Nau mai ki te pānui tênei ko te Kōrero.
Message from the Board
HWM’s governing board had their regular meeting last night to receive reports and updates and to make decisions on the strategic direction of the association. Amongst the updates they received was on the impact of Covid-19 on the tamariki and whānau, and on our staff.
“We are blown away by the amazing dedication and work of our staff” commented Board Chair, Martin Robinson, “the Board wants everyone involved in Whānau Manaaki to know how proud we are of their efforts during this significant and challenging time. We are determined to continue to support our staff, tamariki and whānau in whatever ways we can in the weeks and months ahead”
Rapid Antigen Tests for Kindergartens
Yesterday the Prime Minister announced that rapid antigen test kits (RAT kits) are being distributed to state and state-integrated schools, kura, and early learning services to allow:
- Twice weekly assurance testing for asymptomatic staff
- Testing of children and staff who become symptomatic at kindergarten,
The RAT kits being distributed will provide an additional point of access to testing. This does not replace existing advice to stay home and seek advice about testing, or to go home, if unwell. This is a short-term measure to complement those already in place during the peak of Omicron in a region. Supply is limited to four weeks. Regular asymptomatic testing of staff has been limited to early learning services, specialist school and special needs units, and school hostels. Early learning has been included because under-fives do not have access to vaccination, cannot wear face masks, are less likely to follow public health precautions (eg not putting hands in mouth, covering coughs, etc) and may have younger siblings who are more vulnerable or a mother who is pregnant.
Asymptomatic assurance testing of staff
We have opted into the testing programme on your behalf to ensure an adequate supply at each kindergarten. You can start using the tests as soon as they arrive. We have applied for enough tests for all staff in the kindergarten to test. This includes support staff and relievers. It is expected that you test twice weekly (Sunday and Wednesday) if you are asymptomatic and have not had Covid-19 in the last 3 months. Testing is voluntary. If a person does have symptoms, they should complete a test immediately, outside of the twice weekly scheme. The Ministry have advised that you will get your supply of tests as soon as they can – this is as specific as they have been.
We have developed the following flowchart to support your understanding of the process and what you would be expected to do.
This provision of RATs is being offered for a four-week period only. This aligns with the expected duration of the Omicron peak and recognises that rapid antigen testing of asymptomatic people becomes less useful as the peak passes and prevalence drops.
Provision of RAT kits for staff and children with symptoms
We recommend that children with covid-like symptoms are collected by a parent or caregiver if they are unable to participate at kindergarten as they normally do, and the test provided to the parent or caregiver to administer at home. Test kits should be offered to any child or staff member present at kindergarten that have or develop COVID-19 symptoms.
How to do a Rapid Antigen Test
Introducing RAT tests into a busy household can be a challenge. It can be hard to know if test has been carried out correctly, so learning how to use the test effectively can help to ease anxieties.
The Ministry of Health Pacific have developed a selection of 'how to RAT test' videos in Pacific Languages including Cook Islands Māori, Fijian, Kiribati, Niuean, Rotuman, Samoan, Tokelauan. Tongan and Tuvaluan below. These are a great resource for both Kindergarten teachers, and Kindergarten Whānau.
Check them out here!
Senior Teacher Update
Kia ora koutou katoa,
Te Manawa Procedures:
As part of becoming familiar with the updated third Edition of Te Manawa, we talked about reviewing your current Te Manawa Procedure by the end of this term. If you are needing some additional support around this process, talk with your Senior Teacher. We have also provided some resources in the Teachers Toolbox, Te Manawa Third Edition one of these useful resources is called ‘2021 Te Manawa working doc for procedures’
As we shared in an earlier Kōrero edition, the Education Review Office, is completing a pilot Organisational Review with us, where ERO reviewers spend some time with us at the Senior Leadership level before reviewing kindergartens. This new way of working begins with ERO reviewers joining us virtually from the 21st of March for two weeks. As part of this process, we co-design what the focus will be (you will remember last time they were with us, the focus was on our Curriculum document Te Manawa). We will also be deciding together with ERO which 20 kindergartens will be reviewed in Term Two. (We will update you once we know who these 20 kindergartens are)
As you will be aware in the past, compliance checks took place when we completed the Annual Review process. As this process is under review, we have adjusted the way compliance checks will look. The Teachers Toolbox holds the Compliance Plan. Within this plan the document called, ‘WMK Internal Compliance Check List-ERO Assurance Statement’ has been adapted with ‘notes’ to support you to complete your kindergarten’s compliance check. Please note this document is not to send to ERO, we are using it as an internal tool to support our compliance process. Please read the blurb on the first page, and talk with your Senior Teacher if you need support, or alternatively you can connect with Leanne Nelson or Raewyn Mckenna
Please complete by the 8th of April 2022
Senior Head Teacher meetings:
Due to the current Covid-19 situation, we have decided to move our SHT meetings for 2022 into terms two and four.
As soon as we confirm the new dates, we will be in touch with all our senior head teachers to let you know.
Leaderful practice PLD
For Kaiako interested in PLD around being leaderful, we will be holding our leaderful practice workshops again in 2022. We will still be offering morning and afternoon sessions. The morning session (9.30 - 12) will still align with the 2019 cohort mahi, and the afternoon session (1 - 3.30) with the 2021 cohort mahi.
However, the difference this year is that we will not be starting a new leaderful practice group, so anyone can attend any session- or even both if you wish. If you have been previously attending, you can change groups if that suits you better or attend both groups if you want to revisit previous capabilities.
We will be delivering this PLD via TEAMS and with the option of physically attending one of our four cluster groups in Porirua, Kapiti Coast, Wairarapa or Wanganui. Given the current situation with Covid-19, there will also be the option to attend the workshop from your own home if you would prefer
When enrolling in this PLD you will need to identify which session (or sessions) you wish to attend (morning/afternoon) and which cluster/ location you wish to be part of. Even if you plan to zoom in from your home, please identify a cluster location to be part of. The first of these workshops will be on the 21st of April 2022 as follows:
9.30am to 12.00 noon - exploring the capability “Embodying the organisation’s values and showing moral purpose, optimism, agency, and resilience”
1pm – 3.30pm - exploring the capability " Ensuring culturally responsive practice and understanding of Aotearoa New Zealand’s cultural heritage, using Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the foundation". Embracing this capability requires understanding Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and our own Lou Fruean will be supporting you in this mahi.
PLEASE NOTE: This PLD is NOT specifically focused on being a positional leader (e.g., Head Teacher). You can attend this PLD if you are interested in leaderful practice, regardless of whether you aspire to be a positional leader or not.
We will post more information about this closer to the time but if you have questions about these workshops or how to enrol please feel free to contact Fiona Twaddle
Amanda Coulston appears on TVNZ 1News
Whānau Manaaki CEO Amanda Coulston appeared on TVNZ 1News television broadcast last night. Mandy was approached to comment on the allocation of nearly a million more rapid antigen tests allocated to schools and early learning centres.
On the program Mandy said this will provide reassurance to families, because the children in early childhood cannot get vaccinated and therefore, there is a heightened sense of vulnerability.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it would make it easier for people with children in school or early learning to get tests when they need them.
"Every parent will know that there will be a time or an occasion where their child may be perfectly fine when they go to school and then suddenly may come down with a fever, a sore throat, or feel unwell. This is a practical thing that we can do to make it easy for families if their child, when they're sent home, goes home with a rapid antigen test for the family, just to make it easier"
If you would like to watch Mandy’s interview, check it out on TVNZ on demand- the segment begins at 11:35.
Whānau Manaaki supporting Whānau in Isolation
Since the first lock-down in 2020 Whānau Manaaki has been actively seeking to support communities who are self-isolating or in need of assistance due the Covid-19 pandemic.
We have been able to continue that mahi into the current Covid-19 Protection Framework environment and have stepped up our efforts in Phase Three, supporting isolating households with groceries.
Whānau Manaaki Community Services Lead Caroline Mareko has been working closely with the Porirua City Council and the Ministry of Social Development to address the huge increase in referrals for support in the Greater Wellington Region.
Our shopping team consists of six full time staff and an incredible volunteer army who swing into action in the evenings and weekends, often in addition to their own full-time work commitments.
During this current Omicron outbreak, the team have been completing 30-35 deliveries per day and have assisted over 1000 households and 4000 individuals.
Previous Kōrero Editions
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