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Posted in General Welcome to 2022- from our Principal Deidre Shea

Date: 27 January 2022



Welcome to 2022- from our Principal Deidre Shea

Kia ora koutou katoa
Ngā mihi o te tau hou, welcome to the 2022 school year. We sincerely hope that you have enjoyed a summer break through all the beautiful weather we have had, and your young people are ready to begin school next week. Our thoughts go to families and friends in Tonga who have been impacted by the devastating volcano, and all those connected with them. We know that support will be ongoing and vital throughout this year for many, and for many reasons.
We are looking forward to welcoming all Year 9 students on Tuesday 1 February at 10am, and all other students on Wednesday 2 February at 9am. We ask Year 10-13 students to access the Kamar portal before Wednesday to see details of their 2022 timetable. The day will start with a Kaitiaki class. An email will be sent to families shortly with Kamar portal login information.
We are writing to update the start of year information, and especially to advise you of some changes now that we are in the red setting of the Covid-19 Protection Framework.
Our pōwhiri on Tuesday to welcome Year 9 students will be different from usual. Under the red setting, no whānau or other support people may be onsite as part of gatherings, including pōwhiri. I am sorry. However, our responsibilities to keep everyone safe are clear and safety is our priority. Further information from the Ministry of Education can be found at Red. We will hold pōwhiri outside, and in accordance with public health advice.
On Tuesday, Year 9 students should meet in the carpark area outside the school marae, while waiting for the pōwhiri to begin at 10am. The Year 9 Orientation programme will commence following this pōwhiri. This will include a trip to Māngere Mountain on Wednesday for all students. Covid red protocols will be adhered to during this trip with mask wearing on bus transport and reduced group numbers for the guided walk. Year 9 students are asked to wear PE gear to school on Wednesday 2 February.
Unfortunately, due to the red-level restrictions, we are no longer able to hold the whānau barbecue on Friday afternoon.
Lunches will be provided for all students every day, right from their first day of attendance, so that is one less thing for you to organise. Lunches will be eaten outside where possible, and where not practicable (e.g. when it rains), in well ventilated covered spaces. We are pleased to be continuing this Ministry of Education initiative, partnered with Subway and Pita Pit, alternating daily.
Health Measures
At the red setting, schools and kura are open with staff and students on site. We will continue to follow all health guidelines, including:
● Students and staff must wear face coverings when indoors or in close contact with others, and on school transport. The public health advice is that an appropriate face covering fits snugly and seals well around facial contours. This can include single use, disposable masks (medical masks) and re-usable fabric masks with three layers. If students need a new mask, these are available in our reception areas. Here is information and a video that may help explain to younger children how to safely put a mask on and remove it.
● Displaying QR posters for the COVID-19 tracer app
● Maintaining good hygiene
● No non-essential visitors on site
● Physical distancing
● Keeping indoor spaces well ventilated
● Asking anyone who is unwell to remain at home and seek medical advice
● As per the vaccine mandate for education, all staff are double vaccinated. Last Sunday this vaccine mandate was updated to include boosters for all staff, effective when people are eligible.
Active Lifestyles (Year 11 Cohort)
We have come to the decision that the best course of action is to cancel the planned Active Lifestyles Week (14–18 February). Parts of the programme would not have been able to run successfully and safely under the current red-level restrictions. Also factored into our decision was the uncertainty around further restrictions that may occur in the coming weeks.
We apologise for the inconvenience and disappointment this may cause. Please be assured that we will look for opportunities later in the year to provide an outdoor education experience for our Year 11 students.
Uniform Shop
The school uniform shop is now upstairs, through our reception area.
2021 Yearbook
We hope you enjoy reading our 2021 yearbook at, if you have not already done so.
Work and Income Support
The beginning of the year can be a tough time for parents who are faced with many costs and it is important you are aware of what assistance you may be able to get from Work and Income. These are available to people on a low income as well as those on a benefit.
Check what you might get here:
● School costs
● Out of School Care and Recreation (OSCAR) Subsidy
● Other Childcare Assistance
● School and Year Start-up Payment (for people getting Orphan’s Benefit or Unsupported Child’s Benefit)
● Help with living costs (including food and rent/mortgage)
Use the links above or call 0800 559 009 to find out more, or to apply. MoneyTalks can assist with free budgeting and debt help. You can also contact your local community provider. Please find more information here.
Please get in touch with us about any queries you may have, the best way to contact us is through the relevant dean or call Julita, our receptionist, on 6366006 ext 8000 and she will connect you with the right person for your query.

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