Kia ora koutou
Masking up for the start of Term 3
I hope you have managed to have a good break over the school holidays despite the dreadful weather. As we look ahead to Term 3 and look forward to welcoming our students back, there are few expectations from the Ministry of Education which is intended to keep us all safe, in the face of the sharp rise in positive cases and re-infections with Covid-19.
In previous years we have found there is an increase in winter illnesses in schools at the start of Term 3 as students bring back infections after travelling and socialising during the holidays. This year cases of COVID-19 are increasing in most parts of the country, and 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 (where it will not have a significant impact on teaching and learning – see below) for students in Years 4 and above.
This recommendation does not include any situation where mask-wearing might not be practicable, such as while eating and drinking, playing certain musical instruments, indoor sport, where it will have a significant impact on teaching and learning (for example, students with particular learning needs), certain activities such as singing or drama performance on stage, and PE. In these situations, particular attention will be paid to ensuring there is good ventilation during the activity and physical distancing where practicable.
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. As a school we have always supported frequent and regular breaks for our students from wearing masks so that it is as comfortable and manageable as possible, this will continue to be a high priority for staff and students.
Please note that all parents/visitors to classrooms or the school office will be expected to wear a mask whilst indoors.
Apply for a face mask exemption pass – Unite Against COVID-19
Please make sure that tamariki/ākonga come to school ready to wear masks. Masks will be provided by the school for all students year 4 and above. Reach out to the class teacher if there are any concerns/clarification needed, as you prepare for your child/children to return to school for Term 3 packed full of exciting learning experiences.Thank you for your support in protecting our school community.
Noho ora mai