it will have a significant impact on teaching and learning (for example, ākonga with particular learning needs). In these situations, we will ensure there is good ventilation during the activity, and physical distancing where practicable. Our 'Kura at Orange' plan has been amended to reflect this and you can read the plan here.

Wearing masks can reduce new cases of the virus by as much as 53%. It works alongside other measures including vaccination, good ventilation, staying home when sick, and hand washing and other hygiene measures, to protect our students and staff.

Keep up healthy habits – Unite Against COVID-19

Adult-sized masks can generally be adjusted to fit older children by tying knots in the ear loops. Unite Against COVID-19 shows how to do this:

How to wear a face mask safely – Unite Against COVID-19

We know that some of our tamariki/ākonga are exempt from wearing a mask. If they have an exemption card or a letter from their health provider, or we have agreed that mask wearing is not practicable for them, we will support them to not wear a mask.

Apply for a face mask exemption pass – Unite Against COVID-19

Please make sure that tamariki/ākonga come to kura on Monday ready to wear masks. Ākonga should bring masks from home, however we also have a good supply at kura for any one without one.

We know that getting our tamariki to wear masks can be difficult, and as pakeke, many of us don't like wearing them, but we have made this decision for the health and safety of all our whānau, to reduce the spread of winter illnesses and the reinfection of COVID which takes a huge toll on the teaching and learning at our kura. We thank you for your support with this.

If you need RAT tests, or you and your whānau need support while isolating, please contact our tari on 03 3374360. Please keep letting us know if your tamaiti tests positive for COVID, or is required to isolate.

Noho ora mai,

Sophie Kamariera

Tiamana - Poari Matua