We have had a couple of fantastic weeks so far and I know there are lots of exciting plans for learning the rest of the term. We want to reassure you that we are doing all we can to keep your tamariki and their kaiako well.
We continue to promote good hygiene in all areas - this includes good hand hygiene, cough, and sneeze etiquette, encouraging students to avoid touching their faces, and we are regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
Hand sanitiser is provided in all hubs and the children are being encouraged to use it often.
Providing good old fashioned fresh air remains the most important thing we can do in our learning spaces to minimise risk for ākonga and kaiako (and the same goes for you at home).
We are ensuring that all windows and doors are open and that there is fresh air in all spaces that the students are working (even when it means we need to put an extra layer on to keep warm).
We will also be receiving a CO2 monitor in the coming weeks to further support our ventilation plan.
Kaimahi and tamariki in Years 4 – 13 must wear face coverings when inside at school when we are at Red.
Public health advice is that an appropriate face covering will fit snugly and seal well around facial contours. This can include single use, disposable masks (medical masks) and re-usable fabric masks with three layers.
Don’t worry if you don’t have these specific types of face coverings, as public health experts also say that any face covering is better than no face covering.
For those of you with children who might be reluctant to wear a face covering, there is some helpful advice from Michigan Health, including using simple, specific explanations about why they need to wear a face covering, adults being the role models, providing small rewards for wearing them, bringing face coverings into play such as drawing face coverings on characters in colouring books, or letting them choose/make the mask.
Please note: Our Year 7/8 tamariki must wear a mask on the bus to and from Technology.
There are a small number of our tamariki who have mask exemptions. If this is the case for your child please email this information to Jo Earl, email@example.com, and we will make sure your child is supported and that teachers are aware of the exemption. Tamariki with exemptions are not required to publicly display an exemption card.
Living our Values
There are many of us in the St Francis of Assisi Whānau and that is what makes it great.
Of course there will be times when some of our whānau don't agree with the precautions or measures that are being mandated or encouraged and that's fine. We are all welcome to have our own opinions. At our kura (school) we follow the advice from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health because this is what we are required to do.
It is important to ensure that we are all accepting of the fact that we won't all share the same opinions - and that sometimes topics like Covid 19 can evoke strong opinions on either side of the argument. No doubt the topic will often be discussed at home - what a fantastic opportunity to teach our tamariki to be compassionate, understanding and accepting of others.
We are not encouraging these conversations at school however should they happen we want our tamariki to share their opinions with respect, compassion and integrity - you can help your children with this by using neutral language and also helping them with a way to respond when they hear something they don't agree with.
A good way to avoid counterproductive debates that don’t go anywhere, is to rehearse a response ahead of time. Here are some short and quick responses when you are feeling pressured to agree with someone, or if you do not wish to engage. Create your own response based on the following examples and save yourself energy.
- "thanks for sharing, that’s interesting"·
- "that’s a lot to think about, I’ll keep it in mind"·
- "I’ve never heard that one before, I might do some research on my own"·
- "let’s agree to disagree"·
- "I respect your right to have a view. I choose to keep my views to myself"·
- "I’ve made it a rule for myself to not get involved in these discussions"·
- "I’d rather not talk about it, I hope you can respect that"·
Lastly, providing accurate information about people, events, and culture is important. This is especially important when news reports have negative statements about any specific group. If you are unsure about the authenticity or accuracy of something you are about to share, perhaps try to verify it, or avoid sharing it as fact.
We strive to promote respect, integrity and service as three of our school values. We are grateful for your help in supporting this at home.
Magnify the manaaki (care).
Kia pai ō rā whakatā Ki a koutou (Have a good weekend Whānau).