Kia ora koutou - Dear Parents and Whanau,
As you may be aware the Prime Minister has announced that schools will be fully open on Monday 18th May. The aim of this letter is to outline what school will look like at Alert Level 2.
The key Public Health approach is to minimise the risk that someone gets infected in the first place, and second to ensure we can identify and contact anyone who has been in close contact with that person. Under Alert Level 2, any students and staff who are unwell must stay at home.
‘Bubble’ isolation does not continue at Alert Level 2. As such, all students and staff will return to their classes as ‘normal’. There will be no restrictions on the movement of students and staff between classrooms or at break times. Playground and shared P.E. equipment will now be accessible by different classes providing hand washing and drying continues.
To reduce contact tracing issues, parents are not to enter school wherever possible. The exception to this will be parents of Year 0-2 students who may enter the gate near the Te Akonga block; names of parents will be recorded for contact tracing purposes. Where possible, parents and carers are to email or phone the school office rather than enter the office in person.
The Hall gate will be the second entrance/exit available for students. Both the Te Akonga gate and Hall gate will have a gazebo for shelter and hand sanitizer available. Normal school opening time will apply. Years 3 to 8 students can be collected between 2:30pm and 2:45pm from the Hall gate. To reduce congestion at the gate please let your child’s teacher know your collection time. The staff car park adjacent to the Hall will be coned off as a space where parents for Year 3 - 8 students can wait and maintain sensible spacing. Buses will be running as normal with the addition of hand sanitizer being available for students on entering the vehicle. The before and after school SKIDS programme will be resuming when school returns. Please contact SKIDS directly or via the school office if you require that service.
Following Public Health advice for schools, no set distance between students will be maintained in classrooms, however they will be seated to avoid being physically too close and thereby avoid the ‘moist breath’ zone. Unlike measles or chickenpox, the coronavirus does not hang in the air but instead relies on microscopic spit particles landing on surfaces to spread. Students will be encouraged to cough or sneeze into their elbow, avoid touching their face and will frequently wash and dry their hands.
Students are not to share food at break times and will need to bring their own water bottle as the school fountain will be out of use. High touch surfaces in classrooms, toilets and around school will be cleaned and sanitized multiple times during the day.
In line with government advice on gatherings we will not be holding whole school assemblies, whanau time or timatanga until further notice and will inform whanau prior to commencing these activities.
Students with a school Chromebook are asked to return them to the school office as soon as possible so that they may be checked in, cleaned and reallocated to classes. Please also return any reading materials previously sent home.
It is important that not just at school but at home, safe hygiene habits are practised by everyone. Dr Caroline McElnay, Director of Public Health has indicated:
“...it is important that parents fully support this approach by doing their bit - keeping children home if they are unwell and seeking medical advice about whether a child may need to be tested; and ensuring great hygiene practices at all times.”
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 the school. If your child has severe underlying health issues, please contact your GP for advice.
By Monday 18th May we will be in a position to welcome all students and staff back to school. Until then please continue to communicate with class teachers and enjoy the online home learning experiences available.