Kia ora e te whanau
Firstly our thoughts, prayers and aroha are with the people of Tonga as they recover from the devastation caused by the recent volcano. We are holding a special place in our hearts especially for our Kingsford Tongan community.
As you will all be aware, we are now at COVID-19 Protection Framework Red (also known as the traffic light system). I am sure that for many of you, this may cause further concern just as children are about to return to school. Here at Kingsford, we have robust processes designed to keep our community as safe as possible, although no system is 100%. At the end of last year when many of our children returned to school after the lockdown, these processes helped us to keep COVID-19 out and we managed to avoid having any cases in our school.
This year, we continue to have a number of procedures in place with regard to COVID-19. These include maintaining high levels of basic hygiene among our students, e.g., coughing/sneezing into their elbows, and regularly requiring them to sanitise or wash their hands, particularly before eating, and after using the bathroom or playing outside. Surfaces will be regularly sanitised, and classrooms will be well ventilated, with lessons taking place outside when practicable.
We ask whanau to help us again by observing the following protocols:
- Keep your children home if they or any member of your household have any COVID-19 symptoms, or have been at a location of interest. Please get tested as soon as possible, and follow Ministry of Health guidelines. Students are welcome to return to school once evidence of a negative test has been sighted by the school. Please remember to let us know that you are keeping your child home.
- Please drop off and pick up your child/children at the gate rather than coming onsite. Both our front (Raglan St) and rear (Kairanga St) gates will be open. Myself and Rose Tavelia will be at these gates, ready to greet our students as they return to school.
- Whanau who are new to Kingsford will be permitted onsite to accompany their child or children to their class on their first day only, however will not be permitted into the classroom. After that, these whanau will also be asked to drop their children at the gate, the same as the rest of our whanau.
School lunches will be provided from the first day of school, however children will need to bring their own drink bottle as the water fountains will not be in use.
Students in Years 4-6 and their teachers are required to wear a face mask that is attached by either ear loops or a head loop. Masks for students do not have to be the medical-grade ones – that is only mandatory for adults.
Year 0-3 students are not required to wear masks in class, and nor are their teachers. However, as our Year 3 students are in classes with Year 4 students this year, their teachers will be wearing masks, and we recommend that they do too, although they are not required to.
Child-sized masks will be available in classes for children, including those who are not required to wear one
Each class has a designated eating area and play area (which they share with one other class) in order to maintain physical distancing. Students will be supervised during these times by at least one teacher and a learning assistant, supporting students to maintain a one-metre distance from those not in their classes.
We ask that you delay your child’s arrival at school until 8.15am, although gates will be open at 8.00am. We have staggered departure times, as indicated below:
- Manaia (including older siblings): 2.30pm
- Room 10 (including older siblings): 2.35pm
- Rooms 8 & 9 (including older siblings) 2.40pm
- Rooms 5 & 6 (including older siblings) 2.45pm
- Rooms 17 & 18 (including older siblings) 2.50pm
- Rooms 3 & 4: 2.54pm
- Rooms 1 & 2: 2.57pm
- Rooms 19 & 20: 3.00pm
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or your child’s teacher. You can reach us via email, or through the school office on 275 9447.
Ngā mihi nui, Anna