Whānau Update 9th May

 May 8, 2022

Kia ora koutou

It was great to see everyone back on site for Term Two. Thank you all for supporting the IEMs, as these are fundamental in enabling students to have a learning program that best supports their needs. 

This week we are welcoming Michael Hayes as the new Learning Advisor who is replacing Kate Griffith in the Years 4 – 6 community. 

Staff Only Day – please note: Friday May 13th is a staff only day. Our school will be closed for instruction on this day as it has been allocated by the Government as a professional learning day. 

Covid Update

I would like to thank our whānau and students and staff for their continued support of the public health guidelines in the orange traffic light settings. We had high attendance on site last week and very few Covid cases and I think people’s willingness to follow mask recommendations and other guidelines helps us keep our case numbers at a low level. 

Last week the cases reported to us were:

Learning Advisors x 2

Year 13 x 2

Year 12 x 1

Year 11 x 2

Year 10 x 2

Apologies if I have missed any other positive cases. If your child does test positive then please email us at covid@aotawhiti.school.nz. This helps to support our health and safety decision making around covid. 

Please continue to keep your child at home if they are unwell. 

Here is a link to the updated education guidelines under the COVID-19 protection framework. 

Education at Orange Setting

Here is our dedicated email address for any Covid related questions. Covid@aotawhiti.school.nz


Our onsite attendance averaged 87% last week which was great. Consistent attendance is immeasurably beneficial to students and we will continue to work flexibly, in the short term, with whānau who have a medical concern around students being exposed to Covid within the school setting. For example, a household member who is immunocompromised. 

However, please remember that we are legally required to ensure that our students are engaged in education, and we will be in touch with families who have children with low attendance rates and aren’t working with Home Base Learning Advisors around the development of effective learning programs. We are legally unable to keep students on our roll if they accrue a number of days of non-attendance, (the general rule is 20 days of non-attendance). We are also unable to deliver full time, off site, long term learning programs. Te Kura and Home Schooling are the better resources for families who are looking for longer term off site learning.

We have resources within school to support families who are dealing with long term issues around attendance. Our school’s guidance team is able to support students to return to school. If students are struggling to return to Ao Tawhiti then we can also support them with transitions to tertiary education, the workforce, Te Kura (online schooling) or Home School. 

See contact details below.

Miriam Denney miriam.denney@aotawhiti.school.nz   School Counsellor

Bridget Scott bridget.scott@aotawhiti.school.nz  School Counsellor

Kirsty McMillan kirsty.mcmillan@aotawhiti.school.nz   Careers Advisor

Anne-Marie Hampton  annemarie.hampton@aotawhiti.school.nz   Kaitiaki

You are also welcome to talk to myself or your Community Leader. 

The important factor is communication between home and school so we are working together to support students. 

Thank you for your continued support.

Ngā mihi nui