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7 February 2022 – Red Traffic Light Update

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The wearing of masks in New Zealand schools is now a legal requirement for all staff and students in classrooms Year 4 and above.

This requirement has been clearly outlined as a directive by the Ministry of Health (MoH) through the Ministry of Education (MoE).

The MoE also provides schools with the process to follow should the school be notified of a positive Covid case within the school staff and/or student community.

Further advice and guidance is also provided to schools by the New Zealand SchoolsTrustees Association (NZSTA). See web links below.

Whilst masks will be available and provided for your child by the school, they are encouraged to wear one from home if possible.

Should you believe that your child will have difficulty wearing a mask in the classroom as per the legal requirement, parents/caregivers are asked to complete a Mask Exemption Request form. This form will be held in hard copy form only whilst we are in the Red Traffic Light setting of the Covid Protection Framework.

The list of mask wearing exemptions is outlined in law, but the exemption most relevant to students at school, states specifically that your child must have “a physical or mental illness or condition of disability that makes wearing a face covering unsuitable”.

Should you believe that your child meets the criteria outlined, please request a form from the school office (hard copy only available) or if you have any questions in regards to this, please make contact with the acting-Principal Simon Edmonds. 

Web Links: 

1. COVID-19 Public Health Response (Protection Framework) Order 2021 clause 74 How face covering rule applies to education entities – New Zealand Legislation and red settings for education, Schedule 7 COVID-19 Public Health Response (Protection Framework) Order 2021 (SL 2021/386) (as at 03 February 2022) Schedule 7 Red (whole of New Zealand) – New Zealand Legislation

2. Unite against COVID-19

Settling children back to school

Under “Traffic Light Red” the Ministry requires us to minimise the interaction between students and any non-essential workers. In last week’s newsletter about Covid, we explained that parents are asked to not enter the school grounds, unless it is absolutely essential, or they are a new entrant parent wanting to settle their child. 

We have had a rethink on this and have made a slight change, because it occurred to us that some children further up the school may be a bit anxious, given they may have a new class and a new teacher. So, for the first week (Tuesday -Friday), if parents of older students feel they need to go to their child’s class to settle them, then that is understandable. However we do want to keep the children as safe as possible, so from the start of week two, we will be asking parents to say goodbye at the start of the day at the gate, and welcome them at the end of the day at the gate (new entrant parents excluded). 

If you need to meet your child’s class teacher then we ask you schedule a meeting time and place that removes the possibility of student contact.

Tomorrow we have our formal welcome for the new students and staff. To minimise risk and numbers, only one parent of the new children has been invited. We are sorry, but under Traffic Light Red, no other parents may attend. 

Your understanding and support on all of the above is very much appreciated.

KInd regards,

Steve Gadsby – Board Chair/Presiding Member
Kevin Palmer – Limited Statutory Manager

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