Newsletter Week 1 Term 4 / Pānui Wiki 1 Wāhaka 4

Nau mai, hoki mai anō ki te wāhaka hou!

It is my favourite term as there is more sunshine and exciting things going on at school (more than usual). You will see all the smiles on our school page on Facebook at the moment.  Although, the look of what is happening in the North Island is unsettling and what it looks like here is also changing, I want to assure you, your children are happy and have a good six hours away from hearing about Covid, seeing masks and having any worries of that kind. School is still a happy place to be!

Rules for you
The picture you can see with this post is a video call with the Ministry and 130 principals (blurred for privacy). We are receiving a lot of information daily, BUT, I am just sharing things that you need to know. Obviously we are complying with staff and school measures but need your help on these.
1. One important change is that adults coming onto the school grounds must wear a mask if you a not an employee. The Ministry has specified that a mask must be worn for the entire drop off and pick up of children. We know this is a pain, but we ask that you follow this mandate given to us and don’t give us another job to do by following up on non use. We are role models of rule following for our children! If they know you need to wear a mask, and we don’t or we say, ‘who cares,’ or explain why we don’t want to, we role model that rules can be broken if we don’t want to follow them or if we don’t believe we need to.  Then  when they are asked to go to bed or brush their teeth, and they don’t, we wonder why. Or they break a school rule or they steal some food from the cupboard we say, “Why would you do that?” The answer could be, we role modelled that in the past when we chose to break others’ rules. Just a thought for you (that was told to me by a specialist in the field of children’s behaviours).
2. Coming onto site needs to be of short duration and follow ventilation and social distancing expectations. Whilst a time was not specified, it just means you can’t ‘hang’ here at the moment. Remember, we are just the messenger! Our school had an aim this year to have more parent friendly events and involvement, but this has to be different for a while.
3. If you are wanting to parent help in the near future (camps, trips, sport, events at school), you will need to be vaccinated with proof. More information will come on this as it is received. This is so you are aware.

I know it seems hypocritical that teachers don’t wear a mask, but in reality, we are in the classes with the students for extended durations and for children, especially the younger ones, it is so important for them to be able to read our emotions and expressions whilst we are teaching them. Imagine if they finished some great work and the couldn’t see the delight in our facial expressions so they know how happy we are with their efforts.

These are very uncertain times! I know my anxiety is higher than usual as we always like things to be predictable. It certainly isn’t at the moment. Constant change, cancellations, rules etc with covid. I am also speaking with Janelle Riki-Waaka in front of 100 odd principals, BOT members and teachers on Tuesday evening about racism in NZ and addressing it. I’m a tad nervous, yet excited too.

I have a two requests that you could do to help me and the team:
-Follow the above ‘rules’ (pretty please) for our children’s sake
-If someone isn’t, they may have missed this newsletter. Let them know it is on Skool Loop now.
-Try not to have the news on in the car or at home with your children listening. Or talking in front of them about the amount of people in hospital or whatever. Children often are listening when you think they aren’t. Let the adults worry, save the children doing it!

Kia pai te wīkene roa koutou mā! (Have a good long weekend!)
Dallas and the team!