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Photo by Tracey Young

Mask Wearing

Tracey Young —

Masking up in Term 3

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.

In keeping with the latest Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health guidance, all children who can in Years 4-8 are asked to wear masks indoors. We are highly recommending that our Year 3 students in the composite classes (Year 3/4) also wear a mask indoors to keep any bugs away. Any children in Years 1-3 who wish to wear masks will also be supported to do so. We have a school supply of masks that are available for those that require them.

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 should 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

We know that 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.