Nau mai ki te pānui tênei ko te Kōrero.
Welcome back for those of you who have had a break. For those who have worked through, thank you, and make sure you book some leave over the coming weeks.
As promised in last week’s Kōrero, we are sending out more information today about mandatory vaccinations which takes effect next month. Please look out for this detailed email, which will be coming out today to the kindergartens and to your own Whānau Manaaki email address.
Although we can’t answer all your questions at the moment, we are sharing the information we have. And we will continue to send information as things develop.
We will also be sending you something to distribute to families using your usual channels.
This is a challenging time for many people, with diverse views on the issue of mandatory vaccination evoking strong feelings amongst colleagues, friends, whānau and communities.
Please remember to be kind to each other and to focus on what we have in common rather than what are our differences; and remember, our focus is on doing best by children, it always has been and always will be.
Changes To The Senior Teaching Team
Our Senior Teacher Team is changing the way it works, with a collective leadership model where different team members take responsibility for different areas of practice. The team is also going to work in clusters, which will generally be geographical.
Changes will start this term, with the new model fully operational next year.
All kindergarten teams will work with different senior teachers in a cluster, while having one kaitiaki senior teacher.
The new approach will support Senior Teachers to work more collaboratively, and will allow for more continuity - for example if a Senior Teacher is on leave, the others in the cluster will be available and will be knowledgeable about that kindergarten.
Your Senior Teacher will be in contact over the coming days to talk about our new approach and what it means for your team. We look forward to developing relationships with you.
We will continue to share information in Kōrero as it becomes available.
Term 4 2021 Whānau Contributions
Your families may have asked about Term 4 requests for Whānau Contributions. Feel free to let them know that these will be emailed out later next week. Hard copies will also be delivered to kindergartens for distribution through “child pockets” in the following week.
So that we have the most up to date information for our request letters can you please try and have all your children’s enrolment records and email contacts in Infocare up to date by the end of day on Tuesday 26 October.
End of Month Infocare Cut-Off
A reminder that next week is financial month end and we will be working on Board and Kindergarten reports for the month of October shortly.
Your Infocare records for October need to be completed by noonon Monday 1 November next week. This means we would like you to complete the following tasks in Infocare, up to and including Friday 29 October, as appropriate:
- Sign in sheets marked in Infocare (actual attendance)
- Fee invoices created and committed (for the week ending Friday 29 October)
- Staff timetables (“staff hour count”) completed
- Online sign-off of your monthly roll return
Any ratio, attendance or roll issues are communicated to the Wellington Association Office (please call Tania on 04 232 3069).
Tania will follow up with you if she has any questions related to your records.
Te Reo Māori Online PLD Opportunity For Kaiako - He Pātaka Reo
This is a reminder that the last day of the Te Reo course is the 17th December. It is a good time to check where you are at with this course as it will not be available to you online after that date.
Reliever Network And Regional Staff Meetings
This is a reminder that Reliever Network and Regional Staff Meetings are coming up.
As we are at Covid Level 2 it is really important that you enrol for these courses. We do need to keep a check on numbers.
Relievers can enrol by emailing Kaz here, for everyone else you can enrol through Tūhonohono.
Learning Support Team
Kia ora whānau
Just a quick update from the Team.
You will see that we have now introduced some 5-minute Loom videos for you to watch at you own time. These focus on a small element of learning support. These were very popular in the recent break. We sense that everyone has 5 minutes to spare – so have a look at these. These are posted on Story Park Community Noticeboard. The links can also be found in Teachers Toolbox Learning Support Webinars. We appreciate your feedback as it helps us to understand what topics that would be most helpful.
This term we will be holding a workshop on Autism. It looks like these are now full. If you are unable to make these, please cancel in Tūhonohono as there is lots of interest in these face-to-face workshops. Notes for these are always posted in Teachers Toolbox for all kaiako to access and use.
As part of our professional development, we also offer guidance within kindergartens. Currently our team of Learning Support Teachers (LST) carry out two days of visits each term in their area. This is from Whanganui to Wellington. These tend to be 1-hour visits which provide you the opportunity to talk a child in your kindergarten. The focus is on how kaiako can best support the child with the challenges they may have with their learning. If you are keen for one of these visits email Soreen and we will see if we can co-ordinate this with the LST in your area. These can take place under level 2.
Soreen Scahill, Zophia Loorparg, Lorraine Russell, Erin Burr, Sharon Fox, Michelle Penn, Anna McMillan, Ngaretta Strong.
Successful Youth Vaxathon Day In Cannons Creek
Whānau Manaaki staff were involved in the Vaxathon day last Saturday, with Porirua-based transport team members Flora Rota and Kathy Rota-Aleni taking the opportunity to get vaccinated themselves.
Flora says while she does not like needles, it was good to get vaccinated. She had a sore arm at first but it was coming right.
Flora says there were lots of people at the “Cage” in Cannons Creek in Porirua East, and all ages and all nationalities.
Lots of family members got vaccinated together, including her daughter.
Kathy says it was good to be amongst the community, and everyone was behind it. Lots of Whānau Manaaki families showed up, including those who had already been vaccinated, to show their support.
And with chalk, playdough, fruit, water and lollies it was easy to keep children entertained while people waited for their observation process.
Whānau Manaaki Senior Manager Caroline Mareko was involved in organising the day, welcoming the Prime Minister. Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield also made an appearance.
Encouraging Our Families To Get Vaccinated
The Delta variant of Covid-19 has shown us how quickly this virus spreads and the huge impact it can have on communities. The best protection as we know is vaccination.
Experts say every unvaccinated person can expect to get Covid-19 and ten per cent of them are likely to end up in hospital. While all our staff need to be full vaccinated, it is important that we also encourage our families, particularly in those areas where vaccination rates are low.
The official Covid-19 site has a whole range of posters that could be good to display, relating to various demographic groups. Here’s a link to the posters.
Putiki Kindergarten Children Meet Cleaners
Children at Putiki Kindergarten featured in the Whanganui Chronicle with their cleaners, Noel and Patricia Sexton, as part of Thank You Cleaner day.
The Sextons have been cleaning Putiki Kindergarten in Whanganui for more than a decade.
Although Noel is 82 and Patricia 77, they have no intention of quitting anytime soon. "It keeps us fit and we enjoy it," said Noel. "We are happy to just keep going.”
Putiki Kindergarten Head Teacher, Megan Bishop, says it’s wonderful to have such dedicated long-term cleaners. "We appreciate them - they are part of our whānau even if we don't see them every day."
Noel and Patricia with tamariki,
Photo – Bevan Conley
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