Dear Parents/Caregivers

Yesterday  the Prime Minister announced that we will be moving to Alert Level 2 from Thursday and that schools will be open for all students from Monday 18 May. More information about education at Alert Level 2 can be found here.
 
We are really looking forward to having all students and staff back at school. Please be assured that at Alert Level 2 schools are safe environments. The two key public health control measures are to prevent the spread of disease and to support contact tracing. This means minimising the risk that someone gets infected in the first place, and secondly, ensuring we can identify and contact anyone who has been in close contact with a person, if someone in a school is infected.
 
You can help by reinforcing good hygiene practices at home which includes everyone coughing into their elbows, handwashing and drying. Very importantly, please keep your child at home if they are sick, even if it is a slight sniffle, sore throat, cough or fever. We will send anyone home immediately if they show any symptoms.
 
There is no minimum distance requirement for schools at Alert Level 2. It is simply impossible to avoid being in close proximity. However, students and staff are advised to observe physical distancing wherever possible. Dr Payinda in his NZ Herald article, explains that “Covid's not measles or chickenpox, it doesn't hang in the air for hours waiting to infect passers-by. It travels on invisible drops of spit.” Therefore, the advice is to keep out of others’ ‘moist breath zone’. Students and staff can wear masks if they prefer to do so, however, this is not compulsory.
 
We have all the necessary hygiene practices in place:

If your child is sick they must stay home

Students will be required to wash and sanitise their hands frequently throughout the day - when they arrive at school, before and after breaks and of course, when they have been to the bathroom. 

A regime of regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces

Every student is required to bring their own drink bottle as the water fountains are closed and students are not to share food.

 
If you are able to provide your child with a small bottle of their own hand sanitizer this would be very helpful. If you have any questions about our health and safety plan, or have a child who might be vulnerable to serious illness and would like to discuss a plan for them, please contact either Wayne Gillard (Year 5-8) of Kate Deane (Year 1-4).
 
Strict contact tracing protocols will also be in place throughout Alert Level 2 so that we know who is at school, who our staff and students have been in close contact with and we can take appropriate measures to keep everyone safe. We need your support with this as follows:
 

For year 3 students and above we request that parents and caregivers only enter the school grounds if it is absolutely necessary. Please do not walk with your child into the school grounds or enter the school grounds to collect them. Organise a place outside the school gates to collect your child after school.

For our junior children (Year 1 and 2) a separate email outlining drop off and pick up protocols will be being sent to all parents.

If you do come on site for drop off or pick up you must sign the contact register that will be located outside your child’s class. This is essential. You must pick up and drop off as quickly as possible to limit your time on site.

During drop off and pick up times please do not walk through the school office.

If you do have to come to the school during the school day the only access point to the school is through the office. Under no circumstances are parents or caregivers to go directly to classrooms.

Any appointments with staff members need to be made by prior arrangement.

 
Our focus initially, will be on ensuring all students and staff re-adjust to school life. Teachers will focus on student wellbeing and provide opportunities for students to share and process their experiences. If you have any concerns for your child’s wellbeing, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or our learning support coordinator Rebecca Norrish This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
Staff will return to school this Thursday and Friday to prepare. As you can understand this needs to be their main focus so while distance learning will be set teachers will not be available online.
 
In the next few days, would you please start to prepare your child for school. Routines like going to bed at a reasonable time and getting up at the usual time for a school day are helpful. Students are to wear school uniform and as it is moving into winter they do not need a school hat.
 
Finally a huge thank you to staff and parents during this time. We are lucky to have such a supportive community and we look forward to welcoming all students back on Monday.

Kind regards.
  

Mark Keenan
Principal

Dear Parents/Caregivers 

I hope you are all safe and well in your bubbles. Firstly, I want to acknowledge the work you are doing as parents to support your child’s learning. The expectation continues to be that all students try their best, complete the work they are able to and have fun! Learning will also look different for each household depending on your situation. Please do not put pressure on yourselves when it comes to completing distance learning.

Yesterday the Prime Minister advised that in Alert Level 2 schools are safe environments for children, young people and staff and that additional public health control measures are in place to prevent the spread of disease and to support contact tracing.

The good news is that when we are able to, we will be ready to welcome all students and staff back to our school site.

The decision about moving between Alert Levels will be announced by the Prime Minister on Monday 11 May. Once this decision has been made we will have a date confirmed for a return to school. As soon as I receive further information of what the Level 2 requirements for schools are we will keep you fully informed of how we are working to keep your child/children safe. Until then distance learning continues and the school continues to operate under the principles for Alert Level 3. 

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and all the mums are spoilt on Sunday. 

Kind regards.
  

Mark Keenan
Principal

Dear Parents/Caregivers 

We are really looking forward to having all students and staff back at school. Please be assured that at Alert Level 2 schools are safe environments. The two key public health control measures are to prevent the spread of disease and to support contact tracing. This means minimising the risk that someone gets infected in the first place, and secondly, ensuring we can identify and contact anyone who has been in close contact with a person, if someone in a school is infected.

Staff and students may well be anxious about returning to school and their emotional well being will be our priority in the transition back to school. A focus on learning will follow once students feel more secure. We know that parents and teachers have done their very best to support learning over the time students have been at home. Some children will have maintained their learning, while others may need additional support in some areas. Teachers will take time to observe individual readiness for learning and next steps and plan for how to accommodate needs.


Preparing for a return to school:

You can help prepare your child/ren by talking to them about :

 

Good hygiene practices which includes everyone coughing into their elbows

Regular handwashing and drying

Sanitizing hands, all children will be required to sanitize on entry and exit to classrooms

Respecting others space and staying outside others moist breath zone – not getting to close to each other

No games where they touch one another at break times. As part of the return to school we will be teaching some distance games children can play

No sharing of food

Please do not bring in any balls, toys etc from home 

Having their own named drink bottle

Drop off/Pick up routines outside the school gate

Very importantly, please keep your child at home if they are sick, even if it is a slight sniffle, sore throat, cough or fever. We will send anyone home immediately if they show any symptoms.

School site

Strict contact tracing protocols will also be in place throughout Alert Level 2 so that we know who is at school, who our staff and students have been in close contact with and we can take appropriate measures to keep everyone safe. We need your support with this as follows:

 

For year 3 students and above we request that parents and caregivers only enter the school grounds if it is absolutely necessary. Please do not walk with your child into the school grounds or enter the school grounds to collect them. Organise a place outside the school gates to collect your child after school.

For our junior children (Year 1 and 2) a separate email outlining drop off and pick up protocols has been sent to all parents.

If you do come on site for drop off or pick up you must sign the contact register that will be located outside your child’s class. This is essential. You must pick up and drop off as quickly as possible to limit your time on site.

During drop off and pick up times please do not walk through the school office. 

If you do have to come to the school during the school day the only access point to the school is through the office. Under no circumstances are parents or caregivers to go directly to classrooms. 

Any appointments with staff members need to be made by prior arrangement.


Office Protocol

Strict contact tracing protocols will be in place throughout Alert Level 2 so that we know who is at school, who our staff and students have been in close contact with and we can take appropriate measures to keep everyone safe. We need your support with this as follows:

In the event you need to visit the office please follow the physical distancing markings on the floor.

Visitors will be required to sanitise their hands upon entering the office area.

You will be required to complete the contact register, which includes your name, time of arrival and departure.

Where possible the school would prefer either emails or phone calls instead of face to face as this would minimise the need for contact tracing.

Any appointments with staff members need to be made by prior arrangement.

If your child needs to have medication at school i.e. Ventolin (spacer), antihistamine and other medication, that we are aware of, there will be a container outside the office for you to place them in.  Please ensure that the medication is placed in a Ziploc bag and is clearly labelled.  If we do not have an authority for this medication could you please complete the form that will be available by the container and enclose in the bag.

 

Please start to prepare your child for school. Routines like going to bed at a reasonable time and getting up at the usual time for a school day are helpful. Students are to wear full school uniform. 

Kind regards.
  

Mark Keenan
Principal

Dear Parents/Caregivers 

I hope you are all safe and well in your bubbles. Firstly, I want to acknowledge the work you are doing as parents to support your child’s learning, many of you will also be working from home. The expectation continues to be that all students try their best, complete the work they are able to and have fun! Learning will also look different for each household depending on your situation. Please do not put pressure on yourselves when it comes to completing distance learning.

This week we continue to work under the following principles for Alert Level 3: 

  1. Stay home. If you are not at work, school, exercising or getting essentials, then you must be at home, the same as at Level 4.

  1. Work and learn from home if you can. We still want the vast majority of people working from home, and children and young people learning from home. At-risk students and staff should also stay at home, and they will be supported to do so. Early learning centres and schools will physically be open for up to Year 10 for families that need them.

A reminder that under NO circumstances should any child be sent to school unwell or without prior arrangement with the school. As a school we continue to abide by the key principles of maintaining physical distancing, strict hygiene standards and robust contact tracing protocols.


Planning for Alert Level 2 

The Prime Minister has said that the Alert Level 3 will be reviewed and a decision made about next steps on Monday 11th May. One of the options is that we move at some point after the 11th into Alert Level 2.

The first thing is to get a clear set of the public health requirements for schools. The Director and Deputy Director of Public Health are working through this now and the Ministry of Education expect to have that list by early next week. The basis for this thinking is the COVID-19 Alert Level Table that is on the Government website.

The health and safety guidance will  include information for parents and caregivers and information about wellbeing and how we welcome our students  back to school.

We will continue to update the school community as the information comes to hand and prepare for welcoming back staff, students and parents.
 

Kind Regards
 

Mark Keenan
Principal

Dear Parents/Caregivers 
 
I hope you are all safe and well in your bubbles. It has been fantastic to see what families have been creating for our online house competition, well done to everyone involved.

If you have been following the news you will have heard a teacher only day has been set for Tuesday 28 April. We will use this time to physically prepare the site with those staff who will be supervising onsite. Distance learning will continue as normal on this day delivered by those staff continuing to work from home. 

Distance learning will continue for a minimum of the next 2 weeks while we are in alert level 3. I want to acknowledge the work you are doing as parents to support your child’s learning, many of you will also be working from home. As I have said previously, as a school we will do our best to provide a continuity of learning and support children while at home.  Please be patient with your child’s teacher  as they try and get the balance right!  All teachers will do their  best to support the students and make instructions clear and not too overwhelming. The  expectation is that all students try their best, complete the work they are able to and have fun! Learning will also look different for each household depending on your situation. Please do not put pressure on yourselves when it comes to completing distance learning.

We are working under the following principles for Alert Level 3 when this begins:

  1. Stay home. If you are not at work, school, exercising or getting essentials, then you must be at home, the same as at Level 4.

  1. Work and learn from home if you can. We still want the vast majority of people working from home, and children and young people learning from home. At-risk students and staff should also stay at home, and they will be supported to do so. Early learning centres and schools will physically be open for up to Year 10 for families that need them.”

We are currently preparing for a return to school under Alert Level 3. Thank you to everyone who has confirmed if their child will be attending. Under NO circumstances should any child be sent to school unwell or without prior arrangement with the school. 

When school reopens on Wednesday 29 April we will abide by the key principles of maintaining physical distancing, abiding by strict hygiene standards and robust contact tracing protocols. Students will be organised in bubbles of no more than 10 children initially so that we can ensure our practices are effective.

The following specific health measures will be taken:

  • Sick children will not be allowed to attend school. If a sick child comes to school, they will be sent home.
  • Hand sanitiser will be readily available and students will need to sanitise their hands on entry to the school. They will be required to sanitise their hands frequently and every time they go to the bathroom. Surfaces will be disinfected and cleaned daily.

  • PPE is not required or recommended as necessary in any educational facility by the Public Health Service. Students are allowed to wear masks, however, this is not compulsory. Students will be in a designated room  and will sit at a designated table. Students will only be allowed to do their learning there. They will sit at the same table each day. Spaces will initially be set up to allow for 10 students to be in a bubble with 1m between each student. Siblings will be in the same bubble.

  • A contact tracing register will be set up and when and who they have interactions with (students and staff) during the day will be recorded.

  • School begins at 9am and children can be dropped to school from 8:40am. School finishes at 3pm. Please do not drop children early or pick up late.  

  • No parents/other bubble members are to enter any school buildings to limit the amount of human contact.

  • Children will need to bring their own stationary (no shared resources) and they will be working on their class distance learning programme while at school.  Teachers will not be designing distance learning and a school based programme.  Distance Learning remains our focus as directed by the Ministry of Education.

  • Children from year 3-8 need to bring their device, headphones and charger. If this is not possible a school chromebook will be allocated. Year 1-2 students will use a school iPad.

  • The school playgrounds remain closed, children will have staggered break times to allow for social distancing.  No shared equipment e.g. board games, Lego, blocks etc. will be used. Students in different bubbles will not be able to mix during the day.

  • Physical education and breaktime activities cannot include sports with less than 2m physical distance or where the same equipment is touched by different students (balls, ropes, sticks, etc).

  • Students will need to bring a named drink bottle to school.  Fountains will be closed.

  • Students will need morning tea and lunch. All items need to be able to be opened/unwrapped by your child.

Kind regards.
  

Mark Keenan
Principal

Dear Parents/Caregivers 
 
I hope all families are safe and well in their bubbles. Yesterday the Government decided that we will move into Alert Level 3 on 28 April. That means we will be open to receive students from the 29 April. We will start to prepare our site from tomorrow.

The key message for you is that if you can, you should keep your child at home. You should only physically send your child to school if you need to. If your child has a health condition that means they are at a greater risk of a severe illness you must keep them at home. If your child is sick please also ensure you keep them at home.

In order to ensure the safety of those children and our staff who do come to school, we will be operating with strict enforcement of health and safety measures.

Dear Parents/Caregivers 
 
A very warm welcome back to the start of term 2, albeit very different. I hope you are all safe and well in your bubble and had a great Easter weekend.
 
Today we begin our journey into distance learning. As I have said previously, as a school we will do our best to provide a continuity of learning and support children while at home.  Please be patient with your child’s teacher  as they try and get the balance right! This is also new to them. All teachers will do their  best to support the students and make instructions clear and not too overwhelming. The  expectation is that all students try their best, complete the work they are able to and have fun! Learning will also look different for each household depending on your situation. Please do not put pressure on yourselves when it comes to distance learning. 
 
Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV will start education broadcasting for early learners and students in Years 1–10 from 9am today, with Māori Television launching te reo educational programmes also. Content will be grouped for early learners and students by age range, and will include play, literacy, mathematics, science, te reo Māori, physical education and wellbeing. All of the programmes will feature highly experienced teachers and presenters, along with wellbeing and movement experts.
 

Free internet safety filter for parents

While children are learning from home, they are away from the online safety and security services provided at school by Network for Learning (N4L) and Family Zone. If you have not activated your family zone licence or have your own home filters in place N4L and Netsafe have launched www.switchonsafety.co.nz - a free way to block the worst of the web for students. Please click on the link and follow the instructions. This will provide safer connectivity for your child while they learn from home.

Planning for changing COVID-19 alert levels

I have copied below an excerpt from the latest Ministry of Education bulletin regarding planning for changing COVID-19 alert levels. This is a very fluid situation so things may change. I will keep you all updated as information is sent through as it is important that as a school we are all well prepared for a physical return. 
 
‘It is the Government’s intention that on the 20th of April, two days before the current period of Alert Level 4 is due to finish, Cabinet will make a decision on whether or not the Alert Level will change. They will use the most up to date data they have to make that decision. 
 
Level 4 has come with some heavy restrictions and next week, the Government will give some guidance on what life at Level 3 looks like.  We will ensure we provide you with some information for you to begin early planning on ahead of the detailed guidance we will give you when a final decision is made.
 
In Select Committee today, Minister Hipkins also spoke to the change of alert levels and the implications for education providers and their communities. The Minister noted it would be wrong to assume that all schools and early learning services will reopen at Level 3.
 
We are looking at various scenarios and they will be based on health considerations and requirements under Level 3, particularly managing physical distancing. A hybrid model of both distance learning and on-site learning is very likely at least in the early stages of Level 3.  The Public Health requirements will affect each school differently.
 
We want to reassure you that following any announcement, you will have some time to prepare for physically re-opening your school or early learning service to welcome back on site your staff and some, but not all, of your children/students.
 
Assuming the alert level does change, current planning assumptions are that you will have Thursday 23 and Friday 24 April to fully access your site and undertake a property inspection and necessary maintenance and cleaning. Monday 27 April is a public holiday (ANZAC Day observed) and Tuesday 28 April will be a staff-only day. We therefore anticipate Wednesday 29 April would be your first day with some of your students/children able to attend in person. Early Learning Centres might not need all of this time.’ 

 
He waka eke noa – We are all in this together.
  

Mark Keenan
Principal