COVID-19 Update and Returning To School Term 4
Kia ora e te whanau
As you know, Government made the early decision to shift our region to Alert Level 3 while health authorities quickly track down contacts, and test and isolate confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our community. Yesterday Wednesday 13 October, Minister Hipkins has confirmed we will remain at this level until 11.59 pm Monday 18 October.
Alert Level 3
At Alert Level 3 you legally must stay within your household bubble unless for essential personal movement, including going to work and going to school.
|We are open on Monday 18 October
ONLY for those whanau members who need to collect devices. A separate message will be sent home specifically about this.
|We ARE open on Tuesday 19 October (under Alert Level 3)
ONLY for the small number of children who need to attend school if their parents/caregivers are essential workers and do not have appropriate care available at home. The majority of children will remain learning from home through your distance learning programme. All usual safety precautions for Alert Level 3 will be in place which includes following all the recommendations from the public health experts. This means we will regularly clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces, encourage everyone to frequently wash their hands and cover their coughs and sneezes, and keep everyone physically distanced from others as much as possible (one metre inside and two metres outside). We will also keep school bubbles to no more than 10 students. These bubbles will not mix with other bubbles.
Students in Years 9-13 are also now required to wear face coverings when at school in Alert Level 3, as are the staff. Face coverings are now also required to be worn on school transport for students in Years 9-13.
Contact Tracing Systems
Our contact tracing systems will be in place, which includes our attendance register and visitor register, and we will be limiting staff onsite with the majority of our team working from home. You can also assist everyone’s safety by keeping your child at home if they are feeling unwell and please do contact your GP or Healthline, to seek advice about getting tested.
Our staff on-site will have been tested for COVID-19 before they get back to work and we are moving toward having 100% of our staff vaccinated – so we are all playing our part in keeping our community safe. It is also now legally required that we hold a COVID-19 vaccination register for all eligible students and staff.
If we were to have a case of COVID-19 in our school, public health authorities will want to know if we are a school with a high vaccination rate. This information will then be used as part of the local health authority’s risk assessment. The more highly vaccinated we are (staff and eligible students), the less likely it will be that we will have to close down for a long period of time, or we might not need to close at all.
Student Vaccinations and Vaccination Records
We have not been asked to host vaccinations for students on our school site during term time. We have already shared our Board Statement with you on Vaccinations and reiterate that we are not vaccinating students onsite without parent/caregiver permission.
We do however need to know if your child has had their first or second vaccine dose or is exempted from being vaccinated. This information will be held by us in accordance with the Privacy Act and will only be shared with public health authorities. We are therefore getting our data collection system in place and will get in touch with you again very soon.
We will continue to support all children who remain learning from home, through our distance learning programme. You can access our portals on our school website. While we know how difficult it is trying to work from home as well as support your child’s learning, please keep your child at home if there is an appropriate carer available. For those of you with no other option, we look forward to seeing your child at school next Tuesday 19 October.
|Ministry of Education Message
We are proud of how our community has responded to this outbreak, but the mahi isn’t yet done. Please continue to follow all the alert level requirements including staying at home, getting tested for COVID-19 if you are feeling unwell, and for your own sake and for the health of your whānau, please get vaccinated. Here is some information about vaccinations to support decision making. These are the very best things we can do to keep our community as safe as possible and get everyone back to school.
Stay safe. Stay well. Stay connected.
Ngā mihi nui
Louisa Barham (Tumuaki / Principal)
Lisa Thomson (Board Chairperson)