Kia ora e ta whānau,
We hope you are all keeping well, keeping safe, keeping sane and getting vaccinated.
As you will be aware, the Government has made the decision to keep schools closed for the start of Term 4. Like many of you, the staff are hopeful we can return to school very soon and very disappointed that we are not back in Level 2 school for the term.
At Alert Level 3 the school will open on Monday 18 October for only the small number of children who need to attend because they have no appropriate carer available at home. If you have to go to work and have no appropriate carer available at home for your child, please complete this form so we organise the school for Alert Level 3 Bubble School.
All our usual safety precautions for Alert Level 3 will be in place which include 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.
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.
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 over 12 years old 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 over 12 years old), 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. We will therefore 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. At the end of last term we noticed a drop-off in the engagement of our online learning. Therefore, this week the teachers have been reviewing their online learning and planning a more engaging programme. More information about our online programme will be available on Friday. Should your child not be able to connect with the online programme, please complete this Hard Pack of Learning Materials Request Form.
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 week.
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. I’ve included some information about vaccinations and this is on the Covid-19 page of our website 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.
I know many parents in Years 5-8 will be wondering if camp is going ahead. In these uncertain times it is sadly, very unlikely camp will be going ahead. A final decision will be made on Monday after the post cabinet media briefing at 4:00 p.m. However, in order for us to be comfortable for camp to go ahead, Auckland will need to be in Alert Level 2 with school starting no later than 1 November to allow teachers to prepare students for camp in the week before camp.
As a staff, we feel that this is highly unlikely and have made the decision to let parents know of our thinking in case those parents who kindly volunteered to assist on camp can cancel any annual leave that they have booked.
For clarity, it is very unlikely camp will go ahead with a final decision being made after the post cabinet media briefing at 4:00 p.m. on Monday.
As we know what is happening with school for the term, we will advise what this means for events through the term.
Pātaka / Community Pantry
A reminder that there are a few groceries in the pātaka at the school entrance. It is located by the doors to the front office to keep it out of the weather. Please help yourself if you require any of the items. Naturally, we are grateful to any parents who would like to donate some pantry items - please place these directly in the pātaka. Please also view the Agencies you can contact for assistance article below.
Opening Links via Hero App
Finally, if you are using the app to read this update and are unable to open any of the links, please check your email inbox to see if you have received this update via email. The links may work better for you if you open them in your email. Alternatively, this update is posted to our website on the Covid-19 Tab.
Kevin and the team at Te Hihi