FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
(This page was last updated 2 May 2022 according to the information available at the time)
For detailed information about Covid-19 related risk management at our school and kindergarten, please refer to our Te Rā & Te Rāwhiti Covid Risk Management Plan (April 2022)
Are unvaccinated parents/whānau barred from entering the kindergarten or school grounds?
No. When Orange or Red requires us to limit access to our grounds and buildings to essential visitors, particularly at drop off/pick up time, this limit applies but it is irrespective of anyone’s vaccination status.
When can community events go ahead?
Events and community gatherings can go ahead without limits on numbers in Orange and Green. In Orange, face masks are recommended to be worn but not required (except for staff at indoor events). Refer to https://covid19.govt.nz/traffic-lights/life-at-orange/
Can parents just come on site?
In Orange or Red schools limit the number of parents who come on site to be those who are on site for essential purposes only. Essential purposes relates to the child’s learning and education, and can include pre-arranged meetings. In Red, the school will change or cancel non-curriculum events that, under normal circumstances, would involve our parent community.
Can unvaccinated parents volunteer as parent helpers?
Do children, including those aged 12 and older, need to be vaccinated in order to attend their kindergarten or school?
No. Te Rā School classes will not attend in interschool or EOTC events if vaccination of children is a requirement by organisers or venues.
Will children be given or offered vaccinations at kindergarten or school?
No. The school’s Board, together with the Kapiti Waldorf Trust, made the decision that our school will not be used as a site for vaccinations. This decision is final and cannot be over-ridden by any other agency.
Will children and teachers have to wear facemasks at kindergarten or school?
• In Green or Orange, facemasks are optional for children of all age groups and for staff. We respect and support everyone’s personal choices.
• In Red, facemasks are not required in kindergarten and Classes 1 and 2.
• In Red, for Class 3 and above: when activities are held indoors, masks are required to be worn by children and staff. The government confirmed that this requirement will take effect from Thursday 3 February 2022. Staff follow the Ministry of Education’s advice to schedule regular outdoor breaks within each indoor lesson to allow students to remove facemasks. More information about facemasks can be found here.
• In Red, teachers of Classes 3-7 are planning to teach in ways that enable learning programmes to take place outdoors as much as possible.
If/when a facemask is interfering with instructions or children’s ability to hear/understand the teacher, teachers are permitted to use their discretion to find ways of communicating effectively with all students in whatever way is necessary for them to access learning. They will do so while being mindful of the need to protect students from the risk of infection as much as possible.
Will the school provide facemasks to the children?
When this is needed. The Ministry of Education has provided a small number facemasks for school students. For children in Classes 3 to 7, parents are asked to provide 3 facemasks for each (labelled with child’s name). Please try them out at home to make sure they fit comfortably. There is more information about facemasks here.
Will my child will be punished if they don’t wear a mask, or refuse to?
No. Firstly, we do not punish children. Secondly, if teachers are unsure over why the child is not wearing a mask, as there may be a legitimate reason, they will contact the parents to discuss.
For school children, can we expect home-based learning to be provided?
The materials in the home learning packs provided earlier this year are designed to be used by students who cannot attend due to self-isolation requirements or sickness (if the sickness is mild enough to allow them to do work). Depending on their age, they will need parental or adults support with managing this.
For capacity reasons, when the school is open for instruction, teacher support for off-site learning is only available for those school children who are advised to remain at home for more than two school days. This applies for children who are self-isolating to due having tested positive for Covid-19 or due to being close contacts of a confirmed case. It also applies, for example, for children with complex medical conditions where non-attendance on-site is advised by their health practitioner or the public health authority and where a letter is provided to the school principal.
Please speak directly with your child/children’s teacher(s) to find solutions where they are needed so that your child can attend school regularly.
You can find a summary of the different scenarios we are planning for here.
Will kindergarten and school close for instruction if there is a confirmed positive case?
No. We will inform whānau of classes only when there is a chance that a child who testes positive was present at school during the infectious period.
Can parents/caregivers request that kindergarten or school staff, or their governance bodies, operate outside of government guidelines, for example when they have concerns about how some measures impact on their child/children?
No. Teachers, the leadership teams, support staff and admin staff, and school boards and trusts are required to follow government law and regulations. For any concerns about measures of the Covid Protections Framework impacting on your child/children, please contact your GP, your local MP or the Ministry of Education.
For anything specific to your child, please speak with their kindergarten teacher or class teacher in the first instance.
If you have any other more general questions about our implementation of the Covid Protection Framework, please contact Cat Hendra at firstname.lastname@example.org.