Newsletter - 12 May 2020

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..nz.
 
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