Kia ora koutou

New COVID-19 Protection (Traffic Light) Framework

You may have heard that everyone in Aotearoa will move to the new COVID-19 Traffic Light Framework on Friday 3 December. We will be moving to Red/Orange.

Elimination and the alert levels have worked well, with New Zealand having the lowest numbers of cases and hospitalisations in the OECD. While controlled, Delta is in our communities and the strategy now focuses on minimising its impact.

With 85% of eligible New Zealanders now fully vaccinated, and by mid-December it is expected to be approximately 90%, this allows a careful reopening while continuing to protect New Zealanders.

This means that we don’t have to change the way we are operating classes this year and everyone can continue to attend school onsite.

For next year, we can confirm that everyone will be back onsite for learning from the start of the school year, regardless of what setting under the new Traffic Light Framework we will be in (Red/Orange/Green). This is good news and means we can plan for a great 2022.

Health measures in place at school

This year and next, health, safety and wellbeing will continue to be a priority for us and the same public health measures you are very familiar with will remain in place:

  • good hygiene and cleaning

  • contact tracing systems in place

  • vaccination requirements for workers (paid and unpaid)

  • if you are sick, you must stay home and get tested

  • good ventilation.

[For regions at Red from 3 December] One change is that face coverings are encouraged to be worn when indoors for students and staff in years 4 – 13.

And if we are at Red at any stage next year:

  • face coverings will be required at school when indoors for students and staff in years 4 – 13

  • we will ask that only essential visitors come onsite.

With all these measures in place, public health has confirmed the risk of infection remains low when at school, with households continuing to be where COVID-19 is spreading the most. As noted by Dr Caroline McElnay, Director of Public Health:

Our experience in New Zealand and overseas with COVID-19 shows that it does not affect children and teens in the same way it does adults. Children and teens don't become as unwell if they do get infected, and they don't tend to pass the virus on so much as adults when in a classroom setting.

Compared to other places, schools and early learning services are not environments where we have seen significant spread of COVID-19. Household members and work colleagues who are in close contact with people with COVID-19, are the most common sources of transmission.

However, if we do have someone confirmed with COVID-19 in our school, we have a plan in place to manage this and will contact you as soon as possible.

If you’d like to learn more about the framework visit COVID-19 Protection Framework.

Ngā mihi

Steven Allen


23 November 2021

Kia ora parents, whanau, and caregivers

The advent of COVID 19 entering our community has impacted school operations enormously. Can I please remind visitors to school that they must enter via the school office, sign in, and be wearing a mask.

Sadly, we had to postpone our Academic Awards Ceremony. We intend to try to fit this in before the end of the year depending on the level restrictions we will be under. We have had to also cancel a number of school trips due to the level restrictions. We do not like doing this but student and public health must be at the front of our minds during this time.

To help with clarity around the new traffic light system that the government is introducing I have included a one-page explanation which I hope will help clarify this new way of dealing with COVID 19. Covid 19 Traffic Light System

The last of the 2021 Accord Teacher Only Days as mandated by the Ministry of Education will be held on Thursday 2 December which is next week. This means that school will be closed on that day and students should not come to school, as teachers will be involved in professional development activities.

NCEA Exams started this week, all the best to all concerned who have been studying hard this year!

2021 NCEA Exam Timetable

17 November 2021

Ata mārie whānau

The following comes directly from Tūwharetoa Health CEO

  • There has been an active COVID-19 case now identified in the Tūrangi community

  • Tūwharetoa Health is working closely with Pīhanga Health to ensure that they are able to respond the best they can to the need in our community during this demanding time

  • From today, Tūwharetoa Health and Pīhanga are collaborating to provide swabbing stations each day this week from 10:30am till 4:00pm to allow our whānau to come in and get tested

  • There is no need for an appointment, people can just drive in

  • Vaccinations will also be available and will be carried out in the carpark from the "Shots On Tūrangi" campervan to make it as quick and easy to access for whānau who would like to get vaccinated

  • There will also be a drop in service

  • GP services WILL CONTINUE TO BE AVAILABLE at Pīhanga Health Tūrangi

  • Tūwharetoa Health phone lines will continue to be answered 07 384 2882 opt 1

  • Please whānau, if you require medical assistance, to access it you will need to phone ahead and you will be screened before coming into the medical centre

A reminder whānau, please ensure that you are following the current alert level restrictions, that you are scanning in or recording your movements when you are out and about

8th November 2021

Kia ora parents, whanau and caregivers,

We continue to operate under very uncertain times. In the last newsletter we indicated tht the Academic Cultural and Sporting Awards would take place next week on Wednesday and Thursday. The requirements of level 2 gatherings have forced us to change the formate of the 2021 Awards Ceremony.

We will, at this stage only be conducting the Year 11 - 13 component of the process. The Year 1 - 10 section will take place at a later date when we are hopefully at Level 1.

The Year 11-13 Academic, Cultural and Sporting Awards will take place on Wednesday 17th November beginning at 11.15am. Recipients of awards will not be seated in the hall but will come up onto the stage when their name is called and they will receive all of their awards at the same time unless it is an Elite Award. Those Year 11- 13 students not receiving awards will be seated in the hall along with 2 members of the

Kia ora Parents, Caregivers and Whānau

As we continue to be in Covid Alert Level 2 a quick reminder of how this is operating at Tongariro School.

We would appreciate it if there was as little onsite visits as possible so if you need to contact school maybe a phone call would be useful. If you do need to come into school then you can only enter via the main Waipapa Road gate and you must sign in/scan at the front office. Masks should be worn. Whilst it is not mandatory for onsite staff and students to wear a mast this is still encouraged.

On-going daily sanitising is being practiced. We have taken a soft approach to students returning to normal school life once we have gone into Level 2 but now is the time to get your children back into the habit of attending school regularly and beginning the day on time. From the 21st September 2021, office staff will be following up on students whose attendance is not at an appropriate level. Up until now we haven't been marking students who are not attending as truant but from this date, we will be. This truancy will count towards percentage attendance levels and if necessary result in students being removed from the school roll in line with regulatory requirements.

Just to clarify with the COVID lockdowns affecting NCEA the Ministry of Education has moved the start date for External Exams. They will now start on 22nd November. This has affected our normal end of year programme of celebrations for Academic, Cultural and Sporting Awards. Due to COVID, we have decided to split the ceremonies in this way.

  1. School Wide Academic Awards will be held on Wednesday 17th November beginning at 11.15am.

  2. School Wide Sporting and Cultural Awards will be held on Thursday 18th November beginning at 11.15am.

  3. NCEA External Exams begin Monday 22 November. NCEA EXAM TIMETABLE

The next school holiday break is set down for the last day of Term 3 being Friday 1st October and the first day of Term 4 is Monday 18th October 2021.

During lockdown, the school distributed a large number of devices so that students could engage with online learning. Thank you to those whanau who have returned the devices. We still have 15 devices outstanding and would appreciate these being returned as soon as possible as they are needed for in-class teaching and learning.

Nga mihi

Steve Allen


Tongariro School and Alert Level 3 – Government Announcement.

27 August 2021

At alert level 3, all children should learn from home, but schools will be open for children whose parents or carers need to go to work. This option is available for years 1-10 only. Play centres and playgroups remain closed. Please check out the flow diagram below to see if your child can come to school. Teachers will be contacting whanau with the question

At level 3 will your child becoming to school?” You must meet the criteria for your child to attend.

This is so we can organise how we will operate under level 3 and how many staff we will require. Please do not just send your child to school if you have not told the school of this. We need to know accurate numbers and cannot have “off the street” arrivals that we are unaware of. The Ministry of Education is recommending school bubbles should be no bigger than 10 students so accurate numbers are essential. Those staff not involved with working with students at school during level 3 will continue to work from home directing their distance-learning programmes. If you can learn from home then be at home. This is the government's strategy to minimise movement and interactions in relation to COVID 19.

Tongariro School is providing distance-learning options for all tamariki and young people who are learning from home, including those who need to self-isolate and cannot attend school. Please refer to the school website for more details.

Tongariro School will set up bubbles to help maintain physical distancing in the classroom and outside. Parents, carers and whānau who are visitors to the school should keep 2 metres apart from people outside their household and only enter the school through the main office via the main driveway entrance. All other options of entry will not available. We would prefer that you drop your children off at the main entrance and let them walk in to their allocated classroom. School playground facilities will not be available to students, neither will sports equipment.

Nga mihi

Steve Allen Principal Tongariro School

23 August 2021

Remaining at Alert Level 4

Kia ora koutou,

I think we had all anticipated a further extension of Alert Level 4, and the Prime Minister has confirmed this. The Alert Level will be reviewed on Friday afternoon, but for now Alert Level 4 will remain in place until 12:59pm Friday 27 August.

Despite this news, it is really pleasing to see Alert Level 4 is having its impact on the number of confirmed cases, with numbers not dramatically increasing as they would likely have done if we had been at a lower Alert Level.

And so our distance learning programme will continue! Tomorrow we begin the allocation of devices for students to connect and work online. When it is your turn school will contact you with instructions as to how this will work. Please note. it is only in very limited circumstances that students, parents or caregivers are allowed to come to the school grounds. So please do not come to school unless you have been individually contacted by us to do so. Otherwise, you will be in breach of the COVID-19 Health Response Order.

You may be wondering how, with so many contacts being identified of confirmed cases, we aren’t seeing bigger case numbers identified. Just like the Delta variant is different, so has been New Zealand’s response. Previously we might have moved to Alert Level 2 or 3 if there was a new COVID-19 case in the community (which happened most recently in Wellington). This time we moved immediately to Alert Level 4, after only one case had been identified.

Health authorities are also casting a MUCH wider net to determine who is a contact of a confirmed case. People who previously might have been considered a casual contact are now being treated as contacts. Where schools may have closed for three days while contact tracing was undertaken, they are now closing for 14 days with staff and students all self-isolating for that time. As a result, there are more than 13,000 close contacts being followed up by health authorities.

There is a lot we can all do to protect our whānau and community from COVID-19 including:

    • Everyone must continue to stay home in their bubble

    • Do not mix with other household bubbles – if they have COVID-19, it can easily spread to your household, and every other household they and you are connecting with

    • As new cases are identified, new locations of interest are added to the Ministry of Health website – please keep checking this. You can search by your location and they are sorted by date, so you only need to check the locations which have been added when you last checked

    • Wash your hands regularly, especially when you have been out in public

    • Stay home if you are feeling unwell and seek advice about whether you need to get a test

    • Wear a face covering when out and about, and you MUST wear a face covering in any businesses or services which are open at Alert Level 4 (unless you have specifically been exempted from doing so, which includes anyone aged under 12)

    • Keep a two-metre distance from people outside your household bubble

    • Check-in using the NZ COVID Tracer App wherever you go or keep a manual record (a reminder the App only stores information on your own phone – no one else will know who it is that checked in, or when)

You can go to the website if you would like more information on Alert Level 4 requirements.

We can also make sure we are passing on good information. There is a very helpful article by Dr Siouxsie Wiles and Toby Morris in The Spinoff regarding misinformation and disinformation.

Their red flags for how to spot bad information are particularly well-summarised. Bad information will:

· downplay COVID-19 and the pandemic

· focus on survival rate

· ignore long COVID

· emphasise individual freedom

· try to sell you something

· push simple cures/treatments

· make you feel fearful or angry.

“Good information put out to help you make an informed choice won’t make you feel scared or angry. It’ll make you feel empowered.”

Finally, we know some families in our community may be finding it difficult to access food and essential items such as medicine. This information about how to access to food or essential items summarises the supports that are available, including financial help to buy food.

Please do take care and let us know how we can best support you and your whānau.

Kia kaha!

Nga mihi

Steve Allen


Tongariro School

22 August 2021

Kia ora everybody

Like me you probably looked at the emerging cases from this outbreak and thought that some further time at Alert Level 4 was the best thing for our community.

That thinking was confirmed when on Friday the Prime Minister advised that we will remain at Alert Level 4 until 11.59pm on 24 August. We will learn more on Monday about what will happen next.

I wanted to reassure you that our school staff and board will continue to be available to support your child’s learning and wellbeing in the coming days.

Teachers are presently contacting whanau to seek answers regarding who is connected to the internet and who might need devices should we decide to make these available to students from our school stock. We are putting this data together and will get back to you shortly

We also hope you are doing OK at the moment – but it is also OK if you aren’t.

As the Mental Health Foundation of NZ says, “it’s all right to feel a range of emotions right now. Going into a Level 4 lockdown is a big deal and it brings all sorts of different feelings to the surface, including frustration, worry and even gratitude. However you are feeling, know that you’re not alone – we’re all going through this together.”

If you need to talk, check in with a friend or whānau member, or free call/text 1737 to chat with a trained counsellor. It's free and confidential. There are also a lot of other supports available to you, your whānau and your community if needed.

You will also understand the importance of routine for your family. If your routine has been shaken up, it’s good to structure your time. Routines are reassuring and promote health and physical wellbeing.

A big thank you to all of you for taking the lockdown so seriously – we’ve seen before that staying at home will break the chain of transmission and save lives. Breaking the rules could risk someone close to you and if the rules are not complied with, this could risk the lock down period being extended or could risk the virus being spread to thousands.

Please keep checking the locations of interest and get tested if you were at that location at the specified time, or if you have symptoms which could be COVID-19.

And just a quick point – please don’t use our playground during lockdown. Playgrounds cannot be used at Alert Level 4.

As always, please let us know if there is anything you need to support you and your tamariki during this time.

Ngā mihi

Steve Allen


Kia ora koutou

We are now all in Alert Level 4 which means that our school will not be open onsite tomorrow, for any students. This follows someone being identified with COVID-19 and who has been in the Auckland and Coromandel communities while believed to be infectious.

It is really important we do everything we can to keep our community safe. Alert Level 4 means we need to stay home in our bubbles and avoid traveling as much as possible. Supermarkets, pharmacies, food banks, and other essential services will be open – but remember to wear a face-covering if you are out and about (even a scarf wrapped around your mouth and nose will help). Check-in using the NZ COVID Tracer App wherever you go and please also keep a distance from people you don’t know and wash your hands well and often, especially before and after using any public facilities.

  • Our distance learning plan will kick into action soon.

  • With such short notice, we weren’t able to hand out devices or hard packs to students in order to support distance learning. Your teacher will be in touch with some information to support learning from home

Please go to the Ministry of Health website if you live in Auckland or the Coromandel region, or have recently visited there. There is a list of locations the confirmed case has visited while they were considered to be infectious. If you were at one of those locations and at the same time as specified on the website, then please follow the relevant instructions to isolate and potentially to get tested. Please keep checking that webpage as new locations may be identified over time.

Our focus as always will be to support the learning, safety, and wellbeing of our rangatahi and tamariki and we continue to be here to support you as well.

Please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s kaiako or me, if there is something you need assistance with.

Ngā mihi

Steve Allen


Presentation: Intro to Advance leaders on day one Services Academies were allocated a Presentation topic, which had to be no less than three minute and no longer than five minutes. The three students attending the Advanced Leadership Course worked together, in order to come up with the Presentations. It was also compulsory for all three students involved, to present the Presentation to an audience. Directors had to provide topics, to the students at least two weeks prior to attending the course.

Year 9 English

I welcomed Year 9 English Motutaiko into my class this term, having taken over from Whaea Caroleanne. These students have settled well and continually surprise me with what they know and share.

Just a small reminder - can students please remember to bring a pen to class to support their learning? Part of my job as 'teacher' is to prepare them for their learning journey in the future and their tools are a part of this, thank you.

Vanessa Lumley-English Teacher

Cohort Entry and Introduction to School Dates

Tongariro School is part of the cohort entry Scheme. In schools which have adopted a policy of cohort entry new entrants are able to start school in cohorts but only after they have turned five. There are two entry points per term, one on the first day of term, and one at a mid-point during a term.

We would like to invite you to an “Introduction to School” time just before the beginning of your child’s entry date. It is a requirement that a whanau member be present with their child on this day.

On arrival to the “Introduction to School” day please come to the office area at 9.30am to be introduced to our management team and to be walked to Room 3 (our new entrant room).

The day will begin at 9.30am and finish at 11am.

If you have any questions, please contact the school office 073868684 and leave a detailed message for me to contact you.

Nga Mihi,

Amanda Sweet

(New entrant teacher and team leader of year 0-2)

Drama Performance ‘Thank You So Much’

Drama is a three phase operation, on stage, back stage and behind the scenes.

With each performance I have seen an improvement in delivery from our actors. They have lifted their game and carried their characters well, and I am so proud of them all. As one student put it this morning ‘they have developed the characteristics of their characters’, which was rewarding to hear, but thinking about it later I wondered if it was complimentary, given the murderous intent this lot have all developed over the last few months!!

All of this would not have been possible without a lot of work that goes on to support their role. It has been as always, a real team effort.

Behind the scenes

The huge job of food preparation and serving: Ylva Maxwell and Dalene Potgieter, [sitting in the audience] and tonight Sue Marquet, Hospitality students, and senior students

Setting up of tables for first ‘High Tea’, and then 2 evening performances – again Sue Marquet and Denise New and of course student help. I arrived this morning to find Denise and year 9 student Janaya at the tail end of all the dishes –what angels!

George Jensen and the construction crew – for making items as needed for that realistic look, a butcher's block and the fire surround, and now storage boxes for our lights. Whaea Jess and Whaea Ngaire, teacher aides- for your creativity in the classroom.

Kerry and Sharon in the front office - for ticket sales and liaison with our audiences.

Recognition also to our lovely Hostess for Evening performances and make up coach– Chevana Tariu

Back stage – well actually set construction, painting, and hanging of paintings, antlers, curtains and general repairs when needed – Brenton Searancke

Stage hands – Mana, Ariki, Siniva,

Lighting, and sound effects – Logan MacRitchie and Caleb Evans

Volunteer help – Eve Jensen [sitting in the audience tonight]

On stage – My actors, both major and minor roles, congratulations on your commitment to your assigned roles, for accepting a role, attending rehearsals and seeing it through. You make me so proud.

Post production

If you were a member of one of our audiences – thank you. It was so rewarding to hear your laughter, and receive your compliments about our performances, and kai. We look forward to having you back again soon.

Clean-up of the set was also a team effort;

Brenton - amazing to have the deconstruction run so smoothly and as planned

VLY AKO - my runners, packers, folders, go to's, you are awesome and really appreciated.

Sharlyn and the trades group - who moved in to finish off with the deconstruction, returning of chairs and tables, plates, and trays etc.

Denise -thank you for taking my classes last week so I could give our students experience with performing on stage before our audiences arrived - I really appreciate the work you do for me and finally;

My senior drama group - you have been the best group of students to work with, not only for performance but for taking direction and seeing something through to the end. You took on your characters and made them come to life, well done. I hope you have enjoyed this experience as much as I have.

Mrs Vanessa Lumley

2021 School Terms

Term 4

18 Oct – 13 Dec

Accord TOD 2 Dec

2021 BOT Meetings

15 November

6 December

Room Three have been using water colour paints and soft chalk to create self-portraits. We also welcome Bailey and Saine to our class.

Room 24 News

Kia ora e te whānau. Nau mai hoki mai ki te kura i te wahanga tuatoru.

It's great to see all our wonderful students returning to school for Term 3. The year is ticking over so quickly.

This term we are continuing with our Marae Visits around our Tūwharetoa rohe. This will be on selected Thursdays from 11am to 3pm. Your child will be sent home with a small note indicating what Marae we hope to visit each time. Week 1 we visited Maroanui Marae and its Church located at Ohakuri Taupo as well as Te Kapa o te Rangiita ki Oruanui Marae located in Oruanui Taupo.

A big 'UPs" to our parents and caregivers who are ensuring their children are coming to school. Attendance is a HUGE issue in schools all over New Zealand. I can't stress how important an education is to our children. We will try our utmost best to educate, care for and support your child while they are at school.

Trish Cotterill Konui

Live long and Prosper

Tongariro School Music students were privileged to work alongside Jimmy Colbert for two days. Jimmy helped the students with composition, performance and gave technical and instrumental guidance. A big thankyou to the New Zealand Music Commission for making it possible for this to happen.


Some of our students attended the Taupo-Tongariro New Zealand Modern School of Music Competition in Taupo recently. There were over 80 entrants from the Taupo area, Turangi, and Tokoroa.

Isabeau, Max and Ashton Whitmore all competed and received some medals and certificates.

· Isabeau received 2 Silver, 1 Bronze, and 1 Very Highly Commended.

· Max received 2 Very Highly Commended and 1 Highly Commended.

· Ashton received 1 Very Highly Commended and 2 Highly Commended.

In addition, Marich Young-Moeke was among those who performed for the audience at the end of the competition and played 2 songs. He did a great job and impressed the audience. Well done to all!

These students are taught by local piano teacher Bev Campbell.