Edgecumbe College Pandemic Management

Students need to bring their own masks – we reccommend one for the morning and one for the afternoon. Students may wear a cloth mask – these are reasonably priced. Edgecumbe business Hook Chain and Stitch is making comfortable ones: https://www.facebook.com/hookchainandstitch/ 

Genuine exemptions are acknowledged. 

We recognise this is a challenge (particularly in summer) and encourage our students to drink lots of water, get plenty of fresh air between classes and during break times, and keep  well (good sleep/food/water/movement/stress management routines). 




Kia ora Koutou,




Firstly: Online Learning

It is unlikely that schools will be closed for public health reasons, however we may have to consider that in extreme circumstances staff and students may need to work remotely for a period of time particularly if we end up having a large number of staff off sick. We will look at how we manage this over the coming week.



Face Masks

The Government is also now requiring that a face covering be an actual mask. That means no more scarves, bandannas, or t-shirts pulled up over the face, for example. This is to ensure that it is a mask designed to cover your nose and mouth properly.

It is also now recommended that masks be a medical-grade mask (for example a Type IIR/Level2 masks or above). These include the widely available ‘blue’ medical-grade masks that many New Zealanders are already wearing.

A reminder that there are a number of exemptions to wearing a mask including if you have to communicate with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, or the person has a physical or mental health illness or condition or disability that makes wearing a face covering unsuitable.

We will not as a matter of course be providing masks for students. Availability will be an issue and the ongoing cost. Students may wear cloth masks (can also consider cutting a surgical mask and using it as a filter inside the cloth mask) but staff cannot. We will do what we can to keep students at school.

Students need to be wearing their masks on the buses to and from school.

Some students may have mask exemptions.

Generally we all need to be wearing masks indoors as do all visitors. Outdoors (for example P.E.) masks do not need to be worn. Lunchtimes etc masks should be worn. We are working towards minimising infections.



Pōwhiri & Events

Under Red it is recommended fewer than usual numbers at outdoor and indoor powhiri. Our powhiri for new students will go ahead.
Events held outdoors continue to minimise risk.
At Red, singing must held be outside with participants two metres distance.

In light of the greater risk of infection with a likely Omicron outbreak, it is strongly recommended we do not hold events or activities that involve large numbers of students, such as school assemblies, when at Red traffic light settings. 




There should be no non-essential visitors onsite at Red. Non-curriculum related events can only go ahead if you are using the My Vaccine Pass (this applies to all attendees, including students).

If you do need to access our school site, see below.



Good hygiene and cleaning

Please talk to your students about using and encouraging good hygiene practices including:

  • regular hand washing/sanitising
  • cough and sneeze etiquette
  • regular cleaning of high touch surfaces
  • open doors and windows.

Stay home if sick and get tested

Students and staff members with COVID-19 symptoms must get a COVID-19 test and remain at home until a negative result is received and they are symptom free for 24 hours.


Please do not come to school if you are unwell. Use the app or website to lodge your absentee and only return when you have no symptoms of being unwell.

We will send home students who exhibit any signs of being unwell.




Maintaining good ventilation in schools is recommended at all levels of the COVID-19 Protection Framework. We will be keeping our windows and doors open to keep fresh air moving through our classrooms as this is the fastest and best way to ventilate a space.

The Ministry of Education is working on options but these may take months. If your child tends to feel the cold, we have jerseys and jackets as a uniform option for warmth as we head into Autumn.



Unvaccinated children, students, parents and caregivers

All registered schools (including private schools), all school hostels (including private hostels), and all school transport services (for all students) are prohibited from requiring proof of vaccination (either via My Vaccine Pass or other tool) as a condition of using or accessing education.

This prohibition applies to all children, students and their parents or caregivers.
This means that a person’s vaccination status should not restrict learning for children and young people. Neither should it restrict parents and caregivers from supporting their children in their learning.

The Edgecumbe College Board will not be hosting any vaccination events on our school site. If you would like to pursue this option, please arrange this with a vaccination clinic off-site or through your GP. Riverslea Medical Centre and Riverslea Pharmacy both administer covid-19 vaccinations during their usual opening hours.



Other mitigations to minimise risk

  • We have been asked by the Ministry to treat all parents and caregivers coming onsite to support their child’s learning, the same – unvaccinated and not. This requires you to wear a mask, sign in, and avoid contact with students where possible. We will be arranging for visitor meetings to be held in our admin block to protect our children.
  • At Red, we ask non-essential visitors not to come onsite. Please phone us and we can help you.
  • We will not not hold events and activities, including those that bring parents and caregivers onsite that is, more than 100 (including students). This includes celebrations, prizegivings, special assemblies, events, but does not exclude parent teacher interviews or meetings.
  • all visitors must wear a face mask
  • Our staff will wear a face covering when meeting with visitors, including parents and caregivers
  • Physical distancing of two metres is recommended where practicable
  • Anyone who is not feeling well should not come onto the school site and encourage them to seek advice about getting tested.

We will be doing everything we can to ensure our students have a positive, engaging and stable year, and to ensure learning goes ahead and our students are safe and supported.

It is going to be an interesting year!!!




Nga mihi nui