Amesbury School

Tēnā koutou katoa,

We have had a very busy week at school for staff, with student conferences across two evenings. A huge thanks to all of our amazing staff for working and connecting together so well to help see each through a tough and tiring term. Big thanks also goes out to all of our parents, caregivers and whānau. It has not been an easy couple of months and you have all done so well coping with isolation, sickness, uncertainty and anxious times. Well done everyone on your mahi, and here’s to a relaxing break for us all.

As we head towards the end of our first term, I would like to take this time to farewell two fabulous kaiako, Esther and Cam, who are heading off to other parts of the motu with their whānau. Cam has now finished her time at Amesbury and has left for Tauranga with her whānau. We have loved having Cam and Ryan as part of our community, with their tamariki Ethan, Leah and Jacob. They brought a lot of joy and spark to our school, and we were extremely lucky to have Cam’s calm and caring approach in both Koru and Harakeke. We wish the Botha family all the very best in Tauranga.

Esther and Lee will be heading off to Christchurch over the Easter break, with their boys Michael and John. Esther has brought much richness to our school whānau, with her love of music and language. We will miss her and her two tama (sons) very much. We wish the whānau all the best and we hope both families stay in touch and let us know how they are going.

Speaking of whānau, I am on leave for the final few days of this term, as I am heading over to Australia to catch up with my family. As with many of us, it has been a long time since I have seen them. I was last with them in 2019, and I am so very much looking forward to spending time with them and reconnecting over the holiday break. I had not realised how much I relied on international travel for family connections until it was not available. I know that many people are now looking to do the same and we fully appreciate the importance of whānau and connection. We have very recently set the term dates for 2023, so that families can make travel plans. The 2023 dates are below this message, and they are also on our school website.

Amesbury Covid-19 update

As with the previous two weeks, our numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases are continuing to drop. Currently, we have 7 confirmed cases of covid, all amongst our ākonga (students):

  • We have no cases of Covid in Koru Hub currently
  • We have 4 cases of Covid in Harakeke Hub
  • There are 3 cases of Covid in Pōhutukawa
  • There are no cases of Covid currently amongst our staff
  • Of the 7 current cases, 3 students were already at home in isolation when they tested positive. 4 ākonga were at school prior to testing positive
  • We contacted the whānau of any identified close contacts from the three ākonga who were at school prior to testing positive

Overall school attendance is continuing to increase, which is pleasing to see. We now have the majority of our ākonga back at school and attending regularly.

On 4th April the Covid-19 mandate for education workers ended, meaning that staff and workers in schools and early learning centres no longer need to be vaccinated. Individual schools are still left with the option of requiring mandatory vaccination for their staff, if they feel there are sufficient circumstances in their school where this additional step is required. On Wednesday evening Amesbury Board of Trustees discussed the issue and decided that mandatory vaccination of staff, workers and volunteers at Amesbury School is not required. The Board agreed that the school will continue to follow all health and safety procedures required by the government and by current Covid-19 settings, such as mask wearing, daily cleaning of high touch surfaces, and consistent hand hygiene throughout the day.

Term dates for 2023

Term 1: Tues 31 Jan - Thurs 6 April

Term 2: Mon 24th April - Fri 30 June

Term 3: Mon 17 July - Fri 22 Sept

Term 4: Mon 9 Oct - Thurs 14 Dec

Kia pai tō wiki - have a good week and a lovely holiday break. See you all in the new school term.

Ngā mihi nui,

Urs Cunningham

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