We understand that operating a school in the presence of COVID-19 can raise some concerns or apprehensions from both our learners and our school community.
The School Leadership Team and Board of Trustees wants to reassure our community that we will continue to deliver a safe space for our learners to continue their education, with as few disruptions as possible.
Members of our community often reach out with questions and concerns regarding how the school will be operated during this next phase of the pandemic, so we have collated the questions here to provide clarity for you.
As we have witnessed since the first lockdown in 2020, the situation can be fluid, and information is not always available to the school from the government immediately.
We will endeavour to keep the information up to date with the latest changes and impacts on our school through our normal school communication channels.
Please use the following resources to help you make decisions for your family.
COVID-19 Advice from Te Mahau The Ministry of Education
New Zealand Government Information: If You Contract Covid-19
Q: Who determines the rules and policies regarding Covid-19 vaccinations?
A: The school leadership team and Board of Trustees is responsible for the safe and efficient running of our school only. Decisions regarding Covid-19 vaccinations, mandates and policies are determined by the government and the relevant Ministry (i.e. Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health). Where a decision is made by one of these Ministries that requires the school to implement a policy or mandate, we are legally required to do so and this is out of our control.
Q: A member of our household has tested positive for COVID-19. Can my child still attend school?
A: Please refer to the government COVID-19 website for the most up to date infromation on household contacts and self-isolating.
Q: Will my child be required to have their vaccination to attend school?
A: Under the current government issued guidance, children will not be legally required to have their Covid-19 vaccination to attend school.
Q: Can the school or Ministry of Health vaccinate my child whilst at school, against my wishes/without my knowledge?
A: No, your child can only be vaccinated if you have provided written confirmation. Furthermore, there are no current plans for any vaccinations to be given on the school premises. We recommend you contact your local GP to discuss vaccinations for children, and where to go for these.
Q: Will there be a community vaccination centre operated from the school?
A: There are currently no plans in place to operate a vaccine centre on the school premises. If the Ministry of Education or Ministry of Health require schools to make a space available in order to operate a vaccination centre we will inform our community at that point. For parents and guardians who wish to vaccinate their child, vaccinations are available from the Matamata Medical Centre.
Q: Will vaccinations be discussed in my child’s classroom?
A: Covid-19 does not form part of the curriculum in schools. However as a community of curious learners we will from time to time have children asking questions. As we do with other subjects such as [puberty education] our focus is on recommending that the children direct their questions to a parent or caregiver. Our teachers have been asked not to engage in drawn out conversations on the subject, or to share their personal opinions.
Q: Are our classrooms well ventilated and how do we know that the CO2 levels are safe?
A: Matamata Primary School have a CO2 Monitor and all classroom spaces have been tested and meet the Ministry of Education Guidelines (less than 800ppm – Your space is very well ventilated continue with your current approach). All classroom doors and windows are kept open during school hours to allow adequate airflow and the children are given regular breaks outside during in class learning time.