“I feel immensely proud to be appointed as principal of Te Awamutu Intermediate” Pip Mears said, after tackling the first day of her new role last week.
Mears’ new position has been accompanied by the Covid-19 Red Light restrictions.
“The students in our schools today are certainly receiving a different education experience to what many of us have ever experienced, but throughout these unprecedented times I am continually impressed with how capable and resilient our young people are.”
She arrives at Te Awamutu Intermediate after almost four years at the helm of Te Uku School, near Raglan.
While many businesses have been able to operate at a semi-normal capacity, schools are having to deal with Red Light in a more creative manner.
Masks are a requirement for staff and students in years four and up. Large school events, or any with an elevated degree of risk, have been put on hold during redlight. And, the complications caused by this are only greater in larger schools.
Waipā District Councillor Mike Pettit, the Principal of Cambridge Primary, enjoyed being able to visit his classrooms and students throughout the school day. Under the new settings, he will no longer be able to do this. Because of gathering limits, many large schools are keeping their year groups segregated during break times, and for Pettit, it means that he cannot have the same school-wide presence that he used to.
In Karāpiro, being small is the school’s “superpower” says principal, Tina-Maree Thatcher.
While the school has had to put many events on hold, including their 100th year site anniversary, its small size has allowed them to avoid the full impact of many of red light‘s restrictions.
Students can have regular assemblies, can use any facility, and mix across the year groups. The schools two large oak trees also allow for classes to be held outside, so the students don’t have to wear masks all day.
Te Awamutu College doesn’t have that luxury, and posted announcements ahead of Tuesday’s first day about format changes and where students should assemble.The college starts 2022 with new house names in place. They are Kōwhai, Pounamu, Pōhutukawa and Kikorangi.Wayne Donnellon, Principal of Roto-O-Rangi School, has an optimism that can be shared across all of Waipā’s schools.
On his students returning, he said “we are looking forward to having a wonderful time with them, and a stable year of learning.”