Mask Wearing Requirements 25 July- 19 August 2022 (Weeks 1-4 of Term 3)
Dear Parents/ Caregivers and Students of Te Awamutu College
As you may be aware, the Government has issued fresh public health advice to schools around the wearing of masks indoors in schools for Years 4-13 students.
The Associate Minister of Education, Jan Tinetti, has written to school boards and the Secretary for Education, Iona Holstead, has sent out a bulletin to school leaders.
Extracts from their correspondence:
“For the first four weeks of Term 3, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education now strongly recommend that all schools and kura amend their mask policy to require mask wearing in all indoor settings (where it will not have a significant impact on teaching and learning…) for students in Years 4 and above.”
“We…recognise that schools are best placed for managing mask requirements flexibly to retain an appropriate balance of safety and minimise disruption to students’ learning.”
“This recommendation therefore 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.”
I have discussed this fresh information with the Board Chair, Craig Yarndley. Taking into account this public health advice; the reality that COVID-19 variants are still active in our community; the likelihood that many of our school community will have socialised and travelled over the break; and the prevalence of usual winter illnesses, Te Awamutu College will uphold the above recommendations. Therefore, all students, staff and visitors (unless having a valid and current exemption) are required to wear a face mask indoors (excepting the situations listed above).
We know that some of our students are exempt from wearing a mask. If they have an exemption card or letter from their health provider, or we have previously agreed that mask wearing is not practicable for them, we will support them to not wear a mask.
Fresh queries around mask exemptions should be directed to Deputy Principal, Neil Bauernfeind [email protected] 07 871 4199 ext 224
Parents/ caregivers are expected to provide their child/ren with appropriate masks. We will endeavour to have some masks available if this is not possible (at the Student Centre).
These new mask wearing requirements will be reviewed before the end of Week 4, Term 3.
Thanks in advance for your cooperation with these health and safety requirements.